LG Australia held its launch for its Home Entertainment range in Sydney today, showing off a very shiny (but slightly odd) curved OLED TV, as well as cheaper ranges of UltraHD panels, and some guy out of Star Wars who says they’re “F-wording good TVs”.
McGregor was clearly the star turn (I’ll have another post relating to him… in a little while), but the idea was to sell LG flat panel televisions, and specifically the higher-end models, including the company’s first Australian OLED TV. Also (unless I’m very much mistaken) the first curved TV sold in Australia since cathode ray tubes went out of style, although in the case of the LG OLED TV, the curvature is inwards, not outwards.
LG head of Marketing Lambro Skopidis stated that LG no longer wanted to be a “fast follower” but instead a “leader”, and cited figures from GfK that suggested that Plasma is quickly dying — suggesting it’s only got around 9 per cent of the market — and that LG’s Smart TV sets are leading in sales terms — albeit only for actual Smart TVs. Given he also quoted figures that suggest that 1 out of 4 Australians didn’t actually know whether the TV they had was a Smart TV, and the issue of connectivity remains a problem for Smart TV users, quite how good leading in Smart TVs isn’t perhaps as great as it might first seem to be.
The undeniable star of the show — in a technology sense — was LG’s 55″ Curved OLED TV. This is one impressive, if rather odd looking panel — I’ll have a 30 Seconds Of Tech on it in due course — due to go on sale in Korea next month. No word on Australian pricing or much of a sense of availability beyond “2013″ at the launch and “in the months ahead” in the press release. Don’t expect it to be cheap, mind you.
UltraHDTV isn’t an entirely new category for LG, but it’s one that the company has attacked aggressively in terms of price points, and that flows through to its smaller UltraHD offerings. Although when you’re talking UltraHD, the screen sizes are still pretty massive; the cheapest UltraHD model will be a 55″ display for a cool $6999, with the highest end panel costing a hefty $15,999.
Smart TV still remains a focus, with LG announcing app deals with Deezer and Spotify, as well as games deals with Disney, EA, Activision and Unity. Also, a golf training sim. Maybe it’s just me, but the prospect of matching up a $15,999 TV and a big long bit of metal that you’re swinging towards it makes me just a little nervous…
LG’s plan is to hit the market with TVs at a quite wide array of price points, although they’re hardly alone in this aspect. Still, from $279 to $15,999 is quite a range.
And of course there’s Ewan McGregor. LG showed off storyboards of the ads (pictured above) and then McGregor spoke at length about his current projects, what the switch to HD (and now UltraHD) means for a movie actor, and also dropped the F-Bomb quite a lot when describing TVs. More on that shortly… (ish).