The Bummer of 42
Pioneer is pretty much universally considered the industry leader in Plasma TV performance. Their latest series of Kuro TVs have been hailed as "best TV I've ever seen" and even "best TV in the world." And their next-gen concept TVs display contrast that is literally unmeasurable and produced pictures that had the entire CES crowd talking.
So, the following e-mail announcement from one of their dealer district sales managers came as quite a shocker:
Pioneer has decided that the current 8G XGA 720P lineup will be the last year for it. In current generations to come, Pioneer will no longer make or sell XGA product, only 1080P. Also, Pioneer will be exiting the 42 inch category in plasma for future generations. You may be saying that we are going to replace that with LCD, and you are probably correct, but Pioneer will not launch any LCD product this calendar year.
This is clearly the result of another little talked about bit of CES news: LCD leader, Sharp, has acquired a sizable stake of Pioneer.
Strange days indeed. . .
UPDATE: It took a while, but Pioneer got back to us about this. Pioneer's official response: Their future TV lineup has yet to be determined; everything is still under consideration.