Hitachi & Panasonic Fall Out Over Plasma Campaign

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Despite being big buddies in Europe, Hitachi has failed to lend its support to the recent Panasonic plasma campaign which bears a remarkable similarity to one jointly funded by Hitachi, Panasonic and Pioneer in Europe.

The similarities behind a European TV commercial which ran last year and the controversial Panasonic Plasma campaign recently run in Australia is remarkable.

The sponsors of the European campaign; Panasonic, Pioneer and Hitachi, used the same research company Synovate Research as that used by Panasonic and its advertising agency George Patterson in Australia.

However in Australia, Hitachi and Pioneer did not cooperate with Panasonic, and late last week Mark Lawson the Plasma product specialist at Hitachi went out of his way to distance himself from the Panasonic campaign. (See separate story).

Lawson said, “Hitachi has not sided with Panasonic. We believe that both LCD TV and plasma have a place in the market. The reporting by Current on this issue indicates that Hitachi has sided with Pansonic and this is simply not true.”

He added, “Hitachi remains committed to both LCD and plasma technology because we recognise they each have benefits suited to different applications. There is no format war going on, this is wrong. Retailers are selling both LCD TV and plasma, and both technologies are quite different,” said Lawson.

The European report funded by Hitachi, Panasonic and Pioneer presented information on consumer attitudes to plasma and LCD TVs. They even have similar web sites to present the information.
In Europe consumers are asked to go to http://www.plasma-lcd-facts.eu
In Australia consumers are asked to go to  http://www.whychooseplasma.com.au/

 

The European web site gushes that Hitachi, Panasonic and Pioneer have united to provide fact-based information to consumers about the benefits of plasma technology and how can enhance the overall viewing experience. Concurrently, this initiative that the three have undertaken, aims to dispel the myths – albeit the untruths – that have been propagated about plasma TV technology recently.

Such a collaboration by Hitachi, Panasonic and Pioneer marks an historic moment in the development of the plasma screen industry as the consumer electronics market is a highly-competitive one and it is almost unprecedented when large companies come together behind one initiative.

By providing facts and exploring the benefits of plasma technology, the three companies hope that consumers will have the information and supportive data needed to ‘buy with confidence’.

With fact-based information about the capabilities of plasma screen technology made readily available, the numerous advances in plasma technology can be enjoyed by all.

 

Built around a side-by-side comparison of a range of plasma and LCD models at locations in the UK, France and Germany, the findings provided what Panasonic and Pioneer described the first authoritative analysis of how end users rate the two technologies.

The Australian research which was conducted with 344 consumers, revealed that 69% preferred the overall image of plasma when compared to the same sized LCD TV.

The European Research conducted with over 600 consumers revealed that 61% of Europeans preferred the overall image of plasma over LCD TV & 72 % of Europeans deemed Plasma to have the best black over LCD TV. In Australia the results were similar.

The research showed that the large number of respondents in the European research sample preferred the overall image quality of plasma over LCD in screen sizes of 40-inches or larger. Plasma outperformed LCD in all key image attribute areas including colour, black quality, fast-moving images and contrast when compared with similar sized LCD TVs the European research claimed.

In Australia Synovate Research used comparative product testing of three different size categories of Panasonic plasma and leading competitors’ LCD flat panel screens (42-inch plasma and 40-inch LCD / 50-inch plasma and 52-inch LCD / 65-inch plasma and 65-inch LCD).

 

Key findings from the research revealed that when the two technologies were compared:
·                     Colour was the biggest factor in deciding preference, with 7 in 10 consumers surveyed stating that plasma screens have the most natural colour when compared to LCD
·                     More than four times as many consumers surveyed felt plasma displayed black more faithfully than LCD
·                     Twice as many consumers surveyed preferred plasma when viewing fast-moving images
·                     66 per cent said plasmas had better contrast, compared to 26 per cent for LCD
·                     Plasmas performed increasingly well as the screen size got bigger. When comparing 65-inch flat panel TVs, more than six times as many consumers surveyed preferred plasma over LCD.

Synovate in Europe claim that they conducted a comprehensive survey of consumer attitudes to plasma and LCD. It canvassed opinions among 603 randomly selected people in Paris, Cologne and London. Respondents were asked to enter a ‘comparison suite’ where a range  of plasma and LCD TVs displayed the same content. The participants were then asked a series of questions based on the image performance of the displays.

Ironically and like Australia, opinions among those who had some prior knowledge of the two technologies swung dramatically toward plasma once they viewed the content side by side in an environment similar to their homes.

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