Pioneer stops plasma production

Pioneer stops plasma production

Pioneer logoWith news that Pioneer is reporting a $93-million loss in their plasma division, they are now stopping production of their highly praised plasma televisions. They are not exiting the plasma market, however, as they’re joining forces with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (parent of Panasonic) to co-develop plasma technologies.

This is pretty big news. For the past year Pioneer has had a successful marketing campaign to promote the new Kuro plasmas with the greatest black levels and contrast levels of any commercial display ever. In January at CES they showed Extreme Contrast Kuro panels with such great contrast and black levels they challenged the OLED displays, and even blew the current Kuro panels out of the water. They also showed an incredibly thin plasma at 12mm thick.

Being on the vanguard of plasma technology, this is certainly a big change. Pioneer was projecting over $97-million profit this year and is actually posting a $77-million loss, so it seems like the company is really trying to save the ship by dumping extra weight. In December Fujitsu closed up shop on plasma for good, leaving Pioneer as the only remaining high-end plasma manufacturer. Pioneer was the fifth largest plasma manufacturer this past year.

The obvious questions for the future are: What will come of Project Kuro? Will Panasonic have Kuro technology in their panels now? Will plasma survive or will LCD have killed off this glorious technology?

About Steven Kippel

Steven Kippel has worked as a systems designer for a leading high-end audio/video custom integrator in Southern California since 2003. He is responsible for researching new technologies and integrating them into existing systems and new construction projects. He has designed several high-profile systems for discriminating clients on the cutting-edge of technology. When he is not hard at work, Steven is spending time with his wife, playing with his band or promoting concerts and bands in the Inland Empire. His favorite bands include The Cure, U2, Eisley, Living Sacrifice and DragonForce.

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8 Comments on “Pioneer stops plasma production”

  1. This is definitely sad to hear. Pioneer was a “pioneer” in plasma technology. Let’s hope that all of their good plasma tech gets put to use in Panasonic plasma TV’s.

  2. It appears they’re working deals to have Matsushita build the panels using Pioneer technology and then Pioneer will assemble the final product.

    They’re also entering the LCD market with the help of Sharp (who is also partnering with Samsung and Sony).

  3. Goodbye and good ridden to a technology which was overpriced, with a warranty which left much to be desired!

  4. Mark, what technology are you bidding farewell? Plasma hasn’t/isn’t going anywhere.

  5. I bought the TC-P50G10 three weeks ago, and am very happy with it. I did a lot of research and tried out a number of TVs before settling down on this one, so I thought I would share some of the information and my experience with the TV, and hopefully make your decision in choosing the TV a bit easier.

  6. Currently, I have 4 HDTVs in my house. Sony Bravia LCD (less than 1 year old and it is a 1080P), Sony HD Cineza (1080i) in my theater room, Panasonic Plasma EDTV (about 9 years old which I pay a lot of money for it when Plasma first came out) and the newly purchased Panasonic VIERA X1 Series TC-P42X1 (720P). I can tell you that this Plasma is much better than the $1499 Sony Bravia LCD 1080P. The picture is super clear even just connect it with cable and Satellite. DVD is incredible and you do not need a Blue-Ray player becasue regular DVD is just as good as Blue-Ray on this one. I have all the technologies, cable/DirecTV, Toshiba HD-DVD player, Sony PS3 Blue-Ray, DVD recorder all connected to this set. So far this is the best $800 plasma you can buy. My old Panasonic Plasma which just was an Enhanced Definition and it is about 10 years now and the picture is still looking good. I never had any problem with Panasonic TV and it is a better brand in Japan than Sony. Go get one, you will be pleased!

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