updated 01:45 pm EST, Wed January 7, 2009
LG TVs at CES 2009
LG today made its 2009 HDTV range known and is centering its advances both on sheer image quality and on turning its TVs into full-fledged media hubs. The 55LHX is LG's thinnest TV ever and uses a combination of a breakout box and LED backlighting to reduce the set to just one inch thick. The illumination on the set is also advanced even compared to other LED-lit sets and produces a 2,000,000:1 claimed contrast ratio. It equally delivers a fast 240Hz panel that should eliminate motion jitter and holds four HDMI ports with Deep Color as well as a USB port for viewing content from external storage.
The LH90 series is thicker in return for integrating the contents of the breakout box into the back but is otherwise functionally similar to the LHX. The line also comes in smaller 42- and 47-inch models.
Equally important to LG, two new series are launching with a new Internet feature nicknamed NetCast; the new Ethernet-based feature effectively builds the features of media hubs like the Apple TV directly into the set itself: besides promised Netflix support for streaming movies and TV shows, the new sets can also access Yahoo widgets for Flickr photos and weather as well as play videos from YouTube. Four sets will initially have the feature on launch and include the LCD-based LH50 in 42- and 47-inch sizes as well as the PS80 plasma sets in 50- and 60-inch variants. The LCDs rely on 120Hz panels while the plasmas run up to 600Hz.
Besides the LHX, LH90 and LH50 series, LG's LCD line also includes multiple more mid-range models. The LH85 in 47- and 55-inch models builds in Wireless HDMI to beam its video signal from the source to the TV; the LH55 (37, 42, 47 and 55 inches) combine a 240Hz panel with a scanning backlight said to further improve motion response. The LH40 (32 through 55 inches) contains a unique hidden speaker system, while the LH30 (32 to 47 inches) and LH20 (19 to 42 inches) are basic models that output at 1080p and 720p respectively. The LU55 line is meant for the kitchen and incorporates a 720p 19-inch model as well as 1080p 22- and 26-inch models.
In plasmas, the PS60 strips the NetCast feature set without losing features or changing sizes, while the PQ30 in 42-inch and 50-inch models drop to 720p.
LG doesn't say when each set is due to arrive and doesn't mention their pricing.