Why did Pioneer stop making plasma tv's? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 72 Old 07-07-2011, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I know the Kuro's were known to be the best, why did they fold?
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post #2 of 72 Old 07-07-2011, 11:06 PM
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They were losing a fortune in the TV division.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #3 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 03:38 AM
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The Kuro technology could not be produced at competitive prices. Also, Pioneer's production facilities and capacity just weren't able to be competitive with the larger electronics companies.

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post #4 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 05:24 AM
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Runco has the best professional and A/V specialist products, so Pioneer had to go toe to toe with the big electronic houses for the consumer puplic. The big Japanese house can mass produce at a more competitive price.
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post #5 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by JazzGuyy View Post

The Kuro technology could not be produced at competitive prices. Also, Pioneer's production facilities and capacity just weren't able to be competitive with the larger electronics companies.

Thats a lot of it but I also blame consumers that fell for the cheap LCD sales pitch as well. To put it bluntly - people are cheap.
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post #6 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Wanderlai View Post

I know the Kuro's were known to be the best, why did they fold?

My opinion is that Pioneer tried to survive with a niche market (upper end TVs) and then the economy began to tank. Panasonic and Samsung survived because they had lower end sets that could sustain them and allow them to continue to produce the higher end sets while surviving with the sales of the lower end sets. Pioneer could have even outsourced those lower end panels and by badging them with a Pioneer label probably could have survived.
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post #7 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 09:25 AM
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Basically, it's like this: Pull Joe Sixpack off the street and have him stand in front of a Nissan 350Z (entry-level version), a Porsche Boxster, and a Porsche Boxster S. Ask them which one performs the best and which one he would like to buy (knowing the cost differences across the cars). Joe will most likely tell you that they are all sports cars and are all fun to drive. So, he'll buy the least expensive one (the Nissan). Yes, Pioneer TV's (even before the Kuro line) were considered by many (myself included) to be best-in-class. However, there are simply not enough consumers who are willing to pay a premium price for that level of quality.
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post #8 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 09:51 AM
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The truth is, they lost A LOT of money with the NEC acquisition and couldn't recover. That was the MAIN reason they went out of business. But the economy and Wal-Mart Joe's quest for the cheapest product didn't help matters either. Pioneer was the last of the quality TV manufactures left. However the market has spoken, and they've made it abundantly clear, they want CHEAP goods, not quality goods. So that is what you are left with now. Manufactures competing to produce the cheapest goods, with quality thrown out the window.
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post #9 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzGuyy View Post

The Kuro technology could not be produced at competitive prices. Also, Pioneer's production facilities and capacity just weren't able to be competitive with the larger electronics companies.

Competitive prices? Are you talking about their 2008 displays that haven't been surpassed in performance in 2011 and most likely still won't be in 2012? I'd say their pricing was rather low for the type of tech they were selling. The problem was and still is, people want something for nothing and that is why Vizio is doing so well. Junk sets, but they are big AND cheap. And THAT is what the average Joe REALLY wants. They can then brag to their friends they just bought a 50" "flat screen."
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post #10 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 11:35 AM
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That is correct, LaoChe. Look at headphones - given the number of people who currently listen to music on iPods/iPhones, look how many listen to either to stock earbuds or cheap Gummies. People are shocked when they hear how much I paid for my Klipsch and B&W headphones, even though they are amazing and I use them all the time. 'Crap' seems to have become the norm nowadays with the onset of digital technology
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post #11 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Wanderlai View Post
I know the Kuro's were known to be the best, why did they fold?
Just when I start to accept it another thread like this pops up and I get sad all over again.

The 101 is soooo very nice!!!
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post #12 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 12:04 PM
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A simpler answer is that viewed in the same sales space, normally too brightly lighted, the LCD panel will be judged as the better picture. Flash the right marketing content, birght skies with puffy clouds, snow scenes, and absense of dark scenes with real blacks, and again, the LCD prevails. When my friends view my Kuro, they all react that it's the best picture they've ever seen, even those with recent Panasonic plasmas, which I also now own. The real question would be "Did Panasonic really buy the rights to the Kuro technology?", and "If so, when will this show up in Panasonic panels?"
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post #13 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by LaoChe View Post
Competitive prices? Are you talking about their 2008 displays that haven't been surpassed in performance in 2011 and most likely still won't be in 2012? I'd say their pricing was rather low for the type of tech they were selling. The problem was and still is, people want something for nothing and that is why Vizio is doing so well. Junk sets, but they are big AND cheap. And THAT is what the average Joe REALLY wants. They can then brag to their friends they just bought a 50" "flat screen."
Sorry but this makes little sense to me. The job of a producer/seller is to make and sell what people want and are willing to pay for. Further, the argument that people want something for nothing doesn't hold up in a marketplace where plenty of people are plunking down $2k - $3k for televisions. That's not "Wal-mart cheap".

If Porsche ever goes out of business I really doubt you'll hear a bunch of analysts simply say "Joe Sixpack only wanted something cheap and should be blamed for not recognizing the superiority of Porsche".

Blaming the customer or simply expecting them to buy what you want to make rarely works. If you want the customer's money you better figure out what they are willing to pay for and then figure out how you can make a profit making it and selling it.
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post #14 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 12:28 PM
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Vizio is the #1 hdtv seller right now. Do I have to say anymore....

90% of the electronic consumers either don't care about the best, can't afford the best or have no idea what makes the best the best. They see 1080p or some other number and assume that is all that matters. Yeah a Ferrari has a V8 and so does an old station wagon. Does that mean they perform the same?? Its such a stupid numbers game, consumers are stupid and uneducated. Like people quoting dynamic contrast ratios, Oooh this is one trillion to one OMG!! Makes you wonder if they just pick numbers out of a hat.

Pioneer would have run all the other companies out of town if they could have produced the Kuros at a competitive price. Once you hit the $3K+ mark, I would imagine your customer base starts to shrivel up. At that point you need to either be rich or a REAL enthusiast to think about spending that much on a tv. I don't even know one person who calibrates their tv after they take it out of the box, and these people are going to care enough to spend a premium price on a tv??
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post #15 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post
Sorry but this makes little sense to me. The job of a producer/seller is to make and sell what people want and are willing to pay for. Further, the argument that people want something for nothing doesn't hold up in a marketplace where plenty of people are plunking down $2k - $3k for televisions. That's not "Wal-mart cheap".

If Porsche ever goes out of business I really doubt you'll hear a bunch of analysts simply say "Joe Sixpack only wanted something cheap and should be blamed for not recognizing the superiority of Porsche".

Blaming the customer or simply expecting them to buy what you want to make rarely works. If you want the customer's money you better figure out what they are willing to pay for and then figure out how you can make a profit making it and selling it.
While $2 to $3k is not cheap, the Kuros were $5,500 for a 50" and $6,500 to $7,000 for a 60 inch. Now that is a small market and not big enough to support their business model. As much as I love my 141, I would not have paid that kind of money for it, hence, the end of Pioneer's TV division.
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post #16 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

Sorry but this makes little sense to me. The job of a producer/seller is to make and sell what people want and are willing to pay for. Further, the argument that people want something for nothing doesn't hold up in a marketplace where plenty of people are plunking down $2k - $3k for televisions. That's not "Wal-mart cheap".

If Porsche ever goes out of business I really doubt you'll hear a bunch of analysts simply say "Joe Sixpack only wanted something cheap and should be blamed for not recognizing the superiority of Porsche".

Blaming the customer or simply expecting them to buy what you want to make rarely works. If you want the customer's money you better figure out what they are willing to pay for and then figure out how you can make a profit making it and selling it.

No, it's just facts that you are not willing to accept. Is $3K a lot of money? Yes and no. Is it a lot for speaker cables? Yes. Is it a lot for a Cadillac? No. The fact is, making a quality TV (LCD or plasma) is NOT cheap. And $3K will only buy you so much in a TV. I love the entitlement attitude people have now that EVERYONE should have a 50" "flat panel." The truth is, it is expensive to make these sets and the consumer is only willing to pay so much for them, but keep in mind they want QUALITY too. Well, like I said you can't have it all. And the saying still stands, "you get what you pay for." Again, it is an entitlement attitude, "they need to give me what I want." Yes, they'll give you what you want, cheap and big. And that is what you have on the market now. How else do you explain the crap that is available now? Samsung has already figured it out. Give the consumer pretty good performance and style in their products at a decent price, and by the time the consumer figures out that the build quality sucks (peeling AR filters and under speced capacitors) it will be too late. All the quality manufactures will be out of business and all you will be left with is to sift through the junk that is currently available. Good job Wal-Mart Joe consumers, you really showed those manufactures.
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post #17 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JWhip View Post

While $2 to $3k is not cheap, the Kuros were $5,500 for a 50" and $6,500 to $7,000 for a 60 inch. Now that is a small market and not big enough to support their business model. As much as I love my 141, I would not have paid that kind of money for it, hence, the end of Pioneer's TV division.

I paid ~$7K when the 141 first came out and think it is one of the best investments I've made. Who else can say they have the best TV almost 4 years after they purchased it? Again you get what you pay for. And remember, those were Elites models you listed. My sister-in-law purchased a Pioneer 5020 back then for $2K.

Now keep in mind, Pioneer's competition to the 141/151 was the V10. At the time, Panasonic was selling their 65" V10 for $4K while the 151 was selling for $6500. If you look at it at face value, you would say, "$2K+ extra for a 5" smaller screen. I'm taking the V10, hands down." Now look how that turned out. Those consumers are looking at their sets deteriorate only after a few years. Their blacks are nowhere close to when they purchased their sets. If it were me, and I bought a V10 over a 151, I would have felt like I wasted $4K instead of saved $2K.

But again, the quality is only realized until it is too late. Now that Pioneer is out of business, plasmas haven't advanced ONE BIT since 2008/2009 which is a shame (and no, I'm not counting stupid gimmicks like 3D or internet apps). We should have infinite blacks by now. Instead, we have freakin' 3D and Netflix on TVs, which is an AWFUL trade for better picture quality. But hey, Wal-Mart Joe can now get a 50" "flat screen" for $1000 and brag to his friends. YEAH!!!
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post #18 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micker View Post

Vizio is the #1 hdtv seller right now. Do I have to say anymore....

90% of the electronic consumers either don't care about the best, can't afford the best or have no idea what makes the best the best. They see 1080p or some other number and assume that is all that matters. Yeah a Ferrari has a V8 and so does an old station wagon. Does that mean they perform the same?? Its such a stupid numbers game, consumers are stupid and uneducated. Like people quoting dynamic contrast ratios, Oooh this is one trillion to one OMG!! Makes you wonder if they just pick numbers out of a hat.

Pioneer would have run all the other companies out of town if they could have produced the Kuros at a competitive price. Once you hit the $3K+ mark, I would imagine your customer base starts to shrivel up. At that point you need to either be rich or a REAL enthusiast to think about spending that much on a tv. I don't even know one person who calibrates their tv after they take it out of the box, and these people are going to care enough to spend a premium price on a tv??

IMO, Pioneer's real failure was in their marketing, which was pretty much non existent. If Monster can sell $200 cables and Bose can sell their junk at a premium, Pioneer could have sold their TVs like hot cakes with the correct marketing campaign. 99% of the consumers are stupid, if you understand that, you can sell anything to them.

And does anyone else feel like the plasma and LCD sections are boring now that Pioneer is out of the game? I remember the excitement around here when Pioneer was set to release their new displays. Now, not so much.
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post #19 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Scottyb09 View Post

That is correct, LaoChe. Look at headphones - given the number of people who currently listen to music on iPods/iPhones, look how many listen to either to stock earbuds or cheap Gummies. People are shocked when they hear how much I paid for my Klipsch and B&W headphones, even though they are amazing and I use them all the time. 'Crap' seems to have become the norm nowadays with the onset of digital technology

I love how "Beats" headphones are now audiophile headphones in the general consumer's mind. Why is that? Marketing. Just like Bose. B&W? What is that? A car? I'm looking for some high end speakers, not a car. Do you carry Bose?
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post #20 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by LaoChe View Post

I paid ~$7K when the 141 first came out and think it is one of the best investments I've made. Who else can say they have the best TV almost 4 years after they purchased it? Again you get what you pay for. And remember, those were Elites models you listed. My sister-in-law purchased a Pioneer 5020 back then for $2K.

Now keep in mind, Pioneer's competition to the 141/151 was the V10. At the time, Panasonic was selling their 65" V10 for $4K while the 151 was selling for $6500. If you look at it at face value, you would say, "$2K+ extra for a 5" smaller screen. I'm taking the V10, hands down." Now look how that turned out. Those consumers are looking at their sets deteriorate only after a few years. Their blacks are nowhere close to when they purchased their sets. If it were me, and I bought a V10 over a 151, I would have felt like I wasted $4K instead of saved $2K.

But again, the quality is only realized until it is too late. Now that Pioneer is out of business, plasmas haven't advanced ONE BIT since 2008/2009 which is a shame (and no, I'm not counting stupid gimmicks like 3D or internet apps). We should have infinite blacks by now. Instead, we have freakin' 3D and Netflix on TVs, which is an AWFUL trade for better picture quality. But hey, Wal-Mart Joe can now get a 50" "flat screen" for $1000 and brag to his friends. YEAH!!!

I'll state it again... blaming the customer is a losing proposition. It always has been and always will be. If Pioneer can't stay in business by charging $6500 for a TV then they didn't deserve to survive, regardless of how good that TV is.

Now if you want to talk about "entitlement" as you did... Pioneer Electronics wasn't entitled to a huge customer base for their very expensive televisions.
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post #21 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 07:45 PM
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I'll state it again... blaming the customer is a losing proposition. It always has been and always will be. If Pioneer can't stay in business by charging $6500 for a TV then they didn't deserve to survive, regardless of how good that TV is.

Now if you want to talk about "entitlement" as you did... Pioneer Electronics wasn't entitled to a huge customer base for their very expensive televisions.

And I'll make it even clearer for you, the blame lies solely on the consumer for what the market will allow. A company can't blame consumers and stay in business. They either produce what the consumer wants, or go out of business. And obviously, consumers have made it VERY clear they will not pay for quality or better performance. What they want is cheap and big, and that is what is being produced now. So when a consumer complains now about low quality products manufactures are producing, the blame lies solely on themselves. That is what you demanded, and that is what is being produced. It's a simple as that. Simple economics.

As for Pioneer, they were not entitled to anything. They made poor business decision and incorrectly marketed their key product which helped lead to their downfall. No one owed Pioneer anything. They weren't running a charity. They produced quality products and their prices reflected that. However, quality was something consumers weren't willing to pay for.
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post #22 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
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So did Pioneer sell the rights to their technology? If so, why isnt it being used? Surely, by now, the parts used to make Elite Pioneer plasmas would be cost effective. Is it the same reason huge corporations buy out the smaller more advanced guys, just to bury them, and push the inferior stuff at lower prices?
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post #23 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 09:47 PM
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I am selling tinfoil hats on my website. Please, companies rarely buy technology to "bury it and push the inferior stuff at lower prices." What exactly is that business model?

"Hey, let's buy this good technology and then bury it so we can sell a bad one for less money. Then we'll be out the burial money but won't have grown our market one bit."

No one does this.

Do sometimes companies buy technology and then fail to commercialize it? Of course. But the purpose of that is not to sell low priced, inferior technology.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #24 of 72 Old 07-08-2011, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I am selling tinfoil hats on my website. Please, companies rarely buy technology to "bury it and push the inferior stuff at lower prices." What exactly is that business model?

"Hey, let's buy this good technology and then bury it so we can sell a bad one for less money. Then we'll be out the burial money but won't have grown our market one bit."

No one does this.

Do sometimes companies buy technology and then fail to commercialize it? Of course. But the purpose of that is not to sell low priced, inferior technology.


No its meant to bury the competition. Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Apple, Monsanto, Big Oil, pharmaceutical companies, etc... The big companies have little to gain in pushing technology or anything else that their own R&D hasnt produced. It all comes down to cost vs reward.
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post #25 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 12:27 AM
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Basically, it's like this: Pull Joe Sixpack off the street and have him stand in front of a Nissan 350Z (entry-level version), a Porsche Boxster, and a Porsche Boxster S. Ask them which one performs the best and which one he would like to buy (knowing the cost differences across the cars). Joe will most likely tell you that they are all sports cars and are all fun to drive. So, he'll buy the least expensive one (the Nissan). Yes, Pioneer TV's (even before the Kuro line) were considered by many (myself included) to be best-in-class. However, there are simply not enough consumers who are willing to pay a premium price for that level of quality.

What? No he wouldn't.

Anyway, so who's picking up the high-end tech for plasma?
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post #26 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 12:30 AM
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And I'll make it even clearer for you, the blame lies solely on the consumer for what the market will allow. A company can't blame consumers and stay in business. They either produce what the consumer wants, or go out of business. And obviously, consumers have made it VERY clear they will not pay for quality or better performance. What they want is cheap and big, and that is what is being produced now. So when a consumer complains now about low quality products manufactures are producing, the blame lies solely on themselves. That is what you demanded, and that is what is being produced. It's a simple as that. Simple economics.

As for Pioneer, they were not entitled to anything. They made poor business decision and incorrectly marketed their key product which helped lead to their downfall. No one owed Pioneer anything. They weren't running a charity. They produced quality products and their prices reflected that. However, quality was something consumers weren't willing to pay for.


Well, it's not that the blame goes to the consumer for making the conscious decision to buy less quality. The blame lies in the consumer's hands simply because we obviously don't care enough to do our research beforehand. We'll buy any gimmick out there. We're dumb.
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post #27 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by LaoChe View Post

And I'll make it even clearer for you, the blame lies solely on the consumer for what the market will allow. A company can't blame consumers and stay in business. They either produce what the consumer wants, or go out of business. And obviously, consumers have made it VERY clear they will not pay for quality or better performance. What they want is cheap and big, and that is what is being produced now. So when a consumer complains now about low quality products manufactures are producing, the blame lies solely on themselves. That is what you demanded, and that is what is being produced. It's a simple as that. Simple economics.

As for Pioneer, they were not entitled to anything. They made poor business decision and incorrectly marketed their key product which helped lead to their downfall. No one owed Pioneer anything. They weren't running a charity. They produced quality products and their prices reflected that. However, quality was something consumers weren't willing to pay for.

All of that I certainly agree with except I don't think there's a large contingent of TV buyers who are complaining about quality. I have two Samsung plasmas, the older is now four years old. It's been absolutely trouble free. Is it as good as a Kuro (which had yet to be released at the time)? No, but it's still a very good television and hasn't given me any trouble.

I'm not blaming myself for not buying a Pioneer. Was their TV worth more? I thought so and would have paid more for it than the Samsung. Was it worth the premium they were demanding? No, it wasn't at the time and in hindsight it still wasn't. Despite a better PQ, it was a worse value. Apparently many other shoppers of expensive TVs (all of these big TVs are somewhat expensive, relatively) thought the same.
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post #28 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 05:21 AM
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Despite a better PQ, it was a worse value. Apparently many other shoppers of expensive TVs (all of these big TVs are somewhat expensive, relatively) thought the same.

This comment doesnt make sense to me - A TVs job is to show us a pretty image so the one that does it the best cant be a "bad" value, can it? Unless you mean the extra costs only resulted in trivial gains, which I dont agree with. Even then, I paid quite a bit more for for my 8th gen KURO than other sets on the market at the time and I feel it was a super value. Why? It still looks better than much of whats out there right now and in the TV/electronics industry its extremely rare to have 3-4 year old products outperforming newer ones. Just doesnt happen.

I see what you mean about consumers and having to build what they want and all that but a lot of people still paid a good buck for very average or worse TVs. They may have saved a grand or two but they got a sub-par product that they'll end up replacing sooner than normal so where is the savings in that case? Oh well.
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post #29 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 06:18 AM
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A simpler answer is that viewed in the same sales space, normally too brightly lighted, the LCD panel will be judged as the better picture. Flash the right marketing content, birght skies with puffy clouds, snow scenes, and absense of dark scenes with real blacks, and again, the LCD prevails. When my friends view my Kuro, they all react that it's the best picture they've ever seen, even those with recent Panasonic plasmas, which I also now own. The real question would be "Did Panasonic really buy the rights to the Kuro technology?", and "If so, when will this show up in Panasonic panels?"

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So did Pioneer sell the rights to their technology? If so, why isnt it being used? Surely, by now, the parts used to make Elite Pioneer plasmas would be cost effective. Is it the same reason huge corporations buy out the smaller more advanced guys, just to bury them, and push the inferior stuff at lower prices?

They did, (the agreement was signed May 15, 2009) as confirmed in Pioneer's 2009 annual report. Panasonic aquired both the KURO technology and the related patents. Panasonic had been exploring the technology since 2009.

There were high hopes that the KURO technology would show up in the Panasonic 2010 models. As we all know... it didn't. Instead the "Infinite Black" technology showed up, which Panasonic has stated is not the Pioneer tech. Panasonic has also stated that they do not plan to use the technology aquired from Pioneer.

So the questions remain... Why did they aquire it in the first place? To keep it away from the competition? Will it actually show up again at some point in the future? Is the current "Infinite Black 2" panel some hybrid of Panny's tech and Pioneers? Panasonic does claim that the 2011 models have fixed the rising black levels, that where realized in the 2010 models. Only time will tell if this is a fact.

The questions remain unanswered.
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post #30 of 72 Old 07-09-2011, 06:50 AM
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This comment doesnt make sense to me - A TVs job is to show us a pretty image so the one that does it the best cant be a "bad" value, can it? Unless you mean the extra costs only resulted in trivial gains, which I dont agree with. Even then, I paid quite a bit more for for my 8th gen KURO than other sets on the market at the time and I feel it was a super value. Why? It still looks better than much of whats out there right now and in the TV/electronics industry its extremely rare to have 3-4 year old products outperforming newer ones. Just doesnt happen.

I see what you mean about consumers and having to build what they want and all that but a lot of people still paid a good buck for very average or worse TVs. They may have saved a grand or two but they got a sub-par product that they'll end up replacing sooner than normal so where is the savings in that case? Oh well.

Oh I understand you found the Kuro to be "higher value" which is obviously why you bought it. However, I would guess there was a price even you wouldn't have been willing to pay. For 98% of flat panel HDTV shoppers, the value of the Pioneer Kuro was judged to be lower than the price. Therefore, they bought something else.

What I think some here are mad about is most other HDTV buyers didn't perceive the value of Pioneer plasmas to be as high as they did. Consequently, Pioneer was forced to go out of that business.
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