Infina PK950 and PK750: Relief For the Plasma TV Faithful

The hype at CES this year might be around LED and 3D TVs, but LG is still standing strong behind its plasma screens with the thinner and lighter Infinia PK950 and PK750.

The 2010 models have been completely redesigned, and are now a full 37% slimmer than previous iterations and weigh up to 40% less. The PK950 and PK750 both feature a new single-layer design that reduces the gap between the screen and the filter by 70%, and the PK550 and PJ350 sport a bezel width of under an inch. The PK models are all available in 1080p, while the PJ350 is a 720p display. Like their newly announced LED LCD counterparts, the plasma Infinia models also come quipped with NetCast Entertainment Access, which this year has been updated to support Skype.

All of that's the good news. The bad news is that they're still plasma displays, which means that they're never going to be as thin or as energy efficient as LCDs. And with the advent of LED LCD displays, the picture quality gap is closing quickly. Still, plasmas offer some of the cleanest images and blackest blacks available, and it's good to see manufacturers supporting the technology.

There's no word yet on pricing, but you can expect new sets to be available this spring/summer.

LG ELECTRONICS REINFORCES COMMITMENT TO PLASMA HDTVs

WITH SLIM, VERSATILE DESIGN, PICTURE-ENHANCING TECHNOLOGY

New Plasmas Punctuated by Slim Bezel Depth, Enhanced Connectivity

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2010 – LG Electronics underscored its commitment to the plasma HDTV category with eight new models for 2010, led by the new LG INFINIA series, which represents the best in LG's design, technology and entertainment options.

Featuring new picture-enhancing technology and lightweight designs in a variety of screen sizes, four new plasma series – the INFINIA PK950 and PK750, as well as the PK550 and PJ350– were introduced today at the International Consumer Electronics Show, (Booth #8205).

Design and Picture Enhancement

LG has completely redesigned its plasma line for 2010, resulting in plasma sets that are slimmer and lighter than ever before. At only around two-inches in depth, the 2010 models are approximately 37 percent thinner than previous models and dramatically lighter. In the most extreme case, the weight of a 60-inch plasma HDTV was reduced by more than 40 percent to a svelte 95 pounds.

LG's new plasma series includes stunning new designs, such as the single-layer design of the PK750 and PK950, and the "TruSlim Frame" on the PK550 and PJ350 models, which boasts a bezel width of just 0.9-inches. Wireless capability contributes to the freedom of infinite entertainment possibilities.

Setting a new standard in picture quality, the PK750 and PK950 models have achieved THX Display Certification*. These models also feature 600Hz Sub-Field Driving, a protective "Skin Glass," Dual XD Engine and a TruBlack Filter to provide consumers with superior picture quality in a bright room. The 600Hz Sub-Field Driving improves moving picture response time using a 10 sub-field per frame driving process, ultimately offering consumers a clearer picture.

The Protective Skin Glass system reduces the gap between the outer glass and filter by 70 percent, virtually eliminating double imaging and helping to reduce glare. LG's exclusive Dual XD Engine facilitates up-conversion of standard definition content to near high-definition quality, so consumers can enjoy improved image quality with everything they watch. It also provides extremely accurate color reproduction. The incorporation of the TruBlack Filter reduces ambient light reflection, providing consumers with better black levels and improving contrast for a sharper and more detailed picture in a bright room.

"Plasma TV technology is still considered the gold standard of picture quality by discerning home theater enthusiasts," said Tim Alessi, director of product development, LG Electronics USA. "LG's 2010 plasma line combines new technology, such as the TruBlack Filter and superior color accuracy, with striking new designs that are slimmer, narrower and lighter, demonstrating LG's commitment to innovation in the plasma category."

Content and Connectivity

The PK950* and PK750* plasma series boast a connectivity package with a variety of entertainment options including NetCast Entertainment Access™. With this NetCast feature, consumers can access an array of online content options**:

o Skype™: Newly added in 2010, this allows consumers to make free video and voice calls over the Internet to family members and friends (Separate camera and other equipment needed and sold separately).
o Netflix™: Updated with Netflix 2.0, consumers can stream thousands of movies without a PC.
o VUDU™: Allows consumers to instantly buy or rent from an extensive library of movies and TV titles, including a catalog of more than 2,000 high-definition movies – with no monthly fees or additional hardware.
o YouTube™: Offers the ability to instantly stream millions of Web videos directly from the Internet (without a personal computer).
o Napster™: Napster subscribers can now enjoy unlimited on-demand streaming music from millions of songs on their NetCast TV.
o Yahoo! Widget Engine™: Enables access to various applications called TV Widgets that allow viewers to interact with popular Internet services and online media through applications specifically tailored to the needs of the watcher, such as up-to-the minute Yahoo! News, Weather and Finance, and new widgets, including CNBC, CBS and Showtime.

LG Electronics has incorporated the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) technology across the full line of plasma models. This allows consumers to access content stored on other DLNA-certified devices within the home, such as computers, making content options almost limitless.

Providing easy options for connecting to the Internet, in addition to the wired Ethernet jack, all NetCast-enabled sets can also integrate into a wireless home network by using a USB wireless broadband adaptor (sold separately). Both PK950 and PK750 models support multi-media playback from a connected USB device including photos (JPEG), music (MP3) and video (DivX HD).

For greater convenience and flexibility in setup and installation, all LG Plasma series with NetCast offer wireless Full HD 1080p transmission from a "Wireless Media Hub" from up to 98 feet. Connecting source components, such as Blu-ray Disc players, cable or satellite boxes and video games to the media hub enables transmission to a compact receiver adaptor which attaches to the back of the TV, hidden from view. This eliminates the need for individual components to be connected directly to the TV, making for a clean and easy installation and removal of unsightly wires (Media Hub and receiver adaptor sold separately as a package).

Controls

LG's PK950 series also incorporates a unique "Magic Wand" remote system that provides an immersive interaction with the set. This "Magic" user interface brings together menus, component controls and even embedded games which can be accessed using a simple remote that combines minimal buttons and gestures to control the on-screen activity, mirroring a "Wii-like" experience.

Plasma Expansion

A founding member of the Plasma Display Coalition, LG also introduced two other series of plasmas this week at CES. The PK550 and PJ350 models offer consumers a 1080p and 720p plasma option respectively and do not compromise on features or design. Both series boast LG's TruSlim Frame, reducing the bezel width to only 0.9 inches, along with a slim 2-inch depth and the protective Skin Glass system for picture quality improvement. This is in addition to the many value-added core features found on virtually all LG HDTV products.

The PK550 Full HD 1080p series (available in 50-and 60-inch class sizes*) features a TruSlim Frame and slim profile for a clean, modern look. It also incorporates 600Hz Sub-Field Driving, Intelligent Sensor technology for energy savings and USB 2.0 for additional content viewing options.

The 720p PJ350 series (available in 42- and 50-inch class sizes*) also offers consumers the TruSlim Frame and slim profile for a clean, modern look, as well as 600Hz Sub-Field Driving in two display sizes. The USB 2.0 feature and three HDMI ports allow consumers to connect to a variety of entertainment devices.

Core Plasma Features

For easy self-calibration, all plasma lines feature LG's Picture Wizard II technology, which provides on-screen reference points for key picture quality elements, such as black level, color, tint, sharpness and backlight levels. Also included in the new plasma lines are ISFccc calibration options to deliver the level of calibration filmmakers intended viewers to see. Others include:

o Intelligent Sensor: Automatically calibrates and optimizes brightness, contrast, white balance and color, based on the brightness and color temperature of lighting in the room – thereby saving on energy output in most circumstances.
o Clear Voice II: An enhancement to Clear Voice, this feature customizes volume settings by 12 distinct voice zoom levels without diminishing other surrounding sounds, helping ensure consumers don't miss a single line of dialogue during action sequences.
o AV Mode II: Includes three AV modes preset to optimize picture and sound settings based on Cinema, Sports or Game content which can be easily set with the remote control.