Atlanta - Pioneer came to the CEDIA Expo
with its first 3D Blu-ray players, an Android app and some positive words about
its growing share of the A/V receiver market.
The Blu-ray players are the BDP-430 and
the Elite series BDP-41FD and BDP-43FD. All feature PC networking that was
lacking in the models they will replace. The new DLNA 1.5-certified models stream
audio, video and pictures from a networked PC or NAS drive.
The new models also expand the selection
of Internet streaming services accessible over a home network, adding Pandora
and another soon-to-be-announced music service. The services will join the
Netflix and YouTube services accessible on the players that will be replaced.
All three new models will also feature
optional Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n dongle to connect to a Wi-Fi network, and they'll
feature an HD GUI.
The trio will ship in late November or
early December at prices that will be the same or less than their predecessors,
which were MAP-priced at $299, $399, and $499, said Chris Walker, director of
product planning and marketing.
Going forward, all new Pioneer Blu-ray
players will be 3D, he added.
To control the players and Pioneer AVRs,
the company is developing an app that will enable Android-based smartphones to control
all Pioneer Blu-ray and AVR functions via Wi-Fi, effectively replacing the IR
remotes that come with the Pioneer devices. The Android app, said to be due
soon, also displays a menu of a networked PC's audio, video and digital-imaging
content. Via the phones' DLNA-server capability, consumers will also be able to
push PC content from the PC to the Blu-ray player.
Pioneer already offers an iPod/iPhone
app that controls a limited number of Pioneer functions, and a planned upgrade
will enable the app to view a menu of content in a networked PC's iTunes
application. Apple's iPods and iPhones, however, don't support DLNA server
capability, Pioneer said.
On business topics, home entertainment
division VP Russ Johnston said the company's AVR unit share shot up to a strong
number two beginning April 2009 from monthly shares that fluctuated among third,
fourth and fifth place. Johnston cited the expansion of front-panel
iPod/iPhone-controlling USB ports in every AVR from $299 and up, making the
purchase of $100 docks unnecessary. The USB ports access an iPod/iPhone's PCM
outputs, and they stream composite video from a connected iPod. An iPod-to-USB
cable is included with the AVRs.
Pioneer increased its AVR business
"significantly" without expanding the company's distribution base, Johnston
Pioneer AVR sales are also up this year
because of renewed growth in the AVR market, whose unit sellthrough for each of
the past six months has been running 6-12 percent over last year, he said. The
industry is up because 3D-capable HDMI 1.4a inputs and outputs are giving
dealers "a reason to present an AVR," he said.
Recent AVR market growth marks the first
time in three years that AVR sales have grown year-over-year, Johnston noted.
<strong>CEDIA 2010</strong> Atlanta - Pioneer came to the CEDIA Expo with its first 3D Blu-ray players, an Android app and some positive words about its growing share of the A/V receiver market.