LG Electronics used Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall here last Thursday to present its summer products showcase, which was highlighted by the unveiling of two new series of LCD TVs with an ultra-slim seamless-glass design style.
Making their debuts were the SL90 LED backlit series and the SL80 series, the latter featuring 240Hz TruMotion circuitry and CCFL backlighting.
Both continue a design style that LG started last year in its PG60 plasma TV series and continued in this year’s PS60 and PS80 plasma series.
Central to the new seamless single- glass panel over an ultra-thin-bezel design in both series is LG’s Invisible Speaker approach, which accentuates the seamless style by eliminating large speaker grilles on the front bezel for a more streamlined home entertainment system aesthetic.
“Consumers are looking for stylish technology that fits seamlessly into their existing home environment, without sacrificing the advanced technology they’ve grown accustomed to,” stated Peter Reiner, LG marketing and strategy senior VP. “With the SL80 and SL90, LG has combined the best of design and display technology — transforming the home entertainment experience from something ordinary into something better.”
The new sets all incorporate a non-reflective internal cell structure to minimize glare of ambient lighting.
The SL80 series includes the 42- ($1,699 suggested retail), 47- ($1,999) and 55-inch ($2,999) screen sizes, all of which will ship in August. The SL80-series sets measure less than 1.8 inches thick at their slimmest points.
The FullHD 1080p sets offer a 150,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and include 240Hz processing to smooth fast motion images.
The SL90 models, which are due to ship later in the year in the 42- ($2,099) and 47-inch ($2,599) screen sizes, use LED display technology to increase energy efficiency and achieve a 1.15-inch panel depth.
The SL90 models offer FullHD 1080p resolution, a 120Hz TruMotion circuitry to reduce motion blurring and a 3,000,000:1 mega contrast ratio.
Both series include the A/V Mode II system with three presets to optimize picture and sound settings based on cinema, sports or game content; a picture wizard that enables easy self-calibration by providing onscreen reference points for elements, including black level, color, tint, sharpness and backlight levels; and a Clear Voice II system that automatically enhances and amplifies the sound of the human voice frequency range to make dialogue more audible against background noise swells.
The SL80 features energy-savings technology that meets the Energy Star 3.0 ratings and also comes equipped with LG’s Intelligent Sensor technology, which senses the ambient light in the room and adjusts color and brightness accordingly. In addition, a mechanical on/off switch offers users the ability to eliminate standby power consumption in exchange for the ability to turn the set back on with the remote control.
In other news, LG Electronics said it is adding instant-access to the Vudu HD movie service on LG’s LH50 1080p LCD series and PS80 plasma 1080p series with “NetCast Entertainment Access,” beginning in late August.
Neither of the new LS80 or LS90 LCD TVs just announced have the NetCast capability.
LG will make a firmware update available for existing NetCast TV customers to access the service and will install it in new sets in the factory going forward, according to Tim Alessi, LG product development and advertising director.
The LG application of Vudu will feature “an industry first” streaming of content in 1080p. Previoulsy, Vudu’s service had been designed to download content to hard drives on its set-top boxes. The service allows consumers to instantly buy or rent movies and TV titles, including more than 2,000 HD offerings, with no monthly fees and without having to buy, install or connect any additional hardware.
Movies are made available via Vudu’s HDX format with FullHD 1080p resolution and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound. Purchased films will be stored for 24/7 access on Vudu’s “virtual locker.”
LG’s NetCast Entertainment Access now offers access to millions of streaming movies, TV shows and Web videos from Netflix, Yahoo! Widgets, YouTube and Vudu, among others.
Alessi said there are no plans at this time to add Vudu access to LG’s Blu-ray Disc players with IPTV capability supporting CinemaNow HD selections. The company plans to add CinemaNow service to the NetCast TVs, he added, “but as a Yahoo Widget, not as a standalone application.”
Commenting on LG’s recent financial report showing 12 percent growth in global sales from a year ago and 6.1 percent in operating income, Teddy Hwang, LG Electronics USA president, said, “If you consider the particular industries that we participate in today, these are phenomenonal results.
“We are a consumer products company, and the innovation pipeline is very important. So even in this recessionary period, we have not reduced our budget for marketing or R&D. As a result, we are able to maintain innovation — innovation around design,” Hwang added.
John Herrington, LG Electronics USA sales president, said, “We have a unique opportunity to offer products to customers across demographics. And it’s very important that their experiences with LG are great experiences. Our primary goals are to continue to bring the LG brand to our customers more effectively in-store and across platforms, so we can earn a greater portion of our retailer’s business and reach more consumers where they’re shopping.”