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Son_of_SJ's picture
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Vanishing European 65-inch Panasonics
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On 11th February What Hi-Fi told us that the 2013 flagship Panasonic plasma series, the ZT60, would be available in Europe as a 60-inch screen only, not as a 65- inch. Then on 13th February the updated http://www.whathifi.com/news/ces-2013-panasonic-2013-tvs-sizes-prices-specs-pictures-release-dates showed that the European ST60 series had lost both the 60 and 65-inch sizes, which had previously been displayed. The ST60 series now goes down to a 42-inch, which I don't think it did previously, I'm pretty certain that the smallest size used to be 50 inches. I'm not sure what the thinking behind losing the biggest sizes from two ranges for the European market is, in contrast to the hallowed respect that Panasonic accords the North American market in giving it really big TV sizes. For me, it's a shame, as once I solve my employment problem I was going to try for the 65-inch ST60. As I have no intention in coming down in size from my 64-inch Samsung, there now remains only one Panasonic 65-inch screen, the VT60, which will be substantially more expensive than a European 65ST60 would have been. Perhaps I'll just have to chug along with my Samsung for another year! Smile

Speaking of price, the 60-inch ZT60 will cost around £4,000, which seems, and is, a lot. But, how quickly we forget - two years ago the 65VT30 cost £4,500 when it was released!

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RE: Vanishing European 65-inch Panasonics

Given that there was so little to differentiate between the ST, GT & VT series, I won't be surprised that Panasonic was actually losing money on every 65-inch ST50 sold, besides eating into the sales of the higher models. This appears to be a pure business decision.

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RE: Vanishing European 65-inch Panasonics

Son_of_SJ wrote:
I'm not sure what the thinking behind losing the biggest sizes from two ranges for the European market is, in contrast to the hallowed respect that Panasonic accords the North American market in giving it really big TV sizes.

The US market has traditionally bought much larger screen sizes than we do here in Europe – bigger rooms and all that – which is one reason why those big ol' back-projectors were so popular there for a while way back when, and only seen here in pubs and the like.

It's also the reason why companies such as Mitsubishi concentrate on the US market rather than bothering with Europe, with its TV range starting from 73in and going up to 92in, and including this 75in LaserVue set, complete with 'Plush 1080p'

...and also why the Sharp-made Pioneer Elite TVs are on sale in the States and not elsewhere, in 60in and 70in models.

For the same reason Best Buy offers 63 TVs of 60in+ in the States, at prices starting from $1000, whereas Currys here has only 12 models, admittedly starting at almost the same money – £800 for a 60in LG 60PA650T plasma.

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RE: Vanishing European 65-inch Panasonics

Ah, so. Thanks, bb and Mr Everard. Bb, speaking of not much difference between the outgoing ST50, GT50 and VT50 ranges, I'm more than a little suprised to see the emergence of the new GT60 range. And certainly even if I had won the lottery about six months ago, I would have bought the 65ST50 rather than the 65VT50, because I wouldn't have needed the extra features of the VT50 and also because the ST50 was brighter, with, for me, good enough black levels. Two years ago the ST30 series was very good value for money, but its largest size was 50 inches. So last year, 2012, I was excited to see the ST50 available as a 65-inch screen here in Europe, and I hoped that that would continue into 2013. Alas, not. Perhaps the AVForums review of last year's 65ST50 was prophetic, when it said "The only ‘problem’ we foresee for Panasonic is that it’s so good that it might take away sales from their 65inch VT50." But now I'll be forced to try for the 65VT60, or the equivalent new Samsung, if Samsung get their act together regarding black level. Mr Everard, when can I move to the States? Smile

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RE: Vanishing European 65-inch Panasonics

Well, sadly for me I now must conclude that Panasonic might have been correct to withdraw the 65" size in the ST60 and in the ZT60 ranges. I started this thread four days ago, and for it to have only four replies in four days, with two of those replies being from me and the other two from well-known forum contributors bigboss and Mr Everard, shows that even people on What Hif-Fi forum are not interested in (the fate of) 65" Panasonic plasmas, let alone the general public. Contrast the paltry response to this thread to the enormous interest generated by the threads on the Oppo 103 and 105 Blu-Ray players, and also to the replies to the ZT60 thread. So, 60" or even 55" seems to be a big enough television size for most folk, at least for those in Britain and maybe Europe. I can't help thinking that if Panasonic had withdrawn the 65" sizes from the North American market, there would have been an outcry, especially from the AV community. Ah well, when I do come into some money and look to get a(nother) 64" or 65" TV, if I can't stretch to the Panasonic 65VT60 it may have to be a Samsung or even (whisper it softly) an LG plasma.

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RE: Vanishing European 65-inch Panasonics

All you need to do to make your thread popular, is post an extremist view, either suporting or opposing Panasonic TVs, or whether cables make a difference or not etc. Wink

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RE: Vanishing European 65-inch Panasonics

I think Mr Everard has explained the situation pretty succinctly, so there isn't that much more to say. I wouldn't have thought many of us here have the cash to go for something like a 65" screen, which is why you're not getting too many responses.

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RE: Vanishing European 65-inch Panasonics

bigboss wrote:
All you need to do to make your thread popular, is post an extremist view, either suporting or opposing Panasonic TVs, or whether cables make a difference or not etc. ;)

Ah, bigboss, that's how it's done, is it?? Smile

The_Lhc wrote:

I think Mr Everard has explained the situation pretty succinctly, so there isn't that much more to say. I wouldn't have thought many of us here have the cash to go for something like a 65" screen, which is why you're not getting too many responses.

Hi The_Lhc, I'm not sure if I agree about the cost of big screens being a deterrent. I think that people (in Britain, anyway) have, or believe that they have, a limit about simply how big a television they can accommodate. The actual cost may not matter too much in some cases. For instance, some people bought last year's Panasonic 55VT50 television, when for the same money they could have bought the Panasonic 65ST60. And I do know that it will be very much a minority interest, but the projected price for the forthcoming Panasonic 60ZT60 plasma is about  £4,000. I'm fairly certain that three or four years ago, people did pay around £4,000 for a Pioneer 6090 or the 600A Kuro plasma. So I'm not convinced that cost is the deciding factor, though of course I must acknowledge that it may be. Maybe a 65 inch screen is thought to be simply too big for most British living rooms.

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RE: Vanishing European 65-inch Panasonics

bigboss wrote:
All you need to do to make your thread popular, is post an extremist view, either suporting or opposing Panasonic TVs, or whether cables make a difference or not etc. ;)

Clearly now, there was no need for the query in my immediately previous post - just see how the thread in the Home Cinema section "I was wrong about HMDI cables" by duaplex has taken off, 42 posts in less than 24 hours! Are you psychic, bigboss? If so, would you mind telling me next Wednesday's lottery numbers please? Smile People obviously don't mind if the biggest Panasonic TV is 55, 60 or 65 inches, but mention AV cables and you stir a real hornet's nest!

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RE: Vanishing European 65-inch Panasonics

Son_of_SJ wrote:

Are you psychic, bigboss? If so, would you mind telling me next Wednesday's lottery numbers please? Smile

Not telling ya! I'm going to win it!! Wink

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