Vizio turned the HDTV market on its head with its low-priced sets, and now the company will concentrate all of its TV efforts on LCD.
The California-based flat-panel maker will no longer produce plasma TVs, according to a report in The New York Times Wednesday. It was the third-largest plasma TV maker in North America as of the end of the third quarter of 2008, with 13 percent of all shipments, according to DisplaySearch.
Vizio co-founder Laynie Newsome told the Times the reasons for the move away from plasma TVs were that they didn't sell as well in big-box stores due to the harsh lighting and Vizio would rather use its established retail presence to push LCD TVs instead. Vizio is also the third-largest LCD TV maker in North America, with 8.4 percent of shipments.
Manufacturers can charge more for LCD TVs, which generally bring in higher revenue than TVs based on plasma technology. Plasma TVs are also regarded by some as less environmentally friendly for the amount of energy they consume.
As a result, the plasma ranks are getting thin. Just last week a report surfaced that Pioneer, currently the fifth-largest plasma TV vendor, would also cease production of its plasma sets. Pioneer isn't yet confirming the report, but says it is still evaluating the business's long-term viability. In other words, it doesn't look good.
Without Vizio and Pioneer, that would leave only Panasonic, Samsung, and LG Electronics as the major vendors of plasma.