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back to article Panasonic chief says no to low-cost OLED TVs

Cheap-ish OLED TVs? Don't make me laugh. No, Panasonic's new president, Kazuhiro Tsuga, didn't use those exact words, but they succinctly summarise comments he made in Japan earlier today. Asked by reporters when he thinks OLED TVs will become as cheap as today's LCD televisions, Tsuga said he doesn't expect that to happen for …

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I'll stick with my CRT til it breaks, thanks. Yeah take that Panasonic!

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But..

.. Maybe it is a Panasonic. I know somebody that still has an old 4:3 Panasonic CRT telly and it works just fine to this day.

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Mushroom

Re: But..

LG CRT in my case. Read my finger Pornosonic!

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I'll stick with wiping my arse with a rag, thanks. Yeah take that Andrex!

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Devil

Uhm ok..

How much radiation does that thing put out?

And how much energy does it consume?

I guess in the winter you can use it to heat your house...

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Not the same.

CRT = yer basic bogpaper

LCD = fancy bogpaper with Aloe Vera

If you want to pay all that extra money for a moistened arsehole, that's up to you. I'm fine with it as long as my finger doesn't got through.

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Meh

Law of diminishing returns

Once most people have an HD-1080 or pseudo-HD-720 LCD, or whatever is considered 'good enough', it gets more and more difficult to get people to upgrade based on image quality. My LCD TV is >>>>> better than my dad's newish CRT, which is >>>>>>>>>>> better than grandma's 60s TV. I doubt that TVs in the next 10-15 years will be a huge leap in quality from what is current, every generation is less of a step up.

So the upgrade cycle will need to be start driven by redundancy, and the same thing will start happening as with other electronics - instead of lasting 20 years it will start to last 10, and the upgrade cycle starts to be driven by lack of reliability rather than quality.

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So, by extension...

OLED = bidet

(ie. something them furriners have, but we Brits snigger at)

El Reg needs a bog icon, BTW.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Uhm ok..

"How much radiation does that thing put out?"

1) Less than a regular diet of brazil nuts

"And how much energy does it consume?"

2) The same as the LCD that will replace it, because most of us go for a screen size far bigger than the CRT it replaced

"I guess in the winter you can use it to heat your house..."

3) Only if you can heat the house on 150 odd watts. For most houses that'll be a temperature difference of about half a degree between internal and external, I'd guess

There. You learn something every day on the Reg Creativity and Learning website.

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Re: But..

Oh yes, those were reliable. Unfortunately my family threw one out because the internal/external switch was set to external, and nobody remembered to check.

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Re: Law of diminishing returns

Most people can hardly see the difference between a low end TV and those at the other end of the spectrum unless you put them side by side. Once it's in the house they won't care that there is something better out there.

I think they will have a better chance of a new, but smaller, upgrade cycle once 4k TVs come down in price enough that mere mortals can afford one. They truly are stunning to see. But that assumes sufficient 4k content. And that's probably the end of the line unless we all start buying 70"+ TVs because going beyond 4k on anything much smaller is an utter waste of money

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Re: Law of diminishing returns

That still needs to be seen. It's hard to predict. One important point is that LCDs and particularly OLEDs are most likely simpler to repair. The main problem on a TV which doesn't fail because of production problems is the power supply. LCDs only need up to about 1000 Volts for the backlight, while OLEDs even need less. Such power supplies are simpler than CRT ones which need to generate many kilovolts.

I would assume that a new TV-set which comes out of the factory working perfectly (not all of them do) will last for 2 decades. There are far less problematic parts inside than in a CRT TV.

Now what we would need would be standard internal power supplies. Just like PCs have.

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Telly upgrade

I'm still using a CRT TV so I am probably not well placed to comment but what is it about these expensive screens that they think will convince people to shell out in a recession?

I can see why they thought 3D might do it (and I can see why they were wrong) but what do these do that the last tellies didn't?

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Re: Telly upgrade

Nothing, that's the thing. People will replace their busted or very old tellies with a new shiny one, but I very much doubt people will ditch their 1080p LCD TVs for anything else soon.

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Re: Telly upgrade

> what do these do that the last tellies didn't?

Lower power consumption, higher contrast ratios, better viewing angles and clearer in sunlight.

And no, I won't be upgrading either. I REALLY love my films and something like Hero on BlueRay does look absolutely stunning but, its just a telly. It should last at least ten years before I have to replace it and the current one is probably 3 years old. In fairness, the last one only lasted a couple of years but that's because my, then, two-year-old drove a tractor across it and broke the glass. But that's okay. I stopped crying a couple of months ago and now we even let him out of his room every once in a while.

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Re: Telly upgrade

Not mentioned is that many of them are designed so you can mount them on the wall if you want. Now, this introduces the issue of where you put the various media boxes associated with the TV, but that can usually be remedied with a simple shelf nearby, and the end result is more floor space, so there can be some aesthetic considerations as well.

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Flame

Business stifles innovation.

They don't want OLED TV's yet because they put in 20+ year investments into LCD plants (and probably paid off Plasma Plants too) so they can't build new factories until they have sold LCD's for 20 years, to pay off the loans.

New technology can't come too quickly if you forecast long.

The only way to get OLED quickly is for a new comer (no existing debts to pay) to come to market and steal a lead, forcing their hand.

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Been wrong before

Panasonic bet heavily on plasma, which while the pictures are arguably better than LCD, are the smaller player. Even though power consumption doesn't seem to sway many it's worth bearing in mind that 100 Watt difference is about € 70 per year, assuming an average of 4 hours daily use.

Just as with LCD, OLED will benefit from economies of scale but is set to benefit even more so from the "additive manufacturing" technique based on the work from Dupont and others that's already licensed. It's going to need to be as well because of the still unsolved problem of OLED ageing.

Regarding upgrading - OLED screens combine the beautiful blacks of plasma with LCDs low power. The colours tend to be slightly oversaturated but you can, of course, control that. Even though I've only recently bought a beautiful LCD screen I would definitely consider trading it for a comparable OLED under € 3000.

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Re: Been wrong before

100 watts for 4 hours a day is 0.4 kWh per day. I reckon a kWh costs me about 12p. That's £17.47 a year - pennies per week. I've no idea how you got to 70 Euros, unless the Euro's gone down more that I thought.

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Re: Been wrong before

LCD is the biggest seller, but Panasonic pitched itself at the higher end of the market where Plasma is popular due to the better quality picture, so I wouldn't judge them as being wrong.

Fighting Samsung in the low end LCD market is probably a fight that Panasonic would have lost.

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Re: Been wrong before

Don't quite understand the maths of the power consumption here - 4hrs per day * 365 days = 1460 hours * 0.1kW = 146kWh. You note that this would cost €70 per year which would mean you were paying €0.48 per kWh which sounds pretty expensive to me. Is it generated by little elves half way up a mountain?

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Unhappy

Surely we've been there before

Isn't the phrase "Reassuringly expensive." a bit old hat these days?

I wonder if anyone was ever favourably influenced by this in the first place.

I certainly was not.

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Guide Pus

Panasonic'll never see any more of my money whilst they have advert-ridden abortion that is GuidePlus as their EPG...

Luckily my old Viera LCD isn't blighted with it :-) So if/when it breaks down I'll be looking elsewhere...

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Re: Guide Pus

I think putting it in Shop Mode switches off the Ads.

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WTF?

Re: Guide Pus

What is this? I have never noticed it, and my telly is a Panasonic, 3D Plasma, model TC-P42GT30B.

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Re: Guide Pus

I thought putting it in Shop Mode turned ON the ads: mainly the ones plastered to the bottom of the screen while it cycles through the various things it could do like image enhancement.

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Re: Guide Pus

2012 sets don't have the adverts and use the full width of the screen so maybe Panasonic have been listening? On older models do a factory reset and ignore the invitation to put in a post-code and you won't get adverts (still have the wasted space to the left but it's not as annoying!)

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FAIL

CRT

Had a 28" Samsung CRT that was 15yr old and working fine. Only replaced it because we were given a flat screen for nothing.

Don't like 3D it makes me feel sick.

Maybe they should tell the tv companies to make some content worth watching? I don't watch much telly at all any more because it's so crap. So why would I want to fork out for a new telly?

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Anonymous Coward

Nah, OLED tellies will be cheap in 2-3 years time I think. There'll be a brief period of mega high prices but then they'll plummet. The only way to prevent this is to make a unilateral decision to keep prices high which would require all the large manufacturers to operate in a cartel. I don't think they'll be able to manage this because they'll be competing with each other to differentiate themselves and win in the marketplace.

I expect to see the first 55" OLED tellies this year for £6k+ but they'll be 1-2k in 2-3 years time. At which point I'll be only too happy to buy one.

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"The only way to prevent this is to make a unilateral decision to keep prices high which would require all the large manufacturers to operate in a cartel. I don't think they'll be able to manage this because they'll be competing with each other to differentiate themselves and win in the marketplace."

A very touching statement of faith. However, I think the fines regularly handed out to big companies for cartels and competition law breaches show that the practice is in fact alive and well. And in fact the very same companies you're suggesting would rather engage in free and fair competition were in fact handed a spanking for this very practice just over six months ago:

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/103111-south-korea-fines-flat-panel-lcd-252552.html

That of course only refers to events up until 2006, but a quick search on the terms "cartel fine investigation" will bring up plenty of examples of many big companies - add the company name of your choice . And of course, these are the ones who have been caught.....

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Childcatcher

1080p LED

I bought a 1080P LED TV recently. Why? I didn't have a TV and wanted one. I wont buy another one until I either get a much larger living room, or this one breaks. I worried recently about getting an AV amp without 4k support, then realised I was being stupid. The pursuit of ever larger sales figures is going to crash as surely as the housing market did.

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Have annual TV sales...

... changed meaningfully in the last couple of decades?

As far as I could see, almost all LCD sales were people replacing old CRTs or buying small second sets for the kitchen or bedroom.

The digital push probably helped shift a few more but now people have Freeview they're not going to be majorly bothered about buying a new set just because the picture looks brighter (The quality of most home TV images used to be appalling in analogue days. It's amazing how bad a picture the average punter will put up with.)

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Boffin

Re: Have annual TV sales...

There was a massive growth in TV sales as flat panels dropped in price. Most North American and Northern European homes now have a flat panel and in many cases more than 1 (the <£200 small screens shift in significant numbers). Even with sales predicted to continue growing or to flatten the total market value was expected to be dropping by now as the prices have come down so much but given the state of global markets and the saturation of the flat panels, and the slowing in quality improvement (major brands have been pretty good for about the last 4 years) there is a real crunch in the market.

Flat panels had something for everyone (almost). HD pictures for the videophiles, space saving for the small home, good looks for the design conscious, show off factor (in 2006/8), keep up with the joneses (2008/2010), light weight so you don't damage your back moving them, low power consumption (LCD/LED). The fact that they were flat was such a obvious visible difference to CRTs that they were a very public statement. OLED might be slimmer but people won't notice as soon as they walk in the room.

I expect that the replacement cycle will return to about 9-10 years (or when they break) as prices flatten off (they can't fall much further) now the CRT replacement is largely complete in mature markets which given the massive peak 2006-2010 may actually mean lower than long term sales until 2015.

I don't think that the market for people willing to pay a premium for a better picture compared to what can be achieved with a £1000 46" is very big at all. Most people can't actually identify a good or bad picture as long it is bright and has apparent sharpness (ringing will do). The days of the £3000 TV have essentially gone and OLED won't get any real traction

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I think that the biggest driver in sales is probably size and 3D. Go to Currys nowadays and a 42" screen looks like a portable alongside all the 70" screens that can be picked up for ever cheaper prices. I recently bought a new TV, which was bigger than my old one, but after a lot of thought, I didn't go for 3D as it isn't established enough right now and there's very limited content available.

If they manufacturers really want a sales boom they need to develop mainstream glasses free 3D.

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"If they manufacturers really want a sales boom they need to develop mainstream glasses free 3D."

Which likely isn't going to happen due to physics issues. Basically, unless your television produces an actual light FIELD rather than a flat image, there's little that can be done to alter their characteristics to allow for stereoscopic vision without (a) resulting to glasses of some sort or (b) limiting the viewing angle so much only one, maybe two people can enjoy it. If you still think it's possible, ask me how a TV would respond to a person lying on their side, their eyes vertical--or better yet, someone watching the set upside-down in a fit of boredom.

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Ahem

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2111132/The-TV-revolution-Britains-glasses-free-3D-television-goes-sale--eye-popping-price-7-000.html

It might not allow watching 3DTV upside down (if thats what floats your boat), but it is glasses free 3D.

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Meh

Is bigger better?

I bought a Samsung 32" LCD/LED last year to replace an ageing Panasonic 32" CRT (14 years old and made strange buzzing noises). 32" because it fits nicely in my small-ish living room and LED because the colour was better than most plain LCDs I'd seen.

3D,... not interested.

OLED,.... not interested, not much better than my current TV.

Smart-TV,..... not interested until they give full internet access and not the limited access that many provide.

As to why anyone would want a 70" TV in a typical UK living room is beyond me.

That's bigger than the windows in my living room.

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As to why anyone would want a 70" TV in a typical UK living room is beyond me.

Errr ... because they can't stand the smell of popcorn and like watching films as they should be displayed, ie large. You really need a dedicated room to set up as a home cinema but a large number of people can do that. My TV is only 52" but I'd happily go larger and not because I have any 'confidence' issues.

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Then they can go screw before......................

.................we get rid of our wall-mounted 55-inch LCD Sammy and buy an OLED TV - simple as that. I do not expect to pay bottom feeder prices but they can forget us paying what they are hoping for. Engineer down the costs or kiss my arse - their choice.

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MJI
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New TVs

Bought a 32" wide flat screen digital CRT when the 25" cylinder tube one started to go. Bought a 46" LCD when the first generation digital TV started to get dim.

Handy, got one for the widescreen and digital start and the next for HD broadcasts.

Nearly 50 and I have owned 5 TVs, and one of those is also a computer monitor.

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Re: New TVs

62 here & have owned 4:

A White painted wooden thing that Mrs H already had, VHF/UHF dual tuner, but colour

A Sony Trinitron that did Tellytext

A Phillips thing, CRT analogue/digital. OnDigital were supposed to write the code, but went bust first. After 4 years Phillips sent me a set-top box gratis, that my niece is still using.

A Samsung 32" LCD with LED backlight for the digital switchover. We had that 2 years early. 1080p, but not 3D, and I don't miss it.

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Anonymous Coward

nokia n85?

Isnt nokia n85 an OLED affair? Well, it isnt a joy under direct sunlight. Better than anything I've seen around though, save an Iphone. But considering tellies are indoor creatures, unlike phones, the point is nearly moot. And no, not replacing my Lcd stuff either.

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Anonymous Coward

Crushed...

....Well this has just completely ruined my life.

I can't have an OLED TV. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa........

Oh no...hang on.... it just shows the same shit that all the other TV technology shows... just...subtly different.

You know, I think we'll be OK without...

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Devil

Samsung to Panasonic Chief:

Watch us cram loads of cheap Oled TV's down your throat, as we go for 80% market share...

Once Samsung finished putting everybody out of business, things will get really expensive though...

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Anonymous Coward

I replaced my old CRT with a Plasma a few years ago, because it was bigger, lighter and thinner than the CRT. OLEDB being a bit thinner still isn't enough of a reason to change again anytime soon, especially at a "premium" price.

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MJI
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I sold my FD Trinitron on because

of HD and screen size.

SDTV picture quality was really good

I basically wear TVs out

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Happy

The Wife

Is content looking at a 7 year old 32" CRT TV and does not want a new LCD.

I have a 26" LCD to watch in the bedroom, and this second TV is wonderful because my choice of programs is different from hers.

N13L5- My TV is a Samsung -and I love it.

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