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LG Adds Blu-ray Player To Sound Plate

LAS VEGAS – LG is stepping up to the plate with an expanded selection of under-TV speaker bases, called Sound Plates, and two new soundbars.

The company late last year shipped the $399 120-watt 4.1-channel LAP340 Sound Plate with Bluetooth 3.0, optical digital input, embedded subwoofer and virtual surround processing. Its Sound Sync technology establishes a Bluetooth connection in lieu of a cable connection to a TV to play back TV audio.

In March, LG plans to ship one more 4.1-channel model, but this one features separate wireless subwoofer, Blu-ray player, streaming services, Wi-Fi, Miracast and HDMI with audio return channel, but no HDMI switching. The new model will also have SoundSync.

Miracast technology, certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, uses Wi-Fi Direct to wirelessly stream audio and video from Miracast-enabled mobile devices to the Sound Plate without connecting to a home’s Wi- Fi network.

The company positions Sound Plates for use with TVs in secondary rooms and for TVs with 39- to 50- inch screen sizes.

In soundbars, two new models and one carryover will constitute the 2014 selection, down from six in 2013. One will feature audio and video streaming services, as did one model in the 2013 lineup.

The carryover is the 2.1-channel NB3530A, retailing for around $299 with embedded subwoofer, Bluetooth, two optical digital inputs, wireless sub and 300-watt output. It’s designed for use with 42- inch and larger TVs.

The two new models, designated as premium pieces, ship in March.

The 4.1-channel NB3740, like the model it replaces, offers multiple audio and video streaming services, as well as LG’s smart-TV platform with downloadable apps. It features HDMI output, Bluetooth, 320-watt output and outboard wireless subwoofer. It’s designed for TVs with 47-inch screen sizes and larger and will be priced at about $100 more.

The company will also offer one low-profile unit, which features 320-watt, 4.1-channel speaker systems and wireless subwoofer. The NB5540, for 55- inch and bigger TVs, features 24-bit/192kHz audio playback.