MANILA, Philippines – Inside a suite at Astoria Plaza in Ortigas, kids hunkered down in front of a large LED TV mesmerized.
They are among the first to experience the latest LG LX9500, a full LED 3D slim TV that belongs to the Infinia Live Borderless lineup of LG Electronics Inc.
LG, the world’s No. 2 TV brand by revenue, has set an aggressive sales target for 3D TV to build a leadership position in an emerging market where competition is expected to heat up.
The South Korean consumer electronics giant targets sales of 400,000 3D TV sets this year or a 25 percent share of the young 3D TV market to 3.4 million units in 2011.
To do this, LG plans to unveil a full lineup of 3D TV models with new technology improvements in the second half of next year, targeting retail consumers.
And it starts with the introduction last March of the world’s first full LED 3D TV, the LX9500, in Korea. This cutting-edge Infinia model will be available here this month.
The 55-inch unit will carry a whopping P269,990 tag price. Expensive, yes, but there is a lot of tech wizardry involved. This is one TV that doesn’t deserve to be called the “idiot box.”
Full LED slim
According to local LG executives, most LED TVs from other brands only have LED panels around the edges of the screens. The Infinia, in comparison, has a full matrix of LED panels that could light up the entire TV screen to offer the most uniform brightness and spectacularcolors.
In the case of the 55-inch model, 1,200 LED panels are illuminated directly behind the screen. Each LED panel can automatically turn on and off as needed, a unique lighting control over each area of the screen that results in exceptional brightness and more vivid color reproduction at a 10,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.
LG officials also explained that with more LED chips and this backlighting structure, the LG LX9500 full LED 3D slim TV can cut its energy use by up to 70 percent compared with conventional TV models in this category.
Having a 22.3-mm slim body and a 16-mm or 0.63-inch thin bezel also gives the Infinia LX9500 another bragging right. LG shrunk its bezel to 16 mm across all sizes of the LX9500, making it look more borderless compared to other brands’ bezels that typically measure at around 36 mm or 1.43 inches. Its slender profile makes it graceful enough to be hung on a wall. The LX9500 is also available in 47-inch model.
LG executives said having a super-narrow bezel helps push the 3D experience to the very edge of the screen for a fuller and more expansive cinematic 3D effect.
Using TruMotion 400Hz (480Hz) technology, the LX9500’s 3D eliminates blurring of images especially when showing fast-paced sports, games and high-speed action movies, and instead delivers clear and smooth 3D picture. The LX9500 also has a full HD 1080p specification.
LG crafted the LX9500’s screen from a single layer of glass that features anti-reflection quality and perfect opacity. It has a protective coating that makes it scratch-free, dust-free, kid-friendly and easy to clean, said LG officials. When not in use, the smoked glass screen becomes a piano black color that blends seamlessly with the bezel that is also in black.
The Infinia LX9500 is supported by a wireless multimedia hub for Internet access and cable-free connection to digital devices. This intelligent TV can access Wi-Fi networks with just one small USB adapter to use online services from NetCast (broadband TV), Skype (video call function with optional video camera), and perform wireless AV Link.
Aside from Internet connection, the Infinia wireless media hub also connects to DLNA-ready notebooks, Blu-ray player, camera, and mobile phone.
This model has USB 2.0 ports for watching HD DivX movies from portable hard disk drives, viewing photos in JPEG or 3D MPF formats, or listening to MP3 music. It also has an HDMI 1.4 ports to connect other devices.
Green TV, black goggles
The Infinia is LG’s most environment-friendly TV to date. With its localized dimming feature, intelligent sensor, zero-energy standby mode and innovative screen-off function, the Infinia has been awarded an EU “Flower” Eco-label and EuP energy-efficient status.
You still need 3D glasses to enjoy this 3D TV, though manufacturers are working on models that will no longer require them.
The LX9500 employs shutter glasses that add depth by alternatively blocking one lens at a time in sync with the screen’s refresh rate.
The glasses are comfortable enough to wear for an extended period and recharge via USB for up to 40 hours of uninterrupted viewing.
The 3D goggles sync seamlessly with the LX9500, which has two infrared transmitters that help create viewing angle of 120 degrees, LG officials said.
Aside from 3D goggles, LG also matches the Infinia LX9500 with the BX580 3D Blu-ray player, with 3D playback supporting all current 3D video and 3D photo formats.
The growing interest in 3D TV is expected to drive sales from only 200,000 units last year to 2.5 million units this year, and 27 million units by 2013, the research company DisplaySearch said. By 2014, this market is expected to surpass 80 million units.
“In 2009, we saw the first 3D-capable TVs… now we are seeing the hype turning into real products,” said Paul Gray, director for TV electronics research of DisplaySearch.
As one of the global leaders in flat panel and audio-video technologies, LG’s strategy includes plans to offer a diversified lineup of products in screen sizes from 42 inches to 150 inches utilizing both polarized and shutter-type glasses and to launch a family of 3D products, including LED LCD TVs, Plasma TVs, Blu-ray disc players, and the world’s first Full HD 3D projectors.
“By building a full lineup of 3D TVs and cultivating alliances with content and device providers, LG will set a higher benchmark in the global 3D TV industry,” said Havis Kwon, executive vice president and head of LG’s LCD division.
“Our goal is boosting market share in 3D TVs and you can clearly see that, as our target for 3D market share is 10 percent above our LCD TV sales target,” he added.
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