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Old 03-13-2008   #1
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Default Pioneer Looks Toward LCD as Kuro Project Leads to Losses

Pioneer Corporation reported a loss for their fiscal year today, mainly due to the effect of the company pulling out of the plasma market. They abruptly stopped their critically acclaimed Kuro (the word for black in Japanese) line of plasma HDTVs only a few months before Fujitsu said they would no longer be making plasma HDTVs. It is widely speculated Fujitsu was the OEM providing Pioneer their plasma sets that were ultimately badged under the Kuro name.

Pioneer president Tamihiko Sudo said, “Our TVs sell for about twice as much as competitors,” which consumers are saying isn’t going to cut it. Vizio, using the warehouse chains to move HDTVs to the masses, have set new standards for low prices, resulting in over $2,000,000,000 in annual sales. Sony, reporting a profit this year, thanks to profits from Blu-ray and the Playstation 3, have dropped their BRAVIA LCD prices to come very close to the price points set by Vizio and the other discount brands, thus keeping Sony clients loyal and away from the off-brand products.

Pioneer is looking to Matsu****a as a potential partner for “glass” for future Kuro plasmas. They are also looking at Sharp as a partner for LCD panels, so that they can use flat HDTVs to be a performance and value leader again, as they were mere months ago with their first Kuro lineup.

Pioneer is one of the main supporters of the Blu-ray format and is likely to get a bump in 2008-2009 from sales of players that sell under the Pioneer name, as well as those that are ultimately branded by other companies as an OEM. Without question, they will need to get their HDTV line straightened out to make the most of their Blu-ray windfall. Pioneer has decades of loyalty from their main brand, as well as their Elite brand, that could easily make for increased market share for competitors like Sony and Samsung (who share a multi-billion-dollar LCD factory), as well as the low-cost brands that have jumped on the scene in recent years.

by: Jerry Del Colliano
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Old 03-13-2008   #2
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Default Re: Pioneer Looks Toward LCD as Kuro Project Leads to Losses

As usual it's about the $$$. Most people will not pay for quality no matter what!

On the AVS form there are some guys complaining that anything over $200.00 for a bluray player is over priced and a waste of $$$.

AVS forms should have discussion groups at different levels so one can discuss the real world of AV to separate the wheat from the chafe. Some forums do try to have separate discussion levels but most of the time these discussions turn into fights.
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Old 03-13-2008   #3
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Default Re: Pioneer Looks Toward LCD as Kuro Project Leads to Losses

Quote:
Originally Posted by i30krab View Post
As usual it's about the $$$. Most people will not pay for quality no matter what!

On the AVS form there are some guys complaining that anything over $200.00 for a bluray player is over priced and a waste of $$$.

AVS forms should have discussion groups at different levels so one can discuss the real world of AV to separate the wheat from the chafe. Some forums do try to have separate discussion levels but most of the time these discussions turn into fights.
+1.

If $200 is your limit. . . then you really are not into this stuff. . . just go back and play with your bose. . .
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Old 03-13-2008   #4
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Default Re: Pioneer Looks Toward LCD as Kuro Project Leads to Losses

HDTV's have dropped in price very fast & it caught a lot of companies by surprise.
With $1000 50" Vizios at Sams clubs a $3500 40" Kuro doesn't have a chance even if the quality of the set & picture is worth the extra $$$.

There is always going to be a market for higher quality but with such a large price difference there won't be much cross over.
When there was a $500 difference between an entry level set & a nicer one there was a lot more people bumping up to the better set.
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Old 03-13-2008   #5
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Default Re: Pioneer Looks Toward LCD as Kuro Project Leads to Losses

Usually, in the electronics world, companies spend a lot of R&D on a new product that is superior to existing technology. When this technology first hits the market, it is more often than not, a relatively expensive product.

As time goes by, and the product gets momentum, the price usually drops. A new, better technology comes out and the minus 1 technology becomes mainstream and more affordable.

Todays technology is the top of a very large pyramid of incremental (some larger than others) improvements.

What is going to happen if these new technologies are choked off by this kind of preasure?
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Old 03-13-2008   #6
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Default Re: Pioneer Looks Toward LCD as Kuro Project Leads to Losses

I was told by a salesman that Runco got its panels from Pioneer so they will be looking for a new supplier as well. It will be interesting to see who comes out with the best looking plasma next year.

I know that the Pioneer Kuro was by far the best looking TV that I saw and was the only one I was considering to buy. I just did not have the money to do it this year. House repairs won out over a new TV!
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