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NEWS: Panasonic exits Australian TV market - Beginning of the end?

Mattchew

Member
Panasonic Design Boffin - 'here's a shiny new set so perfectly calibrated that we've not even allowed you the option of tinkering with the settings because it's not necessary'.

Man in the Street - 'sod that for a game of soldiers - I want a telly that I can bugger up completely with my own settings cranked up to 11 that are so bright it's visible from Jupiter - you can stick your ISF/THX accurate nonsense'.
Even though Panasonic go for accuracy, they also have much more in depth options on their TVs than any other brands. Panasonic menus, settings and options can be very overwhelming to most. You can tinker every little thing and then some on a Panasonic. They even come with pro picture modes that you can calibrate yourself. Like mine has vivid, standard, natural, cinema, true cinema, pro calibrated thx cinema night, thx cinema day, pro mode one and pro mode 2 etc etc. It's not like they only give you calibrated picture settings and don't let you change anything. It's choice like no other. It's one of things I like about them.
 

blueboy1873

Active Member
Panasonic will have too join the 8k party next year as LG, Sony & Samsung already have their 8k message out in front. I suspect CES 2021 will be an 8k TV fest with a smattering of 4k dotted around. Which actually sounds insane. But that's the progression of Technology I guess.

Panasonic are astute enough not to keep flogging a dead horse, as soon as the numbers don't compute, They're Out, they cut their losses and leave.

So... what's the next business challenge for Panasonic TV Division that will ensure they are Not forced out of another Country or Region. Most obvious answer is cheaper more affordable TV's for the masses, which really only leaves their LCD-LED Models as I'm led to believe they are restricted by LG as to how much they can reduce their OLEDS by (in terms of not to undercut LG). It's a tough Market place now. I have many colleagues whom are still happy with their Full HD TV at home and have no real desire or interest in 4k Never mind 8k. So here we are talking about 8k and some are happy with HD.

So how do Manufacturers educate Consumers in the Resolution battle from HD to 8k and convince them this is best option for them or at least an option worth considering. There is such huge divide in Consumer knowledge.
 

kinggo

Active Member
Panasonic will have too join the 8k party next year as LG, Sony & Samsung already have their 8k message out in front. I suspect CES 2021 will be an 8k TV fest with a smattering of 4k dotted around. Which actually sounds insane. But that's the progression of Technology I guess.
you mean marketing.... we have been there with digital cameras. But in the last 10 years number of MP is not screaming from every promo material anymore.
 

blueboy1873

Active Member
you mean marketing.... we have been there with digital cameras. But in the last 10 years number of MP is not screaming from every promo material anymore.
Both...as the Technology and Marketing of said Technologies don't always go hand in hand. For example when 4k first broke it felt like years before the rest of the industry caught up. The pushing the 4k Marketing message came after.
 

Mattchew

Member
Panasonic will have too join the 8k party next year as LG, Sony & Samsung already have their 8k message out in front. I suspect CES 2021 will be an 8k TV fest with a smattering of 4k dotted around. Which actually sounds insane. But that's the progression of Technology I guess.

Panasonic are astute enough not to keep flogging a dead horse, as soon as the numbers don't compute, They're Out, they cut their losses and leave.

So... what's the next business challenge for Panasonic TV Division that will ensure they are Not forced out of another Country or Region. Most obvious answer is cheaper more affordable TV's for the masses, which really only leaves their LCD-LED Models as I'm led to believe they are restricted by LG as to how much they can reduce their OLEDS by (in terms of not to undercut LG). It's a tough Market place now. I have many colleagues whom are still happy with their Full HD TV at home and have no real desire or interest in 4k Never mind 8k. So here we are talking about 8k and some are happy with HD.

So how do Manufacturers educate Consumers in the Resolution battle from HD to 8k and convince them this is best option for them or at least an option worth considering. There is such huge divide in Consumer knowledge.
I hear Panasonic are going for a mini led. I know they've made a £30k mini led monitor for film makers to produce content on for Hollywood as OLEDs caused problems for them so they wanted led back. So no doubt we will get a mini led from Panasonic at some point in the near future.
 

kinggo

Active Member
except it did not. Let's be realistic, over 90% of hrs all the TVs in the world are burned on some kind of terrestrial TV. Which is veeeeery far from any form of 4k. Discs are almost dead. What's left? Streaming. And we are currently very far behind with infrastructure for even decent 4k streaming.
8k makes zero sense ATM. Everything will look like vintage porn.
Sad truth is that for years now quality of the content is not progressing at 10% speed of technology. Which in turn makes any progress of technology redundant, pointless, gimmicky, not needed...... well, not progress. Just marketing in order to sell something.
 

fathergll

Member
you shouldn't use the words north american sector, they left the US tv market around 2015, but in canada their tv's are available and in mexico too they continue to support some tv models.

Where do they even physically sell Panasonic OLEDs in Canada?

Best Buy's website has no Panasonic's in store according to their website Panasonic - Cameras, Cordless Phones & more | Best Buy Canada

Costco and Walmart do not carry them. Is it just smaller HT stores?
 

blueboy1873

Active Member
True alot of content is compressed to hell. And will we ever truly have native 4k content broadcast as the norm. Probably not, well not in the time I have left on this planet.

Don't agree that Discs are all but dead... maybe I'm in the minority, but I will always buy and prefer a Physical Disc to receive the best Video & Audio quality possible. As you said we're only progressing at 10%, so when will we have True Native 4k Video and True Dolby Atmos, DTS-X & Auro 3D Audio via Streaming. Again as you said we don't have the Infrastructure yet too support it.

Is 8k gimmicky...probably. But I guess they feel the need to show us that they are trying too move existing technology forward albeit everything will be upscaled to within an inch of every pixel.
 

fathergll

Member
True alot of content is compressed to hell. And will we ever truly have native 4k content broadcast as the norm. Probably not, well not in the time I have left on this planet.

Don't agree that Discs are all but dead... maybe I'm in the minority, but I will always buy and prefer a Physical Disc to receive the best Video & Audio quality possible. As you said we're only progressing at 10%, so when will we have True Native 4k Video and True Dolby Atmos, DTS-X & Auro 3D Audio via Streaming. Again as you said we don't have the Infrastructure yet too support it.

Is 8k gimmicky...probably. But I guess they feel the need to show us that they are trying too move existing technology forward albeit everything will be upscaled to within an inch of every pixel.

I watched this video on the behind the scenes from last Sunday's American Superbowl production which was available in 4k HDR. To summarize they said they are using tons of 4k and some 8k cameras but the end result is upscaled to 4K HDR and not native as they said the infrastructure to handle that many cameras was not feasible so they work in 1080p HDR.

Basically it boils down to 2 limitations according to their production;

  • They need 4 times the amount of switchers to work in 4K vs 1080P and they don't have the infrastructure to do that while using something like 100 cameras.
  • There would be motion issues with 4k 60FPS and they would need higher frame rates




 

blueboy1873

Active Member
I watched this video on the behind the scenes from last Sunday's American Superbowl production which was available in 4k HDR. To summarize they said they are using tons of 4k and some 8k cameras but the end result is upscaled to 4K HDR and not native as they said the infrastructure to handle that many cameras was not feasible so they work in 1080p HDR.

Basically it boils down to 2 limitations according to their production;

  • They need 4 times the amount of switchers to work in 4K vs 1080P and they don't have the infrastructure to do that while using something like 100 cameras.
  • There would be motion issues with 4k 60FPS and they would need higher frame rates




Thank you for that. Really Interesting.
 

Loopthrough

Well-known Member
Maybe in two or three years time you'll read they are quitting uk, they may eventually be down to only selling tv's in their home market japan or worst they could scrap their consumer tv division. They are slowly headed pioneer's way. It's a shame, the market will keep getting more mediocre chinese and korean brands, the great japanese brands would be no more except sony..
UK isn't far off... Hardly surprising, they've been letting it slip for years now (just like Sony with smartphones) and far too expensive.

Yes, they are still built like tanks and have some exceptional high end models, but their mass market stuff has been average for decades, let's face it. Also, software was always stuck in the last century.

Now that the Chinese caught up (and are even innovating/far cheaper) and the Koreans are basically the byword for 'top class', it's sad to say, the days of Japanese consumer electronics are gone.

I'm sure the 2020 UK/EU LCD models will be almost - if not all - entirely Vestel rebadged now.

Also, they haven't been popular in Japan either lately.
 

Loopthrough

Well-known Member
This is a worrying trend. For the majority of people the new kids on the block (Chinese brands and Chinese made TVs) are ‘good enough’.
Don't knock the Chinese till you've tried a good one - if you're in the market for a solid midrange LCD TV, they wipe the floor with the equivalent Sony or Panasonic and the price difference is huge - and build and sound quality often higher on a brand like Hisense vs the competing Sony (I'm talking U8 vs XG7/8 series, for example).

I say this as a huge Sony and Panasonic fan - I was quite shocked myself at just how much I'd been overpaying. Same for Chinese smartphones.

Remember, these Chinese brands are only 'new' to us - some have been going in the Far East for 50 years or more. They have as much experience as the Koreans.

A brand to watch is the newly Taiwan Foxconn owned Sharp, I think...
 

Loopthrough

Well-known Member
I guess it comes down to innovation, in the good old days the big brands had there own propriety cathode ray tube tech, sony with trinitron and pana with Quintrex . these helped said brands differentiate there offerings within the market places to good effect. They could charge a premium and there tech was substantially better than most of the competition, reliability was good to.
Nowadays entry level pana tvs are made by vestel and there top end panels come from lg so they are only left to tweak the tvs with various gains they can determine through silicon technologies. From a consumer perspective, so what, they may as well buy an Lg or Samsung and retailers are more than happy to tell folks were the panels come from so they can save £xxx in most instances by paying for a competitors product.
So that effectively leaves them with some very nice but not cost effective products. The consumer will in most instances buy on price, hence the rise of supermarket brands and leaves pana as a niche supplier.
Quintrix was latterly just a marketing term for bought in cathode ray tubes from... LG.Philips (they used to have a joint venture, making picture tubes).

Panasonic only really ever had the edge in Plasma TVs - the CRTs and LCDs were never anything more than good (always reliable though), but too expensive. In the 90s you could've had better bang for buck and equal reliability from Toshiba or JVC.

TCL will succeed because, like Samsung and LG, they control the whole process and make panels. Hisense is government backed so will always be able to offer outstanding value - with Loewe they have the high end covered too.

Panasonic only has its niche OLEDs to rely on and miniscule advantage over LG on PQ for those - you'd still be better off buying an LG or even Philips OLED.

Great cameras and other goods from Panasonic though.
 

ldoodle

Distinguished Member
Its a shame but its the consumers fault, as they want cheapest most of the time, so it drives out the innovators.
I disagree with this. As I said earlier we're getting new models every year which is ridiculous. Because of this rapidity, people are cutting their losses and instead of buying a £1500 set and keeping it 5 years, they can spend £3-400 and change it every year, because "a new Hisense must be better than a 3/4/5 year old Panasonic/Sony etc."

Are they seriously going to sell us one set that we keep for 15 years that stays up to date courtesy of retrospective firmware updates
Maybe they should... well maybe not 15 years! The evidence is there that people are moving away from "premium" because it maybe no longer represents long-term value to the masses. "What you buy today is out of date tomorrow" needs massively addressing as it's just not acceptable.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if we had a brand new PlayStation, Xbox etc. every year. On that note my PS3 was still getting updates summer last year (13 years after release) when I finally chopped it in for a PS4. I really don't know why that philosophy can't be moved to all other tech.

Look at the title of this thread: "beginning of the end". Says it all!
 

gbjbaanb

Member
I agree, before Panny exits the market I would hope they'd try a different approach - that of making 1 model and then saying they'll support it fully for the next 5 years. So that means software updates if not hardware ones. That, I feel, would appeal to a lot of ordinary users who find they buy an expensive TV that stops gettign update, fixes etc and are told to buy a new one. Many people just cannot afford to replace these things, let alone want to.

They could even replace hardware if they shipped the panel and the controller box separately (like the LG wallpaper model) but that might be a bit too much.

But, replacing, maintaining and upgrading the software is a lot cheaper than making a new model year in, year out, with just a tweak to irrelevant features just to keep those more interested in the version numbers content (version numbers they'll probably never use anyway, assuming they even go out and buy one)
 

davidcrofter

Well-known Member
Next 2-3 years very likely all Japanese manufacturers will pull out of the TV game. LG and Samsung will also feel the heat in the coming years from the Chinese who will have the market to themselves in 8 years or less.

How long until we see Panasonic and Sony badged TVs being licensed out to a 3rd party??
 
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davidcrofter

Well-known Member
Panasonic's 2 key messages:

  • Picture Quality
  • Reliability
Two things average consumers care less about each year.

Example.
LG will release at least 10 cheap 49" IPS LEDs with shockingly bad contrast and overall mediocre picture every year. Panasonic will release 1 maybe 2 50" mid-premium models (such as the GX800) with a fantastic picture but its will cost £100-200 more than the LGs..... everyone buys the LG (usually recommended by 'Which')

Just pop into a retailer and touch a 43"-49" LG LED these days the build quality of them is apauling, but cause you can get big screens for cheap cheap no one seems to care. 😭

Dont think the premium market is missing out either. Panasonic OLEDs have in the past have always been a price premium over LG for better out of the box accuracy, panel uniformity, and image retention and screen burn mitigation. But yet everyone ran out and bought those B6's and B7's 😂 again
Sadly we have been on a race to the bottom ever since the death of plasma. Superior tech that the Joe Bloggs of this world wouldn't touch because of burn-in scaremongering.

Obviously that has massive implications for OLED if LG don't play their cards correctly.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
That already happens with Sony selling off VAIO and that name is now licensed out. Sony still have their gaming and film divisions though, so maybe Sony will stay in the TV hardware game to display their content

On reflection us Panasonic owners never having to replace our set actually means no repeat income to Panasonic. In my case the Google Chromecast expanded the features of my TV all without having to buy a more modern TV of whatever brand as a replacement! 🤔

I also totally get why a discounted on sale 1080p or 4K set with built in wi-fi and apps is appealing to your average consumer. Budget brands and annual sales means your average consumer knows it is not necessary to spend top money and I seriously doubt any of my work neighbours that gossip about Netflix or love island on rotation really know or care about micro led this or LCD that :p
 

Loopthrough

Well-known Member
Next 2-3 years very likely all Japanese manufacturers will pull out of the TV game. LG and Samsung will also feel the heat in the coming years from the Chinese who will have the market to themselves in 8 years or less.

How long until we see Panasonic and Sony badged TVs being licensed out to a 3rd party??
Panasonic have already licensed the brand to Vestel of Turkey for nearly the entire LCD range - it increases every year and they've been doing it on some entry level models since at least 2012. The washing machines are the same and also by Vestel and the only microwaves they make now are the top end Inverter ones (still exceptional - the others made by a not very good Chinese brand).

Sony I think would have a harder time letting the TV brand go to someone else, although they always did it with VHS (Sanyo and Samsung made VCRs and DVD Players for them) and later Pioneer with DVDRs.

...but it's not bad news! Consumer Electronics is always changing - LG and Samsung are easily as reliable and so are Hisense.
 

THX1138UK

Active Member
Don't knock the Chinese till you've tried a good one - if you're in the market for a solid midrange LCD TV, they wipe the floor with the equivalent Sony or Panasonic and the price difference is huge - and build and sound quality often higher on a brand like Hisense vs the competing Sony (I'm talking U8 vs XG7/8 series, for example).
I think that’s sort of the point. I’m not in the market for a mid-range LCD TV.
I want the best consumer TV I can get, with the best picture quality that OLED can provide. I understand the differences over LCD/LED and I’m prepared to pay a premium for it.

But fewer and fewer people are prepared to pay the higher costs, because they don’t perceive the benefits (some of which are subtle) as worth the money.

Regards,
James.
 
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Loopthrough

Well-known Member
I think that’s sort of the point. I’m not in the market for a mid-range LCD TV.
I want the best consumer TV I can get, with the best picture quality that OLED can provide. I understand the differences over LCD/LED and I’m prepared to pay a premium for it.

But fewer and fewer people are prepared to do pay the higher costs, because they don’t perceive the benefits (some of which are subtle) as worth the money.

Regards,
James.
I agree but I think we have to remember that spending £1k+ on a TV is unrealistic for most people (even if it represents good value for what you get and the differences in everything but torture tests are slight).

Also, it's hard to say... but Panasonic was overtaken by LG (and in some ways Philips) with OLED once the whole package and price is considered.

In TV markets, most of the money is made in the low end and midrange segment (LCD) and although margins are small, it's all about volume. Panasonic hasn't been able to be competitive in that part of the market since CRT days - letting Vestel have that part of the business was the only way they could match Samsung and LG on price (who pretty much account for the whole market and are people's first and second choice in TV brands), but by going down the Vestel route the quality isn't even a match for the competing Korean or Chinese TV, so it's still futile and just a way to keep the brand on the UK market.

Remember that people were skeptical of South Korean brands when they first appeared under their own names in the UK in the 80s and believed them to be cheap and unreliable.

Turns out that while they had soms teething problems they were just as reliable as the Japanese and eventually met/surpassed them in quality and innovation (as seen in the Japanese even buying them - something unthinkable in decades gone due to national pride!)... and more importantly on price.

That's not to say we can't enjoy Panasonic's TVs and history but we have to accept the Japanese electronics era has passed (they had an amazing run), and it now belongs to China and South Korea, as the world progresses.

Soon, I'm sure, China will produce the very best in TV technology and everyone will be happy - prices will probably be lower than ever too, so the high end tech might be democratised.

My thoughts at least!
 

blueboy1873

Active Member
So will Panasonic's 2020 LCD HX Range actually be Vestel TV's with a Panasonic Badge on the Front?
 

Loopthrough

Well-known Member
So will Panasonic's 2020 LCD HX Range actually be Vestel TV's with a Panasonic Badge on the Front?
We won't know until the announcement of Europe ranges later this month. In LCD last year it was only the GX8 series (and GX7, which didn't come to the UK) that were Panasonic built.
Considering they only announced one OLED at CES, I wouldn't be surprised if the entire LCD lineup is Vestel this year (they seem to be following Toshiba's playbook from 2010s).
 

ldoodle

Distinguished Member
I want the best consumer TV I can get, with the best picture quality that OLED can provide. I understand the differences over LCD/LED and I’m prepared to pay a premium for it.
I really want to agree with that. Up until CES this year I had my mind set on the GZ950... then the HZ was announced and now I don't know what to do! Wait for the HZ to retail and get the GZ discounted or go straight for the HZ.

As I mentioned, I will expect similar longevity as my current one so the constant, annual refresh is putting me off pulling the trigger, and now I'm wondering if it's actually better "cheaping" out and refreshing every couple of years instead!
 

zeppelino

Distinguished Member
We won't know until the announcement of Europe ranges later this month. In LCD last year it was only the GX8 series (and GX7, which didn't come to the UK) that were Panasonic built.
Considering they only announced one OLED at CES, I wouldn't be surprised if the entire LCD lineup is Vestel this year (they seem to be following Toshiba's playbook from 2010s).
Panasonic never announce their full range at CES. They have their own reveal show which should be in next few weeks.
 

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