By Chris Nicholls

TOKYO: Pioneer has followed its decision to cease making its own plasma panels with the announcement it will enter the LCD display market by autumn this year (northern hemisphere), focusing on Europe first. 

While Pioneer has had a tie-up agreement with Sharp for approximately a year, the move is the first sign of the partnership’s fruits. The new LCD televisions will use technology from both companies, and Pioneer announced it will work with Sharp engineers to continue pursuing its ‘Kuro’ technology.

Sharp is also expected to benefit from this partnership with Pioneer technology in its Aquos television lines, while Pioneer also has been working with Sharp for the past year to create super-thin speakers with high audio quality for both companys’ upcoming super-thin televisions.

Pioneer also announced it will work with Sharp to develop Blu-ray players and recorders, especially pick-ups and drives. By developing their Blu-ray player and recorder technology together, Pioneer said both firms could increase their development efficiencies and reduce costs by increasing manufacturing numbers.

In other partnerships, Sharp mobile phones in Japan will make use of Pioneer’s navigation technology, while Sharp’s in-car entertainment systems will also use Pioneer technology.

Pioneer said concrete details of further developments, as well as the co-developed televisions, will be announced at the CETAC show in autumn (northern hemisphere) this year in Japan.