Pioneer to stop making 42-inch plasma panels, reports Reuters

February 27, 2008

TOKYO (Reuters) – Pioneer Corp will stop making 42-inch plasma panels and instead buy panels in that size and smaller from Panasonic maker Matsushita Electric Industrial or Hitachi Ltd to turn around its loss-making flat TV business, the Asahi newspaper said. Japanese consumer and auto electronics maker Pioneer will end output of such panels at a plant in Kagoshima prefecture in southern Japan as early as by March 2009, the paper said in the report on Saturday. It will focus on making panels 50 inches or larger at other plants, the Asahi said. It would be Pioneer’s latest step away from a vertically integrated business model, in which manufacturers conduct production of key parts as well as assembly of finished products, after its decision last year to buy liquid crystal display panels from Sharp Corp to start offering LCD TVs.

Pioneer’s plasma business has been struggling to compete with larger rivals with better production efficiency such as Matsushita and LG Electronics Inc Pioneer has a target to sell 480,000 plasma TVs in this business year, ending on March 31, less than one-tenth of Matsushita’s sales target of 5 million units. Pioneer bought the Kagoshima plant from NEC Corp and now wants NEC to buy it back, the Asahi said. A Pioneer spokesman said its flat TV strategy will become available when it unveils a mid-term business plan in early March, but nothing specific has been decided. Shares in Pioneer were up 3.8 percent by early afternoon, outperforming the Tokyo stock market’s electrical machinery index IELEC, which rose 2.2 percent. (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka, Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Michael Watson)

Original article here

Hyundai Motor applies in-car dual display monitor to Grandeur

February 26, 2008

Hyundai announce dual-view dashboard LCD monitor

Hyundai Motor announced that it completed the development of its in-dash dual LCD monitor which can display two different pictures simultaneously based on one the viewer angle. This means the driver can see the navigation while at the same time the passenger watches a DVD movie. According to the company, the newly developed monitor will be applied to Grandeur.

By Grace Won 2008-02-20

Sony’s Policy Shift Poses Threat to Samsung TV Biz

February 25, 2008

Despite strong denial by Samsung Electronics over its strategic tie-up with Sony in the liquid crystal display (LCD) business, the South Korean electronics giant is facing a crisis under an aggressive attack from Japanese rivals.

On Monday, Samsung clarified that the company will continue its strategic partnership with Sony and sees no problem with ongoing talks with the Japanese panel manufacturer to jointly invest in the second phase of eighth generation LCDs in Tangjeong, South Chungcheong Province.

“For now, we don’t have any plans to cut our partnership with Sony. Sony still buys some 50 percent of its LCD panel demand through a joint venture with Samsung,’’ Lee Sang-wan, chief of Samsung Electronics LCD business, told The Korea Times on the sidelines of a Korea Display Industry Association meeting held in southern Seoul.

“I am positive about the ongoing talks with Sony over the Japanese players’ possible involvement in the second phase of eighth generation LCDs,” he added.

Samsung Electronics and Sony established the joint LCD maker S-LCD in the South Korean province with an investment of 2 trillion won in 2003. The two have been enjoying a honeymoon phase since then, with Samsung buying half of S-LCD’s output and Sony the other half.

Lee’s comment comes after Sony reportedly said it is inclined to buy television LCD panels from its local rival Sharp starting as early as this year in a bid to diversify its procurement channels to meet rising demand and cost cuts.

Sharp will provide the latest 10th generation panels to produce highly-competitive 40 inch level displays that will be produced at its plant in Sakai, Osaka prefecture, which is slated to start operating this year.

Like Sony, Japanese manufacturers are busy shying away from their vertical integration strategies to succeed in the global sales battle and to regain their past glory in the global LCD market.

Despite undeniable strong edges in original technologies, Japanese players have failed to maintain their dominant positions in the segment mainly because of a passive attitude towards massive investments unlike Samsung Electronics.

Panasonic, which has recently announced a plan to build a new manufacturing plant for LCD panels in Hyogo prefecture to curtail a plasma display-centered business, has been strengthening a three-way partnership with Hitachi and Canon.

Experts and industry sources say the fight among the world’s leading LCD TV makers has entered the second round with the panel procurement deals between Japanese firms now in place amid management vacuum in Samsung Electronics _ the world’s No. 1 LCD maker.

Top executives of Samsung Electronics are currently busy soothing investors’ worries over the deepening Samsung Group-involved bribery scandal. The group’s key flagship unit has postponed holding several strategic meetings to finalize its detailed investment plans for this year.

“Japanese rivals believe this is a good chance to surge ahead of Samsung in the sector,’’ a Samsung official said.

“Possibilities have risen to buy LCD panels from Samsung Electronics or the opposite,’’ an official from the LG.Philips LCD added.

A recent data from DisplaySearch, a market-research firm, has shown that Sony overtook Samsung Electronics as the world’s biggest manufacturer of LCD televisions with 19.5 percent of the global market share in the fourth quarter, while Samsung followed with 19.3 percent in the same period. Sharp was surveyed as No. 4 with some 10 percent of share.

According to industry estimates, global demand for LCD TVs will reach 155 million units in five years, up from 74.8 million in 2007, driven by strong sales in China and the United States.

By Kim Yoo-chul
Staff Reporter

As reported in Korea Times

CES NEWS: Mitsubishi goes for lasers in the big-screen race

January 26, 2008

Jan 08, 2008

mitsu laser 2006 scaled 

Having already shown concept models of its laser TVs (left) at an earlier CES, Mitsubishi came to this year’s show with working versions, designed to show the superiority of the technology for large screens.

The company is claiming the system gives ‘as much as twice as much colour’ as conventional HD TVs, along with ‘ the most clarity and depth of field.’

Mitsubishi claims that current HD TVs display less than 40% of the colour spectrum the eye can see, but the precise focus and purity of laser illumination doubles that figure. What’s more, the TVs do this while reducing power consumption, as they are more efficient than similarly-sized conventional flatscreen TVs.

Also on display by Mitsubishi was 3D TV, which the company sees as the next big step for home entertainment. Using a 73in 1080P DLP Diamond Series rear projection model, the company partnered with 3D content provider REAL D to make its case.

The claim is that only DLP sets such as this are capable of displaying this 3D material, thanks to their superior response times, unmatched by plasma or LCD rivals.

All the Diamond Series 1080P DLP models are 3D-Ready, and the company expects there to be over a million 3D-Ready HD TVs in use in the States before the end of this year.

From What Hifi Sound & Vision

Plasma breaks 150″ – But to what end?

January 26, 2008

09 January 2008 19:12

As reported in AV Interactive, Panasonic has shown a 150in diagonal plasma screen at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The massive plasma display panel (PDP) reportedly has an 8.84m pixel resolution (2,160 x 4,096) more than four times the 1080p HD specification (1,080 x 1,920). The screen size is equivalent to nine 50in PDPs with an effective viewing area of 11 ft  wide x 6.25ft high.


Impressive – certainly. But it’s rather intriguing what market Panasonic are shooting at with this beast. For sure the resolution and clarity would be impressive, but it’s not bright enough for retail environments like a shop window, for example. Being plasma, it’s also not suitable for C3i or control room applications involving the long term dislay of static graphics. Rental? That glass sure looks heavy and fragile – not to mention awkward to move around. Corporate display or boardrooms might be a possibility, but perhaps not the most economical option in terms of capital and running costs.


Mitsubishi Electric’s new LED-based Resolia looks to be a more carefully thought-out solution to large-format, high resolution displays. Designed for long term operation in very high ambient light environments, what Resolia lacks in resolution compared to Panasonic’s 150″, it more than makes up for in contrast, longevity and low cost of ownership

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Fujitsu Exits Display

January 26, 2008

Makers of the Plasmavision and Aviamo lines of flat-panel TVs and monitors, Fujitsu General, will “discontinue participation in the visual display business at the end of March 2008.”

The Japan-based company says it has primarily marketed plasma products in North American and European markets.

“The focus of our marketing was high-end value added products, and our marketing direction was to concentrate on the custom A/V market specializing in advanced A/V systems and high-end custom installations in North America and UK,” says the company in a press release.

“During the past several years, the pricing and profitability of this segment has compressed beyond the point which our company could realize a satisfactory return on investment. We expect that this market situation will continue in the future.”

This comes along when Sony confirmed it would be ceasing production of rear projection TVs because of poor profits from the sets.

As reported on rAVe Europe