LG to unveil first Google 3D television
LG Electronics will unveil and market a Google-powered 3D, LED-backlit LCD television in the United States later this month.
Google has provided its latest 2.0 software, released in October, for the new set. Sony had earlier unveiled its Bravia TV on the Google platform but with the 1.0 version.
``LG Electronics will start the sale of our Google-powered 3D TVs with 47-inch and 55-inch models,’’ said Nho Seok-ho, head of the company’s LCD TV division, in an interview, Monday.
Production of the televisions will start from May 17 at LG’s factory in Reynosa, Mexico, and they will be available in stores such as BestBuy in the week starting May 21, according to Nho.
``We have yet to decide whether to use Google’s next 3.0 platform for our Web-connected and 3D-compatible TVs. LG will expand its offerings to Europe and South America after reviewing sales in the United States,’’ the executive said.
Samsung Electronics has yet to decide whether it will launch a Google TV, having said earlier it will release its own version by the end of this year.
Google TV will allow users to access the Google Play store through their televisions where they can purchase applications. They will also be able to watch videos on YouTube, surf the Web through a built-in browser and access other streaming services such as Hulu Plus and Netflix.
As firms push Web-connected televisions, market research firm iSuppli expects the global Internet-enabled TV market to grow nearly 60 percent this year to 95 million sets, outpacing the TV market overall, which is expected to expand by some 2 percent this year.
``LG believes the new platform is more robust and also has access to more content _ the results of Google’s increasingly successful efforts to make friends with Hollywood studios. Both should make it more appealing to consumers,’’ said Nho during the interview.
Google wants to partner TV majors as the U.S.-based software giant has long been held ambitions in this area, hoping to gain more from its online advertising business by adding it to television that still commands the lion’s share of advertising budgets.
``We’ve acknowledged that Google’s previous attempt to capture the household TV market yielded limited success due to the lack of customized content. But we expect more consumers to pay attention to Google TVs manufactured by LG and that’s the market TV makers should not lose. I think it’s also good for consumers,’’ Nho said.
Due to its high-end TV sales such as Web-based TVs, the LG executive said the company will boost its operating profit margins in the second quarter from the previous quarter’s some 4 percent.
The firm saw the profit margin of its TV division rise sharply to above 4 percent in the first quarter, helped by strong sales of high-end models such as 3D TVs and Internet-enabled sets.
``We are aiming to sell 36.5 million flat-screen TVs this year including 33 million LCD and 3.5 million plasma TVs,’’ Nho said.