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LG Electronics expanding 3-D TV alliance

Sharp of Japan latest foreign firm LG is seeking new technology partnership with


LG Electronics is bit by bit winning partners from its biggest rival Samsung in a bid to gently, but firmly, nudge the entire television industry to go the “LG Way.”

The “LG Way,” in terms of 3-D TVs, happens to be LG’s new technology that involves, to put it simply, placing a sheet of special film on TV panels to realize 3-D vision.

Cheaper and also proved to be less taxing on the eyes, film-type patterned retarder technology is gaining increasing attention from television-makers around the world, many who are struggling to make ends meet amid forecasts that this year won’t be much better for TV sales.

“There are talks with Sharp Electronics on supplying them with the new 3-D technology,” said one high-ranking LG executive close to the issue.

Getting business from Sharp would be significant as the company, along with Panasonic, is among a handful of firms originally picked by Samsung to together continue manufacturing televisions the old way ― using shutter glass technology. 

LG Display, which would be supplying the panels, on Friday said it has yet to make an official offer to Sharp.

Tension is riding high between Samsung and LG, with the world’s No. 1 television-maker noticeably nervous about the headway its rival has been making. 

Talks of a possible tie-up with Sharp comes after Sony, the world’s third-largest television maker who was taken over by LG in recent years, has reportedly agreed to receive small-sized panels from LG.

Whether its bigger panels will also switch to LG remains to be seen, as the company maintains that shutter glass is the most compatible with its Bravia model TVs, but industry watchers say LG has a good chance of turning the tables.

“LG is not in a bad place at all, although it should take about a year or so to completely create a new trend with its new technology,” said Park Gang-ho, an analyst with Daishin Securities.

LG already has on board six Chinese firms ― Skyworth, Hisense, Konka, CCL, Haier and Changhong ― on board to adopt its new FPR technology.

Vizio of the U.S. is also with LG, which believes its 3-D TVs stand a better chance in the American markets where consumers tend to place biggest priority on price.

Hewlett-Packard is said to be considering a tie-up with LG as well.

Not only in terms of price, but LG’s 3-D TVs offer brighter and more comfortable vision as the new technology has eliminated many of the side-effects of the existing 3-D technology, such as the flickering effect that occurs when watching besides any sources of light.

The glasses coming with LG TVs also don’t require batteries, which for the average consumer may be a bigger perk than imagined as they won’t have to go through the hassle of recharging every time they want to watch TV.

Samsung argues that LG’s TVs suffer when watched from a lower vertical angle, and that its TVs offer better picture quality.

By Kim Ji-hyun (jemmie@heraldcorp.com)
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