RIP Panny Plasmas

Just saw a report on CNBC that Panasonic is planning on exiting the plasma business by March 2014. Can't say I'm overly surprised but still a bummer. Hope the others aren't following suit soon.
they make highly rated plasma tv's for the money... what is the reason given for this change? CNET gives them good reviews.
Definitely a bummer. Plasma remains my preferred TV technology and Panasonic the preferred brand. Now what?
Sh#$! I HATE LCD/LED - they all give me a headache. I prefer only plasma. Great. Crap!
That's too bad but we all knew it was coming. LED's are built for the masses; those that embrace MP3's and IPODs.
Light weight, cheap and convenient is what its all about with todays consumer.

I was an early adopter of Plasma and had a Pioneer (best picture I ever saw). Then when they exited the market I bought the next best thing available, a Panny Plasma and I use it as my primary HT display. I also have a Panny LED for everyday watching in the living room and there is no comparison - the Plasma is the superior set in every way.

But superior doesn't necessarily equate to what's popular in our culture. Yes, RIP Panny Plasma and Plasma technology in general.
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So buy two or three plasmas and save 'em!
What's the problem?

Look on the bright side: Maybe they're gearing up for Oled production.
Supposed to be better than plasma -no?

BTW: Costco has a Samsung 55 inch 240 hz LED for under $800.
Is not a "smart" TV however.
Very sad but not unexpected news. I have three Panasonic Viera plasma sets snd love them. Not sure what I will do when one or all need replacing.
It is a shame, since the reference monitors used by engineers and techs in TV and video facilities are plasma (and CRT). I've seen the change-over to LCD and now LED with their bright, artificial colors. Terrible.
Liz, the market rush is still, and always will be flat panels. LCD, and LED are flat panels. I have all plasma tv's, except my pj, and prefer them. I guess I just don't understand your "flat panel" comment.

We just bought our first flat screen this past winter, a Panny 55"UT50 series at Costco. The picture blew away the Samsung that I returned for it, at almost 1/2 the price. My neighbor is a big LED fan boy, and gave me a load of s#*t when I bought the Panny plasma. He stopped over to watch some football about a month ago and now knows HE made a mistake!
It is no surprise that the AG crowd again separates itself from the hoi poloi. I got a 60 inch panny plasma last summer when I heard they were probably going to bow out. How anyone can tolerate an LCD is just mind boggling. Its not Panasonic's fault. LCD's are the visual equivalent of cheapo speakers that sizzle in the store, then don't get playing time at home because they are too hot.
Sorry if I've gone overboard here, I've just had too much frustration with the 2 digit IQ crowd lately.
Does anyone know the approximate useful lifespan of a well built plasma TV? I am considering buying one before they become extinct.
Brownsfan, I wish there was a LIKE button.
Still have an early generation Fujitsu 50" plasma which is far better in every respect than my 3 year old sony XBR and than every LCD I've ever seen. Hopefully, plasma survives.
Panasonic has always made great quality and value television. I have two of the Viera and one superflat CRT. All look/work excellent. I hope they come up with something as good for their next generation.
I think this is the second time in as many years that they've announced they're getting out of plasma. LCDs are getting much better and OLED manufacturing has too low a yield right now to justify lowering costs so Plasma should still be considered as a viable alternative.

Here's to hoping they'll still be around.

All the best,
As much as I like my Kuro,if the demise of plasma tech,in general, means a push for OLED,then I say...lets get the show on the road.
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Do you think Panasonic would have come out better if they shipped their plasmas with Pangea PCs? :) Sorry, couldn't help myself. Your analysis of market forces on high volume consumer goods is pretty hard to argue. Good post.
I was holding out hope lower production costs and better product management in Korea would allow companies like Samsung to continue producing good plasmas, but apparently Elizabeth is correct as it stands...

I'm with Aolmrd in hoping the newer and hopefully superior technologies come online a little sooner as a result of this. I'm also with Rockdanny -- LCD/LEDs (even the new ones) give me an eye-ache.
I hear this a few days ago, not sure why but I suspect the reason is that plasma cannot be made into UHD except in huge sizes and is cost prohibitive in that case.

Buy a new ZT or for those looking more for bang for the buck, get an ST and use it until it dies, by then hopefully OLED will be around and affordable....
VHS wins again! Once again the lazy fat butted American consumer would rather listen to a schmuck then look it up.

Long live my Pioneer EliteĀ…
I spoke to a Samsung rep at BestBuy today and he told me that Panasonic is teaming up with Sony to go the OLED route since that seems to be the direction TVs are headed. UHD 4K is coming down on price and within a couple of years will be around the same price as regular LCDs are now.

I compared the 4K sets and the Samsungs were easier on the eye than the Sonys but that could have be due to the set up in store. The Sony was quite intense with the color to the point of looking surreal.

All the best,
I walked past a big KURO at the local AV shop and was surprised. It was perfect for those holiday TV casts aimed at simulating a fireplace in your TV, because the KURO not only did the image it did the heat. I suspect the KURO is a power hog. Panasonic may have predicted that any trend toward lower energy usage would hurt sales.

Is there any reason to expect new models from Panasonic before they throw in the towel? We'd been thinking about moving from 42" to 50" or 55" and wonder if we should pull the trigger now with one of the current Pannys.

Oh, and is worth going to 55" in order to get Panasonic's VT series technology instead of the ST, which is the best they offer at smaller screen sizes?
@Drubin-- I bought a VT50 55 inch a few months back after comparing the picture quality between the GT, ST and VT series. The differences between the VT and ST are small and mostly concern picture settings in the menu. The largest viewable difference was in Blu-Ray presentation, and that wasn't a "jaw-dropping" difference, but it was a clear one.

The ST is a fabulous bargain. I would have bought one if it hadn't been for a chance in-box return of a VT. (The guy who returned it hadn't bothered to measure his wall opening.) So I took the return, thank you very much, and saved $600 off a new VT. Now, after a few months with the tv, I can tell you the added picture controls makes a helluva difference, IMO.
Thanks Calbrso3. When you say that, "after a few months with the tv, I can tell you the added picture controls makes a helluva difference," are you referring to those "differences between the VT and ST are small and mostly concern picture settings in the menu"?
Yes, Drubin, those controls specifically found in the custom picture mode. They offer a lot of fine tuning capability, if you're into that kind of thing--I am. Otherwise, with the exception of some minor screen differences (I believe the VT reflects less ambient light), it's IMO the same tv as the ST.
Yep Dbphd, you are right! According to the specs, my Pioneer PDP-6070 60" plasma display uses 455 watts and I can attest that it can warm a room like a powered-up Jeff Rowland Model 5 power amp. But as good as the image is on this plasma display, I have no intention of replacing it until the day comes when it breaks and can't be repaired.
I have one of the last Pioneer Kuro Plasma 60 inch display that was made. I still love the picture and would only sell when OLED becomes available in this size for a reasonable amount of money.
Nonoise is correct, Panasonic and Sony have decided to combine their efforts in developing OLED and ultra high definition technology via a joint effort. OLED's current issues are producing screens larger than 55 inches and the low (currently about 10%) yields of the long and continuous OLED panel production runs.

Panasonic decided to exit the plasma market after their engineers determined a 4k plasma would run too hot and cost too much. They are now devoting their entire engineering staff to OLED and higher definition technologies jointly with Sony. They decided the future is OLED or a similar technolgy.

Personally, when I purchased my first HDTV in 2006 I wanted a Pioneer Kuro plasma but didn't want to pay the $10k they were going for then so I bought a Sony xbr 50" lcd instead for about 1/4 the price. I've been happy with it until I read about Panasonic ending their plasma production. I knew Panasonic had gained numerous Pioneer Kuro engineers, and purchased many of their patents and technology, when Pioneer exited the plasma market in 2010. This was probably the reason Panasonic was able to become the consensus leaders in plasma HDTVs rather quickly.
I recently decided, even though my 2006 Sony is still going strong (having had a new color engine installed under warranty to prevent the dreaded 'green blob' issue), to buy a Panasonic plasma while I still could.

After reading all the reviews, numerous forums and even the entire Video Evolution HDTV shootout from May on You Tube, I went to several stores to decide if I agreed with their choices on the best HDTVs.
After viewing most of the top units in low ambiant light conditions, it was obvious to me that the Panasonic VT60 series were the clear winners. The Samsung f8500 was a close 2nd but a bit too bright for my tastes. My only problem was the 65" TC-P65VT60 I wanted was still a bit too expensive at about $3700.
So, I searched online and found a reseller, Eastcoast Tvs, that was offering it for $2,149 with free shipping and no sales tax. I know, I know, I read all the forum posts questioning the credibility and trustworthiness of Eastcoast Tvs after I ordered it. Most of these posts are accurate in stating the ECTV sales tactics are aggressive and they do try to convince you to buy various add-ons like extended warranties, wall mounts, etc. Panasonic verified via phone that they would honor the 1yr parts & labor warranty as long I registered it with them. ECTV even insisted on adding an insurance charge they say covers your tv arriving in good condition. Having been involved professionally in warehousing and shipping for over 30 yrs, I knew this was bull1sh*t. The shipper owns the product and is responsible for its good condition until the product is delivered and signed for by the buyer. Never the less, I agreed to pay the $58 charge (less than half the amount I saved by avoiding state sales tax) since I didn't want a squabble to prevent me from saving about $600 on the tv.

Fortunately, the tv was delivered in perfect cosmetic and operational condition a week later. I'm completely willing to put-up with their annoying sales tactics again if it means I will save $500-600.

Anyway, this hdtv's picture quality is stunningly good/great. I was considering buying the 65ZT60 but the 65VT60 was $100s less expensive with the identical pq as the ZT in low light, has the same 2 remotes and comes with a built-in camera.The VT was the better value.

I feel fortunate and honored to own one of the last, and one of if not THE best?, Panasonic plasma ever. I think both the VT and ZT hdtvs will be regarded as classics and reference plasma models in the not too distant future, just as a couple Kuro models have been considered the reference plasmas until these 2 2013 Panasonic models replaced them according to several prominent professional hdtv reviewers.

I'm perfectly happy to watch this awesome hdtv until OLED, or some other technology, comes along that tops the plasma picture quality. So I agree,RIP Panasonic, even though you won't be 'dead to me' for many years.
You may want to buy a Panasonic plasma while you still can. I'd suggest an ST60 if you want the best value and a VT60 or ZT60 if you want the best plasma, period.

Good post, Tim, but what enquiring minds wanna know is, didya check out my latest post on utoob and howdaya like my new camo-print speedo? I had it custom-made by onea them bootik places thit uses hi-end PCs on there sewin' machines. Ah bet it looks awesome ahn that big ol' TV! Ah think ah'll have me a shot o wild tirky raht now in honor o the gals hoo stictched it up! Must be 5 o'clock somewheres...
Hi Swamp-pants,

Trying to figure out why you'd have a need for a camo-print speedo. On second thought, knowing you, I'm afraid to ask.

I may have to buy another Panny.
Which company will prevail as the new Plasma TV king?
"Which company will prevail as the new Plasma TV king?"

It looks like Samsung will probably emerge as the plasma leader with LG still selling models, too. I may be forgetting a few others but I have a feeling OLED is going to surpass even the best 2013 Panasonic plasma models in the near future. I'd keep an eye out for more affordable new OLED models most likely from Sony and Panasonic and a few other companies that can afford, and have the forsight and inclination, to invest in OLED research and development.
I'm bullish on OLED for several reasons: it doesn't require backlighting, just like plasma, so it will have the same excellent off-axis viewing ability and screen uniformity. It has the ability to get brighter than plasma which will mean excellent contrast ratios and bright room performance. It is as energy efficient and lightweight as current LED/LCD models. Lastly, OLED allows for the thinnest displays yet produced.
As far as I know, the only downside is the panels ability to sustain its picture quality excellence over a long period, especially its blue color performance which currently tends to diminish over time.
Should be interesting times ahead,
Does Fujitsu still produce plasma?
"Does Fujitsu still produce plasma?"

Fujitsu was one of the first companies to leave the plasma market, in 2005, years before Pioneer and then Panasonic decided to leave. They're currently producing products related to the computer market.
As far as I know, they have no plans to re-enter the video display market but I wish they would.

Pulled the trigger on a Panasonic Plasma 55VT60 the other day, should arrive on Saturday. Very tired of watching the 2" blue line on the Samsung for the past few months.
Hopefully this one will bring better longevity, and why yes, I do have the Pangea cord to hook it up with ;-).
What is it with females and their apparent love affair with Pangea PCs? Are they stiffer than other PCs?
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Need a little help with the connection of my Oppo Blu Ray player to the panasonic plasma. Hooked everything up the same way as with the Samsung TV but with the smart TV we get sound through a Nad integrated amp and speakers when using the TV and the DVR and Direct TV. When we put in a blu ray there is no sound through the speakers, nor is there sound through the apps on the TV.

Do I need to be using an optical digital cable here, the only other input on the back of the TV, to the Blu ray or to the NAD? Or in reading up on this, I am wondering if my older HDMI cables don't have ARC and that is why I don't have speaker sound through the blu ray and I need new HDMI 1.4 with ARC?

Suggestions appreciated!
Audiowoman: Sounds like you're on the right track with the HDMI 1.4 VS 1.3.
Make sure your receiver has the new standard as well.
Glad I read the complete thread.
I am not a TV guy at all. My MAX TV time in a day is 15 mins of NEWS channel early morning as I have my breakfast. But lately wife/kids want me to watch at least one family movie a week on Friday night. Initially it was "alright". But with the Pioneer speakers, I really look forward to Friday movie night with family.
With that, we are looking forward to upgrade from a 5 year old 42" TV to a 60" TV. Honestly, not being a TV guy, I was not aware of the difference between LED/LCD and Plasma. But this thread has educated me, since I am hearing from fellow a'goners whose posts I have been reading for several years. It looks like TC-P60VT60 seems to be the right one for us. I don't know if I will be able to convince the wife.

Once question is - I do have a i1Display PRO with me. Can this TV be calibrated using this tool? Also what software do you guys use for calibration?

I don't think the NAD 326 has an hdmi input. It is sounding like I have to go with an optical interconnect between it and the tv or it and the Oppo according to what very little info I can find in the manual.

The TC-P60VT60 is a great choice for your next tv. I've been enjoying a VT60 for about 6 weeks now and I think you're going to love it. I've owned some good tvs over the years, 3 top of line crt,rptv and lcd Sonys, and have never been more pleased than I am with this Panasonic plasma. Picture quality, colors. contrasts are stunningly good/great.
Wish I could help you about using your i1Display Pro to calibrate it with but I'm not familiar with it. There are some great forum threads on concerning Panasonic VT60 pricing, break-in and calibration you may want to read.

I didn't have mine professionally calibrated or use any custom calibration software. I've just been using the built-in 'THX-Cinema' picture mode that looks great for day and night time viewing. There are other built-in picture modes you could choose such as 'Vivid', 'THX-Bright', 'Standard' and 'Cinema' but 'THX-Cinema' looks significantly better to me.

Enjoy your new plasma and please report back on impressions after you've viewed for awhile.