LG touts appliances but teases phone, tablet

Company shows off its new Optimus Black Android phone but saves details of its tablet and an LTE-capable phone for later at CES. Also: lots of home video gear and a text-messaging oven.

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Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Stephen Shankland
3 min read
LG Smart TV Upgrader
LG Smart TV Upgrader LG

LG Electronics unveiled a range of home video products and smart appliances at its CES press conference in Las Vegas today--but mostly just a taste of some of its highest-profile gadgets to debut at the show.

Those wanting extensive details on the company's upcoming smartphone for Verizon, a model equipped with the up-and-coming LTE (Long-term Evolution) wireless technology, will have to wait for full details tomorrow at the Consumer Electronics Show. Likewise, LG's tablet news also remains under wraps.

But the company did share some details about its new Optimus Black Android-powered smartphone. It comes with a 4-inch AMOLED display that LG says is both bright and energy-efficient. It'll come with Android 2.2, augmented by LG's own Optimus UI 2.0, and will be compatible with Android 2.3, aka Gingerbread. Also new: Wi-Fi Direct, which lets the phone use 802.11 wireless networking to connect without using traditional Wi-Fi hot spots. Global availability is set for the first half of the year.

Also in the teaser department, LG touted a 4.3-inch, 480x800-pixel autostereoscopic mobile 3D display--a device that doesn't require 3D glasses and that offers "exceptionally bright and flicker-free" 3D. "Making 3D glasses a thing of the past, LG's 3D display uses an applied parallax barrier technology, which delivers a series of light-blocking slits attached to the front of the LCD panel. The slits, or barriers, ensure that the left and right eyes see different images, creating an illusion of depth and a thoroughly convincing 3D effect," LG said in a statement.

LG's Thinq smart-appliance ambitions, shown at CES.
LG's Thinq smart-appliance ambitions, shown at CES. LG

LG also makes home appliances, and it devoted much of its news conference to trying to whet consumers' appetites about what Net-connected white goods can do. Among the ideas: an oven that can text you when the turkey is done cooking. Specifically, it debuted its Thinq (pronounced think-you") smart appliance for monitoring and controlling appliances with interfaces on the devices or remotely from other computing devices.

The brunt of the news was for home video. Here are specific products that emerged:

LG's Smart TV Upgrader set-top box, which streams video from a variety of sources over the Internet, comes with a Web browser, and lets customers install new apps.

LG's first portable Blu-ray player, the BP650. Also announced are the top-end BD690 Blu-ray player and three lower-end models, the BD670, BD650, and LG BD640.

LG's top-end PZ950 plasma 3D TVs, with 50-inch and 60-inch models and active-shutter 3D technology.

• A step down the line, LG's PZ750 plasma TVs. Like the PZ950, these models include Smart TV technology, but the PZ750 models don't have screen-filter that makes black colors looks better in bright rooms.

• The LG's flagship home-theater-in-a-box, the LHB976, with wireless rear speakers, built-in Wi-Fi, and dual HDMI ports.

Two ranges of LG passive 3D LCD TVs whose 3D glasses don't require batteries for active-shutter synchronization. The LG Infinia LW5600 series has a 120GHz refresh rate in 47- and 55-inch models, and the LG Infinia LW6500 series has a 240GHz refresh rate.

• Two ranges of 3D LED-backlit LCD TVs, the high-end LW9500 series in 55-inch and 60-inch sizes and the lower-end LW7700 series in 47-inch and 55-inch sizes. Both ranges use local dimming of LEDs to improve the dynamic range of the display and active-shutter 3D glasses.