Plasma screens move out of the boardroom

TORONTO–At a venue usually reserved for art, LG Electronics Canada Inc. launched its new line of plasma display panels.

Gallery Neubacher played host to the recent event where technology mingled with paintings, sculpture and photographs.

Paul Hoffert, a member of 1970s rock group Lighthouse, was on hand to describe the future uses of plasma screens.

“You can use it for photos, art, Internet, video, telephone, TV, virtual concerts or music lessions over the Web with HDTV, while controlling your home appliances such as air conditioner, heating system and the lights,” said the author and digital media expert.

Plasma screens have made their mark in the corporate market for tradeshows and boardrooms, but haven’t penetrated the home market. But that’s changing, according to LG Electronics Canada president Soon Kwon. He said he expects consumer sales to surpass commercial sales by 30 per cent next year.

For the month of May, Plasma screen shipments increased 290 per cent compared to January this year.

LG has released four models ranging in price from $7,999 to $24,999, the suggested retail price across Canada. The smallest plasma screen comes in at 40 inches wide, while the biggest is 60 inches.

Plasma displays offer flicker-free images and can be seen from any angle up to 160 degrees since the completely flat screen means there is no degradation or distortion of images, Kwon said.

“People want their products to look good inside their homes or anywhere to enhance people’s daily lives,” he added.

Space, or lack of space, is another factor for LG with its plasma line up.

“When you have a 600 square-foot waterfront condo you do not have the space for a big screen TV. The plasma screen fits well right on the wall,” said Chris Truscott, sales and marketing manager for LG Electronics Canada.

LG’s plasma screens have slimmed down from the last release. They now have an average depth of three to four inches and weigh between 33 kg and 70 kg.

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