LG HTiBs Add 3D, Smart TV Platform



LG is unveiling its first 3D-capable Bluray HTiB (home theater in a box) systems and its first HTiBs with the company’s new Smart TV platform, which is also appearing here for the first time in select LG TVs.

The company’s first sound bar also debuts along with a Blu-ray player with DLNA-certified 250GB hard drive A/V server.

In HTiBs, four new models sport a Blu-ray player, and all but the opening-price LHB326 feature a 3D Blu-ray player. All four also sport an expanded selection of LG Netcast streaming services. The new services were not available at press time.

Current HTiBs support the Picasa photo-sharing site, AccuWeather information, Netflix, Vudu, CinemaNow, YouTube, Yahoo, Major League Baseball and the Pandora music service.

The opening-price LHB326 features an optional Wi-Fi dongle, one HDMI 1.4a input and one HDMI 1.4a output. The step-up LHB336 adds an included Wi-Fi dongle, HDMI audio return channel (ARC) and DLNA certification. The LHB536 adds built-in Wi-Fi, two HDMI 1.4a inputs, and the top-end LHB976 adds tall left-right speakers and wireless surrounds.

The HDMI 1.4a inputs and outputs support all of the 3D broadcast formats supported in the 1.4a specification to enable pass-through of 3D from connected settop boxes. The HTiBs are not LG’s first HTiBs with HDMI connections but they are the first with 1.4a.

Prices were unavailable at deadline.

All four HTiBs are built on LG’s new Smart TV platform, which delivers web browsing and access to app downloads, with about 200 apps to be available at launch at the end of February, the company said.

The Smart TV menu will be controlled from the included remotes and from apps for the iPhone and other smartphones, the company said.

Unlike new LG TVs with the Smart TV platform, the HTiBs will not display live TV in a window within the Smart TV menu.

For its first sound bar, the company is launching a model designed for 42-inch-and-larger TVs. It comes with two digital inputs, Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder, proprietary virtual- surround technology, wireless 140-watt subwoofer, stereo Bluetooth transmitter and receiver, and USB Host port to control MP3/WMA-file playback from connected MP3 players. It lacks HDMI inputs and outputs.


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