South Korean rivals also turning smartphones into remote controls for home appliances
The companies are going head to head in the television market and smart home concepts by unveiling a bevy of new gadgets that are set for release this year.
One clear message is that size matters where televisions are concerned.
Both players claim to have unveiled the world's first and largest 105-inch curved ultra high-definition (UHD), also known as 4K, television.
LG's version has a price tag of
Sales of televisions peaked globally in 2008 as countries switched from analogue to digital. In recent years, the growth has been far slower, prompting many analysts to question the future of the medium. Sales dipped 8 per cent in 2012 to 242 million units as sales of smartphones and tablets increased. The market inched up last year to 243 million units.
"We're watching more content on more devices," said
The global television market is set to grow by 2 per cent this year to 247 million units sold, with 4K sets aiding growth. Samsung currently dominates the market with about 25.5 per cent followed by LG with about 14.7 per cent in the third quarter of last year.
Cheaper models from Chinese companies such as
"4K will blossom in 2014 as price points drop. TV prices on average drop 30 per cent per annum and the only time we see prices go up is when new technologies get released," said Ashish Panjabi, the chief operating officer at Jacky's Electronics. "This premium erodes as that new technology typically becomes the norm within a year or two."
"TV is no longer the only screen, we want context for what we are watching. The Samsung UHD TV has a new multi-link screen. Someone watching a soccer game can have a new screen that shows search results, relevant YouTube videos and smart content shown alongside the game," said
Besides greater content, both manufacturers are now ensuring that all their household appliances and gadgets can communicate with one another.
LG and Samsung have both created smartphone apps and messaging systems that enable appliances to communicate with users and vice versa.
The firms continued to flex their muscles in the field of smart homes by launching new smart fridges and dishwashers. Both are now ensuring greater connectivity among the devices they manufacturer. From televisions to vacuum cleaners and fridges, Samsung and LG are turning their smartphones into remote controls and hubs to control all the devices in the home.
For Samsung, users can tell their smartphones they are planning to watch a film and the smart home will know to dim the lights. For LG, its HomeChat service behaves like a butler. If a user messages the service and informs the house they are going on vacation, HomeChat will respond and ask whether to convert to vacation mode.
If the user replies in the affirmative then this virtual butler will turn on the refrigerator's power-saving mode, set the robotic vacuum cleaner to sweep the floor at a selected time each day and set the washing machine to run a wash cycle on the day before the user returns.
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