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Is the Plasma TV Dead?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (October 11, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I read your article about Panasonic getting out of the Plasma TV business. Does that mean Plasma is dead? -- Mickey, Arlington, Virginia.

Mickey, Reuters reported this week that Panasonic plans to stop production of Plasma TVs by March 2014. While Panasonic refused to officially confirm that report, I believe it's true. The company has been making moves for more than a year that indicate it's phasing out Plasma and will concentrate in the future on 4K sets.

Panasonic has been the king of Plasma for some time, dominating the sales category. So if Panasonic pulls out of the Plasma business, does that mean the end of Plasma?

Not so fast. LG and Samsung continued to make Plasma sets, and while display experts would tell you the picture is not quite as good as the average Panasonic Plasma, it's still pretty damn good.

I suspect that with Panasonic out of the picture, so to speak, LG in particular will see that as an opportunity to target the niche but highly enthusiastic Plasma audience. Consequently, the company might increase Plasma production from 2014-2015 to cater to TV shoppers looking for new Panasonic sets.

Panasonic's official exit from Plasma will generate considerable media attention in 2014, a good time for LG and/or Samsung to launch marketing efforts to remind people that they still make Plasma TVs and very good ones, thank you very much.

In addition, Panasonic will work hard in 2014 and 2015 to sell its remaining inventory of Plasma sets. So, bottom line: The Plasma TV will be alive and well over the next two years.

But after that, I think you'll see Plasma being phased out by both TV makers and retailers as they focus on 4K sets, which are likely to be considerably less expensive then. It will become increasingly difficult to find a Plasma TV in your local neighborhood TV store or favorite e-commerce site.

And that will be a real shame. Like vinyl in the record business, the Plasma TV has delivered the truest picture around. But new technologies and fickle consumers have combined to make its days numbered.

If you're looking to buy a Plasma TV, click:
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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at or at 703-505-3064.

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