LG LZ9700 & LW6500 3D TVs at CES

LG will have some big announcements at CES next week—literally. Perhaps the biggest is the 72-inch LZ9700, which the company claims is the world's largest LED-backlit 3D LCD TV.

The LZ7200 features full LED backlighting with local dimming, and it's large enough to make 3D worthwhile at a normal viewing distance. Also touted is TruMotion 400Hz frame interpolation, though many videophiles will scoff at this for the inevitable soap-opera effect. (I suspect the press release was written for the PAL market, which uses a 50Hz frame rate, and that it will be 480Hz in the US.) And of course, it will offer access to online content as well as media on your home network. As usual, no pricing has been revealed yet, but availability is scheduled for early 2011.

Also announced prior to the show is the LW6500 Cinema 3D TV, which uses passive glasses instead of active-shutter glasses. The press release has little substantive info on this technology, other than to identify LG's proprietary Film-type Patterned Retarder (FPR) panel that is said to optimize the separation of images of the left and right eyes. Also mentioned is something called 3D Light Boost, a thin film covering the screen that "ensures 3D images are shown at maximum brightness." It seems to me that passing the image through another film layer would decrease the amount of light reaching the eyes, not increase it, but I guess we'll see next week.

The use of passive glasses is said to result in a flicker-free image—not that I've seen flicker with active glasses—and these glasses are far less expensive than active glasses, which is a real benefit. However, I suspect that, like all 3D flat panels using passive glasses, this one cuts the vertical resolution in half for each eye. Interestingly, the LZ9700 press release does not specify whether that model uses active or passive glasses.

The LW6500 press release lists LED Plus and local dimming, but it does not explicitly mention LED backlighting as in the LZ9700 release, so I suspect it uses LED edgelighting with some sort of "pseudo local dimming" as in some Samsung LED-edgelit sets. Other features include 2D-to-3D conversion (which is not mentioned in the LZ9700 press release), access to online and local-network content, and TruMotion 200Hz frame interpolation (I assume 240hz in the US).

Again, no pricing has yet been announced, nor have any screen sizes been specified. The LW6500 will be available in select markets "soon after its introduction at CES." Stay tuned for my reports on these and other products unveiled in Las Vegas next week.