CES 2008: LG Press Conference

As usual, LG kicks off CES with its early morning Press conference

As usual LG kicked off the CES Press day with an early morning call, 8am briefing. Proceedings were kicked off by Michael Ahn – President and CEO LG Electronics US – who announced that LG has implemented a $14 billion sales target for 2008.

The company has seen significant growth in the TV market in 2007, with the year ending with nine percent US market share in plasma and seven per cent US market share in LCD TV. Ahn assured the Press that LG will enjoy double figure market share in both plasma and LCD in 2008, with 15 and 10 per cent US market share respectively.

Ahn was keen to explain that the key to this increase in market share is giving consumers what they want. LG has implemented a lot of market research to help develop the products that consumers want in their living room. From this research, LG has established three cornerstones which underpin the new TV lines – Design, Picture and Audio.

But there’s a caveat to the last cornerstone, since despite the fact that consumers want high quality sound, they allegedly don’t want larger speakers. To this end LG is putting “invisible speakers” in its high-end TVs, which the company insists, still produce top quality sound. Personally, I’d be surprised if anyone buying a very large TV didn’t have a dedicated surround sound setup, but I can understand the need for discreet, high quality speakers on smaller screens.

All of LG’s G60 series TVs will be THX rated for image quality, while some are also adopting ISF certification, to ensure peace of mind for the consumer. Other innovations seen in the high-end screens are LED backlight technology for LCD TVs, and wireless capabilities. Unfortunately the latter is not an LG implementation of wireless HDMI, which is based on ultra-wideband, but instead a version of the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard. This is good for anyone who wants to stream from a computer or NAS appliance, but hardly stands as a wireless solution for your high definition player or Sky box.

Of course the real key to the integration of Wi-Fi into LG’s TVs is the company’s recent deal with NetFlix. This will potentially allow consumers to stream “on demand” movies directly to their TV with no need for a set top box or computer as an intermediary. Whether we see a similar deal put into place with a UK based content provider remains to be seen, but network connectivity in a TV is definitely a good thing in my book.

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