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Dwindling Plasma Demand Won’t Stop Panasonic

At the launch of Panasonic’s new European range in Nice, France, Fabrice Estornel, Panasonic’s TV head in the UK, described Plasma technology as the best in television technology.

This is in spite of Panasonic showcasing next-generation UHD technology using an OLED panel at the 2013 CES show.

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“Let’s be clear,” Estornel began in his interview with TechRadar. “Maybe we accept that the entry level on plasma is becoming more a niche market. But there are still lots of people who are really into picture quality and home cinema.

“Many watch movies in ambient rooms. It’s not like LED which is bright and more in your face, which a lot of people like. But with plasma it’s a different kind of appreciation for the TV experience. So for sports and movie it’s still the best technology.”

Unlike LCD, which relies on an array of LEDs to backlight their pixels, Plasma televisions enclose two million tiny gas-filled cells in a glass panel. Passing an electric current through these cells stimulates the gasses and results in the pixels across the screen being illuminated.

As a result, Plasma televisions tend to produce richer blacks (and subsequently better contrast levels), better motion handling and a reduction in 3D crosstalk.

At present Panasonic is the only company advocating a full range of Plasma TVs. Their new plasma televisions feature Pioneer’s Kuro technology which has been recognised by industry professionals and reviewers to be the best in the world.

Although Pioneer’s Kuro technology led the industry in quality, it was priced beyond the means of the average consumer.

“The good thing is we waited for the technology to be at an affordable price. So that’s where we reach the right balance now, where you’ve got the best picture quality – better than the Kuro – at a price which is a lot more affordable.”

At the European launch, Panasonic also showcased a range of their ‘best-ever’ LED televisions. Plasma’s supreme quality aside, customers continue to gravitate towards LED televisions because as they’re generally cheaper, brighter and thinner.