New York — LG Electronics unveiled at its summer line show here Thursday night its first LED-based LCD TV and a third-generation Blu-ray Disc player that will be compatible with the Netflix instant-streaming video service.
In addition the company showed the latest additions to its flagship Scarlet LCD TVs — a pair of 1.8-inch deep 1080p LCD TVs, and revealed plans for a new nationwide TV recycling program.
The highlight of the showcase was LG’s third-generation Blu-ray Disc player, model
, which is slated to reach market this fall. It will be only the second set-top device compatible with the Netflix instant-streaming offering. The first was a dedicated $99 Roku player introduced earlier in the year. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 will also add the capability this fall.
The Netflix instant-streaming video service offers more than 12,000 movies and TV episodes in standard-definition format online for virtually instant playback. Users will be required to register for a Netflix subscription membership, allowing its traditional mail-delivered disc rentals and now streaming video services via a broadband connection.
The “premium” positioned player will be 1080p HD output capable, and will also include built-in BD Live and Bonus View capability onboard, meaning that with the addition of a USB flash drive for added persistent memory, it will be able to access online extra content and interactive features. The Bonus View capability will enable playing picture-in-picture running commentaries over the feature film. The player will include a built-in Ethernet port for a wired connection to in-home Internet networks, the company said.
LG digital media division marketing and sales VP Allan Jason said the third-generation Blu-ray player will ship in the fall at a suggested retail price range “well under $500. It will be competitively priced with the other new Blu-ray Disc players coming to market.”
Jason said that in addition to playing back Netflix streaming video and Blu-ray Disc content in up to full 1080p resolution, the player will also up-convert standard-definition DVDs to 1080p.
In TVs, LG unveiled its 47LG90 1080p LCD TV with TruMotion 120Hz frame-rate processing and LED backlighting. The unit, which ships in September at a $3,599 suggested retail price, has a 47-inch screen size and uses an array of 1,536 individual white LEDs, divided into128 blocks of 12 LEDs. LG has developed local dimming technology to control the lighting of each individual LED block to vary between full brightness or full shut off, enabling a 1,000,000:1 mega contrast ratio, the company said. The set also features a new teardrop design, blue color accents and a “high-gloss” black finish.
Also introduced was a pair of models from the Scarlet LCD TV design class. The LGX series models are being offered in the 42-inch (available now at a $2,699 suggested retail) and 47-inch (shipping in October at $2,999) screen sizes. Both offer 1080p resolution and 120 Hz TruMotion frame rate processing. In addition the sets will be LG’s thinnest models with integrated tuners to date, measuring 1.8-inches deep. Both also offer the gloss-black front and all-red back cosmetic styling of the Scarlet series models.
LG will limit distribution on the sets to regional A/V specialty stores (including Magnolia) and TV appliance chains.
Meanwhile, in LG’s ongoing efforts to make its business more eco-friendly, the company revealed plans for a nationwide electronics recycling program that will give consumers a more convenient way to recycle unwanted television sets, computer monitors and other consumer electronics products.
LG said it has developed in tandem with Waste Management subsidiary WM Recycle America, a program which it has just launched employing 106 recycling locations across the country, with plans to include recycling sites in all 50 states by September.
“Our program encourages consumers to dispose of unwanted electronics in an environmentally responsible manner,” stated Teddy Hwang, LG Electronics USA president.
Hwang called the effort, which is named the LG Electronics Recycling Program, a “multimillion-dollar U.S. recycling commitment” that “reflects LG’s global sustainability initiative that also encompasses energy conservation, reduction of hazardous substances and responsible product designs.”
Through the program consumers will be able to drop off their used, unwanted, obsolete or damaged consumer electronic products at one of the designated Waste Management eCycling Centers.
The centers will not charge to take back any LG-, Zenith- and Goldstar-branded televisions, monitors, audio equipment, video cassette players and recorders, DVD players and recorders, combination TV/VCR and TV/DVD units, set-top boxes and accessories associated with those products, LG said. The centers will also accept other manufacturers’ consumer electronics products for a modest fee.
Consumers may drop off up to five LG, Zenith or GoldStar-brand items at a time. To locate the nearest recycling center, consumers may call toll free, 1-877-439-2795. For no fee recycling, consumers also may mail products to WM Recycle America eCycling locations in Minneapolis, Denver, Oklahoma City and Springfield, Mass.
LG said its mobile phones and other handheld devices, as well as LG home appliances, are covered by other take-back and recycling programs. Under LG’s mobile phone recycling program, any brand of cellphone, GPS unit or PDA device may be dropped off at WM Recycle America locations. Waste Management will ship those items to LG Electronics’ recycler for recycling. Appliance recycling information is available at www.aham.org
WM Recycle America is also working with Sony on its similar “Sony Take Back Recycling Program.”
Waste Management already has scores of designated drop-off sites across the United States and plans to have at least one drop-off site in each state over the next six weeks, the company said. The number of sites will continue to be expanded over time.
A goal of the program is to have a recycling center within 20 miles of 95 percent of the U.S. population, LG said. A list of drop-off locations for the LG Electronics Recycling program is available at http://www.wm.com/wm/takeback/locationlist.xls.