updated 04:15 pm EST, Wed February 11, 2009
VIZIO Backs Out of Plasma
VIZIO today said that it would phase out plasma TVs entirely. Speaking to the New York Times, company executive Laynie Newsome justifies the move by noting that LCDs sell much more quickly than plasma. The difference is attributed to the perceived quality in-store: although plasmas often have deeper blacks, the brighter store lights tend to favor the lower-contrast LCD sets. In exchange, VIZIO plans to improve the features of the LCDs themselves, which lately have gained the same 240Hz and LED backlights as on high-end rivals.
Shuttering the plasma business leaves just LG, Panasonic and Samsung selling plasmas to Americans in the long term, all three of which have been the most loyal to the format elsewhere. Pioneer is still sellings its vaunted Kuro and Kuro Elite lines in the US but is now rumored to be quitting TVs entirely to protect its core businesses of home theater and in-car equipment.