LG gets a jump on CES, announces Ultra HD TV lineup for 2013

LG is getting a jump on next week's Consumer Electronics Show announcing Ultra high-definition TVs

LG is getting a jump on next week's Consumer Electronics Show announcing Ultra high-definition TVs that offer four times the resolution of 1080p HD displays. On Friday LG said it will head to CES with two new Ultra high-definition TVs (UHDTV) featuring 55 and 65-inch 3D screens. UHDTVs will have a big presence at CES 2013, with a bevy of TV makers expected to trot out models.

Just like LG's 84-inch UHDTV introduced at CES 2012, the two new models making their debut at CES 2013 will feature 3840-by-2160 resolution. The sets will also come with LG's newly refreshed Magic Remote that includes gesture and voice recognition, and Wi-Fi and WiDi connectivity. Pricing and availability were not announced, which is typical of CES announcements.

The new LG UHDTV sets won't be the only UHDTV displays being shown off at CES. Samsung is headed to Las Vegas with an 85-inch UltraHD TV, and Westinghouse plans to debut a 110-inch UHDTV the company says will be available for custom orders before the end of March. Westinghouse also plans to introduce 50-, 55-, and 65-inch models all offering 3840-by-2160 resolution.

While manufacturers are busy producing new Ultra HDTVs, there is almost no content available that can take advantage of the new super resolution. Broadcasters hoping to deliver images in Ultra HD will have to upgrade their transmission equipment, while digital downloads and discs from entertainment companies are not yet UHD ready.

Sony, which recently started selling its first 84-inch UHDTV for about $25,000, is getting around this problem by including a UHD content server with every purchase. The server comes pre-loaded with 10 movies in UHD including "The Amazing Spiderman," "The Karate Kid," "Salt," and the 2012 version of "Total Recall." The company is also sweetening the deal by including an Xperia Tablet S as a remote control.

LG in late 2012 also started selling its 84-inch UHDTV, which is currently available in the U.S. from select retailers for about $17,000. You don't get a media server with LG's set, but the company says its UHDTV will upscale content on the fly to get as close as possible to the new resolution, a feature that Sony's set also offers. South Korea-based customers will have an easier time of getting content for their new LG UHDTVs; the electronics maker has formed a content agreement with the Korea Broadcasting System to bring UHD material to viewers.

LG has been hard at work developing its next-generation technologies for television. Recently, the company announced that it would start accepting pre-orders for its 55-inch OLED 3D HDTV in South Korea, another big hit at CES 2012. A U.S. launch date has not been announced, but LG says it will announce further markets for its OLED TV in the coming weeks.

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