LG leads the way on TV design

LG designers behind last year's Borderless TV share their thoughts on the new 2010 range and where the future of design is heading.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
2 min read

LG first showed off its 2010 television range at the CES this year, and this week we spoke to one of the designers behind moving away from clunky bezels to a more minimalist look.

LG's borderless TV design
LG designer Kim Jin with a prototype Borderless TV (Credit: Ty Pendlebury/CNET Australia)

Kim Jin, vice president of LG's HEB Design Lab, said her work is inspired as much by customer demands or trends as she is from her everyday life.

Kim said that the company receives regular feedback from its customers and that design elements such as minimalism and "lighter and slimmer" are very popular.

"Based on our research, customers don't want too many 'lines' on their TV set, so our priority was to make it better. This led to the Borderless concept," said Kim.

Last year's borderless TVs were "just the beginning", according to Kim, and featured a single sheet of glass with a subtle black border or bezel — a design that will be familiar to owners of Apple's Macbook Pro, with its edge-to-edge glass.

Kim went on to claim that Sony's new Monolithic Design was in part inspired by LG's Borderless concept.

LG claims Sony's Monolithic design (above) is inspired by last year's Borderless plasma (Credit: Sony)

However, Kim said that though people like a seamless finish, they don't want to get rid of the frame altogether.

"At this minute, we're not sure if what people want is no bezel at all. From our research, we found that people prefer 7-10mm at least. If you look at it from a design perspective, the bezel actually completes the design," she said.

Kim said that television design is similar to that of mobile phones because "people want a big screen".

Kim admitted that some of the design philosophies were a little abstract, but wanted to make the sets' 3D capabilities a feature: "When we design a 3D TV, we design to ensure that when it's turned on and turned off it will resonate a '3D feeling'."

In July 2009, we spoke to Samsung's designers, who said that Samsung's TVs were at least twelve months ahead of its competitors due to its Touch of Colour Design process. Kim countered by saying that while LG uses a similar injection method in its new range, it has deliberately chosen a single rather double injection method as part of the company's look.

What does the future of TV hold? Kim Jin said next year, after "six years of plastic, it's time to change", and that people's interest could turn to metallic surfaces such as brushed aluminium.

LG is due to announce its 2010 range for Australia shortly. Stay tuned to CNET Australia for the latest.

Ty Pendlebury travelled to Korea as a guest of LG.