The New Black

Henry Ford famously said that customers could buy a Model T in any color, as long as it was black. The equally famous reason, probably apocryphal, was that he chose black because it dried faster than other colors, and that let him crank up the assembly line, and crank out "flivvers" faster, and hence cheaper. Probably not as well known is that Model Ts were also available in green, red, and blue.

All of which leads us to TVs. For several years, the ubiquitous “piano finish” glossy black ruled the showroom floor. Black plastic doesn’t dry faster on the assembly line — it’s just that customers liked it. But there is a trend away from black. We’ve seen deep red colored bezels, and now Pioneer is testing the waters, at least in Europe, with new designer colors for some Kuro models . . .

Pioneer is selling the KRP-500ABG in a “Beige Grisé” color, and the KRP-500AW in white. The innards are the same as the usual black models, it’s just new skins. To make the colors more desirable (we always want what we can’t have – right?) the TVs are being sold in very limited runs. There’ll be only 1,000 of the KRP-500ABG and 1,500 of the KRP-500AW.

Limited availability, of course, until everyone wants one, then they’ll crank up the assembly line. Ken C. Pohlmann