Pioneer Sees Full Screen Going Dark

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MatS, Jun 28, 2002.

  1. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

    Jan 24, 2000
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    Allow me some leeway as this could be considered a harware topic. It is very relevant to the software crusade.
    Pioneer sees full screen going dark
    By Daniel Frankel
    JUNE 28 | LONG BEACH, Calif.--Driven by the potential of a home theater market that could grow to be worth $315 million this year, according to some analysts, Pioneer Electronic last week unveiled its new 43-inch Elite 43 PureVision plasma display for the consumer market.
    Pioneer officials anticipate that the consumer market for the flat plasma display--which delivers huge screens without the correspondingly large backside and weight of standard cathode-ray-tube TV--will buy nearly 100,000 units of the product. That will exceed the sales performance of plasma in the professional audio-visual market (corporate conference rooms, video conferencing centers, etc.) for the first time.
    The implication to video retailers is that consumers, starting on the high end, could begin to abandon traditional 4:3 aspect-ratio "pan-and-scan" TVs and convert to large-screen 16:9-capable plasma displays as they upgrade to HDTV.
    Currently, studios are releasing a larger portion of their DVDs in the 16:9 format, which more closely reproduces the theatrical environment for which the content was originally created. However, displaying a 16:9 format on a standard 4:3 TV leaves black lines on the top and bottom of the picture. For that reason, major retailers such as Wal-Mart have pressured the studios to release their DVDs in the 4:3 fullscreen format.
    Pioneer officials predict, however, that products such as plasma--a category that's descending below the $5,000 price point for display sizes above 40 inches--will soon create a consumer market that will demand only 16:9 DVDs.
    "We're not seeing the critical mass necessary to make that happen yet, but it's on the horizon," said a spokesman for Pioneer's home entertainment division.
    Pioneer also unveiled its new DVH-P7000 mobile DVD player, the company's latest attempt to maintain its 28% market share in the emerging mobile video industry.
    Targeted to soccer moms and others trying to entertain kids in the back seat, Pioneer's newest product entry allows for radio (satellite or broadcast) to be played in the front of the vehicle while DVD-Video is played in the rear.
    The entire DVH-P7000 kit--which includes the player, a 6½-inch LCD display and speakers--comes with a suggested retail price of $1,600.
    "The mobile video market is our biggest growth area," said a Pioneer spokesman. "The margins are big, and we're seeing more and more sales through automotive manufacturers. And the reason is, people are spending more time on the road."
  2. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

    Aug 3, 2001
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    Nice article! Thanks for sharing.

    Nice optimism there on Pioneer's part for the 16:9 demand, and good of the writer to pin pan-and-scan/full-frame woes where they belong, on Wal-Mart and similar stores. Is Daniel Frankel an HTF member by chance? :wink:
  3. Michael St. Clair

    May 3, 1999
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    Something like 99% of all sports broadcast in North America are broadcast in 4:3 only. Regardless of what we movie fans like to think, it is the sports fans that drive the mass market technology.

    A lot more sports programming in 16:9 is what it is going to take to greatly increase demand for 16:9 ratio...plasma is just a technology which can work in any screen ratio.

    In fact, there are more 4:3 HD sets on the market today than a year ago. Not plasma, though.
  4. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter

    Aug 25, 1999
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    Of all the consumer electronics companies, I think Pioneer has the best mindset toward the products and features that Home Theater Enthusiasts are looking for. Pioneer has been about Home Theater for many years. Long before it was the "in" thing. This is one of the reasons I continue to support Pioneer by purchasing their products. That, and because they make the best looking RP sets out there! [​IMG]
  5. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

    Dec 4, 1999
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    I know they've tried some widescreen sports broadcasts. How successful they were probably only the Nielsens know
    Way to go Pioneer! I knew I had a bunch of their hardware for a reason [​IMG]
  6. William Ward

    William Ward Supporting Actor

    Mar 1, 2000
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    CBS did a true 16/9 broadcast of an NCAA basketball game last year. You could really see alot more action than the regular 4/3 stuff. It was downconverted from the HD signal and it looked great(even on NTSC). I'd even go so far as to say that it looked better than FOX's 480"p" Super Bowl. There was little to no edge enhancement applied so there wasn't the silvery halos on the backs of the players...

    It was just the pure signal, and it looked great(just about as good as DVD).

    Unfortunately, most who complained didn't notice the better picture, only that there was letterboxing....
  7. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

    Apr 24, 1999
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    I'd like to get a flat plasma display but are they really going to become affordable anytime soon (I mean at least 40 inches for under $3000)? I want one but they're just too expensive right now- I was impressed though when I saw one in a store running that HBO demo tape- I thought it was just a sign until the picture started moving!
  8. Charles Bober

    Charles Bober Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 5, 1999
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    There are a bunch of HD sports broadcasts these days. As was mentioned the NCAA ha done it. The PGA has done it. MLB (here in Chicago, the Cubs were broadcast in HD) has done it. The NFL (Super Bowl) has done it. Hell, even the NHL (I know of at least the NY Rangers) has done it. Oh yeah, the ATP (I think that's the acronym.... U.S. Open) has done it. And I'm going strictly from memory, but I think a CART race was broadcast in HD as well.

    The market is there. With a large majority of sports fans being male, I see no issue whatsoever with guys accepting 16:9 sports programming. In fact, one of the selling points is you can see more of the playing field, and thus dramatically improving the viewing experience. The Rangers game I caught allowed me to see almost the entire ice surface. This allows fans to see an up ice rush developing as well as line changes on-the-fly which aids in seeing the entire game as an in-person spectator would.

    But hey, that's just me and my logic. YMMV.

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