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Pioneer debuts video turntable

Pioneer debuted a digital video turntable at the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday that allows DJs to use music videos like audio tracks.
/ Source: Reuters

Hey DJ, spin that movie for me.

Pioneer Corp.’s  Pioneer Electronics on Wednesday introduced a digital video turntable that lets night club disc jockeys spin, scratch, loop and queue music videos just like they do with audio tracks.

The debut at the Consumer Electronics Show, which officially opens on Thursday with 130,000 expected visitors, was another example of the move by Pioneer, long known for its audio, into the video world.

Tom Haga, president of Pioneer Electronics USA, said the company saw three market opportunities for the year — flat-panel televisions, mainstream adoption of DVD recorders and in-car navigation and multimedia products.

The company maintained its goal for production capacity of more than 500,000 plasma panels by January 2005 and said it was adding manufacturing capacity for such displays in southern California this summer. Its production has been confined to Japan so far.

By this summer, executives said, Pioneer also plans to offer four digital cable-ready high-definition plasma screens.

Haga said the company was unconcerned with aggressive competition by PC makers like Dell Inc. and Gateway Inc. in the flat-panel TV market.

“We welcome these people ... which are likely to help increase consumer awareness,” Haga said. “It’s really boosting us — and helping sales, too.”

Pioneer is pushing DVD recorders, but executives said they were in no rush to release the next generation of such devices, despite the fact that competitors like LG Electronics plan to release them this year.

Haga also said the company remained committed, at least in the near term, to both Pioneer’s own electronic programming guide for TV and the service provided by digital video recording company TiVo Inc.

Pioneer produces the only combination TiVo and DVD recorder at the moment.