Sony Furthers Itself from OLED; Panasonic and Best Buy are Married Again - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 2 Old 05-22-14, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Sony Furthers Itself from OLED; Panasonic and Best Buy are Married Again

The television landscape has radically changed in recent years, amounting to a roller coaster ride of dizzying technologies for consumers to process. We’ve seen a push from 720p to Full HD...2D to 3D...Plasma to LCD...LCD to LED LCD...the death of plasma and the introduction of OLED...and, now, the quieting of 3D and the shift to Ultra-Hi Definition 4K. Add in HDMI 2.0 and several other new tech terms and you’re left with a consumer landscape of confusion. Who honestly has time to keep all of this straight? Well, it just so happens that we, the enthusiasts, live for this stuff.


One of the bigger shadows of change we’ve all been chasing is OLED (organic light emitting diode), which many “experts” say is the second coming of plasma, but better. With dazzling colors, negligible motion issues, wide viewing angles, and infinite blacks, it appeared the next big change would be a shift to OLED. This, of course, completely ignored another future technology: 4K. As the old saying goes, money talks, and late last year Sony and Panasonic put the breaks on their OLED racers (at least for the short term), leaving LG and Samsung to compete for the technology’s market space. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Sony and Panasonic chose to end an 18-month-long OLED partnership, citing technological hurdles and a desire to address the coming 4K revolution with the tried and true LCD panel.

As reported by Nikkei last week, Sony is now officially shelving their OLED development efforts in favor of further attacking the 4K display market with LCD based technologies. The report says that Sony will be moving OLED workers to other business segments, including 4K related products. This appears to be a market driven decision. Sony has been steadily eliminating businesses that aren’t profitable, including its forays in the home computing world. Accordingly, OLED sales are said to be sluggish. Meanwhile, Sony’s LCD 4K display sales have been strong – Nikkei reports that Sony had more than a 20-percent share of the 4K market last year and is aiming to make 4K televisions constitute 40-50-percent of its flat panel lineup in 2014. This all fits perfectly into Sony's recently announced initiative to return its TV business to profitability during Fiscal-year 2014. We recently previewed Sony’s 2014 4K television offerings, and the models look excellent.

Meanwhile, Panasonic is returning to an old swimming hole: Best Buy (a US big box electronics retailer with known issues of its own). Nearly four years ago, the two companies joined forces to push 3D HDTVs. Panasonic slashed prices and Best Buy built special 3D exhibit areas within its stores to showcase Panasonic’s 3D products. Several days ago, Twice reported that Panasonic and Best Buy have established a television distribution partnership for its LED LCD HDTVs and 4K displays. According to Henry Hauser (Panasonic’s Merchandising VP), Best Buy will carry several Panasonic models almost exclusively, giving Best Buy “a large majority” of the company’s television sales. According to Twice, Panasonic will not be opening a “vendor managed” area in Best Buy stores...something both Sony and Samsung recently announced. Stay tuned for more details on Panasonic’s latest run of HD and Ultra-UD televisions.

Image Credit: Sony Electronics

Last edited by Todd Anderson; 05-22-14 at 03:37 PM.
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post #2 of 2 Old 05-23-14, 08:47 PM
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Re: Sony Furthers Itself from OLED; Panasonic and Best Buy are Married Again

Thanks for this excellent article. Well done!

-Robert

Value Electronics, Authorized Factory Direct dealers for LG, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, Elite, Denon, Marantz, Krell, OPPO, Sonance, Definitive Technology, Artison, Leon Speaker Systems & more

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