By Sarah Falson

SYDNEY: After three weeks and plenty of negative press, LG Electronics has finally distributed a press release informing retailers that "tens of thousands" of its plasma and LCD televisions with integrated tuners require software upgrades.

The television and consumer electronics manufacturer has been criticised by various media outlets since LG televisions across Australia randomly froze when switched to Channel Nine over the weekend.

An interim announcement was released to the media on Monday, but the cause was not revealed as a software malfunction until today. 

LG had reportedly known its TVs were playing up for three weeks, but retailers and consumers were not advised because the company couldn’t pinpoint the problem, though certain media channels claimed that LG and its public relations department were trying to conceal the issue. 

“LG has become aware that occasional ‘freezing’ problems were experienced with selected TVs when viewing particular network digital programming in metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney over the weekend,” the initial statement said on Monday.

“LG anticipates being able to advise on the cause of the glitch in the coming days.”

While speculation was rife that LG would have to conduct a voluntary recall for the 16 affected televisions, the problem has been narrowed down to a simple software upgrade which the company is now offering consumers via in-home technical calls. 

“LG Electronics Australia has identified the need for a minor software upgrade with selected digital TVs,” said the press release today.

“Over the past 48 hours LG has conducted in-lab tests and established the cause to be a software issue, whereby selected LG digital TVs can intermittently lock-up or freeze under certain signal transmissions. 

“LG is working with free-to-air networks to ensure that no further disruptions are experienced by viewers. 

“We regret any inconvenience and are now taking appropriate action by notifying LG customers of the issue and the free, in-home software upgrade to ensure that affected TV units are operating at the optimal level.”

Customers with television models purchased after August 2006 featuring serial numbers beginning with either 608, 609, 610, 611, 612, 701, 702 or 703, should visit to register for their replacement software.

The television models are: LCD televisions with integrated digital tuners, 32LC2D, 37LC2D, 42LC2D and 42LC2DR; plasma televisions with integrated digital tuners, 42PC1DV, 42PC1DG, 42PX4DV, 50PC1D, 50PC3D, 50PB2DR, 60PC1D and 60PY2D; rear projection televisions with integrated digital tuners, 56DC1D, 62DC1D and 62DC1DA; and CRT televisions with integrated digital tuners, 32FS4D.

Service calls will be made to customers from as early as next week, but with the number of affected units so high, some might be forced to wait weeks until they can obtain the much-needed software update.

While customers wait for their service calls, they can temporarily annul the problem by switching off their televisions for 20 minutes every time their unit freezes.