Panasonic is the big dog in the plasma display market, and their planned production expansion is a measure of their commitment to the market. Others are not so confident that plasma can remain competitive, however. Direct view LCD has already taken over the HDTV market up to 5o”, and is poised to make a fight for the 50″ to 55″ range.
So it should not be a shock that Funai Electric announced that it will be exiting the plasma TV market, according to a report in today’s DigiTimes. According to the report, Funai gets their plasma panels from LG Electronics. The company plans to focus on its LCD HDTV business instead. The company is known in the United States for its Sylvania, Emerson, and Symphonic brands.
As LCDs push to offer true 1080p resolution for smaller and smaller price premiums over 720p, it will be harder and harder for plasma to maintain its market share. Panasonic and Pioneer remain committed to plasma, but don’t be surprised to see others turn their attention to just direct view LCD and rear projection models.