It's a Flat World After All
Greengart says many consumers enter the store with a set price in mind, and often, that price accounts for the TV and little else. Many simply don't mentally connect good audio to the plasma experience. It's up to dealers and manufacturers to promote audio more effectively as a key component of the flat-panel and/or HDTV experience.
Sony is an example of one premium vendor that understands these factors. In addition to its vestigial but attractive "floating glass" bezel design, one new WEGA plasma features built-in 100-watt stereo sound, including a 50-watt subwoofer that it has somehow attached to the back of the panel.
As LCD panels get larger, with prices expected to more or less equalize with plasma at similar sizes by the end of the decade, some good news for dealers is that most consumers are just about as interested in the minutiae of LCD and plasma as they are about the minutiae of CRT—which is to say, they're largely not concerned at all. They don't seem overwhelmingly preoccupied with the strengths and weaknesses of the two technologies.They simply want a cool-looking TV at a good price.