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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

TVs, Displays and Mounts

For Pioneer, “Word of Mouth” is More Like A Vision

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Pioneer’s campaign for its new high-end Kuro includes a black-and-white 30-second spot called "Mouth," where a woman's lips are seen close-up. As she smiles, licks her lips and mockingly bites, the camera pulls back to show the mouth is really the pupil of an eyeball. Print and outdoor ads use similar surrealistic, monochromatic images (a hand where the fingers have ears and a chest with an eye in the middle.)

The new tagline for the home entertainment division is "Seeing and hearing like never before." (The rest of the company, such as sound systems, prefers t the extent "Sound. Vision. Soul.").

Pioneer explains the campaign in this way: Consumers today are overwhelmed by specs and tech jargon. So the company decided to pull away from the tech talk and evoke the emotional dimensions.

In a way, this rationale is not so different from how Philips is playing its new Aurea TV. Either great minds think alike and the TV buyer market has shifted…or the company will shut its “Mouth.”

Go Kuro-osity

Makers Shift to Small HD TVs

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Sharp will shift from producing 40in and 50in TVs towards smaller, high-definition TV.

Last year Sharp started producing a full high-def 32in LCD TV aimed at video gamers, and now they’re launching the world’s smallest full high-def 22in and 26in LCD TVs. Why?

At first, Sharp admits they were a little skeptical about the demand for smaller high-definition TVs. But the company was forced to look again after Sharp’s president admitted sales of 40in and larger LCD TVs “nose-dived” in the critical US market after July.

Now Sharp finds demand for smaller high-def flat screens is increasing as consumers look to install additional TVs in other rooms in the home (or use them to play video games, computer screen etc).

Sony also says it wants to strengthen its smaller LCD TV line-up in the European market. Look for Japan Inc. to adapt to these changing consumer tastes and others to follow.

Go Sharp

Go Sony


Venice-style LCD Mounts (OK, No Gondolas)

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G&BL A.V.M. Engineering Srl, with offices in Italy and Germany, cites the “famous Murano taste” as inspiration for the all-new “Venice” line of TV racks for LCD and Plasma monitors. Murano is an island in the Venice lagoon with a reputation for beautiful glasswork.

Awarded as “Best of Show” in its category at Top Hi Fi show in Milan, these TV stands are built with multi-layered strengthened glass (attractive and yet resistant to wear.) The units offer two shelves of crystal for electronic equipment; and the big vertical plate has four holes that allow cables to pass through. Available in various formats up to 42”, the Venice line floats a counterpart to the LCD and Plasma figureheads of display.

Go Venice

Philips Glows with Aurea

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“Aurea” means “golden” in Latin so now you know what Philips expects from their new range of high-end flat screen TVs.

Philips sees as Aurea as an iconic design piece, a revolution in TV viewing, and will invest $50 million in promotion with a 7-minute film on seduction by light created for Philips by famed director Wong Kar Wai.

Expanding the halo success of Philips Ambilight, Aurea is an active frame that envelopes the picture in an ever changing glow of LED light that matches the colors on the screen. (Hence our Aurea photo series we like to call, “Aurea Borealis.”)

Available in a 42” HD LCD model with 1080p viewing experience and more than 6.2 million RGB pixels, Aurea uses Philips’ proprietary Pixel Perfect HD engine.

A sleek remote control, probably from those clever Pronto guys down in Leuven, lets viewers control the lights (brightness/immersion) by switching levels from any of three levels (off/dynamic/relaxed).

Go Aurea and Wong Kar Wai film

Why Sharp Wants Pioneer

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Why Sharp Wants Pioneer

 With 14% of Pioneer’ shares, Sharp will now become Pioneer’s biggest stockholder. Sharp will sell less than 1% of its shares to Pioneer to complete the Osaka-Tokyo business and capital alliance.

This Sharp/Pioneer deal demonstrates the on-going re-alignment of Japan's consumer-electronics sector. This year Sony sold off several non-core businesses. Matsushita struck a deal with Kenwood to take JVC/Victor Co. of Japan off its books. Sanyo wants to sell its semiconductor-chip business. Pentax agreed to an offer from lens maker Hoya.

Most companies in Japan's consumer electronics industry compete to sell similar products, limiting revenue growth and profitability. Yes, you can expect more Japan Inc. deals.

Sharp hopes to reduce costs in HD DVD players and enter the car navigation market via this deal. Pioneer, with losses in the last three years, will gain a Sugar Daddy, the backing of a financially-larger organization.

“Our business will remain independent,'' Pioneer President Tamihiko Sudo told press. “Our plasma display business is our core operation, and it will remain so.''

Go to Sharp/Pioneer Alliance