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LG May Cease Plasma Manufacture


LG May Cease Plasma Manufacture

It seems Pioneer isn't the only soon-to-be ex-plasma TV manufacturer. LG Electronics is apparently considering withdrawing from the plasma business, too.

In an interview with Japanese Kyodo News, president of LG Electronics Japan, Lee Gyu-hong, explained that if Plasma sales continue to slump the company may stop making such TVs altogether, to better focus on its LCD business. According to Lee Gyu-hong, LG likely won't be able simply to reduce costs to improve profitability.

While not as disparaging as the news that Pioneer is ceasing plasma production, it's still a worrying sign of the times. Clearly consumers aren't being persuaded of the benefits of plasma over LCD quite so easily now the price differential is that much more notable.

At this rate there might not have any plasma manufacturers by this time next year…


February 27, 2009, 3:42 pm

What are the benefits of plasma over LCD? From what I've read on your pages the best LCD and the best plasma screens are difficult to separate in terms of quality. It then comes down to price......

Rok Krznar

February 27, 2009, 4:15 pm

@ timple

Plasmas tend to have a substantially higher native contrast ratio than LCDs.

The average LCD has around 1000:1 native contrast ratio while most plasmas have over 20,000:1.


February 27, 2009, 4:55 pm

The main factor nowadays is actually how the displays deal with motion. LCDs still suffer from a judder effect that can be distracting when watching sports or action movies. Even the motion compensation settings on the best LCDs still struggle in certain scenarios, whereas plasma just breezes through everything. Black level is still an issue as well but with the introduction of local dimming LED technology soon LCD will rival if not surpass plasma.


February 27, 2009, 5:02 pm

I guess with OLED, laser TV (and some day 3D) on the horizon, perhaps plasma has had its (very enjoyable) day. The inevitable creep of technology and, of course, the need to maintain profits...


February 27, 2009, 6:55 pm

IMHO Plasma wipes the floor with LCD. I have a two 1080p TV's, one Plasma and on LCD and the Plasma is way ahead of the LCD in every way. The LCD just doesn't look "natural", especially with SD quality material. Hopefully Panasonic will stick to their guns and carry on with Plasma (at least until LCD, other tech, truly catches up)


February 27, 2009, 7:15 pm

@Steve32 - agreed. As a Pioneer Kuro owner it's hard to love anything other than plasma ;)


February 27, 2009, 7:18 pm

Plasma is a dead duck. Pioneer have realised it and the others will follow sooner or later. Apart from the few that like to coo over black levels and need a furnace to keep warm its LCD all the way. The rest of us who enjoy watching the programmes rather than sit nit-picking over imperceptible motion blur or worrying about having missed some meaningless detail in the shadows will buy LCDs, he best of which have caught up with plasma and are only going to get better.


February 27, 2009, 7:36 pm

so who are the Plasma suppliers left?

Pana, Samsung - any others?


February 27, 2009, 7:36 pm

@basicasic - Concorde is a dead duck too, doesn't mean its performance didn't kiss the ass of every modern airliner out there...

"nit-picking over imperceptible motion blur or worrying about having missed some meaningless detail in the shadows" - I do believe that means you happily buy worse quality products. Not sure you get the concept of a reviews site ;)

Striving for mediocrity has never been a great plan really.

Martin 6

February 27, 2009, 7:43 pm

well Lets face it is a &#163600 LG Plasma rates 7 for image quality (http://www.trustedreviews.c...

the same image quality as a under &#163400 Grundig from Tesco


Maybe they should stop making them!

Martin 6

February 27, 2009, 7:51 pm

Do any of you here use an LCD For your PC!

I don't at home I have my Trinitron tubed Dell 21" with a 0.24 Dot pitch(show me a 22" TFT that has dot pitch that small) that lets me play new games in 1024 x 768 until I buy the next best VGA card (I play up to 1600 x 1200 where the card can)that isn't &#163300+ My partner uses at 22" widescreen TFT that looks horrible unless it is in the native 1650 x 1050 Resolution.

Yet people still buy inferior TFT monitors (that only now have become cheaper than a CRT was 6 years ago) and some people say they are better!!!

I dare anyone to put a TFT under &#163300 next to my Trinitron tube and not see the Dell is better quality more vibrant and more versitile + bigger is better not smaller is more imo


February 27, 2009, 8:21 pm

@Martin - FYI, scores are proportional to the product being reviewed. There is no such thing as a '7'


February 27, 2009, 8:55 pm

@Gordon - my point is that LCD quality has reached the point already where 'good enough' is cheap. LCD is going to continue to get cheaper and better and it won't be long before 'excellent' will be cheap. Plasma will have to start competing on price rather than relying on a quality advantage and it would appear manufacturers know the game is up.

@Martin - I had a 21" Sony Trinitron monitor which I loved. About 5 yrs a go I bought a Dell 20" widescreen TFT and the Sony looked fuzzy and dull in comparison. I got shot of it. It was good in its day but wasn't in the same league as a good TFT in my opinion. I got a Dell 30" a couple of years ago and the Trinitron is not on the same planet.

Every dog has its day.

Martin 6

February 27, 2009, 9:03 pm

@Gordon - how does that work? the image Quality portion of the score from the Grundig and the LG looks pretty clear, are you saying that the rating system on the site is not really needed. The whole LG Plasma is rated at 7 vs the Grundigs 6 with the LG scoring highest on value.

Pardon my confusion but what the 2 reviews tell me is that they have an equally appreciable but different picture quality and drawbacks, LG has better sound and the its I don't look at (ie not the middle bit with the image on) look better on the LG.

The LG is rated as better value because Plasma is normally more expensive and the Grundig is only 37" as well.

Does this mean that the LG have better image quality then the Grundig and all the TR ratings are just there for the sake of it?

Pardon my confusion but please clear thinks up for me.


February 27, 2009, 11:01 pm

i had always come under the assumption that plasma screens were generally cheaper - at least where i work.


February 28, 2009, 7:04 am

@Martin - Giving an LCD 8 for Image Quality and a Plasma TV only 7 is like saying a Mini Cooper S is 8 for Performance but an Aston Martin V8 Vantage is only a 7. They are both cars, but you are not comparing like with like! I have a small LCD in the bedroom and I would give it 7 out of 10 for image quality - compared to other cheap bedroom type LCD's. If I was comparing it to my main TV I would give it a 4. (There are flaws in that analogy, but the principle works I feel!) I think you need to have a better understanding of the products being reviewed than to just compare actual scores. It is never quite that simple.


February 28, 2009, 12:03 pm

@Steve32 - thank you. Exactly.


February 28, 2009, 2:19 pm

Don't forget viewing angle.

Plasma kills LCD for viewing angle. It's important in an open plan designed home like ours.

Anthony Armstrong

February 28, 2009, 5:23 pm

I think everyone is missing a trick here - plasma tv's practically EAT electricity. Their adverse environmental impact (not to mention the impact on your wallet when the electricity bill arrives) renders this a technology we need to leave behind.


February 28, 2009, 10:01 pm

Anthony, atm a 50" Panasonic plasma uses an average of 300watts. Samsung and LG plasmas are worse for power consumption. The upcoming Panasonic Neo plasmas will use less than half of the power they use now. A 52" LCD uses around 140watts and LED back lighting doesn't seem to reduce power consumption.

I got this info from this site(trustedreviews.com).

Nah...they don't measure power usage here because they don't believe in global warming and the price of their electricity where they live is never going to go up. :p


March 1, 2009, 12:21 am

@ Gordon, (second comment) I think you mean KICK the arse, you have been doing quite a bit of innuendo recently, but the thought of aeroplanes "doing it" is really pushing the boundaries for this respected technical journal.

PS. There is no charge (on this occasion) for this bit of proof reading.

Jay Werfalli

March 1, 2009, 1:04 am

Just like to add that in terms of image quality we're talking two different technologies here. Plasma is an emissive one and LCD is a transmissive one. i.e. With plasmas, photons are emitted in a very similar way to the humble CRT (and we all know how responsive the phosphor is in a CRT (traditionally good for motion), as well as how smooth a CRT blends colour gradations while also having excellent viewing angles). LCDs, however, use transmitted light - i.e. the source is from behind and the light is effectively blocked or transmitted by way of polarising filters and the twisting and untwisting of liquid crystals (the speed of which influences response time and affects motion blurring), before passing through a series of discrete RGB colour filters. Basically, it's a subtractive and linear process that can result in lower brightness levels, worse motion handling, questionable colour accuracy and reduced viewing angles. That said, manufacturers have worked hard with LCD and image quality and response times have vastly improved. Personally, though, I'm a plasma man. Yes, they're power hungry, but until the technology behind SEDs and FEDs is truly capitalised upon, then plasma is my preferred choice.


March 1, 2009, 4:29 am

@ Jay, I just read your post and didn't understand a word of it! I guess I should hand in my geek card now eh?


March 1, 2009, 6:57 am

@Frank - plane innuendoes? Sorry, even you've lost me there... which means you're seeing them more than I'm writing ;)

Oh and please don't call us a journal, it sounds like we're 70 year old academics. We're here to hopefully analyse, enlighten and occasionally amuse. If possible...

Martin 6

March 2, 2009, 2:31 pm

@Steve 32 to me a 7 is a 7 when you are talking about TV image quality both TV's scored 7 I would expect them to be the same but have different pro's and con's but the overall image quality to be around 7 (what ever 7 is).

As for your analogy to me Mini Cooper S is only a 7 for performance, and depending on which Aston your looking at it would be 9 or 10, so There are flaws in that analogy, but the principle does not work unless you set up something to say like: For a Hot hatch the Mini Cooper ranks at 8 and for a Super car the Aston ranks as 7, but as a luxury Grand Tourer it ranks as a 9 or a 10.

I did not get the impression that image quality was reviewed separately for plasma and LCD. In fact I thought the whole point of TR is make things clearer for those of us that don't get these mystic things made over yonder waters!

My main point about LG, and my original comment still holds weight here, is that as most Plasma's rank at 8 and above for image quality, yet the LG I mentioned does not rate even this high, then maybe they should cease making them, as the world seems bent on buying inferior technology as long as its cheaper.

I read TR because they tend to be straight forward reviews from human beings that make spelling mistakes (especially Hugo not a dig but he does), that does not go overly technical so it goes over my head, and where I learn what technology I am best spending my hard earned cash on, and try to understand the technology from, so if I can not understand it form here I wont ever get it.

@TR Just for us Luddite types can you let us know that if its LCD screen, then you need to -1 all the scores when comparing to Plasma.

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