LG Fights Back against Samsung’s LED Hold

LG Electronics is fighting back against Samsung's growing grip on the crucial new growth engine in the LED television market, according to an article on The Korea Times.

Kwon Il-keun, senior VP of LG's LCD Technology Lab, spent most time of a 20-minute presentation talking of the merits of the company’s LED TVs.

Kang Shin-ik, second from left, head of LG Electronics’ home entertainment division and Kwon Hee-won, left, vice president of LG’s LCD business give a presentation with the company’s direct-lit-based LED TV, Thursday.

Citing three factors ― color uniformity, frame flow and lightness ― Kwon said the company's two direct-lighting based LED TVs which have a thickness of merely 24.8 millimeters offer far better picture quality than Samsung's edge-lighting based products.

Last week at a press conference held in Seoul, LG's flat-screen TV chief Kang Shin-ik said the company is aiming to sell as many as 5 million LED-backlit LCD televisions by 2010.

LG had been under fire over its passive stance toward the new market and debate is going on about whose technology is better.

In general, LED TV sets are thinner by about 1/3 than traditional models using cold cathode florescent tubes, have a longer lifespan and offer closer-to-reality images with greater contrast and wider color range.

While in terms of technology, there are two paths ― edge-lit or direct-lit ― with Samsung and LG on either side of the divide.

Samsung's edge-lit LED TVs have strength in price and thickness as LEDs ― a key component for the sets ― are spread onto left and right side edges, requiring less LEDs. In contrast, LG's direct-lit LED TVs are supposed to have a better picture quality.

"LG needs to have more testing periods for responses. That's why we introduced more expensive LED TV sets," the company said. "We will take a 'bi-polar' strategy ― premium direct-lit models and edge-lit budget models," Kang said.

LG says it is set to market 32-, 37-, 42-, 47, 52- and 55-inch TVs from July with panels from its flat-screen affiliate LG Display.

The company said LED TVs, which represent only 2.6 percent of the total LCD TV market in 2009, could represent as much as 20 percent in 2010 and 40 percent in 2011.

Experts and industry watchers say the global LED TV market will see "economies of scale" soon. Despite the advantages, the higher price is still considered a major drawback for general consumers.

Kang declined to give details on how many pre-orders the company has received. Samsung has sold over 500,000 PAVV-branded LED TVs globally just 100 days after launch of the product.

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