CES: LG Touts Streaming, Wireless HD, Mobile DTV

Developing a new 3D HD chip set to integrate this video capability into plasma and LCD displays
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CES '09: Complete Coverage from Broadcasting & Cable

Consumer electronics giant LG Electronics focused on new ways to get pictures to HDTV sets in the living room and some breakthrough mobile technologies at its annual press conference at the CES show in Las Vegas.

LG announced earlier this week that will roll out three broadband-enabled HDTV sets (two LCD and one plasma) this year that will deliver streaming content from Netflix and YouTube, following up on broadband-enabled Blu-ray disc players that stream Netflix movies which LG released last spring. (Competitor Vizio also plans to integrate Netflix into its HD sets, says Netflix VP Steve Swasey.)

LG says it will also support movies from on-demand service CinemaNow as well as content “widgets” from Yahoo, showing its emphasis on “giving consumers even more options for content delivery,” said Michael Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics North America.

LG is introducing some 36 new HDTV sets at CES in all (9 series of LCD TV and 3 series of plasma sets), including LCD sets which use the company’s new TruMotion 240Hz technology that is designed to eliminate motion blurring during fast-paced scenes. LG will also be supporting the new Wireless HD home networking technology on some of its new sets, says Dr. Woo Paik, president and CTO of LG Electronics, by using a 60 gigahertz radio to transmit uncompressed 1080-line-progressive HD video around the home.

“We’re getting rid of these ugly looking wires, as we know people don’t like these wires,” said Paik. “Actually, I don’t mind them too much, but my wife does.”

LG will also be developing a new 3D HD chip set to integrate 3D HD video capability into its plasma and LCD displays.

“I believe 3D is the next big wave coming to the television industry,” said Paik.

Paik also noted LG’s technology advancements in the mobile handset space, including the successful adoption of the mobile digital TV transmission technology it developed with Harris as the basis of the preliminary ATSC Mobile DTV standard. He said that LG expects a final standard to be completed by the third quarter, and noted that LG is providing several prototype receivers for the Open Mobile Video Coalition’s mobile DTV demonstration this week in Las Vegas, including cellphone, MP3 players and USB dongles for laptops.

Paik signed off with a bit of James Bond-like gadgetry, demonstrating what LG calls the world’s smallest full-featured 3G “watchphone” by receiving a call on it during his presentation. The watchphone, which has a changeable touch screen interface and Bluetooth capability, can also play MP3 audio tracks at a rather high volume, which Paik also showed off. It is expected to be in production by late 2009.

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