TV Makers Flee Shrinking Market

Consolidation follows drop in fourth-quarter sales

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Shakeup in the TV world: Pioneer getting out altogether, and Vizio is dropping its plasma lines in favor of LCDs. Consolidation is to be expected after a drop in TV sales during the fourth quarter. Shipments of TV sets in North America fell 7 percent compared to a year earlier, according to preliminary data from DisplaySearch.

Vizio is abandoning the end of the market that is growing as pocketbooks tighten. Because they tend to be cheaper than LCDs, plasmas were the only segment to grow in shipments over the fourth quarter of 2007.