LG playing waiting game for plasma TV exit

Company focuses on OLED amid plasma demand decline

LG is waiting for the right time to exit the plasma TV business, a move that would leave almost no major companies making the flat-screens.

The company is in a "wait and see mode" about possibly ending production of plasma TVs, according to a spokesman.

"Weve known for a long time that demand for plasma units was declining," the LG spokesman wrote in an email. "When demand falls to a point where its no longer a viable business is where were trying to determine."

LG announced earlier this week the world's first 4K OLED TV.

South Korean news reports about the announcement of the 65-inch OLED TV with 3840 x 2160-pixel display said an LG official indicated the company would make an official statement on suspending plasma display panel TVs in the near future.

LG would be the latest manufacturer to quit plasma. To the disappointment of videophiles, Panasonic announced in 2013 it would end plasma panel research, ending production this year. The company was the largest maker in the field at one time.

Meanwhile, despite suggestions at CES 2014 that it was committed to plasma, Samsung said last month it will end production of plasma TVs in November.

LCD TV sets have come to dominate TV sales. They account for over 90 percent of global TV shipments, while shipments of plasma and CRT TVs are forecast to fall by 48 and 50 percent, respectively in 2014, according to data from NPD DisplaySearch.

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Tim Hornyak

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