LG Launches Really Big Telly, Really Big Fridge

Launches & Lunches – LG Event, Tuesday November 20, The Loft, College Hill, Auckland

THE LG LAUNCH last night was really something. A far cry from the more typical sober technology briefing, where a product manager will reel out the stunning stats about the company’s new product while a small clan of media chew on stale asparagus rolls, LG went for glamour all the way.
There were girls in body-hugging dresses and not much else and shoes so tall you couldn’t see over their pretty heads during the cooking ‘master class’ by chef Michael Meredith; and there was an endless supply of Moet and canapés and – so I’m told – even some local celebrities.
It was ever so flash, and the expensive garb worn by the glitterati made this country boy feel like he’d crawled straight out of the chicken coop, but what was it really all about? Well, a big F-off fridge, and an even bigger F-off television panel.
After everyone had imbibed their share of happy liquid and greased their social loins, LG’s new MD gave a speech in a more intelligible Korean accent than the previous NZ MD at the last LG launch (although his pronunciations were still good enough for a few cheap chuckles), and then a young man took us through a short tour of the actual product, “the world’s first 84-inch ultra high definition TV”, and a couple of fridges (we’ll come back to those).
It’s interesting that LG are claiming a first with their 84-inch. Only a couple of months back, the Witchdoctor team attended the first of Sony’s more homely in-house launches, where they demonstrated their own 84-inch 4K ultra high definition TV.
Needless to say, the image was startlingly detailed, and I wanted one, very badly.
What does LG say about the TV? “The innovative display technology of Ultra HD brings a resolution of 3840 x 2160, and with over 8 million pixels it has picture clarity four times higher than existing Full HD and a 2.2 speaker system together to collectively set a new standard for home entertainment.”
The young man pointed out that the 84-inch is equivalent to four 42-inch TVs stitched seamlessly together, so it is indeed impressive; and he also went on about the panel’s 2.2 speaker system with left and right 10W speakers and two 15W “woofers”. His demo of the speaker’s capability hardly caused a sonic ripple, but we’re assured it’s more than adequate for average TV usage.
Of course, what he didn’t mention was the lack of content of good enough quality to take full advantage of the huge screen, but then, normal old-fashioned HD (and 3D) suffered the same stumbling block, at first.
We were then introduced to LG’s range of “revolutionary door-in-door refrigerators”, which do a bit of a David Copperfield: you can access the drinks cabinet without opening the whole fridge space, thereby avoiding that horrid blast of cold, and wasting energy in the process. We were told that there was space “for a lot of meat”, and even space for “vegetable”. Closer inspection revealed that he meant vegetables in the plural, and in fact, vegetarians can convert the meaty parts of the fridge for reasonably long storage of the fleshy green stuff.
The fridges were impressive, but alas, too big for my 1970s kitchen, and the brushed aluminium look wouldn’t go at all well with the trendy wood veneer of my kitchen A-frame, nor the counter top formica. They also scored a low energy rating, but a handy LG expert reckoned that ignored other issues regarding the sustainability of the fridge, as it’s produced to last a long lifetime.
All-in-all, LG’s mega-TV panel and mega-fridge celebration was a fun event, with no expense spared, although we felt the cooking ‘masterclass’ itself lacked panache, and the vegetarian Witchdoctor representatives were less than enamored with the fact that all but the dessert was meat-oriented.
That’s a small issue, however. Slightly more annoying were the lack of vegetarian canapés to counteract the effect of the flowing booze: we managed to grab one tiny morsel, and were assured that there were several other vegetarian snacks on offer, but they had all been greedily munched up by meat eaters – always the way! – before they got to us.
However, where this fact would normally stick in our craw, on this occasion, the fact that LG had turned on a dazzling event made the lack of non-meat morsels less of an obstacle. In any case, it was an early evening event, so there was still plenty of time to grab food later; and happily, on the way out, we got a “doggy bag” with glossy leaflets about the gear, along with a 1 terabyte portable hard drive and an 8 GB USB stick. Now, that’s what I call good PR. GARY STEEL

Event ratings:

Food = 2/5
Booze = 5/5
Relevance of product on display = 5/5
Quantity of product on display = 2/5
Overall presentation = 4/5
Overall event = 4/5

PS, LG’s Ultra HD TV – all 84-inches of it – is available now for $24,999. The LG Door-In-Door fridge hits the shops in December, and its here (ie, top of the line) model will retail for around $5999.

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