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Pioneer Unveils New DVD, Video Lineups

A new compact laptop DVD player featuring a 7″ flip-open 16:9 LCD viewscreen tops a line of Pioneer-branded DVD video players slated for shipment later this fall. The new DVD line was recently introduced to members of the press in New York along with a slate of Pioneer’s Elite-line home audio and video products.

Pioneer said the laptop DVD player, model PDV-LC10, will be its first portable in the U.S. market. The company previously marketed an earlier version in Japan. The new laptop is positioned to compete with Panasonic’s successful DVD-L10 and new DVD-L50 portable DVD players.

Pioneer spokesman Chris Walker said a price for the PDV-LC10 has not been set, but it will likely sell for slightly more than the $1,099.95 suggested retail price announced by Panasonic for its new DVD-L50. Walker explained the added cost is related to the larger LCD screen, which is 2″ larger than the one in Panasonic’s newest portable.

Features in the PDV-L10 include DTS and Dolby Digital passthrough, three-hour lithium-ion battery, and a 96-kHz/24-bit PCM audio digital-to-analog converter. The unit measures less than 2″ thick and 7.5″ wide.

Pioneer also showed four home component players, all of which will play back CD-R and CD-RW music discs and offer 96-kHz/24-bit audio DACs that automatically convert output of 16-bit sources, such as CDs, to 24-bit format, new onscreen menus, and component video outputs.

The entry player, model DV-525, will replace the current $399 DV-414 and will street at a lower price, Walker said, but Pioneer is holding pricing announcements until later in the year.

Model DV-626D will add a new “trick play” processor that allows refined smooth-scan fast-forward and rewind functions. The player will also be one of the first to add built-in decoders for both Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound formats.

Model DVC-302D will be Pioneer’s first three-disc carousel DVD/CD changer with built-in Dolby Digital decoder and DTS pass-through capability.

Pioneer’s first Divx player, model DVX-1000, will ship in the same time frame. The unit has similar features to the DV-626D, but without trick play.

Walker said Pioneer also plans to have 58W” and 53W” rear-projection HDTV-ready sets in the Pioneer and Elite lines this fall. The company is working on its own DTV-decoder systems, he said, and may have a Pioneer-built system next year. Currently, Pioneer builds CRT rear-projection sets for Sharp, which builds DTV-decoding set-tops for Pioneer.