Saturday, October 11, 2008

panels will be supplied by Panasonic

In an effort to control costs Pioneer is outsourcing its plasma panel production. The third generation Kuro, which would have been Pioneer's tenth generation (10G) panel, will have plasma panels that are supplied by Panasonic (Matsushita). The panel consists of the glass and the plasma module. As part of the deal, Pioneer will share some panel construction technology with Panasonic that will likely be used in future Panasonic plasmas. It is interesting that Pioneer says that "performance isn't solely built around the glass or the module." The video processing circuitry and color filter will still be built by Pioneer which is how the Kuro will distinguish itself from the Panasonic plasma HDTVs.

The 2008 Pioneer 9G Kuro's are available in 50" and 60" sizes. The 2008 Panasonic 80U, 85U, 800U, and 850U plasmas are available in 42", 46", 50", 58", and 65" sizes. Since Panasonic will be building the panels for Pioneer it is likely that this generation of Kuro will be available in new sizes: 50", 58", and 65". Pioneer has a deal with Sharp to build Kuro LCD displays so the existence of a 46" Kuro plasma is very unlikely.

For more details read the Sound & Vision interview with Pioneer VP Russ Johnston.

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