Posted Thu Jan 7, 2010 at 02:45 PM PST by Mike Attebery
Read on as we take a tour of all the home theater products that LG’s announced for 2010.
Booths hosted by television makers all share a common theme. The areas are enormous, but never big enough to hold the throngs of people that swarm around them. The walls, and sometimes even the ceilings, are covered with televisions. LG’s in particular makes the lights of the casinos look dull by comparison.
In form, LG is similar to the others, but in content they stand separate. Unlike the majority of other manufacturers who feature giant 3D displays and 3D theaters, LG’s 3D section is fairly laid back. They have a few 3D televisions, and a small viewing area for their new 3D projector. It’s clear that LG is aware of the trend, but – this year at least – they’re firmly rooted in two dimensions.
LG’s biggest move forward it televisions is their new line of Infinia LCDs and plasmas. They all offer the same functionality, including allowing users to access LG’s NetCast family of television applications. While there are a few differences between each Infinia model, the largest separator between each is the technology used in the screens.
On the LCD side, The Infinia series consists of the LE7500, LE8500, and LE9500 models. The LE7500 is the only edge lit model, though it does feature a basic 16 segment local dimming function. The 8500 and 9500 are Full LED backlit televisions that feature up to 240 segments.
The LE9500 is the top of the line of the Infinia LCD series. Not only does it feature a 480p refresh rate and 3D capabilities, but it and the 8500 are the first LCD TVs in the US market to receive THX certification. LG has also seen fit to include the THX “Bright Room” function, which adjusts brightness contrast and gamma settings for optimal performance in rooms with a great deal of ambient light.
The 8500 and 9500 both include a new feature for LG televisions that they hope will make it a bit easier for users to do what they want with their TVs. Based on the controls for the Nintendo Wii, LG calls their new remote the Magic Wand.
By using gestures and selecting buttons with a pointer, LG hopes that users will have an easier time utilizing the wide range of different applications available to them with NetCast.
The LCD sets looked incredibly nice of course, but they paled in comparison to the plasmas added to the Infinia line. The PK950 and PK750 series are the completely redesigned plasmas that complete the Infinia series. They’re slim – just two inches deep – and they’re over 40% lighter than previous models. The sixty inch model, for example, weighs in at just ninety-five pounds.
Like the 9500 LCDs, LG’s plasmas carry THX certification. They’ve created new technologies to slim the television and reduce the gap between the glass and the filter which helps to eliminate double imaging, and screen glare. The PK950 also incorporates the magic wand remote system.
All of LG’s Infinia televisions offer NetCast functionality, which has been expanded significantly for 2010. LG’s connected media suite now includes Netflix 2.0 (allowing consumers to bypass the PC entirely), Vudu, Youtube, Napster and a range of Yahoo! Widgets.
Skype is another new addition to NetCast. By attaching a webcam to their TV, you’ll be able to use Skype to call, and video chat with your friends and family. They’ll need a webcam as well, and a compatible TV or PC in order for you to see them. LG has announced that the webcam will be sold separately. The representative I spoke with was not able to confirm whether a third party webcam would be able to be hooked up.
LG will be selling a bundles media hub and wireless receiver separately from the television. Using this hub and receiver will allow users to connect to sources like Blu-ray players, networked media devices and PCs.
LG also showed off a 60” ultra high resolution display prototype, a prototype 3D plasma display, and a series of portable televisions that pull HD signals right out of the air.
While 3D wasn’t a main feature of the booth, LG did debut the first consumer level full HD 3D projector. Most of the 3D technology on display – including the projector – made use of active shutter glasses.
Check out LG's press page for a peek at some of these new products.
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