The day before the official opening of the Consumer Electronics Show was filled with major announcements from several of the leading manufacturers. LG started off the day by announcing new firsts for them, including their entry into a new category, GPS navigation, with four models coming out in Q2. Their biggest news however was in the flat panel and high definition disc businesses.
LG North American president Michael Ahn speculated that this year would lead to some compression in the number of players in the flat panel market. “Just a few companies can survive and become major players,” he said. As the world’s largest producer of flat panels, LG intends to remain one of those major players. A sign of the company’s seriousness in the market was the company’s decision to drop the price of its flagship plasma TV, a 71-inch model, more than 80 percent to $14,000. They then unveiled a new flagship, a 100-inch 1080p LCD TV, but didn’t release the price.
LG also unveiled more details about its Blu-ray/HD DVD combination player announced last week. The BH100, which will ship later this month or early February, uses LG’s Super Multi Blue drive that incorporates two laser diodes and two lens systems. The $1,199 player does not play standard CDs, but a PC drive will write and read CDs. The standalone player also supports standard definition DVDs, Dolby Digital+, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD. LG noted that it would welcome other manufacturers joining their approach in offering a combo player and stated that licensing their technology is an option the company will consider.