At the IFA trade show in Berlin this week, LG took the wraps off its newest flagship passive-3D LCD TV, the LW980S. The set has a number of step-up features, including LG's Nano Full LED backlight with local dimming, the company's Smart TV Internet platform with full Web browsing, and the ability to get 3D movies via LG Apps.
Not surprising, given that IFA is a European trade show, there's not much information about when the TV will debut in the U.S., how much it will cost, and the screen sizes that will be offered in the series. But since models in the LW980S series will be the company's top-of-the-line TVs, we expect them to be priced above other 3D LCD TVs from LG.
The sets, described as using 400Hz Tru Motion anti-blur technology—which translates to 480Hz here in the U.S.—will feature LG's newest LED backlight technology, called Nano Full LED. These TVs use a densely packed array of LEDs embedded in an extremely thin film across the entire panel, which the company says can disperse light more evenly across the screen, producing brighter images without some the backlight uniformity issues we've seen in many LCD TVs.
The Nano LED technology was supposed to be first available in the U.S. via LG's Infinia LW7700 and LW9500 sets, but they apparently never shipped here. (Oddly, both Buy.com and Amazon.com seem to be selling 55-inch LW9500 3D TVs for about $4,000.) LG's current flagship passive 3D TV, the LW6500, doesn't use the Nano LED technology.
LW980S-series TVs, which feature an ultra-slim bezel design, can access on-demand 3D content using an app that's available in LG's apps marketplace. The TVs also include Smart Share, a technology that lets you wirelessly access content on the TV—presumably via DLNA—that's stored on other digital devices, such as cameras, tablets, PCs, and smart phones. These sets also include LG's gesture-based Magic Motion remote control.
Like most 3D TVs these days, LW980s sets include a 2D-to-3D conversion feature that can create a 3D effect from standard HD programs and movies. And they presumably come with at least four sets of passive polarized 3D glasses; it's possible they'll come with more.
We'll be checking in with the company for more details about the TV, including pricing and when it might arrive in the U.S., in the next several weeks. And keep checking in with our blog for more news coming out of IFA this week.
—James K. Willcox