Thought Samsung had the US market for 65-inch Ultra HD televisions cornered? Think again. Hot on the heels of its competitor, LG has announced that its 55- and 65-inch UHD sets will sell for $5,999 and $7,999, respectively. They also pack a new feature -- a powered 4.1 channel speaker bar that appears / disappears beneath the front lip of the TV. The prices aren't chump change by any stretch of the imagination, but they're certainly more affordable than LG's last UHD TV: an 84-inch monster that sold for a staggering $19,999. Still, getting your hands on one isn't easy -- like its 84-inch set, LG's latest screens are making their debut exclusively in southern California, and will eventually roll out to stores nationwide. Sure, driving out to Santa Monica to pick up a new TV might not be convenient, but at least it's closer than South Korea -- if you're not in the US, the company expects to roll them out in the UK, Russia and Australia soon. Check out the company's official announcement after the break.
LG Electronics Brings 'Ultra High Definition TV' Into Mainstream, Building On 4K Leadership
Full-Array Backlit LED Display Technology Delivers Superior Picture Performance in LG Ultra HD TVs with New Screen Sizes, Unique Features
LG Electronics' newest Ultra HD TV series (model LA9700), which is available in 65- and 55-inch class sizes, went on sale for the first time in the United States July 11 at Video & Audio Center in Santa Monica, Calif., for a suggested retail price of $7,999.99 and $5,999.99, respectively. These are the first Ultra HD models in these screen sizes with full-backlit LED screens. (PRNewsFoto/LG Electronics USA, Inc.)
SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on its success with the industry's first 84-inch class Ultra High Definition flat-panel TV available in the United States, LG Electronics today expanded its 2013 Ultra HD line to include the first full-backlit LED array models in 55- and 65-inch class (54.6- and 64.7-inch diagonal, respectively) screen sizes, making Ultra HD technology available for a larger segment of the market.
LG Electronics USA chose Southern California as the consumer launch pad for the LA9700 series, teaming up with high-end retailer Video & Audio Center to introduce the new LG Ultra HD TV size and price options to U.S. consumers for the first time at a VIP in-store event.
In addition to unparalleled picture performance, the new LG Ultra HD TVs sport a distinctive industrial design with a slim bezel screen and a 4.1 channel, 50-watt sound system that includes the unique LG "sliding speaker*," a motorized sound bar that magically appears below the screen.
"When we brought the first Ultra HD TV to market last fall, consumer acceptance was surprisingly strong, considering that the 84-inch TV carried a $20,000 pricetag," said Jay Vandenbree, senior vice president, LG Electronics USA, and head of LG's U.S. home entertainment business. "Now, with a wider range of sizes at more attractive prices, even more consumers can enjoy the amazing picture clarity that Ultra HD TVs provide."
Joseph Akhtarzad, vice president and co-owner of Video & Audio Center's three LA-area stores, said, "With LG's launch of the first 84-inch Ultra HD TV in our Los Angeles store, we immediately recognized that consumers were hungry for the type of entertainment experience Ultra HD delivers. Now we are proud to offer the new 55- and 65-inch class LG models for those looking to bring Ultra HD into their homes."
Enhanced Picture and Sound
Ultra HD TV quadruples the resolution of today's Full HD 1080p TVs**. "But other factors contribute to the ultimate in picture performance," says Vandenbree. "That's why we're combining LG's proprietary NANO FULL LED array backlighting with IPS (In-Plane Switching) screen technology in the new LA9700 series."
With LG's NANO technology, LED particles are dispersed across a thin film behind the screen enabling detailed local dimming that provides superior picture control by allowing discrete sections of the LED array to be individually controlled, based on the picture. The result is amazing brightness, deeper blacks and richer colors for better contrast and color accuracy, as well as more overall picture uniformity. LG IPS display technology delivers wider viewing angles with less loss of color accuracy and contrast than traditional panels.
NANO technology adds to the already excellent picture detail and clarity afforded by these TVs' 3840 x 2160 picture resolution. Even before so-called "4K" content is widely available, LG's powerful Tru-Ultra HD engine gives consumers a spectacular Ultra HD entertainment experience employing a proprietary four-step "up-scaling" process to enhance the detail of current HD and SD content.
The LA9700 series will also be the first sets available to incorporate the new H.265 high efficiency video coding (HEVC) decoder, making these models forward-compatible if content providers begin to utilize this new standard for encoding broadcast or streaming content.
LG improved the sound quality of the new TVs by incorporating a unique, built-in, sliding speaker system that delivers an audio experience that's on par with the Ultra HD TVs' impressive 4K resolution. It can be programmed to remain permanently hidden or extended or alternatively, set to silently slide out when the TV is turned on and retract when powered off, allowing it to maintain a minimalist design. Also included is a subwoofer, which is located behind the screen, to ensure strong bass performance.
Early Adopters Embracing Ultra HD
On sale today for the first time at a VIP customer event at Video & Audio Center's Santa Monica store, LG' 55- and 65-inch class Ultra HD LA9700 series also feature LG's Smart TV platform with voice control-capable Magic Remote and CINEMA 3D technology.
Respected industry analyst Richard Doherty, research director for Envisioneering Group, expects the Ultra HD TV market to grow steadily in the United States as the new technology and form-factors go mainstream. "We see U.S. demand growing from high tens of thousands this year to more than tens of millions by 2016. New screen sizes give premium viewers much-wanted new options, and LG's full-array LED displays give those consumers a superb picture to astound family and friends of all ages."
"Early adopters already are embracing Ultra HD TV," said Tom Campbell, industry pundit, widely quoted technologist and director of Video & Audio Center. "Even the most premium consumers are looking for screen sizes that fit their lifestyle, and LG is proving that 4K Ultra HD works in 'smaller' screen sizes. I say that in jest, because for most, a 65- or 55-inch class screen is really big for most rooms."
The new models carry a suggested retail price of $7,999.99 and $5,999.99, respectively. The 84-inch class (84.04 inch diagonal) LG model is available for $19,999. For more information on LG's Ultra HD TVs, please visit http://www.lg.com/us/ultrahdtv/index.jsp.