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The Display Battle Heats Up

Plasma and LCD continue their fight for the flat-panel display market, and it's getting brutal.

A few days to Black Friday, there was plenty of price slashing going on in the plasma TV market – 42-inch integrated plasma TVs were available for less than $1,000 in many stores, while 50-inch HDTVs were rapidly falling below $2,000.

On the LCD side of things, 37-inch integrated HDTVs are already below $1,000, with some 42-inch models priced as low as $1,200. And 46-inch and 47-inch LCD HDTVs are available for as little as $1,700 at a variety of wholesale clubs. (For now, larger LCD HDTVs are still trickling into the market.)

Basically, this slugfest will go on as long as manufacturers can reduce their manufacturing costs while still maintaining acceptable profit margins. But those days are numbered, and there may even be some product dumping going on to maintain market share and shelf space. (Yes, it's happened before!)

Odds are, by the end of this decade, LCD technology will have been declared the winner, based on price trends, larger glass sizes, and the proliferation of lower-cost LCD manufacturers in Taiwan and China. None of them are investing in new plasma fabs, and that ought to tell you something.

FEEDBACK

To comment on this article, email the Pro AV editorial staff at proav@ascendmedia.com.

Pete Putman is a contributing editor for Pro AV and president of ROAM Consulting, Doylestown, PA. Especially well known for the product testing/development services he provides manufacturers of projectors, monitors, integrated TVs, and display interfaces, he has also authored hundreds of technical articles, reviews, and columns for industry trade and consumer magazines over the last two decades. You can reach him at pete@hdtvexpert.com.



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