updated 12:00 am EDT, Thu July 30, 2009
LG SL80 and SL90 HDTVs
LG at an evening event Thursday opted to unveil a major reworking of its LCD HDTVs first in the US. The SL80 and SL90 together have a near-seamless look that tries to hide the separation between the bezel, the LCD and the speakers. Of the two, the SL90 is also LG's technology leader and has an LED backlight that ramps the dynamic contrast ratio up to a company-best 3,000,000:1. Appropriately, it also gets a 240Hz refresh rate, an ambient light sensor and audio tuning that adjusts the volume for spoken dialogue without touching most anything else in a movie or TV show. It becomes one of LG's thinnest at 1.15 inches deep.
The SL80 saves costs by using a fluorescent backlight that reduces the contrast to 150,000:1 and thickens the back to 1.8 inches. It still keeps the 240Hz panel and other special features of the SL90.
Of the two, the SL80 ships first and will be ready in August in 42-inch ($1,600), 47-inch ($1,900) and 55-inch ($2,800) versions. LG isn't yet ready to commit to a ship date or pricing for the SL90 series but will keep it smaller at 42- and 47-inch screen sizes. Either will ship before the end of the year.