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Press Release



Low-Cost, High-Performance Digital Tuners Key to Digital TV Transition

Low-Cost, High-Performance Digital Tuners Key to Digital TV Transition

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2005 --- An affordable little box will be the key to the digital television (DTV) transition in the United States.

That's the simple, timely message delivered by LG Electronics, Inc. today on Capitol Hill as the U.S. Congress works toward pinning down a hard date for the nation's final transition to digital-only TV broadcasting.

At the request of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U.S. House of Representatives, LG Electronics is demonstrating a prototype low-cost, high-performance digital-to-analog (D-A) converter. Expected to sell for about $50 in 2008 assuming volume in the millions of units, the D-A converter will allow existing analog TVs to continue to receive over-the-air TV signals when the all-digital broadcast era begins.

The over-the-air reception demonstration shows a prototype LG digital set-top box connected to one of the tens of millions of older analog TVs still in use today 'exemplifying continued free TV reception for those who may not be able to afford a new DTV set.

With the new D-A converter, the 25-year-old Zenith analog TV receives not only studio-quality, standard-definition pictures but also multicasting services. For comparison, over-the-air digital signals, including stunning high-definition images, are being displayed on LG's sleek new 37-inch LCD integrated HDTV.

In cooperation with its Zenith subsidiary (inventor of the industry-standard DTV transmission system), LG also is highlighting the evolution of DTV set-top box technology showing how component integration has decreased the size, complexity and cost of multiple generations of DTV receivers since their'98 introduction.

This dramatic comparison shows how set-top-boxes evolved from multiple circuit boards to single-chip solutions that will make the small D-A converters feasible. Equally important are performance improvements including better indoor reception and rejection of multipath interference, which plagued early DTV set-top boxes from some manufacturers.

Significantly, the set-top box evolution display showcases how major cost reductions help drive down the prices of DTV receivers for consumers: from $5,000 in'98 to $500 in 2003 to $50 in 2008.

Today's demonstration reaffirms the commitments made earlier this year when an LG Electronics executive testified before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, pledging to complete development of the simple D-A converter. In his testimony, LG Electronics Vice President Dr. Jong Kim described a low-cost approach to D-A converter boxes that would allow the 50-70 million U.S. TVs that rely solely on over-the-air broadcasting to receive digital signals.

"The level of technology necessary for a basic D-A converter box is much less than is required for today's more full-featured STBs that output high-definition signals and retail for $200 to $400. We contemplate the manufacture of $50 converter boxes by 2008 that will receive and demodulate all 18 formats of the ATSC DTV Standard, but will output only low-resolution analog signals," Dr. Kim said.

"This means consumers who have been watching snowy analog TV pictures will love the crisp, studio-quality digital pictures even on their older, low-definition televisions sets using one of these simple converters. While analog TVs will not display full high-definition resolution, these boxes will allow consumers to take advantage of the increased number of channels available through digital multicast terrestrial DTV broadcasts."

Based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., LG Electronics USA, Inc., (LGEUS) is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a $38-billion global force in consumer electronics, information technology and communications products. LGEUS comprises four core business areas: mobile phones, consumer electronics, home appliances and information technology products, all marketed under its "LG: Life's Good"theme. For more information, please visit