LG Closes Plasma Factory, Is The Future LCD?

In the battle of the formats is there now an imminent winner?

On the high definition landscape Blu-ray verses HD DVD isn’t the only format war, LCD and Plasma are also going at it hammer and tongs but could the former slowly be gaining the upper hand? It certainly seems that way following news from LG…

LG is one of the few companies to offer LCD ”and” plasma TVs and it is also world’s second largest plasma panel maker, yet this week The Wall Street Journal reported it has posted operating losses in its plasma division and announced plans to shut down its Korean plasma factory.

Plasma lovers will take heart from the fact the factory was only a small part of its overall repertoire (it cuts plasma unit production by just 70,000 units) and cynics would suggest LG has always been more inclined towards LCD. By contrast however LG’s plasmas fared reasonably well in our reviews and it does reinforce general industry opinion that plasma’s days are numbered.

The primary reason for this is cost: LCDs are cheaper to make and high resolutions – particularly in these 1080p ‘Full HD’ obsessed times – are easier to achieve. On the downside, many HDTV purists will tell you – myself included – that despite these advantages high end plasmas (notably models from Pioneer and Panasonic) still tend to offer the best picture quality.

That said, money talks (at least metaphorically) and since more people shop for HDTVs with budgets under £1,000 than over £2,000 it appears that ultimately there can only be one winner…


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