Pioneer 2008: Kuro to get cosy with LCD TVs

Despite being the sultans of blackness, Pioneer is investing in LCD technology for the first time, partly because it wants to make more money, but mostly because it's now partly owned by Sharp

When it comes to plasma TVs, there is a murmur of agreement from TV geeks that it's hard to find better than Pioneer. The problem for the company is that not everyone wants -- or has room for -- a massive plasma, which means it has problems making money out of the biggest segment of the market. Simply put, Pioneer needs to exploit the smaller TVs, and a recent press conference revealed that it's ready to finally embrace LCD TV technology.

By happy coincidence, Pioneer has a major shareholder called Sharp that knows a little something about LCD technology and is almost certainly keen to see its new acquisition push its technology.

Although we aren't likely to see LCD TVs with the same glorious blacks as plasmas any time soon, Pioneer is the right company to try and get the best possible results out of the technology. There will be LCDs in three screen sizes: 32 (KRL-32V), 37 (KRL-37V) and 46 inches (KRL-46V), all of which are 1080p, 100Hz TVs. The 32 and 37-inch models will be available from August, with no date yet set for the 46-inch version.

Each of the TVs will have three HDMI inputs conforming to the HDMI 1.3 standard. It goes without saying that Pioneer will be investing a significant amount of time in tweaking the picture quality to be as good as possible.

From what we gather from Pioneer, its strategy will follow recent plasma-partner Panasonic: it would rather not be involved in LCD TVs, but wants a piece of the small TV action. For those people who would like all their equipment to have 'Pioneer' written on it, their bedroom TV could soon match the one in the lounge. -Ian Morris

 

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