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LG Expands BD HTiB Selection

-Three new 5.1-channel Blu-ray HTiB (home-theater-in-a-box) systems from LG
include the company’s first two models with embedded Wi-Fi and DLNA (Digital
Living Network Alliance) certification for streaming content from a networked

The LHB975 and LHB535, both with integrated Wi-Fi 802.11n, as
well as the entry-level LHB335, which features wired Ethernet connection, also
go out to the Internet to stream an expanded portfolio of A/V content from LG’s
Netcast service, which now includes the Picasa photo-sharing site and
AccuWeather information. Like current Ethernet-connected HTiBs from LG, the
three new models also access Netflix, VUDU, CinemaNow, YouTube, and the Pandora
music service.

The LHB975 is also the company’s first HTiB to pair a wireless
subwoofer with included wireless surround speakers. The company includes
wireless surround speakers in a current Blu-ray HTiB.

All three models ship in February to replace two current Blu-ray
HTiBs, whose prices start at $479 MAP.
A DVD-equipped HTiB will be
carried over. Prices hadn’t been set at press time.

During CES, LG also plans to:

– display its first Blu-ray-equipped surroundbar to get market
feedback but won’t use the show to announce whether it will bring the product
to the U.S. market. The
system was due in Europe
in December 2009 with wireless subwoofer, DLNA certification, and decoding of
all authorized Blu-ray surround formats.

– unveil its first Blu-ray player with embedded hard drive to
archive CDs ripped at 20x speed by the device, due in February.

In new Blu-ray HTiBs, the opening-price LHB335 features wired
Ethernet port, single HDMI 1.3 input, decoding of all authorized Blu-ray
surround formats, and access to all LG Netcast services. The step-up LHB535
adds 802.11n, DLNA certification, and dual HDMI 1.3 inputs. Output is rated at
1000 watts.

The top-end LHB975 adds 5.8GHz-band wireless to eliminate wires
running to the powered subwoofer and to the surround speakers. It’s also rated
at 1000 watts. Dual HDMI inputs are already available on the current flagship

In stand-alone Blu-ray players, the new top-line BD-5000 will
double as a music jukebox, thanks to a 250GB hard drive that also stores movies
purchased from Vudu rather than rented from Vudu. The player rips CDs inserted
into its drive at 20x speed, and it accesses GraceNote’s online database to
capture a song’s metadata and album art. The player also accesses GraceNote
when consumers want to identify a song they’re hearing on a movie disc. Music
can be stored in compressed and uncompressed form.

The player, due in February at a price to be announced, also
stores video, photos, and music transferred from a connected USB stick or USB
hard drive, and it’s DLNA-certified to stream music, video and photos from a
networked PC.