Rumors have been circulating for months, and those in the know hoped that they were just that… rumors. However, news broke today that Panasonic is getting out of the Plasma TV business. Sad news indeed. Considered by many integrators and consumers alike to be top of the class, Panasonic Plasmas will be sorely missed in a world awash with cheap LCD’s and auto motion plus (yuck).
The Japanese newspaper, the Nikkei, broke the story today (without citing their sources), reporting that Panasonic will be ending plasma production at it’s Amagaskai plant next year, and has already halted development on new models. All of this part of a three-year downsizing plan. Although rumors had been circulating that Panasonic would stop producing plasmas, the news did come as a bit of a surprise considering the fact that Panasonic announced a new line of high performance plasmas at CES 2013, boasting performance in-line with the highly revered Pioneer Kuro’s, also a relic from days gone by.
Panasonic is staying pretty tight-lipped about the future of their TV business. Some have speculated that plasma TV technology, as a whole, is on it’s way out. And this move could certainly solidify it’s fate. This could also be a sign that the future indeed belongs to OLED. Panasonic and Sony have partnered up to further develop the technology, which is still prohibitively expensive for most applications.
We’ll have to wait and see. But for now, if a new HDTV is on your radar, we’d recommend running out and getting a Vierra while you still can.