It is news that will make many sit up and take notice, however on closer inspection it may see them slouch back down in misery again.
The news in 2008 that Pioneer was ceasing production of TVs was a crushing blow to many who held up the company’s Kuro range as the pinnacle of televisual technology. There was some reprieve this time last year when we saw Panasonic announce a partnership with Pioneer to share its technology and produce a line of Plasma screens, the Viera G2 range. Today we get another announcement, this time from Sharp, whereby they will launch a range of Pioneer Elite-branded LCD TVs.
While news that these TVs are LCD and not Plasma will immediately sadden people, Sharp are hoping these TVs will be of sufficient quality to entice the “substantial high-end customer following” which the Elite brand commands. Pioneer markets a line of high-end audio/video receivers, Blu-ray Disc players and speakers under the Elite brand and it is this cachet that Sharp is looking to captialise on. “By marketing an LCD TV line under the Elite brand, Sharp will expand the distribution of its premium large-scale TVs. In turn, the addition of a line of large-screen LCD TVs will complement Pioneer's Elite home theater offerings,” a statement by Pioneer and Sharp read.
So overall it's not as exciting a report as we first imagined on hearing that Pioneer were coming out with a new range of TVs, however Sharp must have confidence in its products to smack the high-profile Pioneer Elite brand on them – and indeed Pioneer must agree with them to allow it to happen. Initially the range of TVs will only be available in the US and Canada however should the experiment prove successful we will see them on this side of the Atlantic sooner rather than later.