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LGE Ships HD Plasma/DVR Combo Pair

LG Electronics (LGE) is now shipping what it calls the world’s first fully integrated HDTV plasma sets with built-in high-definition DVR recording.

The company is offering the combination flat-panel models in the 50W- and 60W-inch screen sizes as part of its PY2DR series. The LG 60PY2DR and the LG 50PY2DR are available at suggested retail prices of $14,999 and $7,999, respectively.

Both models incorporate built-in 160GB HD-DVRs with the ability to store up to 13 hours of digital high-definition programming or 63 hours of digital standard-definition programming.

These sets feature LG’s fifth-generation ATSC VSB/QAM tuner, which receives terrestrial digital HDTV and unscrambled digital cable, as well as analog broadcast and cable tuners. Also included are slots for digital CableCARDs, which are available from cable operators to access scrambled premium channels.

Other features in the units include built-in nine-in-two multi-memory card readers, allowing users to view still images and listen to MP3 music files.

The plasma sets also include LGE’s proprietary second-generation XD Engine technology. The system is said to up-convert analog signals to near high-definition quality levels by improving brightness, contrast and detail, while enhancing colors and reducing video signal noise.

“The addition of the 50PY2DR and 60PY2DR to LG’s line of digital displays is key to our strategy to become the leader in the high-end digital display market in the U.S. and achieving global leadership by 2010,” said Bob Perry, LGE USA’s sales and channel marketing VP. “The PY2DR HDTVs have captured the attention of retail partners and enthusiasts with their incredible features that further digital convergence.”

LGE is rating its 50W-inch model with 60,000 hour “DoubleLife” expectancy. The contrast ratio is said to be 5,000:1 and brightness is listed as 1,000 cd/m2.

Inputs include HDMI with HDCP, IEEE 1394 with DTV Link. Other features include flexible picture-in-picture (PIP), picture-outside-picture (POP) and split-screen options; TV Guide Onscreen interactive program guide; and image burn-in prevention technology.