Tag Archive: LG


LG-logo-Android

Just a month ago I read somewhere on the web that “considering LG’s dedication towards its incredible work and consumer response especially in the mobile segment, it lets us witnessed very soon that the company (LG) will also be in line along with Apple or Samsung to generate maximum revenue from its mobile sector”. And finally, that day has come! Strategy Analytics has confirmed that worldwide smartphone shipments have reached 210 million units that shows the growth of 36% annually in just the first quarter of 2013. The Major market share was captured by the top giants Samsung and Apple obviously however, they were followed by LG at number three for the first time ever.

According to the report issued by the researchers team of Strategy Analysts, Samsung, Apple and LG shares were as mentioned below:

Brand

Smartphone Units Sells

Market Share in (%)

Samsung

69.4 Million

33.1

Apple

37.4 Million

17.9

LG

10.3 Million

4.9

Currently, LG is wooing the market with the Optimus G Pro while Samsung looks all set to rule the roost again with its powerful Galaxy S4. The Korean manufacturers have some strong competition from Taiwanese company HTC with their super stylish HTC One and let’s not forget the iPhone 5 which has been around for a while. In essence, all these companies are pushing hard for market dominance. However, it all comes down to the decision of today’s customer who is well informed and nitpicky and can easily differentiate between the different flagship mobiles.

Now LG’s unit volume might look meagre as compared to that of Samsung and Apple but the truth is that it is a big step in the right direction as these sales show that end users now have a much more positive outlook towards LG mobile as compared to the insipid response from previous years. It is also the perfect catalyst for LG to constantly improve and increase its market share in the coming years.

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The past year or so has passed with expectation for the consumer Display industry with the unveiling of OLED TVs at CES 2012 and IFA 2012. But more than a launch, it was a presser by companies to show the industry what they have in store for the coming years.

CES-2013-LG-Curve-OLED

And just when you would expect that CES 2013 would act as the carrier for finalized launch dates of these OLED TVs, both the Korean giants threw an unexpected but pleasant surprise at the audience in Las Vegas this year. Along with the shipping announcements for OLED TVs, we got to witness prototypes of curved OLED TVs. To be honest, even I looked at the latest entrants with a thorough brow anticipating the whole deal to be a damp squid.

sammy curved oled tv

At first look one might assume these TVs to be malleable considering the curved design. Not so much as they are just flexible OLED displays which have been designed as such and are not bendable at all. The whole idea behind having a curved screen is to make sure that the display is equidistant from the viewer’s eyes and there any visual distortion on the edges.

But with no announcements for plans on commercial production or pricing, these TVs still look far away from the realization of having one at your place. Having said that, there’s no doubt about the fact that these curved OLED TVs with a concave form factor from LG and Samsung are every videophile’s dream!

TVs galore at CES 2013

If the keynotes and unveilings at the ongoing CES 2013 is anything to go by then these are exciting times for consumer display technologies. International-CESTechnologies which looked inconceivable are being flaunted in full fledge in Las Vegas. Here’s a manufacturer-wise low-down on all these exciting technologies.

Sony – Having trailed behind Samsung and LG in the OLED TV race, Sony’s unveiling of a 56” prototype 4K OLED TV took everyone by surprise. The mashup may look wishful on the face of it, but the picture quality, contrast ratio and black levels which an OLED TV is capable of producing coupled with the high amount of detail its 4K resolution can show might just make this TV the ultimate beast once it commercially materializes.

Panasonic – Since Sony and Panasonic had collaborated last year to produce OLED screens, Panasonic also showed off its own 56” 4K OLED prototype. And it doesn’t look like the Japanese manufacturer is going to budge from making Plasma’s [despite reducing sales and consumer interest] as it also unveiled its 2013 line-up of Plasma TVs.

Toshiba – Another Japanese firm making sure that the Ultra HD market heats up. Its latest offering, the L9300 Ultra HD TV series just acts as a pointer to how manufacturers perceive the future of TV displays.

LG-throws-CES-2013-a-curveball-with-a-gently-arcing-55-inch-OLED-TVLG – Fresh from the accolades of last year, LG finally announced commercial shipping of its OLED TVs to US in March. The prices are jaw-dropping but so is the technology. Apart from that, it also launched 55” and 65” TVs with Ultra HD resolution to join the 84” LM9600 last year. Also on showcase was the stunning Curved OLED TV which was an instant crowd-puller. And to top it all is the all new Hecto Laser TV Projector which can generate crisp picture in the size range of 100 inches from a very short projection range.

Samsung – Like LG, Samsung also came up with its own curved OLED TV. The concept is aimed at doing away with viewing angle issues as well give a panorama-effect to visuals on it. Although just a concept, it opens up the possibility of having large-sized curved and bendable displays in future. Also on feature was the world’s largest Ultra HD TV at a mouth-watering 85 inches, pipping commercially available LG and Sony Ultra HD sets by an inch.

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Sharp – 60” Purios Ultra HD TV was one of the highlights at the Sharp stand with this set being the first one to receive THX 4K certification. The explanation of IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) displays was another one that seems exciting as these displays can have a 550 PPI (pixels per inch) making it a serious competition for Apple’s Retina displays. Then there were two prototypes, the 60” Aquos Ultra HD TV and an 8K TV. Considering 4K has been dubbed as Ultra HD by the companies, it will be interesting to see what branding 8K gets.

Simply put, it’s easy to conclude that CES 2013 was the hub of TV displays and technologies accompanying it which means the industry is geared up for transition and gradual overhaul of existing TV displays. So it will be interesting to see how consumers warm up to this vision in the coming years.

1993-home-alone-christmas

I have never viewed India as a good station of Christmas celebrations. Most of us generally consider it as a welcome day off amidst the tight work schedules and fog-laden sights around the city. I mean who wants to struggle in the chaotic traffic jams when you can be snug in a blanket at home!

But looking at the recent years, I am happy to concede that the Christmas spirit is slowly but steadily growing amongst the crowd here. Even the much-maligned aunts next door engage in baking cakes and cookies for the occasion. My office celebrations also went a notch up with everyone singing Christmas jingles whole-heartedly; a sharp contrast from the subdued proceedings last year J

But it was yesterday itself which I enjoyed a lot more. The day started with me watching “Jingle all the way” and “Liar Liar” on my LG LM6700 in the morning with my own version of Christmas brunch ;p And a little get-together in the evening with friends with some wine and “Home Alone Collector’s Edition” concluded my couch potato Christmas!

lg xmas header

And the delightfulness didn’t end there. Being an LG owner, I got a special postal card with best wishes from the LG showroom from where the TV set was purchased along with an update of their Christmas and New Year Celebrations offer. Now obviously I am not going to buy another 3D TV of theirs when I already have one, but it’s heartening to see such a gesture. Life’s Good when you Shake Up some happiness!

Ultra HD

It’s been some time since 4K or the rechristened Ultra HD TV’s have been launched in India and abroad. But apart from the tech-driven souls, there hasn’t been much consumer interest on this front in my isolated opinion. It might be down to the gigantic proportions that these behemoths have as well as the accompanying exorbitant price tags they carry along with them. Or just down to the fact that like 3D, Ultra HD is considered an unnecessary feature of the modern-age TV’s.

84-inch UDTV-580-75Another major factor is obviously the lack of native 4K content which doesn’t really help the cause of these TV’s. And considering that the digital STB TV transmissions are still only 1080i, the appeal of these TV’s is reduced even further. Sony and LG have been the first ones to tread Ultra HD waters with the launch of their KD-84X9000 and 84LM9600 models. And the most interesting part is the difference in geographical pricing of these two TV’s. While both are neck to neck in Indian pricing with a hefty price tag of INR 17 Lacs. But strangely, the US counterpart of Sony is a good 5000$ dearer than LG.

(Change the video quality to Original to see what Ultra HD is capable of!)

In an attempt to maybe justify the excess, Sony will start offering (on loan) 4K content server-based media player with multiple movie titles for the first batch of buyers in US. The titles may range from the latest Sony Entertainment features like “The Amazing Spiderman” and “Total Recall” to classics like “Taxi Driver” and “The Bridge on River Kwai” but the period of loan for this server is stillsony ultra hd undisclosed. In a way, Sony holds an edge over LG in regards to the 4K content it can provide, but will it finally help to kick off the Ultra HD trend is something that remains to be seen over the coming months.

If you are even a little bit inclined towards the technological advancements in TV technology, you will be aware by now that the war is between the new age LED panels and Plasma panels with LCD taking a backseat. I constantly go through tech forums everyday and it’s the same old brand debate that going on every single day. While the majority is open to a healthy comparative discussion, there are always a few stubborn seasoned members who solely deride certain brands in favor of others and the noobs on these forums get ostracized more often than not.

As exceptional as LED 3D TV’s are these days, there’s no denying the fact that Plasma is still better in terms of pure picture quality. But it was all supposed to change this year with the arrival of OLED TV’s. These units do not only boast of extremely vivid picture quality but they also have the slim form factor to go along with it. Just to clarify how the technologies work, both Plasma and OLED do not need any backlighting. Plasma has ionized charges in their cells while OLED is made of organic cathodes; both emit light when electricity is applied. The major difference is, the Plasma setup is bulky and an energy guzzler while it’s the opposite for OLED displays.

 

 

The CES 2012 and IFA 2012 both witnessed the showcase of 55” LG OLED TV as well as the Samsung OLED TV and after wooing the audiences for quite some time now, it was largely expected that mass units will be shipped in the final quarter of 2012. But that was just an estimated analysis while the actual situation has panned out differently. Both the players despite the successful unveiling the plans for commercial shipments have been scrapped. The OLED TV’s will be shipped in very small numbers by this year’s end and the real splash will be made probably by mid-2013. The primary reason for this rescheduling has been the poor manufacturing yield of OLED displays for both the Korean giants. And there’s a good reason behind it. We have already been acquainted to OLED by the AMOLED screens used in high-end Smartphones. The size of the task that lies behind replicating a display technology which has been perfected for mobile use to a much larger screen apt enough for a TV display is pretty daunting. While a showcased OLED TV might have looked great, the mass production of these TV’s is an entirely different cup of tea altogether.

Maybe the question I have posed in the post title is not too relevant as this delay is inevitably disappointing. The first lot of the new TV’s always comes as a premium and its only with the increased ubiquity that the prices become affordable. That means that owning an OLED TV (if you ever want to) has been delayed by yet another year or two for an enthusiastic mid-segment consumer like me. But hey, it’s a technology worth waiting so I am not worried too much about this pit-stop.

After a week-long leave, it feels good to be back doing what you enjoy; which in my case is writing J The week that has gone by was filled with celebration, revelry, emotional connect and exuberance. I returned to Mumbai for a few days and met all the relatives who have been so eager to confirm my existence so that they can bore me to death with their stereotypical opinions and advice.

The first part of the whole thing was quite enjoyable if I am being truthful. When you consider that I spend majority of my time in the Capital due to my professional commitments, my social circle gets limited to office colleagues and it has to have a degree of insanity attached to it. As much as you enjoy this freedom of being independent, home sickness eventually kicks in. There were quite a few new souls I came to know about on this visit of mine. Like the new maid in our household as well as our not so noisy neighbors who have recently moved in. And the whole Diwali to Bhai Dooj was spent in constant shuttling to relative’s houses and social get-togethers.

The other part of the trip was intriguing and to an extent disappointing if seen contextually. The festive season has become a set criterion for adding something new to the household with new vehicles, gold and TV’s topping the list. Now I know as much about cars as a horse would know about an iPad so I’ll leave it at that. And I do not have too much inclination towards jewelry so let’s cut that off from the list as well. But since technology is something close to my heart, TV is where all my opinions came out and quite a few of them were a bit taken aback with my in-depth inputs. I am just going to recap a few instances which I found funny and infuriating at the same time.

Instance 1: My Mamaji (uncle) comes to our house to wish Diwali and bought two wonderful presents. Since my mom had already made everyone aware of my LG LM6700 Cinema 3D TV, he was a little curious of why I would go for LG when I could have gone for a Sony or Samsung. I explained in details the advantages the TV had and that it provided the best of all features which I guess insinuated him as he went on to rumble about how TV purchasing shouldn’t be such an inquisitive process and blatantly advocated in favor of a Sony LCD TV. I kept mum on the outside but my insides were on fire with laughter at all this naivety.

Instance 2: Our own household needed an upgrade as the 29” Samsung CRT has literally been surviving by the skin of its teeth and it was high time for an upgrade. But as it always is with parents, my Dad called up one of his acquaintances for advice. The lanky individual turned up at our place and instead of giving buying advice, he jumped on the opportunity to earn a few extra bucks. He assured my father that no point in spending big on a flat TV as he can get a 32” LCD from either Videocon or Futec (yes there is a company by that name) for next to peanuts. I had to work a lot on clearing all the brainwash and explain him about the existing display technologies. For now, he has decided to conduct some thorough surveys of the latest Smart 3D TV’s and assured me of making the final decision when I visit next so that went well.

 

Instance 3: We went to one of my mum’s friend’s place to wish Diwali and that tied up with them since they had also gone to buy a new TV. Fortunately in this case, her husband was a bit tech-savvy and did understand about the 3D functionality and Smart TV features. He had not made a decision yet but had his heart set on the Samsung 46” ES6800 Smart TV. Never the one to intentionally influence anyone’s buying decision, I showed him the pics of my own LG Smart 3D TV which left him in a bit of a fix. The good thing was that he had some awareness with what TV’s have to offer today which came as a welcome surprise for me.

Now make of it what you will, but the majority of the consumers base is still not enchanted by what a modern age TV has to offer. Instead, it’s the price which is the most influential factor in the purchase. At one end, you can’t blame them for being restrictive but it also highlights the sad fact that TV makers need to have a more cohesive campaign if the market for 3D TV’s and Smart TV’s has to grow in the immediate future.

The old model of suggestions and advice before any buying decision was to check with your elders and peers and go ahead with the purchase considering the brand reputation and the discounts on offer. Understanding the technological aspect of things was like an exploration activity after the product had reached your place. The only major task was to make a choice amongst the brands available at that time.

Things have progressively changed since then and so has the platforms for gathering information. In a hypothetical scenario, you are looking to buy a new Smartphone. Now, it’s not just the brand or price you will have to look at but also what you expect out of your gadget as a prospective owner. For a noob, it would be the screen size, the apps as well as the battery life. For a corporate guy, the phone’s capability to sync to his business accounts; while an enthusiast will look at the phone’s hardcore technical configuration as well as the scope of modification (HINT: overclocking).

And like it or not, it’s a similar story when it comes to TV’s. Gone are the days when TV’s were being bought on brand reputation and face value, which can be partly attributed to the increased number of display technologies available at this time. From a conventional CRT-powered TV sets, the television has evolved to being made with LCD, LED as well as Plasma technologies. And the fun has just started. Even the latest avatar of LED TV’s get differentiated on the basis of being CCFL-type, full array or edge-lit. The next phase of the dilemma is whether to go for a basic TV or a TV packed with 3D and Smart features. Moreover when it comes to 3D functionality, you have the active vs. passive 3D debate in full swing. In short, the list of considerations keeps on increasing.

This is where internet can be your savior these days. Instead of running from shop to shop for doing physical surveys, you can simply register on a techie forum and clarify all the doubts you have regarding the different products you are looking at. And the good thing about forums is that you get multiple first hand and unbiased opinions; something you cannot expect from sales personnel.  Most of the times you don’t even need to ask the question (or in forum lingo, START A NEW THREAD) as it’s highly likely that you will find threads relevant in solving your queries. Plus, the constant exchange of information makes you well vested when it comes to know-how, basics and thumb rules of the technology you have an interest in.

I scour popular forums like ThinkDigit and HiFiVision and have gained a lot of information from these two. And more recently, I have been browsing through the LG WR Forum started by LG’s World Record Team. A whole host of topics related to their Cinema 3D range as well as other household appliances is available with the LG WR Men playing the part of the librarian. Not only are all these forums a very convenient way of knowing about technology but it works as a unified virtual connection that keeps you up to date with all there is to know about in the technology universe.

It was a routine Saturday evening when me with some of my colleagues were wandering inside Ambience Mall, Gurgaon. The creative media head of our team had the concern of upgrading his old and continuously wearing out handset with a top of the line Smartphone inside his head. So off we went scouring all the present showrooms for the latest expensive offering one can get his hands on.

A couple of hours later with no visible inroad I knew that the evening is bordering on being wasteful when suddenly some loud music echoed from the endmost part of the mall near the fountain area. A few minutes later we were all there and in front of our very own eyes a surprise unfolded. The empty space scouring with mall-goers made way for a few people who started dancing in the middle of the area. And very soon, more souls joined in and I came to realize it was another Flash Mob! But since most of the flash mobs in India these days are corporate affairs, it was a bit of surprise that there were no branding banners or displays around. As the performers grooved and thumped to the music in a coordinated display the crowd surrounded the mob with constant claps and whistles and a few of them even let themselves loose along with the group 😀

At first, it seemed like a routine flash mob which might end in a few minutes when other layer of the whole plot unfolded.. In came a chap to join the group and started dancing along. Moments later, his girlfriend was present in front of him to whom he proposed in a proper dramatic filmy style! The girl accepted and the revelry continued. It took some time but I eventually got my head around the fact that it was in fact the first Flash Mob Proposal ever to happen in India! It reminded me of the flash mob at Grand Central Station in “Friends with Benefits”, albeit a bit more Bollywood-ish..

But that was it and I never got to hear anything about it in papers or tabloids. It might be strange coming from a journalist who generally vies for stories like this, but I have never been the sensationalist kind and somehow I understood the low-key component of the whole act.  But that was until yesterday when I realized that it was a flash mob organized by LG. The making of the proposal video showed how a simple Facebook conversation and the LG WR Forum transformed into an event of such a magnitude. And the main schemer of this romantic gala was LG’s own WRMan Sherlock. I had seen those web cartoons at random once but this lovey-dovey idea on Sherlock’s part must have him floating in seventh heaven at this time!

And the actual flash mob was even better. The video length seems a bit short as compared to the live time duration but it is still immensely enjoyable to watch. As modern as we might have gotten with our progressive mindsets, it’s moments like this which would make any girl feel special. I am not ashamed to admit I would love such a stereotypically romantic proposal myself!

What’s even more heartening about the whole affair is that this LG World Record Team had the guts to think of such a unique and out of the box concept and have the brains and audacity to execute it in grand fashion. Yes it is a way of brand promotion and marketing but the main agenda was giving a loving couple the surprise of their life! Isn’t that what a flash mob is all about; bringing smile to people’s faces! 🙂

I am not the one who believes in doing things the old school way. Any and every little issue, whether it be a little scraping in the wall to any issue in an electrical appliance of mine, I prefer to give it a shot myself rather than straight away calling a mason or technician. Most of the times, it works but sometimes the end result is dreadful. Just ask the landlady about my Diwali lights debacle and you will have a fit of rage on exhibit!

And I have stayed honest to the philosophy when it comes to buying new products. Take for example my new LG LM6700 Cinema 3D TV which has been bought an exact 7 months 22 days and 11 hours ago J The whole TV purchase process was one hell of a rollercoaster ride for me. My slim CRT panel had undergone bypass surgeries I don’t know how many times and the need for change (or to be more specific an upgrade) was apparent. As much as I didn’t want to part with my old generation idiot box, the upgrade had loomed on the horizon and this demise just made it inevitable. The crying shame is that the CRT wasn’t in a condition to be kept anymore and one fine day we parted ways L

Now began the surveying process for the new TV. I had been so crushed with all that had happened during the past few days that my heart wasn’t yet set straight on sorting out this new dilemma of mine. I breezed through quite a few brand showrooms and multi-retailer stores without much of a purpose as I wasn’t yet clear on what I wanted. But with the kind of moolah I was going to spend on a new TV, I needed to get my head around the whole deal. And that is when the real work began as I first understood the three available display technologies namely LCD, LED and Plasma at the time. Since the TV needed to be kept in a brightly lit room, the Plasma was ruled out immediately. And with the dimensions the room had; anything less than 50” would look farcical. And since LCD models in these screen sizes are deceptive as quite a few which claim to be full HD turn out to be HD Ready and as a newbie, that was a risk I wasn’t willing to take so I singled out on going for an LED TV.

I might have been unaware of how TV’s have progressed, but the frequent showroom demos and visits bought me up to speed with it all. TV’s now were not only capable of providing stunning picture quality but also double up as a PC with their Smart TV functionality. Add to the fact the phenomenon of 3D visuals had already caught up with brands with most in the range of newest models were in fact Smart 3D TV. This changed the whole outlook I had and I resurveyed the models I had singled out for their 3D capabilities and Smart TV functions. It was a direct tussle between Sony 46” HX850, Samsung 46” ES6800R and LG 47” LM6700. Now here is when things got tricky as the 3D technology in LG’s TV was different to that of Samsung and Sony’s. That is when I hit a roadblock again to understand all about the Active and Passive 3D technologies. After a check on that, it was clear that passive 3D is the preferred and more comfortable option when viewing 3D for longer time periods so LG had an extra brownie point on that front.

But 3D was not going to be the deciding factor as picture quality and Smart TV functions held equal weightage for me. That also turned out to be engaging as the HX850 turned out a tad bit better on the PQ front but was nowhere near Samsung and LG in terms of its Smart TV dashboard. Plus, the Touchpad Remote and Magic Motion Remote from Samsung and LG respectively were an added plus.

With every important aspect of a new age TV clear to a layman like myself, the only thing left was a thorough comparison and then making a choice. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved some of features in both Sony and Samsung, but LG for me was the consistent performer across all the important parameters which made my choice a wee bit easier. Close to 8 months on, my LM6700 adores the main wall of my living room and I am glad that this purchase was made after proper research and not haphazard selection because that would have been annoying when there is a plethora of informational resources to learn and understand from before shelling the bucks on a TV these days!

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