LG Expands Soundbars, 3D HTiBs At CES



LG is expanding its assortment of HTiBs equipped with 3D Blu-ray player to four from three and expanding its soundbar selection to three from one at International CES.

LG is debuting four 3D Blu-ray 5.1-speaker HTiBs, all incorporating LG’s smart-TV platform to access online audio and video services. They ship in February.

This year’s models feature an expanded roster of smart-TV content partners, and like last year’s 3D models, they access LG’s app store to download almost 200 free and paid-for apps.

The top two HTiBs are also LG’s first U.S. HTiBs with proprietary 3D sound technology, an algorithm said to synchronize audio with 3D picture depth when playing back 3D video. The 3D sound technology also works with 2D video.

The top two models also feature HDMI 1.4a output with audio return channel, and the two are the first LG HTiBs with HDMI standby passthrough, enabling users to connect a cable or satellite box to the HTiB’s HDMI 1.4a inputs and play back video through the HTiBconnected TV even when the HTiB is off.

Also new this year is embedded Wi-Fi in all models.

All four models also feature remote control via iPhone and Android apps, iPod/iPhone-compatible USB port, and playback of audio and video — including DivX HD video and MKV — on a USB-connected hard drive or USB stick. Pricing hasn’t been finalized.

The 2012 line starts with the 5.1 BH6720S, which features satellite speakers with 15-degree tilting bases. The step-up BH6820SW lacks satellite speakers with tilting bases but adds wireless surround speakers.

The BH9220BW 5.1-channel system adds stereo Bluetooth, two HDMI 1.4a inputs, HDMI standby passthrough, larger speakers without tilting bases, the upward-firing driver in each left and right front and rear speaker, and wireless surround speakers.

The top-end adds front floorstanding tower speakers and smaller, wireless surround speakers.

In soundbars, there are three new models, two with stereo Bluetooth, one with wireless subwoofer, and one with embedded subwoofer. Pricing was unavailable. All feature Dolby Digital DTS 5.1 decoding. One features three HDMI 1.4a inputs and one HDMI input.

The 80-watt NB2520A, sized for 37-inch TVs, is a onepiece model whose subwoofer is embedded. It features three HDMI 1.4a inputs and one HDMI 1.4a output. It ships late in the first half; the other two ship in March.


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