Plasma TVs Back from the Dead and Here to Stay
In what could be one of the most surprising turnarounds in home entertainment technology, plasma TV shipments reached an all time high of 19.1 million units 2010, up from 14.8 units in 2009.
Plasma TV sales plummeted in 2009 as prices dropped on more energy efficient LCD HDTVs across all screen sizes. Some industry analysts said plasma was dead. When manufacturers including Pioneer and Vizio stopped making plasma TVs, it seemed that plasma TVs were on their way out along with VCRs.
The road to recovery
But Panasonic, Samsung and LGE continued to improve their plasma models making them thinner and more energy efficient to compete with LCD TVs. Plasma TV active power use dropped 41 percent from 2008 to 2010, according to figures today released from the Consumer Electronics Association. Then came the aggressive roll-out of pricey LED-backlit LCD TVs that caused a big slowdown in the decline in LCD TV average prices.
In contrast, plasma TVs were well-suited for consumersâ purchasing habits in 2010, providing the most affordable large flat panel TVs for many consumers, according to Display Search.
The strong industry push for 3-D TV helped too, as some reviewers and consumers concluded that plasma TV had superior 3-D performance compared to LCD TV.
"With 3-D functionality, plasma can re-position itself as a lasting technology in the TV industry," Ken Park, DisplaySearch senior analyst, said. "In fact, plasma TV brands are entering 2011 with 3-D across their product portfolios, from 42-inches to 152-inches."
With the Super Bowl just days away, retailers are offering sweet deals on big screen HDTVs. For instance, Amazon has posted a Panasonic Viera 3-D capable, Internet-connected 50-inch plasma HDTV for just under $1,000 with free shipping.
No, the big game will not be broadcast in 3-D, but this TV offers exceptional 2-D viewing quality and is equipped with features that make it future-proof ― you won't be kicking yourself in six months over a more advanced set.