By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: LG Electronics has conceded that its controversial 42PX4DV plasma should not have been marketed as an HDTV and has removed all use of the HDTV logo from the model and its packaging.

The 42PX4DV is a low resolution standard definition plasma panel (852 x 480 resolution) with an integrated HD digital tuner, and was marked as an HDTV on the cabinet and packaging – despite only displaying a picture at standard definition resolution.

The Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association (CESA) has declined to comment on the matter, but LG Electronics has confirmed that it was contacted by CESA regarding the plasma and was prompted to freeze production of the model and remove all use of the HDTV acronym. Marking a standard definition plasma panel with an HDTV logo violates the Digital TV Marketing Code 2002 – a voluntary code signed by many of the major consumer electronics suppliers, including LG.

The breach represents a rocky start to LG’s self-appointed role as an educator of consumers and retailers about high definition digital TV.

“We’re bringing clarity to what is a confused market,” LG Electronics category manager, Darren Goble recently claimed.

The controversy surrounding the model began when other suppliers registered complaints with CESA alleging the model was deceiving consumers.

The 42PX4DV will continue to be sold with the new packaging as a standard definition plasma with an integrated HD digital tuner, which LG maintains displays superior picture quality to similar models with integrated standard definition tuners.

“We would like to reiterate to our retail partners that the 42PX4DV should be described and sold as a VGA panel with a built in high definition tuner, capable of receiving HD, SD and analogue transmissions,” said a statement released by LG.

During its time marked as an HDTV, the contentious model has been extremely popular among consumers, ranking third in cumulative sales for the entire plasma category from January to September 2005, according to Informark figures.