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LG launches 84-inch, 4k TV for US$22,000, but nothing to watch yet

The Korean maker said it has sold about 70 of the TVs in a pre-order period that started last month.

You will soon be able to purchase one of LG Electronic's new 84-inch flat-screen TVs, which can show 8 million pixels per frame, or four times the quality of current high definition broadcasts, for US$22,100.

But you'll have to wait for something to watch on it.

The Korean electronics maker said Wednesday at a press conference in Seoul that the new TV will go on sale in Korea and global markets from next month. The TV has an impressively large screen that can display 3840 by 2160 pixels, along with a customizable 3D feature that allows viewers to set the depth of field and Internet "smart TV" connectivity.

LG is launching the device ahead of the massive IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin next week to advance its position in the smart TV race, according to Havis Kwon, president of the company's home entertainment division. Although there is little content available at that resolution outside of temporary events like the BBC's recent broadcast of the Olympics, and the TV costs as much as a mid-range automobile, Kwon said there is demand from high-income consumers and businesses.

"We have a clear target audience, it's about the access and how to market to them," he said.

The 8-million pixel technology is known as ultra high definition TV, or UHD TV, and is called "4k" after its number of horizontal pixels. It can show the equivalent resolution of four standard HD TVs. The UHD TV specification also includes 8k, used by the BBC in its Olympic broadcast, which is the equivalent of 16 HD TVs.

As HD TV became popular over the last decade, UHD TV will bloom in the next five years, and LG expects content makers to follow the trend, Kwon said.

For consumers to watch 3D content, LG offers film patterned retarder, or FPR, glasses, which the company released last year to avoid glare problems associated with active-shutter glasses. The UHD TV comes with a 2.2 speaker system consisting of two speakers with 10 Watts of power each and two woofers with 15 Watts.

LG's newest TV costs 25 million won, or about US$22,100. Although the large display is the main reason for the high price, the Korean electronics maker has no plans to produce such TVs with smaller screens. A 55-inch display is the minimum size to take advantage of the latest technology.

In recent weeks, Korean rival Samsung Electronics introduced a 75-inch LED TV, and Japan's Sharp rolled out a 90-inch model.


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