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Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Samsung, LG at Korea Electronics Show

Samsung and LG exhibit their cutting-edge technologies at the Korea Electronics Show (KES) 2005, held October 11-15, Korea International Exhibition Center, Goyang city, Korea.

On the opening day of the five-day show, LG Electronics unveiled a hard-disk installed 60-inch PDP television set with a built-in high-definition digital video recorder (HD-DVR) installed. The recorder is able to record up to 13 hours of high-definition broadcasting or 63 hours of normal broadcasting.With its 160-gigabyte drive, LG's new television offers the 'time machine' function, which automatically records the first hour of broadcasting once turned on. Such a feature will help people watch a missed part of live TV shows later even if they forget to record it when they leave.

LG also introduced T-shaped cellular phones for satellite digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) that offer a horizontal view on the screen. The cell phone, called the LG-SB130 or KB1300, depending on the carrier version, is able to receive satellite TV programs and "pause" them, just like a living-room digital video recorder, when the user needs to take a phone call. In the demonstration at KES the phone was shown tuned into a satellite TV program. When a call was received a message appeared on screen offering the user the option to pause the program and take the call. When the option is accepted, the phone immediately begins recording the TV broadcast to its internal memory and freezes the image on the screen. When the call is done the phone begins showing the recorded program from when it was paused while continuing to record the program in its memory. In such a way users have the illusion that they have paused a live broadcast.

The phone packs 80MB of internal memory and can record up to an hour of programming.

Other features of the phone include a QVGA resolution (240 pixels by 320 pixels) 2.2-inch TFT (thin film transistor) screen, an MP3 player and TV output. It's designed for South Korea's CDMA networks and versions won't be available outside of the country.

Samsung Electronics took two of their most recent inventions from their laboratory. The Miniket digital camcorder is just a little bigger than a cell phone, but it can be used as a digital camera, MP3 music player, web cam, voice recorder and a data storage device. At the electronics show, Samsung put Miniket's newest model Miniket Photo on display, and it even has a satellite DMB feature which means users can watch television on the move.

Another one is a portable TV, named DMB-T450, which is designed to watch terrestrial DMB on either a four-inch or a seven-inch screen with a full 5.1-channel surround sound. Samsung hopes the starting of the DMB service in December will boost the sales of the portable TVs, which should be available next month.

LG and Samsung also are engaged in an on-going battle for televisions with larger and clearer screens. Both companies are displaying 102-inch PDP television sets - the largest of its kind so far - but they are not on sale yet.

Samsung has also started selling its 80-inch PDP model in the Korean market. The company plans to release the gigantic television set in the U.S. market in December and in Europe next year. Its rival LG has a 71-inch model in its retail shops.

The KES will continue through Friday at KINTEX in Ilsan, northwest of Seoul.

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