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LG Unveils 71W-Inch Plasma-Display Panel

Gumi, Korea — LG Electronics unveiled what it called the world’s largest plasma-display panel featuring a 71W-inch screen.

The product was the highlight of a showcase of more than 20 new digital television-related technologies and products demonstrated for members of the Korean media and distributors at the company’s manufacturing plant here.

Plans are to bring the 71W-inch panel to the U.S. market in 2004, according to a spokesman with Zenith, LG’s core consumer electronics brand in the United States.

The 71W-inch plasma panel is said to produce 1,000 candelas of brightness and a 1,200:1 contrast ratio using a new advanced “KK module.” The panel also includes LG’s proprietary XDRpro digital picture quality-enhancing engine. LG will add the XDRpro technology to a wide range of its digital television products.

“Such products [71W-inch plasma panel] will be the starting point of its full-scale marketing activities,” according to a company statement announcing the system.

XDRpro is LGE’s proprietary technology, which is said to be capable of reproducing “life-like digital images that are superior to other technologies,” LG said.

Many of the other products showed at the factory had been displayed at International CES last January, including a pair of fully integrated plasma-display HDTV sets, with internal ATSC tuners, in 42W- and 50W-inch screen sizes.

The company also showed a 60W-inch LCD-based rear-projection HDTV set incorporating a built-in hard-drive personal video recorder. The unit is said to be capable of recording and playing full high-definition broadcasts.

A Zenith spokesperson said the rear projection LCD TV/PVR combo product is slated to reach the U.S. market in 2004 under the new upscale LG brand.

In other U.S.-related marketing news, the company said it would be prepared to begin meeting the Federal Communications Commission’s digital tuner mandate starting in the second half of the year.

LG said it has developed internally a “Digital TV System on Chip (SoC),” which will receive U.S. ATSC-type digital broadcasts without the need for digital set-top boxes.

This will be used in a 50W-inch PDP, 52W-inch LCD projection TV, newly designed 32-inch and 28-inch Digital direct view TVs, and 40W-inch and 45W-inch rear-projection CRT TVs.

Other products on display included complete home theater packages, some incorporating wireless speakers.

The assortment includes the following:

* A premium system, featuring a 60W-inch PDP, DVD recorder, high-end amplifier, and tallboy speakers.

* A system with a 50W-inch PDP, super slim DVD player, and digital amplifier in matching colors, and tallboy speakers.

* A combination system consisting of a 50W-inch PDP, rear-side wireless tallboy speakers, and a DVD player.

* A system featuring a set-top box with high-definition broadcast playback and recording, all digital DVD set-top box, digital amplifier, and slim tall-boy speakers.

Meanwhile, LG officials said they intend to grab the market share leadership position in PDP by 2005, adding that its second-phase PDP production line is capable of more than 600,000 units per year.

The company said “it will be carrying out plans for an active marketing campaign” on the products, and is planning a formal U.S. media review this month.