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Pioneer Showcases Home Networking Project for Easy Sharing of Video, Music and Photos


LAS VEGAS, NV -- Jan. 5, 2005 -- Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. showcased for retailers at the Consumer Electronics Show this week a concept expansion card that allows consumers to network their digital entertainment content including digital video, music files and photos in high-definition quality directly to a Pioneer plasma using a Windows XP-based computer and Windows Media Connect. Instead of developing a separate component, Pioneer and Microsoft Corp. collaborated on an expansion card that fits into certain Pioneer professional plasmas and supports networking using Media Connect, and supports Windows Media Audio and Video, and Windows Media DRM 10 for networked devices. This enables a PlaysForSure-capable plasma display that can that can access various types of media content from a Windows XP-based PC -- both personal and commercial content purchased or rented from audio and video download and subscription services. The concept expansion card is part of ongoing research initiative to determine the easiest method to create in-home entertainment networks.

While Pioneer collaborated with Microsoft to develop a simpler way for consumers to access their computer-based video, music and digital photos on their Pioneer plasma display, the same technology could be used to enable a business to offer remote desktop access, Web browsing, power point displays, teleconferencing and other business applications on a Pioneer plasma display in a boardroom or meeting room.

Many of Pioneer’s plasma displays utilize an open architecture expansion slot technology that enables an expansion card to be inserted in the plasma to add functionality. By utilizing an expansion card, end-users can change their plasma display to meet changing needs. Expansion cards for Pioneer plasmas have been developed by several third-party manufacturers and offer functionality including high definition tuning, video wall processing, wireless enabling, touch-screen capability, videoconferencing, real-time image scaling and multi-PC functionality.

Pioneer and Microsoft collaborated to develop a concept expansion card enabling consumers to network their digital entertainment (videos, music files, digital photos as well as recorded TV programming using MS-DVR) in high definition quality directly to the plasma using Windows Media Connect. Using this expansion board and a Windows XP computer with Windows Media Connect, no additional software is required for the described functions. The plasma can be connected to the PC through a wired or wireless connection.

“This project fits in line with Pioneer objectives of offering the greatest high definition entertainment experience to consumers as well as Pioneer’s goal to help the development of the networked home. This concept could help consumers realize a truly dynamic viewing experience,” said Russ Johnston, senior vice president of marketing for home entertainment at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

The concept expansion board will be “road tested” with retailers during the Consumer Electronics Show and in consumer focus groups following the show. Based on feedback from dealers and potential end users, next steps for the expansion card will be determined.

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. is headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., and its U.S. Web address is Its parent company, Pioneer Corporation, is a leader in optical disc technology and a preeminent manufacturer of high-performance audio, video, computer and cable equipment for the home, car and business markets. The company focuses on four core business domains including DVD, display technologies, Digital Network Entertainment and components. Founded in 1938 in Tokyo, Pioneer Corporation (NYSE:PIO) employs more than 36,000 people worldwide. Its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.


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