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LG Unveils Blu-ray Player, Flat-Panel Lines

LG Electronics will be looking to put a little Blu in the new year at International CES by unveiling a range of both stand-alone and integrated networkable Blu-ray Disc products, while debuting new picture-enhancement technologies for both its LCD and plasma displays.

In Blu-ray Disc, LG will present the LHB954 network Blu-ray Disc home-theater system, featuring five spherical surround speakers, sub-woofer and an integrated network Blu-ray Disc player, with BD-Live functionality and access to more than 12,000 content titles in the Netflix streaming video service.

The system is distinguished through the use of a “spherical silhouette of the loudspeakers,” which are said to use the shape to produce “exceptional audio clarity without sacrificing volume.”

Other features include an iPod and iPhone docking/recharging station, a 1000W 5.1-channel speaker system and support for advanced audio decoding with Dolby TrueHD/Digital Plus.

The company will also show the LHB979 network Blu-ray Disc home-theater system designed with the help of Mark Levinson. The system’s thin design was said to have been inspired by the form of a champagne glass.

It has a 1,000 watt 5.1-channel audio system featuring two tall boy speakers with multiple drivers in parabolic housings, and a tapered integrated pedestal and two wireless satellite speakers.

The integrated Blu-ray Disc player features BD-Live functionality and access to the Netflix streaming video library.

Also with BD-Live (it will include 1GB of internal memory) and Netflix functions is LG’s stand-alone BD390 network Blu-ray Disc player. The unit includes integrated wireless networking to help users easily access network entertainment anywhere in the home, LG said.

The BD390 will support advanced audio formats including Dolby TrueHD / Digital Plus and DTS-HD advanced digital output.

In new TV offerings, the company will unveil its four-model LH55 FullHD 1080p LCD TV series including the 37-, 42-, 47- and 55-inch screen sizes. Models in the line employ a new scanning backlight technique to improve motion picture response time to a 240Hz performance level for smoother motion images.

LG also uses a Super IPS panel that allows consumers to enjoy fast-motion sports and action movies while minimizing picture judder or smearing.

Models in the series will employ smoky black frame cosmetics and an invisible speaker design.

Key features include a USB 2.0 media port supporting JPEG photos, MP3 audio files and HD DivX video files, and a “Smart Energy Saving” package including an Intelligent Sensor to automatically calibrate the picture based on the brightness and color temperature of lighting in the room.

The line also adds a Picture Wizard with a seven-step calibration process to adjust picture settings using on-screen reference points for each setting.

The company will show its 55-inch 55LHX FullHD 1080p LCD TV using LED backlighting and an ultra-slim (less than 1 inch) depth. The LED system uses local dimming techniques to control black levels and color saturation while achieving a 240Hz smooth motion effect. The dynamic contrast ratio is said to be 2,000,000:1.

Cosmetics include an invisible speaker design and sleek look with a smokey black finish.

The LHX uses an external media box for source connections. The box transmits uncompressed 1080p signals wirelessly to the panel, reducing wiring clutter and improving placement options. It also includes a USB port supporting JPEG, MP3 and HD DivX files.

An Intelligent Sensor automatically calibrates and optimizes brightness, contrast, white balance and color based on the brightness and color temperature of lighting in the room.

Also being added is the PS80 FullHD 1080p plasma display series, featuring models in the 50- and 60-inch screen sizes. Both include a 600Hz FluidMotion technology and a Super Bright Panel, 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and ISFccc and THX display certification. The 50-inch 50PS80 features a single-layer design, crystal wave accent and slim frame.

The 600Hz FluidMotion system was said to have been derived from a 10 sub-field driving process that improves moving-picture response time for clearer and smoother picture images.

The PS80 models also feature broadband connectivity with access to a variety of content from content partners and a home PC, allowing consumers to multitask and view computer contents clearly on a large screen.

The models are Energy Star rated and include USB 2.0 ports with JPEG, MP3 and HD DivX support.