It’s Officially Official: Panasonic Exits the Plasma Market

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Panasonic ZT60 plasmaThe long, long roller-coaster ride of rumors has finally come to an end. We first reported back in April that Panasonic was halting development of new plasma TVs. The company quickly released an official statement saying, “Waitaminute, that’s not entirely true.” But the rumor mill started churning again earlier this month, and it started to look like Panasonic really was throwing in the towel on the production of a plasma line that had very, very few rivals. In fact, this year’s Samsung F8500 is the only plasma I’ve seen that’s capable of going toe-to-toe with the Panasonic ZT60 in terms of picture quality. Which means that until OLED comes down in price, it’s one of the two best TVs that most people can actually afford.

Geoffrey Morrison at Forbes is reporting that the party is truly and utterly official over, though:

Today Panasonic announced that it will no longer sell plasma HDTVs, starting in March, 2014. Rumors have been circulating for over a month, but in an announcement on their website they explained “in order to create a business structure that can respond to changes in the business environment and to accelerate the growth strategy of the company, the company will end production of plasma display panels (PDP) in December 2013…”

Sad news, indeed, especially given that it sounds like an entire financial decision.

At any rate, if you’ve been thinking about snagging one of the new ZT60s, now may be the time (although it’s possible we’ll see some sick clearance deals early next year). The 60-inch Panasonic VIERA TC-P60ZT60 is available now on Amazon for $2,999.99, whereas the 65-inch TC-P65ZT60 will set you back $3,799.99.

Read [Forbes: Panasonic to Exit the Plasma HDTV Business]

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