COMMENT: Just when we’ve got use to LCD Vs Plasma TV technology, two new display technologies emerge, that could well push LCD TV technology into a totally new bottom end or mid market position in the display technology pecking order.

LED display technology is set to do battle with Plasma at the premium end of the display technology and mid 2010 we will see the emergence of OLED technology from the likes of Sony, Panasonic, LG and Toshiba as well as Samsung who showed 3 models at the 2009 CES Expo.

Right now there is no doubt that Plasma technology is the superior TV display technology which is why it has been chosen by some of the harshest of TV display critics as being simply the best TV display technology in the world today. But the question is will it survive as the premium hero despite falling sales.

From the US to the UK to Japan and Australia the king of display has been the Pioneer Kuro 60″ plasma TV however production of the Pioneer TV is set to come to an end this month.

At the same time basic LCD technology is set to get new competition from LED and OLED TV technology as well as a new generation of Plasma display technology.
Last month in Australia Samsung launched new backlight LED TV’s at the top end of their range. On Tuesday Panasonic introduced a new 54″ 1″thick wireless plasma model that incorporated new Neo technology that delivers a dynamic contrast ratio of 2,000,000+:1i 

Sony who have been a global leader in LCD technology since they launched their Bravia branded TV range in 2005 is set to launch a new range of Bravia LCD TV’s tomorrow, featuring their 200MHz Motionflow technology.

However Panasonic has leapfrogged Sony with new plasma TV’s with 600MHz technology.


Long term Sony is banking on OLED display technology to give them an edge however this technology is still in its infancy and like plasma in the early days there is much debate of the life of an OLED screen.

Recently Sony Australia launched an 11″ OLED TV at the obscene price of $6,999. This was some $3,000 more expensive than the same model in the USA.

Sony claim that their 11″ OLED screen delivers around 30,000 hours or 10 years of life, however research Company DisplaySearch claims that in reality this is closer to 17,00 hours which is about 40% less than most LCD and plasma screens.

Sharp is claiming that the lifespan is closer to 4 years and this is the reason why the world’s biggest maker of LCD TV’s is not moving to OLED.

Senior executives from Panasonic who were in Sydney this week for the launch of 11 new plasma TV’s, including the first wireless HD plasma TV that can deliver 1080p content over 10 metres, have said that there is still significant life left in plasma.

The Company that now employs the 120 engineers, who originally worked on the development of the Pioneer Kuro plasma TV engine that was credited with delivering the best TV in the world, believe that over the next five years there will be significant quality enhancements with plasma over LCD and LED technology TV technology.

At the recent CES Sony showed very little in new TV technology compared to what Panasonic and Samsung are delivering. In their current XBR Bravia series Sony features Triluminos technology, which uses three LEDs (red green and blue) for the delivery of colour vibrancy and accurate colour reproduction as opposed to other manufacturers who use white backlights.

However many reviewers have claimed that this delivers a florescent colour as opposed to a more natural colour.


In a demonstration this week between a Panasonic 42″ plasma TV featuring their new Neo dynamic contrast ratio technology of 2,000,000+:1i and a Sony Bravia 42 inch TV the new Panasonic plasma TV did appear to deliver a significantly superior image, however this was a vendor demonstration and was not conducted in ideal conditions. 

Sony also has ACE, (Advanced Contrast Enhancer) Pro technology which uses grid sections of a display and processes both light and dark, enhancing the contrast between the two.

However this technology say Samsung is going to come under pressure from pure LED TV technology later this year.

An LED is a diode that emits light. The diode is the most basic semiconductor whose purpose is to conduct electrical current with some form of controlled variability. Recent innovations in the manufacturing of the die material and packaging wrapped around an LED diode have resulted in ultra high brightness capabilities. The use of new materials for the substrate have allowed for improved thermal conductivity which allows for higher power consumption and net light output. This increase in light output has enabled new applications for LEDs such as with the new generation of television displays.

These improvements enable system designs that can produce better colour fidelity at near equivalent brightness to common lamp-based technologies with longer lifetimes. Additional performance enhancements include system level features like instant on, no mercury, no colour refresh artifacts, dynamically adjustable brightness, and improved colour gamut’s.

Len Wallis of Len Wallis Audio in Sydney summed it up when he said “Plasma is without doubt the superior display technology so we badly need new hero plasma products, from the likes of Panasonic to replace the Pioneer range. We also need change and the introduction of new plasma and LCD TV technology is good news as consumers always want to buy the latest.”

Asked whether he thought that Plasma and LED technology could start taking the premium end of the market he said “Yes, as there is significant difference between current LCD technology and the new generation of plasma and LED” technology.





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