wondered why its so hard to find one of Pioneer's award winning Kuro plasmas on shelves these days, and here is the answer. The Nikkei is reporting that Pioneer plans to stop producing plasma panels altogether, and only put together HDTVs with panels purchased from other sources. Panasonic and Hitachi remain as the only Japanese plasma manufacturers, Pioneer already has a deal with the former to purchase plasmas for its 42-inch model, and will expand that agreement according to The Nikkei. Honestly, this wouldn't be a big deal for most companies, as we've seen with the Sony/Sharp/Samsung triangle in LCD manufacturing, but since Pioneer is the only manufacturer promising the blackest black levels this side of carbon nanotubes, we're freaking out a bit. Here's hoping Pioneer slides over the blueprints to the infinite contrast concept (and that sexy 9mm model) and keeps the party going.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in; via CNBC; warning: reg required on read link]