It wasn't long ago that Pioneer was selling a line of Elite plasma HDTVs. In 2009, Pioneer abandoned the TV business to focus on other efforts. Now, it appears the Elite brand will be available on TVs once again.
Sharp will license Pioneer's Elite brand for a line of high-end flat-panel displays the company plans to introduce in the US and Canada this year. Pioneer currently uses the Elite brand with lines of high-end audio/video receivers, Blu-ray Disc players and speakers.
"As a leader in large-screen LCD TV, we are excited to collaborate with Pioneer to bring a high-end LCD TV to the Elite consumer," stated John Herrington, Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America president. "The Elite brand is highly respected in the high-end market, and Sharp can deliver the quality and innovation that Elite customers demand."
By licensing the Elite brand, Sharp hopes to expand the distribution of its large-scale TVs into high-end specialty A/V dealers. Pioneer will also gain from the availability of large-screen TVs that complement its line of home-theater components. The new Elite line of LCD TVs will be marketed by both Sharp and Pioneer.
"Adding a line of high-end flat-panel TVs fills a market need in the industry and will help reinforce the strength of a complete Elite home-theater offering," said Russ Johnston, Pioneer USA home electronics department executive VP. "With its cutting-edge LCD technology and unmatched production capabilities, Sharp is an important strategic collaborator that will deliver a whole new dimension to the large-screen home-theater experience."