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TVS & LARGE DISPLAY / PLASMA

Confusion Over Panasonic Plasma Plans As US Exec Gets Desperate

By David Richards | Sunday | 14/04/2013

Three weeks after launching a new range of plasma TV's in Australia a senior Panasonic executive has said that the company is stopping development of plasma display technology; instead their focus will be on OLED display panels.

24 hours after the claim was made by Panasonic Display vice president Kiyoshi Okamoto, a US executive of the company Henry Hauser, vice president of merchandising at Panasonic US came out and said that plasma panel development is still taking place with some observers claiming that Hauser is "pumping up the market" in an effort to support the sales of Panasonics current range of plasma TVs which were introduced at the 2013 CES show.

Kiyoshi Okamoto said that the company had researched its last plasma panel and that its new ZT60 Smart TV which was launched in Australia recently, will be the last plasma model to come from its research and development division. 

He said that while R&D has been brought to an end, the company will continue to produce and sell its latest range of plasma TVs until 2014 at the earliest.

US executives who are concerned that Okamoto's comments could hurt current vales said, "The technology incorporated into our ZT Series Studio Master Panel will be the basis for continued plasma display panel development and production," stated Hauser, adding that there is "still room for further improvement" on plasma panel picture quality. The company will "continue to research ways to take our Plasma technology to even higher levels where it also has the potential to be applied in our other Plasma series in the future."

Hausers comments fly in the face of Okamoto's comments who said that a number of engineers have been repositioned to work on OLED development instead of plasma; something which Okamoto believes is "one of the key future products."

Until now, we've seen little from Panasonic in the OLED department, with the exception of a prototype model that surfaced at CES last January. This model was developed in partnership with Sony, and it's likely that at least some of Panasonic's plasma engineers will now be shifted to this project.

TV connoisseurs around the world swear that plasma TVs are superior to anything else available today. I agree.

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