It's a sad day for the TV industry. Sad, because those rumours of Pioneer ceasing TV production weren't rumours after all but, rather, a grim foreshadowing of the official announcement.
Pioneer aims to refocus its business on "car electronics, navigation and audio A/V equipment." Sadly the tautology of 'audio AV' isn't the worst part of that statement. By March 2010 Pioneer will have pulled out of the flat screen market and will no longer offer LCD or Plasma TVs.
Along with the end of Kuro production, some 10,000 Pioneer employees (6,000 full-time, 4,000 temporary) will find their jobs disappearing over the next year. Pioneer's annual loss forecast loos bleaker too, at around ¥130 billion (~£1 billion)
The future isn't entirely bleak, luckily. Lest we forget there is an agreement between Pioneer and Panasonic to see the latter party manufacture plasma TVs using the former's technology. While we probably won't see Kuro quality Panasonic displays immediately, the partnership should bear some fruits.
Nonetheless, in a little over a year we'll all be observing a minute's silence to morn the passing of the finest TVs money can could buy.