LG Aims for #1 Spot

CEO and Vice Chairman of LG Electronics, S.S. Kim, recently stated that he intends to make his company first in the worldwide television market. According to a press release by SpatiaLight, LG will use SpatiaLight’s LCoS imagers to create a 71″ rear-projection HDTV.

This is interesting news, but SpatiaLight’s release contained a startling statement: “LG expects that LCoS televisions will cause a sensation in the marketplace because of their price competitiveness when compared to plasma of the same size, at roughly one tenth of the price.”

Okay, let’s say that 60″ plasma panels are selling for $10,000, which is about the most favorable comparison that can be made. (The actual average street price is probably closer to $8,500.) At one tenth the price, that means that a 60″ LCoS RPTV would have to sell for $1,000. The press release does not give any indication just how these lower prices will be achieved. Right now, microdisplay RPTVs in that size range are selling for three to four times that amount.

If we do see 60″ LCoS RPTVs for sale between $850 and $1,000 in 2006, that will certainly have a major impact on the display market, as it is unlikely that LCD or plasma will be able to come close to those prices. I’m not holding my breath, however. I want to see some additional support for these projections attributed to LG before I start cutting zeroes off the end of price tags.