Those on the true cutting edge of home entertainment technologies are always willing to pay top dollar to get the latest and greatest. For the rest of us, it?s the drool factor which makes us stand up and notice when a hot new product comes to market. The most recent case in point heralds from LG Electronics in the form of a new HDTV flat plasma series which has a built-in high definition digital video recorder.
The award-winning PY2DR series consists of two models, the 60-inch screen 60PY2DR, priced at $14,999, and the $7,999, 50-inch 50PY2DR. Both take the form factor of flat plasma screens which measure 65.6? x 38.2? x 4.5? and weigh approximately 156.5 pounds without the stand. They should both be in stores now.
Image courtesy LG Electronics
Chief amongst the features of the digital cable ready PY2DRs is the integrated HD-DVR, also known as a high definition digital video recorder. The built-in 160GB hard drive is capable of recording up to 14 hours of HDTV quality programming or 62 hours of regular digital shows. The DVR incorporates an automatic time-shift feature which continually records in one hour intervals. It also offers other Tivo-like features including slow motion rewind, instant replay and repeat recordings of favorite shows.
Program selection for shows to be recorded, or for plain old viewing without use of the DVR, is done via navigating the latest Gemstar TV Guide on Screen interactive program guide. Information is provided for up to 8 days of programming over 300 channels with no subscription fee or phone connection required.
Image courtesy LG Electronics
LG Electronics has put a lot of thought into the design of the PY2DR, trying to envision making it as much of a home media hub as possible. To that extent, they?ve included a number of build-ins which may cut down or eliminate the use of other electronic devices.
For starters, the PY2DR units are CableCard ready. A CableCard is a special metal card which allows you the same full access that a set-top box would to digital cable services, like premium programming, that your local provider offers. Instead of the ugly box resting on or near your television and being tethered by a cable though, the small card plugs unobtrusively into a slot on the flat panel?s back.
The sets also feature an ATSC VSB/QAM tuner which receives terrestrial digital HDTV and unscrambled digital cable as well as analog broadcast and cable tuners.
Besides the CableCard slot, also built into the PY2DRs is a 9-in-2 multi memory card reader, which will allow viewers to look at digital images on a variety of cards including CompactFlash, Secure Digital, Memory Stick and MMC. MP3 files can be played off the cards through the television?s speakers. The music and pictures can also be saved and organized on the DVR?s hard drive for later access, as well as combined to create a music photo slide show.
Within the realm of viewing technology, LG?s newest plasmas use their proprietary ?XD Engine? technology chip to take low analog resolutions through six improvement processes to create what the electronics manufacturer feels is a near high-definition picture. The displays also include a 60,000-hour life panel with a 5000:1 contrast ratio and 1366 x 768p resolution.
Other useful viewing features of the PY2DR series include HDMI with HDCP, IEEE 1394 with DTV Link, picture in picture (PIP), picture outside picture (POP) and split screen.
For more information please visit the LG Electronics website