Sad news: Consumers don't pay up for quality

Pioneer's decision to get out of the TV business is further evidence that the race to the bottom is taking a toll on the quality of available consumer electronics. Do you care?

Erica Ogg's post "Report: Pioneer to exit TV business" made a point abundantly clear: TV buyers won't pay a premium price for a better display.

"The company is reportedly exiting the TV business rather than continuing to incur losses in that division," Ogg wrote. "This latest report comes a few months after Pioneer announced that it anticipated huge losses at the end of its fiscal year in March and plans to lay off 2,000 workers."

The market's demands for lower and lower prices eventually take high-quality manufacturers out of the game.

I'm not a video guy, but I do know that while Pioneer made some of the best displays, the market wasn't willing to pay for its quality. The race-to-the-bottom environment is certainly in full swing on the audio side. Sales of high-quality speakers continue to erode, thanks to booming sales of lower-quality home-theater-in-a-box systems and iPod speakers.

I'm sorry, but I want companies making the highest-quality products to prosper. But the way things are going, only the bottom-feeders will survive.

What do you think?

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.


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