Tag - KURO
Pioneer more formally bowed out of TVs today by launching four final Kuro models in Japan and setting out formal plans for its exit strategy. The external-tuner-equipped KRP-500A and KRP-600A as well as their all-in-one equivalents, the KRP-500M and KRP-600M, all produce 1080p images at 50 and 60 inches respectively. Although their contrast ratios aren't mentioned, they all have four HDMI inputs with support for deep color, support media from a USB port and have input over D4 (component) as well as VGA.
Last week, a Pioneer Electronics USA executive talked about the company abandoning the TV market and said it is considering applying its high-end Kuro brand from the high-end discontinued TVs to other products in its range. Andy Parsons, the senior VP of the company's advanced product development and corporate communications, said the company had to give up on selling TVs due to the tough economy, despite plasma displays accounting for a quarter of the company's operating revenue.
Confirming rumors, Pioneer today said it would exit TVs altogether in a bid to recover its business from an approximately $1.44 billon loss in the past year. The move will see the company quickly shut down its Castleford, UK and Pomona, California factories that make TVs and eventually phase out TVs altogether by March 2010. The departure is directly pinned on the US economic crisis and its impact on demand for TVs.
VIZIO today said that it would phase out plasma TVs entirely. Speaking to the New York Times, company executive Laynie Newsome justifies the move by noting that LCDs sell much more quickly than plasma. The difference is attributed to the perceived quality in-store: although plasmas often have deeper blacks, the brighter store lights tend to favor the lower-contrast LCD sets. In exchange, VIZIO plans to improve the features of the LCDs themselves, which lately have gained the same 240Hz and LED backlights as on high-end rivals.
Japan's Nikkei paper today warned (subscription required) that Pioneer is likely to exit the TV business. While the company has already said it would end plasma production and enter into LCDs, the new report has the electronics giant ending its TV efforts entirely and entering into a joint venture with Sharp for its DVD movie player business. Pioneer has been suffering losses despite the critical success of its Kuro plasma TVs and is also at least indirectly threatened by the current world economic crisis.
Pioneer's efforts at the CEDIA show were unveiled today and focused on updates to its Elite Blu-ray and plasma lines. The releases are led by an addition to its Elite Blu-ray players of the BDP-09FD, its new top-end reader. The device is claimed as a first in the category and adds a new 16-bit imaging engine that it says improves video decoding, particularly for upscaling; most high-end readers still use 14-bit hardware. It also stands as Pioneer's first Blu-ray Profile 2.0 player with the option of Internet features as well as upgrading the player's firmware online.
Pioneer is likely to release mid-size LCD TVs, the company said late yesterday when discussing its latest financial results. Breaking with its tradition of selling plasma TVs almost exclusively, the Japanese electronics maker says it will start offering LCDs larger than 40 inches starting from August. This will most likely include a 46-inch set, the company adds. Sharp is producing the actual display panels while Pioneer handles much of the design.
Pioneer this morning overhauled its KURO and Signature Series lines of plasma HDTVs as well as introducing a new 1080p projector. While not going into specifics, the Elite line now has better contrast ratios to produce deeper black levels as well as improved colors; the new models are also much more customizable and also pack an Optimum mode that automatically checks both the environment and the content itself to adjust both the image and audio quality on the fly, saving viewers from having to make manual adjustments at different times of the day or as they switch channels or movies.
At the High End trade show today in Munich, Pioneer announced its return to the projector market with the KURO KRF-9000FD home theater projector. The Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) KRF-9000FD is capable of displaying 1920x1080 pixel progressive video at sizes up to 14.5 by just over 8 feet. This translates to a TV screen size of 200 inches, with the minimum projected image equivalent to a 60-inch TV screen. A 2x motorized zoom lens allows a large image to be displayed in smaller rooms. The contrast ratio, at 30,000:1, is one of the best in the industry.
Pioneer's contribution to CES 2008 is headlined by new technologies that will form the basis of its KURO plasma HDTVs for the near future. Nicknamed the Extreme Contrast Concept, the first technology is the only flat-panel set known to have a theoretically infinite contrast ratio: unlike any other LCD or plasma, the ECC can completely shut off lighting to parts of the screen. This provides an absolute black where virtually every other set can only reach dark grays, Pioneer claims.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE