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LG Plans 2Q Blu-ray Disc Player

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. — LG Electronics officially announced its 2006 A/V product line highlighted by one of the industry’s first Blu-ray Disc players, and expanded lines of DVD players, recorders and combination products.

The company also announced a line of home theater in a box (HTiB) systems and new video-centric portable entertainment products.

LG’s Blu-ray Disc player — model BD199 — will be among a crop of players using the new high-definition disc format, expected around the second quarter of 2006. Pricing and availability will be announced later. LG, which announced Blu-ray products last year that did not make it to market, said the BD199 will play back new blue-violet laser BD-ROM discs, but offered few other details prior to International CES.

In DVD recorders, LG will carry in 2006 an expanded line including some new Super-Multi models, which record to any DVD blank media format, including DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD+R double layer and DVD-RAM, and a variety of combination models.

Among the highlights are the following:

Model LRM-519 ($599.95 suggested retail) is a combination DVD recorder/hard-disk-drive recorder, with wired or wireless home networking capability, 160GB hard drive, and access to a new onscreen electronic program guide (EPG) service offered by Microsoft.

Model LDX-514 ($229.95) is a DVD recorder/VCR combo featuring one-touch dubbing from VHS to DVD or DVD to VHS.

Among new HTiB systems is the LHY-518 ($699.95) including a DVD recorder/VCR combo, progressive-scan output, -R/RW and +R/RW disc recording, MP3 decoding, four-head hi-fi VCR, seven-in-two memory-card slot, two floorstanding and two satellite speakers, a center channel speaker, subwoofer and 1,200 watts of system power.

Model LHX-557 ($499.95) incorporates a VCR and five-disc DVD player, and offers 1,080i up-conversion and output over HDMI. The 1,200-watt audio system includes four book shelf speakers, a center channel speaker and subwoofer.

Also introduced was the LDGVT418 ($449.95) combination HTiB system offering 600 watts of power, progressive-scan DVD player and four floor-standing speakers.

In set-top boxes, LG announced the LST-3410A ($699.95) high-definition DVR with ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuning, 120GB hard drive, eight-day TV Guide system, IEEE-1394 interface, DVI/HDCP output and HD component video outputs.

Model LST-3510A is a high-definition set-top box with ATSC and QAM tuning, PSIP onscreen display program guide, integrated DVD player with HD up-conversion and multi-format output, and DVI/HDCP and HD component video outputs.

All of the new portable digital players and a new portable media center will have video and photo-viewing capability, and power life has been extended to 60 hours in some cases, using high-capacity lithium-polymer batteries and intelligent power management technology.

Highlighting the lineup is the PM70 ($549) portable media center, which includes a 20GB hard disc drive, and 4.3-inch widescreen LCD. It is based on Microsoft’s Portable Media Center platform, and will record directly off a TV, PVR or other non-copy-protected video source via composite input.

The JM53 ($299) portable digital player employs a 1.77-inch OLED screen, 6GB hard drive and up to 21 hours of playing time.

The FM30 ($199) features a 1.77-inch OLED screen, 1GB of storage and up to 60 hours of battery life per charge.