Panasonic's Last Plasma Panel Powers the New ZT60

Posted Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT by
Panasonic ZT60

Panasonic plans to reuse that panel for models into 2014 while working towards OLED.

Panasonic's ZT60, the company's latest and possibly greatest plasma television, is powered by the company's last plasma panel. Recent reports that Panasonic was abandoning plasma development have been confirmed to a degree, however, the company intends to sell plasma sets built with their current panels into 2014.

Panasonic President Kiyoshi Okamoto told The Verge that Panasonic has shifted its plasma engineers towards OLED development and that "OLED is one of the key future products" for Panasonic. Current costs for OLED production keep the tech from being a definite path for Panasonic, and the company hopes to raise its current business sales in order to reach a healthy bottom line. Panasonic has an OLED development deal in place with fellow troubled manufacturer Sony.

While Panasonic has produced plasma TVs with picture quality to swear by, plasma sales have plummeted while LCD TVs have become ubiquitous. In terms of marketability, plasma sets carry a "burn-in" stigma that often has relegated plasma TVs to an afterthought on sales floors. Meanwhile, LCD and its companion edge-lit LCD from Samsung, LG, and Vizio continue to sell unabated.

The VT60 and VT65, priced at $3000 and $3500, respectively, exist as some of the best display options currently for sale and compare favorably with the hallowed but discontinued Pioneer Kuro Elite 151FD. Panasonic's current plasma line derives from its acquisition of plasma tech from Pioneer.

As the Panasonic ZT60 becomes available later this month, customers will face the choice of buying into a tech that seems to have died well before its time.

Source: The Verge

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Tags: OLED, ZT60, Plasma TVs (17 posts), Panasonic (all tags)