The writing was on the wall for plasma HDTVs when Panasonic threw in the towel on the technology last year. But the market didn't evaporate entirely with Panasonic's exit; Samsung was left to fill the gap with its F8500 plasma line. Those TVs earned stellar reviews from home theater enthusiasts, but apparently critical praise wasn't enough to keep plasma alive. Samsung has announced it will pull the plug on production by the end of November. Citing "changes in market demand," the company told CNET it will now focus entirely on 4K technology and its curved HDTVs. Samsung isn't saying exactly when its supply of plasma TVs will run dry, but if you're after one we'd recommend buying sooner than later.
As more and more manufacturers flock to 4K, the hurdle of producing an ultra-high definition 4K plasma HDTV was almost certainly a factor in the technology's demise. But there's also the matter of cost: plasmas are more expensive to build than LED LCDs. And despite the acclaimed picture performance that comes with plasma, consumers have for years voted with their wallets and overwhelmingly favored LCD TVs. Companies like Vizio, Sony, and Samsung itself drove plasma out of the market. Thankfully those LED TVs are looking better and better, making the loss of plasma a bit easier to swallow. LG still manufactures plasma TVs, but all signs point to the company following its competition and abandoning them before long.