Pioneer Launches New Home Theater Products
At a hotel suite in Manhattan Wednesday, Pioneer offered reporters previews of it’s latest home theater products including a new generation of KURO plasma TVs, Elite AV receivers, Blu-ray players and a front projector—a whole new category for the company.
Last year it was the company’s KURO line of plasmas that brought Pioneer the most attention. The company introduced two KURO televisions (50- and 60-inches; $5,000 and $6,500) for AV retail distribution and two KURO Pro TVs and plasma monitors designed specifically for the custom installation channel. In side-by-side comparisons with last year’s models, the new models clearly exhibited superior contrast and colors. To make the TVs easy for an average consumer to use, an Optimum mode was added that automatically the video and room ambient light and adjusts the TVs settings accordingly. The custom line products include deeper calibration tools and are pictureThe TVs’ depth have also been reduced by 20 percent making them 3.7-inches thick. The monitors are 50 percent thinner than last year.
In the Blu-ray player category, the company announced two new products, an Elite brand model priced at $799 and a non-Elite for $599. Both decode all major audio formats internally and are Profile 1.1 (Bonus View) compatible for picture-in-picture functions, but not Profile 2.0 (BD Live) for Internet-connectivity. The main difference between the two models is that the Elite version includes a 297Mhz 12 bit video encoder while the other uses a 108Mhz encoder.