LG Cinema 3D & Smart TV Launch - Third Dimension Justified


Cinema 3D Comes To Town

Of Cinema 3D & Smart Displays

Held at Raffles City's Convention Center earlier this morning, LG's TV launch was closely preceded by the company's announcement of its rather dismal financial bearings. As reported in a press release published yesterday, LG Electronics recorded a loss of more than $US14 million for the first quarter due to hefty investments made in affiliated businesses. With today's HDTV introduction, the Korean CE maker hopes its new line of 2011 televisions would breath new life onto its road to profit recovery. LG's 2011 range will cover all three TV segments, mainly LED-backlit, LCD, and Plasma. Among which, 11 new series were spawned, including five LED models, four Plasma, and two budget CCFL LCD models. The flagship LW6500 model will lead LG's charge, a Full-HD 200Hz display with all the fancy trimmings such as Cinema 3D and Smart TV features. Based on what we've experienced, LG has made 3D fun again, if not more practical and less nauseating. More on Cinema 3D and Smart TV coming right up.

Although it is available in the States and Europe, LG Electronics won't be bringing in the NANO Full LED LW9500 model to Singapore. Instead, the LED Plus LW6500 (shown here) will be crowned as the flagship display for the Koreans' 2011 local line up. The Cinema 3D and Smart TV model will be available in 47 and 55 inch sizes, while the 65-inch variant should hit retail shelves sometime in July this year.

 

Cinema 3D

In essence, Cinema 3D is actually the marketing term for LG's passive Film Patterned Retarder 3D technology. Unlike current active-shutter types, Cinema 3D panels are fitted with a polarized film substrate and viewable with polarized lenses. What's more, the use of film instead of a glass substrate also helps the company reduce manufacturing costs significantly. In many ways, LG's Cinema 3D implementation also brings with it many advantages, judging from our brief experience with the new bunch of Cinema 3D sets. For starters, flickering and crosstalk issues were greatly reduced. And not to mention that the stylish passive glasses are lighter, more comfortable, and also independent of annoying batteries. Apart from its allowance for a wider viewing angle compared to active types, the lightweight glasses also allow you to watch 3D movies in any orientation you prefer and under any lighting condition. These are huge advantages for LG and the consumers adopting passive 3D technology over active 3D glasses designed for LCD panels. The downside is that you don't get 1080p resolution while viewing 3D content, but it's definitely HD at the least and is much more enjoyable for all the above reasons.

LG's Film Patterned Retarder displays consist of a backlight unit, LCD panel, and a FPR film substrate laid over the LCD panel. Since LG's passive stereoscopic technology isn't dependent on strobing images and shuttering lenses to create a 3D effect, it is also less prone to crosstalk and synchronization issues.

Premium models such as the LW6500 also does 2D to 3D conversion on the fly. We cannot comment about its performance in this area till we review the unit in detail. But based on our experience with the LW6500, however, LG's FPR technology has paid off in a big way, seeing how its native 3D delivery was almost crosstalk-free.

LG has reason to brag about their polarized passive glasses. Their eyewear are not only lightweight and battery-free, but also affordable as well. If you must know, they cost only 20 bucks for two pairs. For now, LG is currently bundling their LW6500 and LW5700 models with four pairs of Cinema 3D glasses plus the Magic Motion remote as well.

 If you prefer 3D eyewear with a little more sex appeal, LG also has the French-flavored Alain Mikli glasses to accompany their Cinema 3D sets. The groovy spectacles won't come cheap though. Expect to fork out at least S$400 apiece. Crazy eh?

 

Smart TV

Smart TV is another prominent aspect of LG's latest HDTV range. Fundamentally, home users will be able to access a host of Internet apps and streaming applications from the TV's Home Dashboard page. LG's current platform boasts of 17 apps, including social networking tools such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Live streaming options are limited at the moment, with only MLB TV and Viewster available at this point in time. Local viewers will have to wait till Q3 this year in order to access the LG Apps store to download more content. One other nifty capability is the Smart Share feature. Simply put, it enables users to stream content to the TV using DLNA compatible devices. In terms of hardware, LG has thrown in the optional Magic Motion remote wand for their Smart TV package as well. Instead of relying on a standard remote's D-pad to navigate the onscreen interface, you can simply point and click on the screen's icons. For further details on LG's 2011 HDTV line up, please hit to jump stashed below. 

Most of LG's Smart TV features can be found on its Home Dashboard as shown here. Its integrated applications will reside under the Premium "card", while DLNA media streaming devices will be listed under the Smart Share "card". Note that the LG Apps icon residing on the lower launch pad is inaccessible as yet.

Many TV makers are trying their darnedest to create the most pleasing user interface, but we do think LG has done the best job so far. Here's a sneak peek at the Premium apps screen on the Smart TV platform. By the way, all 2011 models will be made available in early May.

It looks like LG has thought of everything to raise your comfort levels. Not only have they released a bunch of flicker-free 3D displays, but the new Magic Motion remote should also ease your navigation pains by a fair bit. Simply point and click at the screen like you would with a Nintendo Wii-mote. Yes, it's that simple.