Seoul, South Korea – Although it had hinted months ago that the announcement was coming, LG removed any shred of doubt Tuesday by declaring it was ending its plasma display production tomorrow.
LG’s announcement matches similar decisions from rival Samsung SDI in July and Panasonic last year, and effectively spells the end of availability in the U.S of the once popular flat-panel display format that many video experts still believe to produce superior picture quality to other display technologies on the market.
Limited availability of the displays will likely continue for a few weeks before pipeline inventory is exhausted.
The announcement leaves China’s Changhong as the only remaining PDP manufacturer, although those sets have yet to reach the U.S. market.
According to a report in Korea IT News, LG’s board arrived at the decision to end PDP production due to a combination of decreasing demand and the need to concentrate the company’s competencies on the production of Organic Light Emitting Display (OLED) technology.
The company said going forward it will concentrate TV production and sales strategies on OLED and LCD.
LG is currently the only manufacturer supplying large-screen OLED TVs for the U.S. consumer market, and recently added a pair of the world’s first 4K Ultra HD OLED sets.
Following Samsung’s formal announcement to withdraw from PDP production last summer, Ha Hyeon-hoe, LG Electronics’ HE (Home Entertainment) division president, indicated that this decision was pending soon, and should therefore come as no real surprise to anyone.
LG did not introduce any new PDP models in 2014 and only a handful in 2013.
LG began PDP production in Korea in 1999, marking the transition from displays based on cathode ray tubes.