Plasma is making a big comeback with research showing that the bulk of consumers and reviewers believe that plasma technology, especially when viewing 3D content, is superior to LED.According to new DisplaySearch research 2010 was a great year for plasma TV panels, with shipments growing Y/Y every quarter since Q4’09. Growth they say has been limited by supply issues and that manufacturers were operating at maximum capacity.

The top three plasma brands were Panasonic, Samsung and LG.

 “This is a surprising result, as weak economic conditions resulted in several plasma players exiting the plasma TV business in 2009, and plasma faced a renewed threat from LCD TVs with the improvements from LED backlights narrowing the performance gap with plasma. However, the aggressive rollout of LED-backlit LCD TVs caused a significant slowdown in the decline in LCD TV average prices, and with the increased importance of value in many markets, plasma TV was very competitive with LCD in greater than 40 inch market segments” said DisplaySearch executives.

According to  DisplaySearch Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report, Plasma and LCD TV Panel Shipment Module, Q4’10 plasma TV panel shipments grew 1% Q/Q and 9% Y/Y to 5.2M units.

DisplaySearch said that helping plasma sales was strong industry push for 3D, as most reviewers and consumers concluded that plasma TV had superior 3D performance compared to LCD TV, at least in terms of flicker.

 

 

“While 3D has not played a big role in the growth of plasma shipments, it has helped to support plasma TV in the competition with LCD TV,” noted Ken Park, DisplaySearch Senior Analyst for TV Market Research. “With 3D functionality, plasma can re-position itself as a lasting technology in the TV industry. In fact, plasma TV brands are entering 2011 with 3D across their product portfolios, from 42″HD to 152″.”

The top plasma TV panel suppliers in 2010 on a unit basis were Panasonic, which grew 22% Y/Y, Samsung SDI, which grew 37% Y/Y, and LGE, which grew 30% Y/Y.

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