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It would appear that reality has finally set-in. Cinephiles, hang your heads. Plasma is officially dead. We’ve known this day has been coming. We’ve known there’s no turning back. Manufactures have been digging its grave for years, and retailers are now delivering the casket. I get it…but it’s still hard to accept.




Perhaps the home theater junkie in me is brazenly supercilious, but this death feels far too premature. It’s hard to understand how manufacturers could shun plasma’s superlatives: Seemingly limitless off-axis viewing angles, superior contrast, seductive black levels, sensational color, and supreme motion reproduction. And it’s harder to understand why the masses didn’t show the technology more love, pushing demand and forcing plasma’s survival. Admittedly, this last bit of confusion is a bit short sighted…the industry most likely would have ushered plasma to the door no matter what circumstances existed.

The plasma dominos began falling with Pioneer’s 2009 confirmation that it was exiting the display game. After gracing us with its benchmark Kuro sets, Pioneer broke hearts and trumped Vizio’s similarly timed pro-LCD announcement. We managed to ride quite a few more good years on the backs of Panasonic, LG, and Samsung. But, one-by-one they too fell, with LG being the last man standing. Last month LG waived the white flag and plasma fanboys had to accept defeat. 2014 marks the end of plasma production on all fronts.

What about 4K picture resolution and super-sized screens, you ask? That’s exactly where manufacturers rest their case; plasma simply doesn’t jive with their future marketing plans, nor does it play well with their future design requirements. Not to rehash OLED’s current status, but we’re told that OLED might cure our plasma-blues with performance specs that will make our beloved plasma displays feel like rotary phones. Of course, this is all hinges on OLED’s ability to be mass-produced, cost effective, and marketable. I’m not sure about you, but I’m first in line and cheering for its survival.

This brings us to the reason for today’s article. As plasma lays on the floor, wheezing its way through its final breaths, you can hear it whispering one last word: Sales. Sales! Yes folks, this might be plasma’s final great gift and if you’re in the market for a new HD television, you might want to pay close attention. Case-in–point: Best Buy recently unveiled an insane sale on a Samsung plasma line (PNF8500) that CNET’s renowned television-guru, David Katzmaier, says is amazing. In his model review summary, Katzmaier claims: “Samsung's best-performing TV ever, the PNF8500 series pushes the plasma picture quality envelope, especially in bright rooms.” Need you read more?

The PNF8500 series originally sold for $1800 (51-inch) and $2,400 (61-inch)…they are now on sale for $1000 and $1500, respectively. At those price points, you’d be hard pressed to find a better performing display. This is a flagship model sell-off at insanely low prices.

The biggest remaining questions: Does the general public have the savvy to take advantage of these deals? Or have LCD full-court press marketing campaigns diminished plasma’s appeal to the point that low prices aren’t enough to lure-in buyers? What we do know is that a stock sell-off by Best Buy is probably just the beginning. Other retailers will follow suit. Other models will be given similar attention. Plasma is being moved to make room for LCDs, OLEDs, and 4K. It’s truly over…but hopefully the beginning of a great union between a few lucky buyers and a phenomenal display technology.


Image Credit: Samsung
 

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I know what you mean I love plasmas. I bought the Samsung PN60F5300 model and would have bought the F8500 instead if Best Buy had more in stock or available for delivery. I would have been able to do 2 years no interest with them. Value Electronics still carries them and I would have gotten one if interest free was available for the 2 years.
Either way I am glad I at least picked up another plasma R.I.P!
 

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I can hear "taps"playing in the background. It's sad indeed. And Todd,your right. Manufacturers have been beating the war drums against plasma for a long time. I saw this first hand in retail. Not overtly, but more subliminally, with the way they pushed 120/240, LED, LCD. Most ppl don't have/take time to learn about this stuff. I'd have guys come in and say "I need led, and 240". I'd say why is that? ...cause my "______" told me.
I hope OLED can overcome the obstacles, and find affordability. If my plasma died today, I'd probably just draw hieroglyphics on the wall... Lol
Good piece Todd.
 

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I have a friend that one told me the best set would be the one that looked the best at the store.
I was like what? You can't go by that the store purposely sets them bright and saturated to get you to buy one and the lights in the store is another issue.
He's like yeah but LED are the best.
The store employees don't help either. A Best Buy employee told me a few years back that a Westinghouse tv with 1080 was a better choice over any other brand like panasonic with 720.
I didn't but that and I was new to this at the time.
I always go by expert reviews that have actually tested the tv and second the consumers. If both go hand in hand it's a nice set.
 

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^^^
This is exactly why places like Value Electronics are so valuable. We need retailers that are invested in understanding the technologies they are selling.
 

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Thanks Todd and willis! We're scheduled to receive our last allocation of 51" and 64" F8500s the week of 12/1. Good supply as I scooped up all of the last production, but no more after this allotment.

Very sad to see PDP come to an end. :(

-Robert
 

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Unfortunately to the masses the advantages of plasma just aren't on their radar. My step-son had a large plasma TV which after a few years started to develop problems. Rather than replace it with another plasma, he purchased an even larger (80") LCD. Definitely a poorer picture but he doesn't care.
 

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I have three plasmas going strong.

Doubt you could get my FD101 Kuro away from me with a gun.

Keeping my fingers crossed that they all stay alive as long as I do!
 

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^^^
This is exactly why places like Value Electronics are so valuable. We need retailers that are invested in understanding the technologies they are selling.
Good advice, Todd. Bricks-and-mortar is "old-school," but good ones provide unbeatable support and knowledge before & after the sale.

I appreciate this lead, and will be placing an order for mine this evening. I walked into a Best Buy looking for one, but got talked out of it. Wound up getting a Samsung 4K LED UN55HU6950F. Features are very nice, but I'm a picture-man and was very, very disappointed with the surreal look (even after calibration, which turned out worse).

Best Buy says the Sammy PNF8500 goes on sale Black Friday, but also that their are a limited number of them. I am unable and unwilling to camp out and fight for one, so imagine my surprise and pure joy when I journeyed further down this thread and found your post!!!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! :kiss: well, okay :hail:

Value Electronics, here I come. I only hope they still have one available!
 

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I love my samsung plasma and am sad to see plasmas die. I am tempted to buy the 8500 but I really dont need one right now. I think most people are more impressed by the size and price of their led tv's than the actual picture. Especially at an angle, the picture is dramatically better on a plasma.
 

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I have 3 Panasonic Plasmas a 46 a 54 and the newer TC-P60ST60 I hope they last at least 5 more years. That should give them time to come up with one with as good a picture for a fair price.
 

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I stocked up - moved my 65VT30 to my bedroom and put a PN64F8500 in the living room. Very sad indeed to see superior technology dismissed because it doesn't fit into a marketting campaign. Sadly, there are too many uninformed people out there that believe plasmas are inferior. I always find it funny when someone comes over and comments about the wonderful picture quality - so real, like something they've never seen - only to find out it's a plasma.

I believe manufacturers should put more energy into the current technology, as 4k really isn't ready for the big show. Content is sparse and there isn't even a rec. yet! Plus, most major broadcasters are still broadcasting in 720p or 1080i! They have t even embraced the full technology available, so how long before 4k is broadcasted? I'm sure it will be some failed espn channel - remember the 3d sports network, lol.
 

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Sad to see Plasma go. :rolleyesno: But because of that even though my 42" Panny plasma is still going strong after 8 years I bought a 60" Sammy plasma 5300 and I am so glad I did. The price was right at $650 delivered and after some minor calibration the pic is fantastic. :T
 

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I had thought I'd given up trying to educate ppl about display tech, but at thanksgiving, while looking at Black Friday ads, a lively debate was had between myself and nieces boyfriend who declared, "plasma isn't even close to LED".
I asked why he thought that. His response sounded like a BB commercial. Almost showed my lunch...
 

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I had thought I'd given up trying to educate ppl about display tech, but at thanksgiving, while looking at Black Friday ads, a lively debate was had between myself and nieces boyfriend who declared, "plasma isn't even close to LED".
I asked why he thought that. His response sounded like a BB commercial. Almost showed my lunch...
Lol - did he tell you about his awesome out of the box setting "Dynamic"! Makes everything pop with false colors and contours!
 

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Lol - did he tell you about his awesome out of the box setting "Dynamic"! Makes everything pop with false colors and contours!
My friend came over and said my plasma was nice but was to dark. I told him you're suppose to use movie mode not Best Buy mode lol.
People are just used to a bright washed out pic these days.
 

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My friend came over and said my plasma was nice but was to dark. I told him you're suppose to use movie mode not Best Buy mode lol.
People are just used to a bright washed out pic these days.
Very sad, but true. When I bought my first HDTV, I too liked that Best Buy picture, but quickly found it had too many downsides. My quest for the perfect picture finally brought me to Plasma in 2012. I had a DLP set for years that I liked, but had some flaws - got caught up in the 3D hype in 2011 and bought an LED/LCD set thinking it would be amazing and was truly disappointed. I finally bought a Panasonic 65VT30 - now in my Master Bedroom - in 2012 and haven't looked back. Nothing like it. Enjoying my PN64F8500 and some college bowl games now!
 

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Lol - did he tell you about his awesome out of the box setting "Dynamic"! Makes everything pop with false colors and contours!
haha! Pretty much. Every time I'd say something like interpolation, or crushed blacks or off axis, etc his eyes glazed further, and I realized BB beat me to it. It's why I feel manufacturers have a duty to be honest in their claims. I also think displays should be "calibrated" out of the box. Not to take away from ISF guys, but to me it's like bringing in my new Camaro to be "tuned up", when it's brand new!(aftermarket, and mods notwithstanding lol)
 

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haha! Pretty much. Every time I'd say something like interpolation, or crushed blacks or off axis, etc his eyes glazed further, and I realized BB beat me to it. It's why I feel manufacturers have a duty to be honest in their claims. I also think displays should be "calibrated" out of the box. Not to take away from ISF guys, but to me it's like bringing in my new Camaro to be "tuned up", when it's brand new!(aftermarket, and mods notwithstanding lol)
Agreed. I believe there is far too much variance amongst displays out of the box and even calibrated. Sure, not all displays will look the same due to the way they are manufactured, but we can do much better. Unfortunately, this is a market driven industry that is dominated by people with little knowledge beyond bright popping colors in best buy. We have that to thank for the end of plasma and probably for OLED never taking off. I guess we will see.
 
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