Kwon Hee-won, third from left, LG Electronics’ TV chief, poses with Nho Seok-ho, right, chief of LCD TV division; Choi Sang-gyu, left, chief of LG’s Korean marketing division; and well-known celebrity Won Bin, an LG TV promoter, during an unveiling ceremony at its R&D center, downtown Seoul, Wednesday. / Courtesy of LG Electronics
By Kim Yoo-chul
LG Electronics unveiled a plan Wednesday to push its LCD TV with film-type patterned retarder (FPR) 3D technology.
FPR is said to make pictures sharper and clearer so as to provide viewers with theater-quality images.
LG's television unit is focusing on 3D television to better compete with Samsung and Sony in the highly-lucrative market.
Sales targets are upbeat. The chief of LG's television unit said it was aiming to control 20 percent of the global market for 3D by selling at least eight million televisions.
"The global 3D TV market is on a fast development phase. LG is confident about the proliferation of 3D televisions with FPR technology," said its chief Kwon Hee-won in a news conference to introduce its new 3D TV model.
The Cinema 3D LCD TV removes any kind of dizziness or eye fatigue, which is common with existing shutter glass 3D TV.
LG is promoting light, inexpensive 3D spectacles, without batteries, which are required by Samsung's.
"LG wants to become the leader in 3D TVs. Bigger retailers from China to the United States are asking us to supply more," the top executive told reporters at its R&D center in downtown Seoul, Wednesday.
Kwon said China will be the first market LG will go after, followed by the United States and Europe. He said six leading Chinese firms including Skyworth and Hisense will introduce LG's advanced televisions.
"Because the Chinese TV market will become the biggest, replacing the United States, from next year, we will focus on China. In the United States, LG will form alliances with Vizio," said Kwon.
LG, which targets to sell 40 million flat-screens this year, aims to sell between 34 million and 35 million LCD TVs that use light-emitting diode (LED) light-bulbs, the top executive said.
This year is crucial for LG to regain its power in consumer electronics, according to LG officials and market analysts.
Since Koo Bon-joon, the younger brother of Chairman Bon-moo, took over LG Electronics, key parts-making affiliates including LG Display, LG Innotek and LG Chem are increasing their cooperation.
Now attention has turned to whether or not Samsung will release its newer 3D models equipped with film-based 3D technology.
"Samsung is undecided on whether or not to use film-based technology in its 3D TVs," said a high-ranking LG executive, asking not to be identified.
Kwon said LG plans to narrow the gap with Samsung to the 3 percentage point range in the global flat-screen TV market.
Samsung and Sony are pushing shutter glass (SG) 3D technology.
Whereas SG glasses restrict head movement because it causes the eyewear to go dark, FPR allows users a full range of movement such as lying down on a sofa without losing the 3D picture.
Samsung's television chief Yoon Boo-keun will speak to the media over pending issues, Thursday. A senior Samsung spokesman Kim Choon-gon declined to comment.
"Still, the glass for 3D TV with SG technology costs 100,000 won or some $90, while that of FPR technology costs around 10,000 won, which puts LG in a better position in 3D televisions," said TV chief Kwon.
He, however, said the firm doesn't have any imminent plans to introduce plasma-based FPR 3D television sets.
Due to the success of the movie Avatar, 3D seems to be the winning formula with more such movies being produced.
The global consumer electronics industry hopes for a quick change in the television viewing pattern at home.