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LG Canada tempts TV buyers with 3D video offer

LG is offering a free 3D video camera with select TV purchases to tempt consumers into going 3D

The first 3D Bluray movies aren’t expected to hit the market in force until the holidays and broadcast 3D content is still very limited, but LG Electronics Canada is hoping to tempt more users to become 3D early adopters and invest in a 3D-capable television by bundling a 3D video camera with select LG television purchases this fall.

As of now, consumers that purchase a model in LG’s LX 6500 and 9500 series will also receive free a Fuji W3 camera that shots 3D photos and records 3D videos, plus two pairs of 3D glasses. So while they wait for Mad Men to start shooting and broadcasting in 3D, consumers can still enjoy home video of their European vacation with the realism of 3D.

“Now, if you were thinking of buying a 3D television, you’re not thinking ‘ok, we’ll get it and then when the movies and video games start coming out we can really enjoy it,’” said LG Canada’s Frank Lee. “Now you can buy an LG TV and that day you can start taking 3D video and photographs that you can enjoy.”

For more 3D content though, particularly broadcast television, users will have to wait. Lee said LG does have 2D to 3D up-scaling on one of its 60” plasma models, but the company wasn’t satisfied with the quality of the conversion. It’s taking another crack at it and is looking at launching new up-conversion technology in the fall.

“Movie aficionados and people that are into video games, that’s going to be a really tangible experience for them,” said Lee. “For the everyday consumer, it’s really about when will I see my favourite shows in 3D. That has yet to be experienced.”

LG’s 3D models include the 47” LX9500 starting at $3600, and the 55” for $4500. The full LED display features 480Hz processing and backlight scanning.

LG Canada has a three-pronged approach with its home entertainment offerings going into the fall, said Lee. The focus is on wireless to free the home of physical cables, Internet content to leverage in-home broadband and WiFi networks, and leveraging the DLNA standard to make it easier for the average consumer to network and share content in the home.

“We’re trying to bring a little more freedom to home entertainment,” said Lee.

Recently launched on the wireless front is the Wireless Media Kit, which sends a full 1080p signal to a compatible TV (which includes 80 per cent of LG’s line) from up to 50 feet away. Accessories such as a cable box, game console or Bluray player can be connected to the Media Kit in an out of the way place, removing the clutter of the cords from the living room.

“It’s going to change architecture, décor, home furnishing, and just change your behaviour,” said Lee.

On the Internet front, Lee said LG has developed widgets for YouTube and Picassa that allow a user to access videos and pictures from those services on their big screen television. And if a user doesn’t want to upgrade their TV to get the experience, it’s also built into LG’s Bluray players. Lee said partnerships for more widgets are expected to be announced in January at the Consumer Electronics show.

“The behaviour is that people are enjoying online content. Streaming it, downloading it,” said Lee. “Broadband TV, content delivered through the network right to the television or accessory product is really the next step.”

Finally, on the DLNA front in early-October LG is launching a 1TB NAS device that can serve as a media server, storing multimedia files that can be accessed over the local network on your DLNA-compliant television.

“Whether it’s the PC or a NAS, through DLNA you now have the ability to pull that content and make it available on other computers or, in this case, your television, whether it’s photos, music or videos,” said Lee.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.