By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: LCD will ultimately win the format war — and the battle will soon be over; that’s the message from Sharp Australia general manager (marketing) Laurie Nolan in response to Panasonic CEO Steve Rust’s assertion that, in the large screen category, Australians prefer Plasma.

Stung by Rust’s comments at the Wallabies sponsorship launch last Friday, Nolan spoke to, claiming that the figures Panasonic are using are not an accurate reflection of Australians’ TV preferences or buying trends.

Whilst Nolan concedes that large screen plasma sales are better than LCD sales, the raw data does not truly reflect the attitude of Australian consumers. According to Sharp, the real indicator of preference is in trends, with their figures showing 159 per cent growth in the LCD market, compared to 72 per cent growth for plasma panels (May 2007-April 2008).

“This is a clear indication of the market trend and what consumers are purchasing,” said Nolan, “LCD is the emerging winner in the ratings battle and [Sharp expects] LCD to overtake plasma sales in large sizes within the next year.”

The debate over the superior format in the 42-inch and above range was reignited by Panasonic at their Olympic Games-themed launch. It was there that Panasonic said that the future for large screen flat panels was plasmas, which was then supported by their claim that 69 per cent of Australians preferred plasma.