Widely regarded as producing some of the best plasma TVs on the market, Pioneer has nonetheless struggled as the HDTV landscape has moved more and more towards LCDs. Now rumors are floating around the Internet that the company will be exiting the TV business altogether, no doubt being influenced by the bad economy, which doesn't help Pioneer move its pricey plasmas. When I contacted Pioneer I was given the same noncommittal official response as HD Guru:
As a matter of policy, we cannot comment on rumors or speculation. As you know, we have publicly announced that we are actively evaluating our business. We started announcing changes in March, 2008 to increase efficiencies of our business operations. We are still in that process but do not have any further announcements at this time.
The plasma market will now be left mostly to Samsung and Panasonic, though Panasonic has experienced its own pains during this recession. If there's some temporary good news in this possible development for consumers, it's that prices on Pioneer's sets will continue to plunge. Its highly regarded Kuro PDP-5020FD, for instance, has recently been selling for under $2,000, quite a bargain for a set that listed for $4,000 when it was released last June.