Vizio will abandon its plasma TV efforts so it can focus solely on its LCD TV line that helped give U.S. consumers another low-cost brand to choose from when shopping for a new TV.
Although the Vizio web site still shows several plasma models, the company didn't announce any new plasma units during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last month in Las Vegas. If Vizio and Pioneer both exit the plasma TV market, then U.S. consumers will be left choosing from Samsung, Panasonic or LG Electronics.
Vizio's current plasma TV inventory is dwindling fast, so consumers interested in purchasing a Vizio-made plasma TV should likely hurry.
The news comes days after rumors surfaced indicating Pioneer will also abandon its plasma TV efforts so it can focus on LCDs.
Manufacturers are able to charge more for LCD TVs and can sell them much faster and easier than plasma TVs. Furthermore, manufacturers are able to generate higher revenue from LCD TV sales, and shoppers interested in environmental friendly technology avoided plasma TVs in the past.
Moving forward, Vizio will focus on adding new features to its LCD line of TV models. For example, Vizio is putting the finishing touches on its first LED-backlit LCD TV, which will be available in July -- it's a 55-inch model using 240Hz technology, and will cost $1,999.
Although it has carved out a niche market for itself as a low-priced TV manufacturer since its creation five years ago, Vizo understands that it must branch out and offer a wider variety of products. Aside from TVs, Vizio plans to launch its first standalone Blu-ray player in May for $199, which will be significantly less than most other Blu-ray players available on the market today.
quote: Oh well, plasmas go the way of the HD-DVD.
quote: The newer LCDs also are finally to match the plasmas in picture quality
quote: LCDs offer similar picture quality
quote: Aside from TVs, Vizio plans to launch its first standalone Blu-ray player in May for $199, which will be significantly less than most other Blu-ray players available on the market today.
quote: To me, "most" means "more then half sold"
quote: Japanese electronics giant Pioneer said it would cut 10,000 jobs worldwide and quit the television business today, as it braces for a record loss in the year to March. The company is closing its plasma display production facilities in the United States and Britain and will focus on car electronics instead. Pioneer forecast a net loss of 130 billion yen ($2.2 billion) for the current financial year to March, its biggest ever. The firm decided last year to stop making its own plasma display panels and fit its televisions with panels bought from Panasonic instead. But it has now decided to stop making televisions altogether because "there are no prospects for improving profitability under current conditions," a company statement said. The group had already cut 5,900 jobs between March and December 2008.