Over the next few months, both LG Australia and arch rival Samsung, are set to launch a new generation of Smart TVs that are supposed to incorporate the next generation of 3D TV technology. The only problem is that each one believes their version is better than the other and it has led to tensions and “vicious barbs”.The first of the new LG TVs is set to be launched in Australia next month according to Tim Barnes, the head of Consumer Electronics at LG Australia, with Samsung Australia following close behind.
Yesterday, a senior Samsung executive speaking in Korea described LG engineers as “stupid” and termed their boasts about new 3D TV technology found in the next generation of LG 3D TVs as “unacceptable.”
LG fired back saying that hurling abuse at a competitor only went to show that “Samsung has lost it.”
The fight originally kicked off in January when both companies used their CES Stands in Las Vegas to showcase their latest TV offering.
LG Display showcased their Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) technology for 3D televisions, and its chief executive officer, Kwon Young-soo, said: “FPR provides full, high-definition quality pictures without image overlaps and flickering.”
A few hours later at a packed CES press conference, Samsung introduced a new range of 3D smart TVs. Yoon Boo-keun, head of Samsung’s visual display division said at the time: “The technological difference between its product and that of its competitor is one of night and day.”
This was the first salvo in what is now shaping up as a bitter TV war between two TV giants who are #1 and #2 in the world when it comes to TV sales.
On their stand at CES, Samsung executives told journalists: “The passive type glasses [used by LG] were developed in 1935. It would be like watching VHS in the digital broadcasting era.”
Now analysts are concerned that a debate that should be about technology has morphed into a bitter fight between two of the biggest players in the consumer electronics market and that all the fight will achieve, is to confuse consumers who are “already confused about 3D TV technology anyway,” said a DisplaySearch analyst.
Samsung who believe that their 3D viewing technology is the best available, announced a 3D television alliance last month with five other manufacturers, saying they were banking on active shutter glass technology to develop “the best technology for a full high-definition, 3D experience – not FPR.”
LG, who is set to launch their new TV offering shortly claims its 3D technology was more advanced than Samsung’s and that Samsung’s was a generation behind.
Challenged, Samsung, created an ad for their 3D television featuring an actor in a business suit next to a monkey, both wearing 3D glasses, in an attempt to show the technology gap.
The monkey in the ad says: “Why is my 3D TV not fully high-definition?” Samsung has said that LG’s televisions are not fully HD.
The ad reportedly infuriated LG Electronics CEO, Koo Bon-joon.
Samsung denies that the monkey symbolized LG.
Yesterday, at a Samsung forum in Korea, Samsung officials denounced LG’s claims that its 3D television technology is better than Samsung’s.
Kim Hyeon-seok, executive vice president of Samsung’s visual display division, told the audience: “It is unacceptable that LG claims that FPR is better than active shutter glasses, when the whole world says otherwise.”
Journalists at the event said that Kim, spent most of the time “trashing” LG’s FPR technology.
“None of the documents on [FPR] says the technology can realise full high-definition,” he said. “Even dissertations by LG researchers say the resolution decreases by half [in FPR]. From an engineering viewpoint, their theories don’t work. They may change their words again [as they have done in the past], though.”
Barnes said of their Australian launch “We stand by our 3D TV technology and we will reveal it in a few weeks time in Australia,” he said.
LG will hold a press conference today to tell its side of the story.