Pioneer plots a Kuro-less future in the home theater market

If you were afraid that the post-Kuro Pioneer would retreat to car audio, fear not, because the company has plans to soldier on in the HT space with a marketing message that emphasizes both its A/V specialty roots and "balanced" home-A/V product lineup. As much as we love those Kuro plasmas, there's no denying that the prices didn't exactly jive well with the company's efforts to get consumers to recognize the value proposition in its other products. We'll admit that everyday consumers (read: not Engadget HD readers) looking to assemble a one-brand system could have been scared off of the Pioneer name by the Kuro prices, but we wish Pioneer would have kept its plasmas around as an "aspirational" product and allowed shoppers to cross-shop displays by building in deep, off-brand HDMI-CEC support into its other electronics. Wiping our fanboy tears aside, we have to give Pioneer credit -- its current lineup of electronics (AVRs especially) stack up competitively on the value-o-meter; which is good, because with companies like Denon, Onkyo and Yamaha around, it's in for a tough fight.