Why so serious?
Agreed and they literally may make you sick
So who is telling the truth?
Panasonic has denied that it will pull out of the plasma TV panel business by March 2014, as reported by Reuters.
In a statement issued to whathifi.com, Panasonic says:
• The content of the [Reuters] report is not something that was announced by Panasonic.
• The company is looking into a variety of options regarding the strategy for the PDP [plasma display] business, but nothing has been decided at this stage.
• The company is looking into a variety of options regarding the utilization of the Amagasaki Factory, but nothing has been decided at this stage.
Reuters based its story on "sources familiar with the situation," it says.
the only correspondance in the original Reuters article is from the chairman of a Samsung affiliate :/
Panasonic's president already said that unprofitable divisions get the axe, that means plasma has to go. Plasma technology cannot make the leap to 4K/UHD, so again... plasma has to go. Nothing about the original Nikkei article from six months ago has changed in the slightest—the plant will close and Panasonic will be done with plasma technology within one year, and likely within six months. Will there be a 2014 lineup? Probably. Can I go buy a open-box ZT60 from a number of local Best Buy stores? Yes returned, open-box ZT60s (and VT60) seem to be all over the place. Not a good sign.
So sure, it's speculation until it's official, but if I was a worker at Panasonics plasma display factory, I'd be looking for a new position already—I sure wouldn't hang around to see if Panasonic actually goes through with the shutdown.
You are right, technically it is easy enough to make 4K/UHD plasmas that are 84" or larger. As long as there is a existing 1080p panel at any given size, you can double the dimensions—voila, you have a 4K/UHD plasma. One major issue—the inherent inefficiency of plasma means a plasma display that size will act as a space heater—that's why giant 4K plasmas are sold as commercial displays.
I should have said that plasma cannot make the leap to 4K/UHD at mainstream screen sizes i.e. 55"-70"—at least not without a whole lot of additional R&D that is not going to occur.
Right now is a perfect time if you are shopping for a premium plasma—and right after CES I would expect to see the steepest discounts. For example, in a recent search, I found a Sharp Elite LCD 60" for $2000—sold as a clearance item by Best Buy. Still has the full warranty and everything. Just goes to show, discontinued flagship products can offer some of the very best deals out there.