LG 3D Smart TVs

LG holds the coveted position as the first official press conference of CES, which is great for the company, but murder on journalists, who must get to the Venetian before 8:00 AM if they want a seat in the huge ballroom. (Apparently, 3D-glasses maker Xpand had an unofficial press conference at 7:00 AM, but I sure wasn't going to make that!)

As expected, LG's TV lineup for 2011 includes more 3D models and more network connectivity, which is quickly turning out to be the TV story at the show. Out of 31 new LCD TVs, 10 are 3D-capable, and all but five are what LG calls Smart TVs; of the 12 new plasmas, eight are 3D and four are Smart TVs. In both cases, many models include both feature sets. Also, two-thirds of the LCD TVs use LED edgelighting or backlighting.

There are two big tech stories here. First, the LED-edgelit 3D models use passive-polarized glasses instead of active-shutter glasses, a technology LG calls Film-Pattern Retarder (FPR), which I'll discuss in more detail in a following post. Second, the top three LCD TVs—which reach up to 72 inches diagonally—are LED-backlit with local dimming using a technology LG calls Nano Full LED, in which the LEDs are smaller than usual and deliver brighter, cleaner, smoother local dimming in a cabinet less then one inch thick.