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What does plasma's future hold?

Matt Burns

Remember back at the turn of century when the bubble was bulging and flat panels were something found only on Cribs. This was back when plasmas had a bad rap due to rumors were flying around about refilling the gases and HAZMAT accidents, but still, everyone wanted one - except their five digit price tag. Times sure have changed and now the future of plasmas is questionable. Every manufacturer, except Matsushita (Panasonic), is scaling back production due to the increase in demand for plasma's arch-rival, LCD. This is according to iSuppli who also states that Matsushita might not be cutting back since they have more at stake in the PDP market than others. So far, Matsushita has the biggest plasma market share and they should, they spend the most on the technology. Their fifth facility opens up this year with the construction tally reaching $2.4 billion. We just wonder if there is room in the flat panel world for both plasma and LCD. One thing is for sure though, as long as consumers shop for the best picture, the future of plasma should stay bright.

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