By Chris Nicholls

MELBOURNE: Hisense has taken over naming rights of Vodafone Arena, announcing what they claim is the world’s thinnest LED backlit LCD television at the same time.

The six year sponsorship deal means the company’s signage will cover the highly visible arena, with four 2.2 by 12.5 metre signs on each side.

Hisense LCD screens will also be on display at the arena.

Hisense Australia general manager Tania Garonzi, said the sponsorship deal meant the arena could continue to be upgraded over time.

“In committing to a six year sponsorship agreement, Melbourne Olympic Parks Trust can reinvest in the arena to ensure it attracts international events to Melbourne. The investment will also ensure basketball, netball, dance sport and cycling retain access to world class facilities,” she said.

The sponsorship is the latest in the company’s local investments, with an Australian headquarters, including a research and development facility, established in Melbourne from 2006.

Hisense also took the opportunity to announce what they claimed was the world’s thinnest LED backlit LCD television, the 42-inch Slim LCD.

The Slim LCD is only 44.8 mm deep, still thicker than almost all ‘thin’ sets on the market, but the only one that depth with LED backlight technology.

It also has three HDMI sockets and 100 Hz refresh rate. Response time is a claimed 4 ms. No contrast ratio was given, despite LED backlit LCDs’ theoretical advantage in this area.

Hisense said the TV will arrive in Australia early next year.