A Death Knell for Plasma TV?

Is it time to unplug the plasma TV? European regulators are beginning to think so—at least for those giant energy-guzzling beasts that require several fans to keep cool.

The European Union’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says big-screen plasmas account for a good part of the spiraling energy consumption in households and must go. Plasma TVs get great ratings for their color reproduction, black detail and ability to deliver fast-moving pictures without blur but their biggest knock has been their energy draw.

Many rival LCD TV makers at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month made a point of mentioned how eco-friendly their sets are. Plasma manufacturers have been losing market share to LCD technology, which has improved dramatically over the past few years.

Panasonic, Hitachi and other big plasma makers aren’t giving up without a fight. They also are rushing to meet or exceed new energy efficiency requirements being implemented in the U.S., Europe, Australia and elsewhere. Some of those governments would require labels that would tell purchasers how much power the sets consume.

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