LG unveils largest, most expensive PDP TV

South Korea's LG Electronics unveiled a 71-inch Plasma Display Panel (PDP) TV set this week, claiming it is the biggest of its kind available.

The wide-screen TV is capable of displaying high-definition 1,080-line progressive scan video and went on sale in LG's home market this week. It comes packaged with a home theater system, speakers and a set-top box receiver for digital terrestrial broadcasting, said Karen Park, a spokeswoman for LG in Seoul.

As if having the world's largest PDP TV in the living room wasn't enough for their customers, LG has painted parts of the TV and the various components with a 24-carat gold paint. The result is that the world's largest PDP TV is also the world's most expensive, according to LG. The package will set customers back a cool 80 million won (US$75,700), said Park.

The company has plans to put the set on sale in the U.S., Middle East and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) before the end of the year, she said.

The set is several inches larger than a TV introduced by Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic) earlier this year. That set has a similar resolution and its screen measures 65 inches across the diagonal. It doesn't come with gold paint or a home theater system, but is already on sale in Japan at a more affordable but still pricey YEN 2.08 million (US$20,195). Panasonic plans to sell it in the U.S. market sometime in 2005.

While LG's latest set is the largest in commercial production, it's not the largest PDP that the company has made. In October 2003 it announced the development of a prototype screen that measures 76 inches diagonally. The company hasn't indicated when that panel will go into commercial production but the 71-inch panel included in this week's TV was announced as a prototype in July 2003.

LG is gunning for a larger share of the global market for flat panel displays. It aims to have a 30 percent share of the PDP module market by 2005, the number one position in the PDP TV market by 2006 and the number one position in the LCD TV market by 2008.

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Martyn Williams

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