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If Panasonic Quits Plasma, TV Snobs Will Cry

Plasma screens at the Panasonic stand at the IFA Consumer Electronics Trade Fair in Berlin
Plasma screens at the Panasonic stand at the IFA Consumer Electronics Trade Fair in BerlinPhotograph by John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images

Electronics giant Panasonic has been eyeing an exit from the plasma television market, a turnabout that would unleash wailing cries and gnashing teeth among videophiles.

There’s a passionate—if perhaps not very profitable—audience that values plasma displays for offering the best in picture quality among mass-market TVs. “If it is true, it’s a heartbreak,” says Rob Sabin, editor of Sound & Vision, a monthly magazine that covers consumer audio and video.