Although like already stated, it only says that Panasonic will not be "developing" panels anymore, they did not say anything about stopping production.
When you look at the the excellent reviews the GT60 and VT65 have been getting, maybe Panasonic are right to stop development and concentrate on OLED as it seems there is not much more they can improve with their current plasama displays.
Since nobody outside of Panasonic knows what plasma tricks they have up their sleeves (there may be developments not yet implemented), we can only speculate as to what might happen during next few years.
I honestly don't believe this will be the last generation of Panasonic plasma. Even if there's no new tech to implement, higher model advantages will likely trickle down to subsequent lower range sets. There could be some fantastic plasma bargains during a broader market transition to OLED.
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This is an interesting read:
Especially this bit:
"Reports that Panasonic will no longer develop and manufacture Plasma HDTVs are not correct. "This week in New York City, Panasonic demonstrated the latest development of our gapless Plasma panel technology in our 2013 Smart VIERA ZT Series Plasma HDTV. The technology incorporated into our ZT Series Studio Master Panel will be the basis for continued plasma display panel development and production. While the Smart VIERA ZT Series introduces a new level of Plasma picture quality, we believe there is still room for further improvement and intend to continue to research ways to take our Plasma technology to even higher levels where it also has the potential to be applied in our other Plasma series in the future. "VIERA Plasma HDTVs continue to set the standard for picture quality and black level excellence and the ZT Series is another example of the continued ability of Plasma to evolve and continue to deliver a best-in-class HDTV."
Except a) Even the author admits he's reading between the lines, so much of the piece is conjecture
and b) I think the word of the VP of Panasonic's display company in Japan probably holds more sway in this matter than that of a senior person at the US sales company.
Audio Editor, Gramophone
Early reviews do indicate that Samsung has made some significant progress with the F8500. Check this thread & the links posted by Strapped for Cash:
we've had the 64" F8500 at work and I'm not impressed with it at all, the blacks are dark but lack detail and the motion is just terrible, and I've spend time trying to improve it but to no avail it's currently the same money as the 65" VT50! ..... It's a no brainier if you ask me lol
but hey just my opinion
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Currently working for Hughes Electrical in Ipswich
That don't surprise me.
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