twice connect
careers

Universal DVDs, DVD-R/-RW Get Pioneer Nod

1/27/2003 02:00:00 AM Eastern

LAS VEGAS — Pioneer stepped up its commitment to the DVD-R/-RW format and to universal SACD/DVD-Audio/Video players here at CES, where it also committed itself to year-end shipments of a high-definition plasma TV with integrated digital-cable and ATSC tuners.

Pioneer, however, conditioned the shipment of the digital-cable-ready TV on the FCC's quick approval of the digital-cable compatibility agreement recently reached by the consumer electronics and cable industries. "We're confident the FCC will act quickly," said home-entertainment marketing VP Craig McManis.

In DVD recorder announcements, Pioneer unveiled its first DVD-RW recorder with built-in hard drive, priced at a suggested $999 and targeted for summer shipments. The 80GB model will compete in a small but growing field of hard-drive-equipped DVD-recorders, including Toshiba's first model. They provide short-term hard-drive storage of recorded TV programs, long-term archiving of TV programs on blank discs, and the transfer of home movies from tape to DVD.

Pioneer's DVD-RW/hard-drive recorder lacks electronic program guide but features 181-channel cable tuner, as does a new opening-price DVD-recorder that lacks a hard drive. That model ships in the summer at a suggested $625 and an expected everyday retail of less than $500, significantly lower than the company's current opening price of about $1,700 in Pioneer's upscale Elite series. Both new models feature one-button recording and, like other DVD recorders, "will replace VCRs," McManis said.

In universal DVD players, Pioneer introduced its lowest priced model to date, a $270-suggested single-disc model due in June. Pioneer's previous opening price was $499 suggested for an Elite series model.

The new universal player and three of four new DVD-equipped home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB) systems are the company's first to play Windows Media Audio-encoded music CDs. The new models also play MP3 CDs and display digital photos burned onto a disc.

In the future, it's "likely" that Pioneer will add SACD playback to all future home DVD-Audio players, said Tom Haga, president of Pioneer Home Entertainment.

In other introductions, the company launched its first Pioneer-series HTiB systems with universal players, complementing Elite-series universal-player systems that shipped late last year.

The two new universal-player HTiB systems feature progressive-scan capabilities and Dolby Digital EX/DTS ES 6.1-channel decoding. One is the HTD-630DV with universal five-disc DVD player and a wireless center-back speaker. That speaker wirelessly receives all three surround channels, distributes the side surround channels via wire to the left and right surround speakers, and contains all surround-channel amplification.

The second system, the HTD-530DV, also features five-disc changer. Both systems play MP3- and WMA-encoded discs and ship in the summer at unspecified prices.

A third new HTiB also features DD EX/DTS ES decoding, making them the first three Pioneer-series HTiBs with 6.1-channel technologies. The third model, the $600-suggested HTD-330DV, features five-disc DVD-Video changer, 450 watts, and playback of MP3 and WMA files.

In receivers, Pioneer showed off three EX/ES models at suggested retails of $300, $365, and $475 in its mainstream Pioneer series. They ship in March. In last year's series, EX/ES started at a suggested $475. All but the $300 model feature six-channel amp.

In car audio, the company launched its first car DVD-Audio/Video player, which features motorized retractable LCD touch screen, decoders, and all amplification in a single DIN can. It ships in May at a price to be determined.

Pioneer also expanded its selection of car CD-receivers with MP3 and WMA decoding to 10 models from four.

PHOTOS
Ultra HD OLED TVs In IFA Spotlight

At IFA, all Ultra HD makers are quickly expanding

Jack Wayman, the Father Of International CES

Tributes continue to pour in for Jack Wayman, who

Nationwide PrimeTime 2014

Scenes from Nationwide PrimeTime buy fair held in

ProSource Meeting Filled With Optimism

San Antonio — Optimism reigned at ProSource’s

Ingram Draws 500 To Spring Vendor Expo

Scottsdale, Ariz. — Ingram Micro Consumer