As Panasonic’s plasma TV business enters the final months of its life, a new culprit for its demise has emerged - the 4K Ultra High Definition standard.
December 2013 will be a sad time for home cinema fans, because it will mark the end of Panasonic’s production of plasma TV sets. Of course, the troubled Japanese manufacturer’s plans to ditch the out-of-fashion panel tech have been well documented, but it turns out that the full reason behind them has not.
According to a posting on the HighDefJunkies forum by a senior Panasonic USA employee, the major factor in Panasonic’s decision to end plasma TV production when it did was the impending 4K revolution.
More specifically, it’s the potential expenses involved in developing a 4K or UHD plasma panel that made the manufacturer’s mind up.
"The main reason we have to move on is technology hit a roadblock," explains the unnamed employee. "We simply cannot make a 4K plasma in a reasonable manner for retail without significant investment and that'll carry a big time price tag."
As the Panasonic employee notes, the company has been "bleeding money" in recent years, which means that it isn’t really in a position to plough its own furrow by advancing the unpopular plasma standard.
Instead, the company will "mitigate risk and go with established technologies and also pursue future ones." Which, as of the beginning of 2014, means LCD-only.
With former plasma TV master Pioneer also in the news this week for returning to TV manufacturing with an LCD-only philosophy, it seems we’ll have to look to future advancements in OLED technology for our inky black fix.
Next, read our pick of the best TVs of 2013.