Highlights from the LG press conference...
First up, a 50-inch plasma display with built-in 160 GB DVR. The PC2DR series has got two ATSC tuners for recording HD programs simultaneously (yes!). It's digital cable ready, a 9-in-2 memory card slot and it supports MPEG-2 and H.264 if you like to play that way. Expect to see this in the third quarter of 2006—with a built-in swivel base.
Wait a second, hasn't LG been promising this thing for the better part of a year now? This is becoming the Yeti of displays.
Three 42-inch HDTV plasmas, digital cable ready with dual HDMI inputs, are also on the way. These use a new "clear filter" tech that reduces weight and depth while also cutting reflective glare.
Get ready for 20 new model LCD TVs—LG is the world's largest producer of large screen LCDs now—with 8ms response times, and 178 degree viewing angle. These go from 55-inch to 23-inch in size. There are three LCDs with built-in DVR. The highlight here is the 47-incher, which has two ATSC tuners and true high-definition 1920 x 1080p resolution. Available in the third quarter with dual HDMI inputs and 9-in-2 memory slots.
LG's Blu-Ray disc player (BD199) is on the way. It's a multi-format player—also plays regular DVDs. It does 1080i and 1080p up-conversion, and has DTS++ high quality audio capability. Second quarter 2006.
LG is also busting out its first line of portable digital players.
The FM30 is a 1GB capacity, it's a first gen HD movie player. 1.77-inch OLED and 260K color. 60 hours of battery life with music only. 2.4-inches tall, 1.5-inches wide and .55-inches deep.
The JM53 has an 8GB drive, and the same size screen. 30 hours battery life. 3.9 x 1.9 x .55 -inches.
The grandaddy is the PM70 Portable Media Center. 30GB storage, 4.3-inch widescreen display, direct line-in recording from TV sources—and line out too. Also has PDA (PIM) functionality.
LG is the second largest phone manufacturer in the US now (20% market share), and the company's big push in 2006 is EVDO and UMTS phones with mobile music apps. They launched 21 handsets in 2005, damn impressive that.
CU320 is the flagship phone, it's the Cingular UMTS we told you about yesterday. 1.3 megapixel camera, and TransFlash memory instead of MiniSD. You can download a music or game while you talk, gone are the days of one function use.
They are demo-ing 3G headsets. and Qualcomm's MediaFlo (TV for handsets) in the booth.
VX8100 is an EVDO phone, MP3 playback with 1.3 megapixels and MiniSD slot.
The V (VX9800) has a QWERTY keypad and they promise "surround sound" speakers—hard to believe but that's what they say.
F7200 is a slider that has push-to-talk, voice activated dialing, one-touch speakerphone. This is being pushed as a safer phone for talking while driving, and safety is going to be a bigger issue going forward.