LG's 4K OLED TV starts shipping in Korea this month, along with laser projector TV, other markets to follow soon


LG has confirmed this morning at CES 2013 that its Hecto laser projection TV isn't just a prototype or a technology exercise: it starts shipping in Korea this month, with other markets to follow soon after.

Is will hit US shops in March, at the same time as the company's 55in OLED TV, which will cost a cool $12,000 (just under £7500).

Larger-screen OLED TV will follow from LG later in the year.

POSTED 28.12.12

Laser TV, Google TV and more 4K sets – with ten days still to go before CES 2013 opens its doors in Las Vegas, LG has pre-empted the world's biggest consumer electronics show with announcements of major products it's set to demonstrate there.

While latest reports suggest LG ha been among those struggling to make last year's big CES news – OEL/OLED TV – a commercially viable product, it's clear the Korean company is keeping its bases covered, rather than pinning its fortune on a single, very expensive, technology.

LG CES 2013: more 4K TVs

Two 4K Ultra HD new models will join its 84in 84LM960V: 55in and 65in models will be shown not on the company's main stand, but in LG Display's private booth, as part of what it calls its 'focus on the themes of high picture quality resolution and design minimalism', which it says sees it 'poised to dominate the emerging UHD premium display market'.

The company's 55in OLED TV will also be on show, now said to be weighing in at just 3.5kg, along with a new range of two Google TVs.

LG CES 2013: Google TV meets Smart TV

They're said by LG Electronics Home Entertainment President and CEO Havis Kwon to 'deliver a stellar user experience by merging the latest Google TV platform with LG’s proven Smart TV technology. The result is a comprehensive system that is groundbreaking in its simplicity.'

LG CES 2013: Hecto Laser TV

But likely to be capturing a lot of attention is LG's Hecto Laser TV, a 100in two-piece system of projector (above) and screen (below) with a throw requirement of just 22in (56cm), a claimed contrast ratio of better than 1,000,000:1 and a light engine with five times greater life than conventional lamp-based projectors.

The system delivers Full HD 1080p resolution, and is said to give picture quality equivalent to that of plasma displays, as well as being usable in higher ambient light conditions than conventional projectors require.

The compact projector unit has 3 HDMI inputs and full Smart TV functionality, and is said to have a service life of 25,000 hours before replacement parts are required.

Like other new LG Cinema 3D Smart TVs, it can be controlled by the company's revised Magic Remote (above), which has enhanced language recognition to allow it to work with more natural speech patterns, as well as controlling functionality via gesture, pointing and a built-in thumbwheel.

LG CES 2013: natural speech – Gangnam Style

The new Natural Language Recognition software is said to do away with the rather stilted voice commands needed with the first-gen Magic Remote: as the company puts it, No longer is there a need for an awkward pause between the command and the title to be viewed, users can simply say “Show me Gangnam Style video” and the new Magic Remote will understand'.

The remote also has universal learning capability, and will be available in two versions, depending on the TV with which it's sold: the premium version will add a more compact design for greater comfort and button backlighting.

Finally, the company is expanding its range of home cinema systems and sounders, and boosting its speaker dock line-up.

All four of its new Blu-ray home cinema systems will add to their 3D and Smart TV capability with Bluetooth stereo connectivity, while the top two models have 4K upscaling, 2D-to-3D conversion and web browsing.

In addition those top models have Miracast technology to allow direct wireless connection to suitable devices, independent of the home Wi-Fi network, and Sound Privacy, which allows the system to stream sound wirelessly to an app-equipped smartphone or tablet for private headphone listening.

An Android app will be available for Sound Privacy connection, and LG has also hinted there may be an iOS version, too.

LG CES 2013: Five soundbars

Five soundbars will be shown at CES 2013, from a simple two-channel 40W model, right up to a model with wireless subwoofer, Bluetooth and embedded Wi-Fi for streaming services such as Netflix and vTuner streaming radio.

The top model in the range (above) is designed to fit under the bezel of the company's TVs and flush with the front of the TV. It has a wireless subwoofer and despite its 310W output stands just 3.5cm tall.

LG CES 2013: Five new docks and wireless speaker systems

Finally the company's five-strong speaker dock range will include three models with the new Apple Lightning connector, and two battery-powered devices.

All models have Bluetooth and nearfield communications for initial pairing, with step-up home models adding Apple AirPlay, Wi-Fi and DLNA network playback, these last features also setting the pricier of the two rechargeable portable models apart from the entry-level offering.

UK availability and pricing for all these models is yet to be announced, but we'll be at CES 2013 to bring you all the news as it's announced.

CES 2013: what to expect from the world's biggest technology show

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.