At LG's fifth annual summer line show in New York City, the company introduced two new HDTV lines, the SL80 and SL90. Both caught my attention for their attention to design.
The SL90 LG had on display was still a prototype; the company flew the display unit in especially for its media showcase. And even though this prototype had a rough edge or two, it clearly showed off the potential for this TV to transform the design landscape for LCD HDTVs.
The 47SL90 on show uses a Super IPS LCD panel, and has seamless, edge-to-edge glass. The effect is highly effective: The glass coating of the panel stretches elegantly from one side to the other, with a slim (less than one-inch) bezel. The edge-to-edge glass looks very striking; LG is the first to offer this technology. Slim HDTVs were all the rage at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2008, but the furor died down and few products made it to market.
The LS90 Series (available in 42-inch and 47-inch screen sizes)uses LED backlighting technology with local dimming. The LS90 Series supports 120Hz for improved fast-motion performance, but not LG's even better 240Hz technology. LG's Tim Alessi, director of new products development for home entertainment, says that the LS90 LG could only be produced with 120Hz technology because the edgelit backlighting used by the LEDs can't be used in conjunction with the scanning backlight technology used by the company's approach to 240Hz.
Because the LS90 Series uses LED technology, though, the set is extremely thin: It measures just 1.15 inches in depth.
The SL80 Series, also introduced today, is a little deeper: This slim CCFL-based display measures 1.8 inches deep. The SL80 otherwise looks the same as the SL90, with edge-to-edge backlighting, and it uses LG's 240Hz technology for handling fast action. The SL80 will be available in 42-inch, 47-inch, and 55-inch screen sizes, and will carry a US$200 premium over the LG LH55 Series, the company's current high-end 240Hz series. The SL90 will ship in October; pricing has yet to be announced. The SL80 will ship at the end of August.