Orlando — Continuing its recent practice of being the first manufacturer of the year to host a dealer show, LG Electronics gave key accounts and the press a sneak peek at plans for the 2007 consumer electronics and major appliance model year here Wednesday.
This year’s show brought together for the first time both the CE and major appliance businesses and had the additional surprise of announcing that sales VP Bob Perry left the company (please see Bob Perry Leaves LG).
In kicking off the event, LG’s U.S. president Michael Ahn said the premium brand’s aided awareness “has skyrocketed to 75 percent today from 33 percent three years ago. This confirms the success of our “Life’s Good” campaign and premium product positioning.”
Ahn proclaimed LG’s status as “the No. 1 manufacturer of flat panel displays in the world,” after reportedly shipping over 47 million units during 2005, and growing its flat-panel revenue more than 90 percent in 2006.
In digital appliances, the brand moved “from the 10th largest to the third largest appliance manufacturer in the world,” he said. This year, the company plans to add new-and-improved Panorama refrigerators, SteamWashers and dishwashers, as well as the world’s first dual-convection electric range and its first gas range, he added.
In CE products, LG unveiled over 20 LCD TV models, including 11 1080p units. Enhancements to the line include improved contrast performance, a new “TruWide Viewing Angle” and “Simple Link” connectivity. Pricing was not available as this went to press.
The TruWide Viewing Angle technology, which this year is found in all LCD models 32W-inchs and larger, employs an advanced true wide polarizer to maintains a uniform contrast ratio with a viewing angle of up 178 degrees.
Select step-up units add LG’s TruMotion Drive technology, which improves moving picture response time for clearer moving picture images.
“LG Simple Link” connectivity allows control of other LG Simple Link compatible equipment, such as DVD players or home theater systems, using HDMI-CEC standard connections. Products can all be controlled via on-screen menus or directly from each component.
The line consists of four main series of LCD products offering a range of sizes from 20W- to 47W-inches:
The LC7 Series offers screen sizes ranging from 26W- to 47W-inches, the 47W-inch offering 1080p resolution. It includes the new Simple Link system, a 5,000:1 contrast ratio and advanced TruWide Viewing Angle technology.
The LB4D Series includes 32W-, 37W-, 42W- and 47W-inch models and includes 1080p resolution in many models, a TruMotion Drive, three HDMI inputs and USB Media Host (USB 2.0) for photo and music.
The LB5D Series includes the 37W-, 42W-, 47W- and 52W-inch screen sizes, all with Full HD 1080p resolution.
The LY3D Series (47W-, 52W- and 57W-inches) combines 1080p resolution with LG’s TruMotion Drive and wide color gamut backlight that expands displayable colors to 92-percent of the NTSC spectrum.
The company is also offering its LS7D Series which includes 20W- and 23W-inch LCDs, both incorporating ATSC/NTSC/QAM clear tuners.
Cosmetics were updated with high-glossy black finishes. The LC7, LB5 and LY3 Series incorporate a wave-design accent at the bottom of the panel.
Full HD 1080p capability was also added to select new plasma displays, which next year will feature 11 total models ranging in screen size from 42W- to 71W-inches.
The plasma line features three product series, including the “core” PC5D series with 42W- and 50W-inch models and two carryover models – the 60PC1D and 42PC3DV.
The PB4D series includes 42W-, 50W- and 60W-inch models with integrated HD DVRs and the PY3D series (featuring 50W- and 60W-inch models) will add 1080p resolution.
LG will continue to offer its flagship 71W-inch 1080p monitor that launched this year.
Improvements this year include 1080p inputs via HDMI and component inputs at supporting 24, 30 and 60 frame rates.
LG plasma TVs incorporate “LG Simple Link” connectivity and
New 42W- and 50W-inch models in the PC5D and PB4D series will include LG’s “Clear Filter Pro” technology that replaces the front glass filter with a thin film filter to reduce reflection.
These models also incorporate Extreme Contour Compensation (XCC) which minimizes color contouring to display more natural color transitions, LG said.
The PY3D series features three HDMI inputs and USB Media Host (USB 2.0) inputs for digital music and photos playback.
Three plasma models in the PB4 Series will feature built-in 160GB HD DVRs capable of storing up to 13 hours of HD recordings or 63 hours of standard-definition.
In white goods the focus was clearly on the kitchen. LG showed a sleek new assortment that includes a dual-convection electric range; a large-capacity dishwasher; an over-the-range (OTR) microwave with a unique pull-up door; and a new Panorama series French-door refrigerator with a vertical ice and water dispenser.
Pricing was not available at this was written.
The latter, available in standard and counter depths, features a 10-inch-tall dispenser designed to accommodate pitchers, coffeepots and tall bottles. Like its first-to-market predecessor, the dispenser is located within the refrigerator door, unlike competitive three-door models that limit the icemaker to the bottom-mount freezer compartment.
LG described its dual-convection electric range as another industry first. The unit features two convection fans, each surrounded by a heating element, for uniform baking, faster roasting, and a 30-percent reduction in pre-heating times. LG also added a 5.0-cubic-foot gas range with glass touch controls. The OTR microwave oven also represents an industry-first with its pull-up, vs. swing out, door design.
The 2007 model dishwasher features an extra large stainless steel tub with a 16-place setting capacity and versatile third rack, plus a fully-integrated LCD touch control panel.