Pioneer announces future plasma plans
We have been following the developments around Pioneer’s plasma division. Today in Tokyo, Pioneer and Matsushita (Panasonic) held a press conference detailing their plans for future plasma development.
Although I was told by a Pioneer representative that Pioneer would be engineering and developing their own panels, the press conference revealed that Matsushita will be absorbing all 200 Pioneer plasma engineers. Matsushita will develop panels for both companies.
This is unfortunate. However, this does not tell anything about the Elite line. I was told the Pioneer panels would be made by Matsushita and the Elite panels would be made in Pioneer factories completely. This press conference does not discuss Elite plans.
Pioneer is trying to establish their Elite line as a high-end electronics brand. This faces opposition from the high-end community as they’re in their own elitist world, but the products are really good. Pioneer owns TAD engineering some of the best speakers ever heard on this planet, and now that they’ve released a line under the Pioneer name some are willing to accept them. They also have Elite integrated stereo amplifiers and other high-end stereo gear.
Pioneer will also be using their new found support from Sharp to introduce LCD flat panel displays in the market later this year. And most surprisingly, they will have an Elite branded LCoS front projector coming soon (based on the lauded JVC model).
In the end, Pioneer seems to be getting more focused on high-end, which can’t be too bad. It also means Panasonic will be reaping the benefits of Pioneer’s quality engineers.
With this announcement and others, the home theater speakers and HDTV industry continues to evolve.