By Chris Nicholls

MELBOURNE: Pioneer Australia has hit out against the broadcast signal quality of local free-to-air high definition channels, saying the signal is so poor, it is hindering sales of their Kuro plasmas.

In a face to face interview with, Pioneer Australia managing director Yasuo Sakuma said poor signal quality in retail shops, especially compared with higher quality Japanese signals meant customers could not tell the difference between the higher quality of their Kuro televisions and their cheaper rivals.

“At this moment, it’s [the price difference] about a 180 per cent price gap to Panasonic, and the picture quality is of course better, but most people cannot tell.”

“Channels Nine, Seven and Ten, the picture quality of the broadcast is so poor, people can’t tell the difference [between televisions].

“This is our disadvantage. At the store front, people come to the stores and usually, they spend 15 seconds, 10 seconds, to look at the brand and set. Unfortunately, at the store front, it’s not the retailer’s fault, (well, it is partially), but the signal itself [piped into the televisions] has a lot of noise. So you cannot tell the difference.

“[People say] ‘How come Pioneer is so much higher [in price] than the others? The picture difference is good, but not justified in such a price range.’”

However, as Sakuma mentioned previously, Pioneer has decided to expand their smaller, independent store distribution, which Sakuma said would give them a better chance to get their message across.