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LG Unveils ’07 CE, Appliance Lines

Orlando — Continuing its recent practice of being the first manufacturer of the year to host a dealer show, LG Electronics gave key accounts and the press a sneak peek at plans for the 2007 consumer electronics and major appliance model year here last Wednesday.

This year’s show brought together LG’s CE and major appliance businesses for the first time and had the surprising announcement that sales VP Bob Perry has left the company. (See p. 8.)

In kicking off the event, LG’s U.S. president Michael Ahn said the premium brand’s aided awareness “has skyrocketed to 75 percent today from 33 percent three years ago. This confirms the success of our “Life’s Good” campaign and premium product positioning.”

In CE products, LG unveiled over 20 LCD TV models, including 11 1,080p units. Enhancements to the line include improved contrast performance, a “TruWide Viewing Angle” and “Simple Link” connectivity using the HDMI-CEC standard. Pricing was not available at press time.

What LG did not discuss was its Blu-ray player plans. Fellow Blu-ray backer Sony said last week that it would delay its launch of its Blu-ray deck until December, while TWICE sister publication Video Business reported last week that Pioneer is pushing back its launch of its player, the BDP-HD1, until December to “ensure the hardware meets its specifications.”

On what LG did introduce, the company outlined its LCD line that consists of four main series of products offering a range of sizes from 20W- to 47W-inches.

The LC7 series offers screen sizes ranging from 26W- to 47W-inches, the 47W-inch features 1,080p resolution. It includes the new Simple Link system, a 5,000:1 contrast ratio and advanced TruWide Viewing Angle technology.

The LB4D series includes 32W-, 37W-, 42W- and 47W-inch models and includes 1,080p resolution in many models, a TruMotion Drive, three HDMI inputs and USB Media Host (USB 2.0) for photo and music.

The LB5D series includes the 37W-, 42W-, 47W- and 52W-inch screen sizes, all with 1,080p resolution.

The LY3D series (47W-, 52W- and 57W-inches) combines 1,080p resolution with LG’s TruMotion Drive and wide color gamut backlight that expands displayable colors to 92-percent of the NTSC spectrum.

Full HD 1,080p capability was also added to select new plasma displays, which next year will feature 11 total models ranging in screen size from 42W- to 71W-inches.

The plasma line features three product series including some carryover units. The “core” PC5D series adds 42W- and 50W-inch models, while the PB4D series includes 42W-, 50W- and 60W-inch models with integrated 160GB HD DVRs.

The PY3D series (featuring 50W- and 60W-inch models) will add 1,080p resolution.

In white goods the focus was clearly on the kitchen. LG showed a sleek new assortment that includes a dual-convection electric range; a large-capacity dishwasher; an over-the-range (OTR) microwave with a unique pull-up door; and a new Panorama series French-door refrigerator with a vertical ice and water dispenser.

Pricing was not available at press time.

The latter, available in standard and counter depths, features a 10-inch-tall dispenser designed to accommodate pitchers, coffee pots and tall bottles. Like its first-to-market predecessor, the dispenser is located within the refrigerator door, unlike competitive three-door models that limit the icemaker to the bottom-mount freezer compartment.

LG described its dual-convection electric range as another industry first. The unit features two convection fans, each surrounded by a heating element, for uniform baking, faster roasting, and a 30-percent reduction in pre-heating times. LG also added a 5.0-cubic-foot gas range with glass touch controls. The OTR microwave oven also represents an industry-first with its pull-up, vs. swing out, door design.

The 2007 model dishwasher features an extra-large stainless steel tub with a 16-place setting capacity and versatile third rack, plus a fully-integrated LCD touch control panel.