What a difference a year makes - this time last year, LG opened the CES press schedule with news of the first hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD player, the BH100 'Supermultiblue:”.
This year there was just a cursory mention of the second-generation, BH200 model, already shipping in the US for $799, but not available in the UK. There's no indication of when it might come to Europe, nor any further HD player plans from LG.
This year, the company's theme was "marrying technology and art”, with flatscreens the main focus. Vice-president of marketing, Allan Jason, says it's been carrying out extensive research into what consumers want, and requirements are changing.
Picture quality is still the number one priority, but while sound is till second, it's growing in importance, and design has risen to third place in the wish-list.
As a result, LG has been working with the Imaging Science Foundation, and all the new 2008 1080p flatscreens are ready for ISF calibration. The new G60 series is also THX-certified for video, Jason saying “We realised we had to take our picture performance to another level”, while features on the PG70 series flagship plasmas include a claimed contrast ratio of 30,000:1.
To address the sound requirements, the company has been working with Mark Levinson - the man rather than the company -, who has been working with LG for the past year and is now their 'chief audio advisor'. It's a role he's certainly taking seriously, if his remarkable comment of “I'd like to thank LG for its contribution to the audio world” is anything to go by!
And on the design front, developments include a new LCD design only 1.7in (4.4cm) thick, and the company has alse been playing close attention to the requirements for bedroom TVs. As Jason puts it, “Our customers have different-looking furniture in their bedrooms than they do in their living rooms, so why should the TVs look the same?” The range includes flatscreens with coloured frames, plus side-loading DVD players.
Other technologies on show included a wireless flatpanel TV, the company saying that the absence of cables is rapidly shooting up the consumer wishlist.