Samsung halts plasma TV production, citing lack of demand


Samsung has announced that it will stop producing plasma televisions by Nov. 30, 2014. The Korean company cites lack of demand from consumers as the reason for the closing of plasma TV production.

Despite the quality of the picture found on plasma televisions, the public has been migrating toward less expensive LCD televisions over the last decade. It has also been speculated that the even greater cost for ultra high definition plasmas with more detailed 4K-resolution screens was a driving factor in Samsung's decision to stop plasma production.

"We plan to continue our PDP TV business until the end of this year, due to changes in market demands. We remain committed to providing consumers with products that meet their needs, and will increase our focus on growth opportunities in UHD TV's and Curved TV's," Samsung said in an official statement.

At the company's official website, Samsung's top plasma television, the 64-inch diagonally measured F8500, retails for $3100. In contrast, the 65-inch LED television H7150 runs for $2000. Samsung's curved 65-inch 4K TV, UHD HU8700 has a $3800 price.

Samsung is not the first television manufacturer to shutdown its plasma business due to the changing televisions market. Panasonic announced in October 2013 that it would halt production of plasma televisions in December 2013. And the TV industry expects LG to follow suit and halt its plasma production soon, as the company has reportedly already converted one plasma production line to manufacture solar cells.

Earlier this year, research firm NPD DisplayWatch forecasted that the already declining sales of televisions with plasma display panels (PDPs) would drop another 48 percent in 2014. LCD televisions, including LED and OLED varieties, will grow 5 percent this year according to NPD DisplayWatch.

Plasma televisions work by shooting electrons through plasma cells, which emit electrons to hit phosphors with the actual pixels. This process generates a brighter picture compared to LCD, but it takes more energy and generates a lot of heat. In contrast, LCD uses two-electrode layers to manipulate a layer of liquid crystal molecules, requiring less energy and typicallying having a lower manufacturing cost.

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