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LG at CES: Connected TV Plans Put 3D In The Shade

by David Mercer | Jan 06, 2010

The challenges facing 3D TV were evident from its relative lack of focus at LG’s CES press conference this morning. While brief mention was made of the plans for new 3D-ready TVs to be launched in May this year, much more time was spent on a variety of broadband-enabled features which will be rolled out over the coming months. In particular, the headline-grabbing deal with Skype to bring video conferencing to the big screen caught the attention, and LG was confident enough in its technology to demonstrate a live Skype video call. Such demonstrations in front of the world’s technology press have a terrible habit of going wrong, but this worked, at least in terms of establishing a communications link. On the other hand, the quality of the video was extremely jerky and cut off completely once or twice. For a free service, that’s probably only to be expected, but vendors pushing specialist consumer TV video conferencing systems should take note that the price point for this basic capability is now effectively zero. LG has also redesigned its web TV services known as Netcast, and added various new ones including DivxTV. It claims that more than 110 “channels” are now available. It will offer Netcast on two thirds of its TV line-up in 2010, and virtually every set larger than 32”. Enhanced connectivity will also feature strongly, with most of LG’s new TVs being “wireless-ready”, which means they will require only a dongle for wireless HD connection to compatible devices. The company was cagey about which technology was being used, but Amimon, whose technology lies behind the WHDI 5GHz standard, issued a statement this morning claiming that “the new wireless-ready high-definition televisions and wireless HDTV accessories launched by LG Electronics are based on AMIMON’s wireless 1080p solution”. LG also demonstrated the inevitable “thinnest yet” TV, an LED LCD model only 6.9mm thick. I’m sure we’ll see more entries into this rather tiring pseudo-battle before next Sunday. Thin TVs are great, but there comes a point, and I think we have reached it, where another fraction of a millimeter is unlikely to make much difference to the sales line. And finally 3D, and LG was surprisingly circumspect in its announcements, focusing on its introducion of the first full HD single lens front projector. It said 3D capable TVs and a 3D BD player would be launched later in the year but was light on specifics. It seems a lot of work on the details still needs to be done. Client Reading: HDTV: Standards Muddle Clouds Outlook For Wireless Displays Add to Technorati Favorites
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