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Pioneer Disbanding TV Business


Pioneer Disbanding TV Business

It's a sad day for the TV industry. Sad, because those rumours of Pioneer ceasing TV production weren't rumours after all but, rather, a grim foreshadowing of the official announcement.

Pioneer aims to refocus its business on "car electronics, navigation and audio A/V equipment." Sadly the tautology of 'audio AV' isn't the worst part of that statement. By March 2010 Pioneer will have pulled out of the flat screen market and will no longer offer LCD or Plasma TVs.

Along with the end of Kuro production, some 10,000 Pioneer employees (6,000 full-time, 4,000 temporary) will find their jobs disappearing over the next year. Pioneer's annual loss forecast loos bleaker too, at around ¥130 billion (~£1 billion)

The future isn't entirely bleak, luckily. Lest we forget there is an agreement between Pioneer and Panasonic to see the latter party manufacture plasma TVs using the former's technology. While we probably won't see Kuro quality Panasonic displays immediately, the partnership should bear some fruits.

Nonetheless, in a little over a year we'll all be observing a minute's silence to morn the passing of the finest TVs money can could buy.




February 12, 2009, 4:15 pm

Sad day.

Pioneer are the pinnacle of TV technology and they have greatly inspired all the others aiming to catch them too. They will be hugely missed.!

Unfortunately this was a sad inevitability. Even I just over a year ago could not justify the price difference to a Kuro TV and that meant that the only people buying them were either huge enthusiasts or had too much cash (or both). Not ideal for surviving in a recession.


February 12, 2009, 6:33 pm

This is usually where I'd apply some witty repost, but all that seems appropriate is,


I eventually had the good pleasure of witnessing some of those Kuros, and the white levels blew me away further than the awesome blacks, alluded to on TR.

Cue Amazing Grace in bagpipes.


February 12, 2009, 7:48 pm

Well done Lehman Brothers, well done.



February 12, 2009, 9:35 pm

I'm tempted to start stockpiling.

It's a very sad day indeed.


February 12, 2009, 10:23 pm

Well, it has been a pleasure Pioneer. You have given us the best of best, year after year, your TVs will be sorely missed but never forgotten. We shall cherish our Kuros Plasma for the many years to come and hope (and pray) that, comes the end of recession, you will be back into TV productions.


February 12, 2009, 10:43 pm

I've seen the Kuros in action and they are truly fantastic. Unfortunately, Pioneer weren't making enough money from televisions so they made a commercial decision to pull out. Maybe they'll get back into the game when either OLED or Mitsubushi's Laser system becomes popular.


February 13, 2009, 1:39 am

My word! Why oh why?!? In a year when everything i know is telling me to save every penny, THIS happens! Either i get a legendary tv now, or wait and hope that something better will come soon...

i am shedding tears!


February 13, 2009, 4:45 am

Oh B****r I was sooo hoping to own a Kuro one day. All that quality down the drain. <Verdi's requiem plays in background>.....

Strange business plan. I thought Pioneer was about absolute quality - that has its profit disadvantages

Ho Well... So who takes up the chalace as the next best TR??


February 13, 2009, 2:38 pm

I think this is what they planned all along starting with the Panasonic partnership.

LCDs have been consistantly closing the gaps on all fronts. I'd say by the second half of 2010 the best LCD TVs will have eclipsed the best (even imaginary next gen) Plasmas. And Pioneer has no experience in that area.

So instead of really quitting right away they will probably continue to produce their Kuros for as long as feasible in "the year of the crisis", when sales of high-end TV sets will probably be denty, and just not make any investments in research and production for a technology that has received the kiss of death quite a while ago.

It's a little bit sad and it's weird to say that. Alas, it's as if I heard Ferrari was shutting down. While I will in all likelihood never own one, it's nice to dream I could...


February 13, 2009, 6:02 pm

I don't think it was planned. I believe Pioneer made every effort to make it work by partnering with Sharp and Panasonic and releasing LCD products, but the strength of the Yen, premium pricing in an age of downward price pressure from all areas, and the global downturn is a high mountain to get over.

It's a massive shame, but I plan to enjoy my Kuro for as long as possible.


February 14, 2009, 4:02 am

So what implications does this have for plasma as a technology? It looks like Panasonic is left with plasmas' future in its hands.

Matthew Bunton

February 15, 2009, 10:11 am

So very sad. Says a lot about the industry when the premier plasma producer pulls out.

I bet the TR team are seriously gutted as I know they appreciated the Kuro as much as I did.

Siobhan Redmond

February 18, 2009, 4:05 pm

Whilst Pioneer ending production of the KURO range might, on the face of it be bad news for consumers who desire the "best of the best" it should still be remembered that those who take the plunge and buy one of these fine sets, and I will be getting my KRP-600A at the end of the month will still have a set that they, with average usage will still be watching in 10 years +

There is no substitute for seeing these sets in the flesh and having compared the Pioneer with the latest Backlit LED offering's from Samsung & Sony I can only say "Close but no Cigar" !

"You pays yer money and takes yer choice" ... and if you can afford to, go out and get one of these whilst you still can !

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