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Consumer Electronics Show

With the New Year celebrations barely over, the technology industry has descended on Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show. With convergence being more than just the buzz word it’s been in previous years, this is going to be a very interesting show indeed.

Although the show doesn’t officially start until the 8th of January, there were a few key press announcements and briefings held on the 7th of January.

First up was a press briefing from LG that was held at the rather unsociable hour of 8am. This was hardly ideal for those of us who had flown in from London the night before, but several cups of coffee took care of my jet lag.

LG would definitely have you believe that size matters. It doesn’t seem that long ago that LG flew me out to Monte Carlo to see its 60in plasma display, which was the world’s largest plasma screen at the time. Well, LG hasn’t sat back on its laurels and again holds the title for largest plasma screen with a 76in display. The size of this screen is quite simply staggering and no doubt the price will be equally staggering. That said, anyone who has a living room large enough to accommodate a 76in screen should be able to afford one.

The native resolution is also pretty impressive for a plasma at 1,920 x 1,080, so it could be used as a corporate presentation device if your company has the budget. And despite its mammoth viewable area it sports a depth of only 83mm.

This 76in plasma screen is the largest in the world.

LG hasn’t put all its eggs in the plasma basket though and has a whole array of new LCD HDTVs as well. Again bigger is better and the LCD range is topped by a new 55in model sporting a 176-degree viewing angle. Native resolution is 1,920 x 1,080 and the contrast ratio is 500:1. There are also new 42, 37 and 30in models, all of which include integrated digital receivers. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to make much use of the HDTV capability in Europe, but hopefully this will change eventually.

This new 42in LCD is one step down from the flagship 55in model.

Of course large digital screens aren’t much good without a source and LG also has a few new Digital Video Recorders. The LGDVDR313 is a multi-format DVD recorder while the LGHDR414 is a multi-format DVD recorder with the added bonus of an 80GB hard disk.

DVD recorders with integrated hard disks seem to be part of every manufacturer's product line up right now and it’s not difficult to see why. With an HDD and DVD recorder setup, you can record everything to the hard disk and then edit and transfer the video you want to keep to DVD.

Record to hard disk, then transfer what you want to keep to DVD.

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