LG Takes Cinema 3D Challenge On The Road

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New York -

LG Electronics

kicked off the next leg of its Cinema 3D "Take The 3D TV Challenge" campaign at New York's Grand Central Station Thursday and Friday as the first stop on a new three-city tour that will also include Chicago and Los Angeles.

The effort is part of a Cinema 3D consumer TV challenge campaign that began earlier this year in Houston, where consumers allegedly overwhelmingly selected LG's passive 3D glasses-based TVs when matched against similarly sized active-shutter 3D TVs from Samsung and Sony.

LG backed the announcement of that initial effort with ads in major daily newspapers that took jabs at both Sony's and Samsung's "active flicker" 3DTV technologies.

LG spokesmen said a similar newspaper ad is planned to appear in USA Today on Friday in conjunction with the Grand Central Station face-off.

Throughout the day, LG representatives challenged commuters and visitors to the landmark building to sit down and vote on which 3DTV picture looked better to them - an LG Cinema 3D model or similarly sized competitor's model using active-shutter glasses technology.

Challenge moderators quickly explained the benefits of the passive-glasses 3D approach used in the LG Cinema 3D TVs compared with pricier powered active-shutter glasses used in the competitive products.

TV brands were concealed during the test, although an LG spokesperson said that a Samsung active-shutter 3DTV was used for the New York City promotional study.

Predictably, early voting indicated a heavy preference for the LG product.

Visitors to the demonstration were also encouraged to take a short survey on 3DTV technology and to enter a drawing for an LG Cinema 3D TV through a Facebook page devoted to the TV model line.

"I think the most important thing we're doing here is keeping the visibility up on 3D and step-up products in our industry," said Jay Vandenbree, LG Electronics home entertainment sales and marketing senior VP. "Everything we've done has been to get consumers to talk about it, think about it, and to go find out about it. If we can get them to do that and see what their options are in the television business, they might make that choice to spend their discretionary income in our industry."

Earlier in the day, a Reuters report out of South Korea, citing an unnamed LG official, said LG has unofficially cut its forecast for global TV sales by 20 percent, pointing to an unexpectedly long continuation of sluggish economic conditions, particularly in the United States and Europe.

Similar reductions in TV sales estimates were also recently reported for Sony and Samsung.

According to the Reuters story, LG's global TV sales volume now may only reach around 32 million units this year, after the company had targeted sales of 40 million flat-screen TV units for 2011 earlier in the year.

James Fishler, LG Electronics go-to-market strategy senior VP, said using the TV Challenge promotions and other vehicles this year in support of Cinema 3D should help the brand "over achieve our expectations for the technology this year," stopping short of declaring LG the likely market share leader of passive glasses 3D sets in the U.S., with Vizio, Toshiba and others also entering the fray.

Most of those other passive-3D glasses TV-set makers use LG 3D LCD panels, however.

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