It was the end of an era in 2014…
Samsung, LG, and Panasonic have discontinued all their plasma TV production.
They were the last to produce this type of TV.
And since then, they haven’t looked back.
Now, why would they do that?
Continue reading to find out:
- 9 simple reasons why Plasma TVs died off.
- Whether Plasma TVs will make a comeback in the future.
- The 3 types of flat panel displays that competed with Plasma TVs.
- And many more…
Why are Plasma TVs not made anymore?
Plasma TVs aren’t made anymore because of the high production cost it takes. And they weren’t performing well in the market against their competitors: LCD, LED, and OLED. Moreover, their size, weight, and energy usage led to poor customer preferences and to even lower market performance.
9 reasons why Plasma TVs died off
#1: High production cost, cheap sale retail price
To understand how much it costs to produce a Plasma TV…
It’s best to explain first:
What is Plasma?
In school, we’re taught that there are 3 states of matter. Those are solid, liquid, and gas.
However, there’s a poor fella that most teachers forget to mention: Plasma.
It’s another fundamental state of matter.
Fun fact: According to MIT, so much of everything is made out of it.
All that needs to be done is to energize certain gases.
Then, there we have it:
Okay. I know you didn’t come here for a physics lesson. But you’ll see all of the relevance of these further in the article.
For now, let’s move on to:
Plasma Display Panel (PDP)
In a plasma TV, there are 2 sheets of glass. Between them is a mixture of gas: xenon and neon.
Now, these gasses are inside tiny cells. And those cells are covered with phosphor that produces visible light. Namely red, blue, and green.
Altogether, when the TV is plugged in, they react to the electricity. This creates plasma.
And with the colored phosphor cells, your display of images or videos comes to life.
Now, I tried very hard to say everything simply. But it still sounds a little bit complicated, right?
Alright. How about a helpful “How it was made” video:
Now, despite that many efforts that go through production…
Plasma TVs sell for cheap prices
Due to serious competition (which I’ll talk more about later)…
As well as efficient mass production of a product that isn’t in demand…
Plasma TVs’ prices are forced to decrease.
And in 2009 news, it was announced that Plasma TV prices have plummeted. Together with its number of buyers.
Interesting fact: In 2008, there are 10 million 40 to 50-inch LCD TVs sold. While Plasma TVs sold that year were merely 3.8 million.
Now factor all of that…
Why won’t Plasma TVs be driven down to discontinuation?
And if it doesn’t sound enough…
There are more reasons in the following sections.
#2: Consumer perception
When Plasma TVs are displayed in the store…
They don’t look as appealing to the customers.
To understand, imagine the last time that you walked into Target or Walmart.
The place is well-lit, right?
Now let’s go back to Plasma TVs, which are specifically made for dark-room viewing.
And since the stores are so bright…
The Plasma TV screens appear to be too dim.
With that, customers would hardly see images on the screen. What they’ll see more are glares from other light sources.
But it doesn’t end there…
Here comes 1 of Plasma TV’s direct rivals: LED TVs. Despite being more expensive than Plasma TVs, they thrived.
Because of the on-floor salespeople.
They preyed on the Plasma TVs’ underperformance in the store.
They’d show the customers how much glare there is in Plasma TVs. Then, they’d unveil that LED TVs have fewer reflections.
And what would the customers pick?
None other than the LED TVs that appeared to be better.
Hence, this contributes to the already-low demand for Plasma TVs.
#3: Rising competitions
So far, I’ve mentioned 2 competitions of Plasma TVs.
There’s LCD TVs or liquid-crystal-display television. Up to the day of writing, they’re the most produced and sold type of TV display.
Customers opted for LCD TVs because they’re cheaper than Plasma TVs. Plus, they show a little bit of similarity in picture quality.
Another competition is LED TVs or light-emitting diodes television.
When compared to Plasma TVs, LED TVs have a brighter display.
And the 3rd one that I’m adding to the mix is:
OLED TVs or organic light-emitting diodes television. Although they’re more expensive, they still did better than Plasma TVs.
Now the rise of these 3 competitions put down Plasma TVs performance in the market.
Little by little, Plasma TVs were no longer the cutting edge of televisions.
Thus, pushing them further to decline.
#4: Size and weight
This comes as a surprise to many…
Yes. Business was booming for large TVs in the mid-2000s.
So how did size doom Plasma TVs?
The answer is simple:
There are no small Plasma TVs at all.
The time that Plasma TVs were born, they were considered large TVs. We’re talking 32 inches.
But as time goes by…
Technology developed. TVs got even bigger.
And sure, Plasma TVs can keep up with the big TV demand.
After all, manufacturers can’t make Plasma TVs smaller.
But it’s also time to take note…
Plasma TVs aren’t that thin.
They have to be 1.2 inches in minimum.
And compare that to LED or LCD TVs that are often less than 1 inch thick.
So, adding the display size of the Plasma TV…
As well as its thickness…
No Plasma TV is considered small or light. Even the most compact one, which has a 32-inch display.
And that didn’t appeal to many…
The users who want a large TV display?
They’d instead opt for LED or LCD TVs when buying a huge one. That seems to be the better choice for them than dealing with the thickness and weight of a Plasma TV.
#5: Expensive to ship
As I said in the previous section…
Plasma TVs aren’t small. And they aren’t thin as well. Lastly, Plasma TVs aren’t lightweight.
With that, they were difficult to ship.
And transporting a heavy and large TV can cost an arm and a leg, too.
This reason makes you understand the answer behind:
Why would they make and transport this type of TV they can barely sell?
#6: Uses a lot of energy
The larger the TV screen display, the higher its energy usage.
And as I’ve mentioned before:
The smallest Plasma TV is 32 inches.
Moreover, most users have at least a 42-inch Plasma TV.
And according to experts:
That size of a Plasma TV uses the same amount of energy as a large refrigerator.
And if you connect that to other devices…
Say a speaker set or gaming console…
That alone can add up to $200 to your yearly energy bill.
This type of unfortunate quality pushed Plasma TVs to their downfall.
I mean, look at this table comparing energy usages:
|Display type||Average energy consumption of a 42-inch TV (in watts per hour)|
A Plasma TV’s energy usage is at least 4 times more than other types.
Note: That’s only the average. A 42-inch Plasma TV can consume up to 600 watts of electricity per hour. Depending on what and how many devices are connected to it.
#7: Running hot and burn-ins
Did you know that the Sun is in a plasma state?
And I haven’t mentioned…
Plasma is basically a superheated matter.
But of course…
The plasma in the TV is regulated.
However, its true nature still manifests.
I’m talking about how Plasma TVs run hot.
Lots of users actually complain about this.
It’s a worrying one.
Burn-ins start to show
To paint a picture better, imagine this:
You’re playing this video game on your Plasma TV constantly.
Say a few hours a day, every day.
After a while, you notice this one thing when you finish your gaming session:
Red specks of some of the images on your video game. For example, its logo is in one of the corners.
Those specks of red are called burn-ins.
They’re also sometimes referred to as ghost images.
And they’re caused by the stationary images the TV showed for a long time.
Your Plasma TV displayed it too much that the cells I mentioned earlier fried. Therefore leaving a permanent image on your TV. Even when turned off.
#8: Not user-preferred
By the reasons I already provided…
It’s safe to say that Plasma TVs aren’t looking that good.
Despite a number of people still appreciating Plasma TVs…
It isn’t the best choice for most when compared to its competitors.
So Plasma TVs aren’t user-preferred.
And so far, we’ve talked about qualities that bring Plasma TV down. For refreshment, they are:
- Energy usage.
- Size and weight.
- Glares and reflections.
- Tendency to form burn-ins.
But another 1 that I haven’t mentioned is the absolute deal-breaker for most…
Plasma TVs have a short lifespan.
The many times that a Plasma TV runs hot does so much damage. And since it happens constantly, then the TV only gets worse.
And to sum it all up, here’s a table comparing the TVs’ lifespans:
|Display type||Average lifespan (in hours)|
|Plasma TV||20,000 to 60,000 hours|
|LED TVs||Around 75,000 hours|
|LCD TVs||Around 100,000 hours|
As TVs are considered to be long-term investments…
Users would prefer greater ones, not just in terms of quality but also longevity.
#9: Not 4K-ready
Although Plasma TV was the first one to give a large display…
It had its downfall when its display resolution couldn’t keep up.
And with its many red flags or the numerous other better options…
It didn’t look good when Plasma TV got stuck at displaying only up to 1080p.
As for the others? Well, they were all starting to go 4K.
So despite the large and bright display of Plasma TVs…
They met their inevitable end.
Will Plasma TV make a comeback in the future?
Plasma TV won’t make a comeback in the future. Manufacturers no longer make them since 2014. And if they were to come back, it’s safe to say that they won’t be able to keep up anymore.
As of now, QLED TVs are on the rise. And they can support up to 8K resolution. All while remaining compact. Like the SAMSUNG 75-Inch Class Neo QLED 8K.
So let’s compare that to what’s considered to be Samsung’s best Plasma TV. Just the basic specs on this table:
|Specs||Samsung 51″ F8500 Series 8 Smart 3D Full HD Plasma TV||SAMSUNG 75” Class Neo QLED 8K|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080||7,680 x 4,320|
|Video||With 600Hz Subfield Motion||With Quantum HDR 32x|
|Audio (Sound output)||10w x2||70w|
|Power consumption||190 watts||182 watts|
Note: See the close value in power consumption between the 2. The latest model is already 75 inches, while the Plasma TV is only 51 inches.
Now, those are only the basic specs.
If you’d see the long list, there are so many advancements in the QLED TV.
With that, a Plasma TV comeback might be a long shot.
But if you’d like a Plasma TV, you can still find secondhand and renewed ones. For starters, you can try going to eBay to find a Plasma TV.