A demise of the plasma display appears a few steps closer following news that one leading vendor, NEC, has decided to finally end production of commercial plasma screens.
Reports suggest NEC is withdrawing from the market because commercial plasma sales are declining steadily while LCD sales are rising.
Yet plasma sales remain positive for at least one brand despite the NEC news. A spokesperson for audiovisual distributor Midwich said that plasma sales are still valuable.
“I know that Panasonic remains resolutely committed to plasma and our sales of that brand are really strong at the moment,” he said.
“However, [NEC] is another player that has dropped out of plasma production, following Pioneer.”
In the public display market, the decision whether to buy LCD or plasma screens has often given rise to controversy, especially as LCD technology develops.
The popularity of plasma displays has waned in recent years, in part following allegations that plasma is inferior to the latest LCD offerings.
Panasonic has said that LCD is at its optimum performance up to and including 37in, but plasma offers the best performance for larger screens.
Both LCD and plasma displays last for about 60,000 hours and are equally as energy efficient, though plasma displays fluctuate as scene brightness changes, said the vendor.
A Panasonic survey in 2008 suggested that 61 per cent of users agree that plasma offers better performance than LCD.
Yet the decline of plasma appears confirmed. Display market analyst Meko has said that LCD is expected to account for 90 per cent of the market by the start of 2010 despite falling prices for plasma components.
And a Sony representative said that the vendor had ceased production of plasma displays in 2008.
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