“Specified, produced and sold” by Dixons does not exactly instill confidence in the project of reviving Pioneer’s TV brand. But there will be “significant Pioneer involvement” in the process, according to Pioneer who spoke with TechRadar.
Pioneer will be involved in new Pioneer TV project
Pioneer produced some of the best TVs in history under the Kuro brand. In fact, FlatpanelsHD awarded our first Reference Award since Kuro to Panasonic’s VT60 just this year, four years after Pioneer designed the last Kuro TV.
It came as a surprise when it was announced last week that Pioneer TVs will make a comeback in Europe, but the announcement also said that “Dixons Retail has been granted the exclusive rights to source, develop, produce and sell Pioneer TVs in selected European markets”, which undoubtedly put a damper on expectations.
The statement is true, but Pioneer says that there will be significant Pioneer involvement.
- "Dixons will develop the products, but we will oversee and check their specifications," Pioneer UK sales manager Geoff Wood told TechRadar. - "It's our brand name on the front, after all. For a TV to carry our brand, we have to be happy with it…"
What that statement means exactly is up to you to interpret. It is not clear who will produce and assemble the Pioneer-branded TVs for Dixons, but the TVs will not be cheap, according to Wood. And the TVs might even make it to USA, "I suspect Best Buy will also be taking a close look at this deal," reveals Wood.
Pioneer produced a line of unsuccessful LCD TVs in the last year of operation. It looked like this
The new Pioneer is not the old Pioneer
Pioneer-branded TVs have been sold in China for some years now, but it is not clear if the European TVs will come from the same manufacturer. Wood tells TechRadar that Dixons has had a crush on the Pioneer brand since they quit the business.
- "When we stopped making plasmas, Dixons were on the phone straight away. They've been calling ever since, they've always been keen." he said.
None of this is a guarantee for success, but it might give you some comfort that Pioneer is at least involved. Still, Pioneer sold their most significant technologies and IP to Panasonic many years ago. And we suspect that all of Pioneer’s TV engineers have moved on to new adventures... We reserve judgment - with a healthy dose of skepticism – until we see the first Dixons’ Pioneer-branded TVs. They will debut in the Nordic countries in December 2013, and are expected to arrive in UK in early 2014.