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LG Shows Off Google TV Models at CES

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Google TV may not have had an auspicious debut in 2011, but 2012 already looks promising for the smart TV platform. At the first company press conference of CES 2012, LG showed off its upcoming lineup of Google TV televisions.

LG Worldwide president and CTO Dr. Scott Ahn showed off the line during his remarks, offering few details, but saying it formed the “basis for strong future relationship with Google.”

Ahn drew applause during his presentation when he unveiled LG’s new 55-inch OLED TV, which is 4mm thick and weighs 7.5kg. It’s the world’s largest and lightest OLED set, he said.

Other new products on display include 55-, 60-, 72-, and 84-inch smart 3D TVs. The 84-inch model is made from four 42-inch screens. It offers a 1mm bezel and is 28mm thick.

Dr. Tim Alessi, LG’s director of new product development, took the stage to offer more Google TV details, saying that LG would offer two Google TV sets. He also said that LG’s Smart TV interface would be improved in 2012 with a better user interface, more customization options, and an improved web browser. The Smart TV interface will benefit with new content partnerships, although he didn’t offer specifics.

LG Google TV

Half of the LG TV lineup will offer both Smart TV and Cinema 3D, Alessi said. LG offers less expensive passive 3D glasses, which Alessi said were gaining in consumer popularity.

LG is improving its Magic Motion Remote with a wheel for scrolling, as well as support for gestures and voice input. 3D TVs will include a camera for gesture support and full body gaming. It wasn’t clear if the cameras were default equipment or a paid extra.

The company’s 3D sets will gain improved 2D-to-3D conversion in 2012, 3D depth control, and 3D sound zooming. It will also offer glasses-free 3D laptops and monitors for single users, where an included camera tracks the viewer’s location.

Smart Share technology will let LG consumers share data between devices. The company will offer Wi-Fi screen sharing for TVs and mobile devices, second-screen display for mirroring mobile content, MHL ports, and support for Intel’s WiDi technology.

LG will begin making its own chipsets in 2012, and announced the L9 chip. The L9 includes a multicore CPU and GPU. It will be used for the company’s premium TV line.

LG also introduced the Spectrum smartphone, a Verizon exclusive, which includes 720p HD video and a 4.5-inch display. An ESPN representative took the stage to announce a partnership with LG that will bring ESPN HD sports to the Spectrum. The Spectrum will launch in Verizon stores January 19 for $199 with two-year commitment.

In opening remarks, LG North America president and CEO Wayne Park said that LG increased revenue by 8 percent in 2011’s difficult economy, and produced record U.S. sales in the fourth quarter.

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