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LG Flat-Panel Lines Expand In ’06

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. — LG Electronics will highlight its next-generation XD Engine video processing system as a key enhancement in many 2006 high-definition plasma TVs, LCD TVs and microdisplay rear-projection sets.

LG unveiled the products at its 2006 dealer show, held last month in Grapevine, Texas, to get a jump on competitors and to help dealers plan orders earlier and more productively, the company said.

Most of the new TV and video products will begin shipping to dealers in March, with several targeted for February, well ahead of the industry norm for the categories.

Many of the products will be demonstrated at International CES in Las Vegas, beginning Jan. 5, 2006, the company said.

LG has moved more aggressively into fully integrated high-definition products, offering only a carryover 71W-inch HD plasma monitor and a handful of LCD TVs without built-in ATSC tuning.

LG announced eight new fully integrated models in its plasma line for 2006. Most will incorporate LG’s latest “XD Engine” video-enhancement circuitry with 14-bit color processing that produces 4.4 trillion colors. Variations on the system are also utilized in other display categories.

Four of the plasma models include built-in 160GB high-definition DVRs. Select 60W-inch and 50W-inch DVR combos will include dual-ATSC digital tuners to allow viewers to watch one program while simultaneously recording another.

Other step-up features in the assortment include: Digital CableCARD slots, nine-in-two flash-memory card readers, TV Guide On Screen programming guide and an IEEE 1394 interface. They will ship in August at pricing to be announced later.

Two 50W-inch HD plasma/DVRs are expected to ship in the first quarter at suggested retail prices of $5,199 and $4,999, respectively. Both are Digital Cable Ready with an ATSC tuners, dual HDMI inputs and TV Guide On Screen programming guides.

The company will also ship in March a 50W-inch fully integrated HD plasma set without a PVR or Digital CableCARD slot at $3,999 suggested.

All 50W-inch and 60W-inch HD plasma models offer 1,366 by 768 pixel resolution.

LG also will ship in March three 42W-inch integrated plasma displays, including one Digital Cable Ready model with dual HDMI/HDCP inputs priced at $3,499, one model with ATSC tuning and PSIP programming guide at $2,999, and one integrated EDTV plasma set with ATSC tuning, PSIP programming guide, and HDMI and PC inputs priced at $1,999.

In LCD TV, LG announced seven fully integrated HD models, highlighted by a 47W-inch Digital Cable Ready unit with 1,920 by 1,080p resolution, an integrated 160GB HD DVR, TV Guide On Screen and dual ATSC tuning. It is slated to ship in August at a price to be announced later.

All new LCD TVs feature 8ms response times, Super In-Plane Switching with 178 degree viewing angles and LG’s XD Engine video processing.

In addition to the 47W-inch unit, LG said it will ship in March three 42W-inch HD LCD sets, all with 1,366 by 768 resolution and LG’s XD Engine. Two models will incorporate 160GB HD DVRs, ATSC tuning and digital CableCARD slots at suggested retails of $4,499 and $3,999, respectively.

The third model, which is earmarked for TV/appliance channel distribution, is slated to carry a $3,499 suggested retail, and it features integrated ATSC tuning but omits the PVR and CableCARD slots.

LG will also carry a pair of 37W-inch HD LCD TVs, including a Digital Cable Ready model with TV Guide On Screen that is slated to ship in March at a $3,299 suggested retail, and one non-DCR model with integrated ATSC tuning and PSIP guide that will ship in March at a $2,699 suggested retail.

The company will also introduce a 37W-inch fully integrated model under the Zenith brand in September. That unit, which is slated to carry a $2,299 suggested retail price, will include ATSC tuning but will omit a CableCARD slot.

In microdisplay, LG will ship in February a pair of LCoS-based rear-projection HDTV sets in the 71W-inch and 62W-inch screen sizes, each with 1,920 by 1,080p resolution, digital CableCARD slots and integrated ATSC tuning. Suggested retail pricing is listed as $8,499 and $4,999, respectively.

Both include HDMI/HDCP inputs, TV Guide On Screen programming guides The 71W-inch model will at IEEE-1394. The will join a pair of 720p HD DLP sets in the 62W-inch and 52W-inch screen sizes that are already shipping to dealers.

The company will also add in April a pair of fully integrated high-definition DLP sets under the Zenith brand in the 62W-inch and 56W-inch screen sizes. They will carry suggested retail prices of $2,999 and $2,699, respectively. Both models offer 720p resolution and include ATSC tuning and digital CableCARD slots.

In March, LG will add a 30W-inch flat-faced direct-view CRT HD set with integrated ATSC tuning that will carry an $899.99 suggested retail price. That model will omit a digital CableCARD slot.