LG Confirms Several WebOS TV’s To Be Launched In OZ
LG Australia’s Marketing General Manager, Lambro Skropidis said that a new generation of apps that are easier to access will soon appear on LG TV’s, he also said that “a lot of people” are buying a Smart TV but are not activating the apps due in part to what consumers see as complex menu systems.
He said that Web OS could appear in tablets and smartphones “soon” will deliver a “simplified” approach to getting access to content on a TV while providing an easy way for consumers to access wireless sound gear.
WebOS is a Linux kernel-based operating system for smart TVs, but it started its life as a mobile operating system that was initially developed by Palm and later acquired by Hewlett-Packard.
LG bought the platform from HP in 2013 and set to work adapting it to smart TVs, replacing its previous NetCast platform.
Recently LG Electronics opened a Silicon Valley Labs to advantage of what they are describing as “talent and culture [that promotes] the ability to think outside of the box” win the USA when developing new tools and solutions for smart TVs, mobile devices and other connected products.
LG Silicon Valley Lab product management director Colin Zhao said that in the first WebOS smart-TV implementation, LG is co-branding WebOS as “LG Smart + TV” to signify the improved user experience and focus on three main objectives: to speed up and simplify the process of switching between online and offline content, including speeding up the process of switching between live streaming programs; to simplify the content discover process between multiple online and offline content sources; and to simplify the process of setting up the TV for use within a home network.
The latter is executed using an animated “Bean Bird” cartoon character that helps guide users through the setup process with comical suggestions and instructions to aid in the execution and speed up the process.
LG’s Smart + TV models feature a simple content-discovery system that helps viewers quickly find and select the programs they want to watch from an integrated mix of sources, including live cable/satellite boxes, recording programs, and over-the-top streaming services.
Users can easily switch back and forth between to live streaming sources using the LG Magic Remote with an air-mouse-style cursor.
LG had created a number of developer tools to ensure a smartphone connects well with the WebOS TV and also recently announced an open SDK development program for the platform to encourage the creation of new and more compelling second-screen.
As an example, LG partnered with MusixMatch to offer a karaoke service that can be used with a smartphone or a smart TV to figure out the lyrics to a song being played and automatically sync the music to the lyrics. Users can beam the song being played on the smartphone over to the TV’s screen.
Several new TV’s set to be launched in Australia will feature the WebOS platform, they include all of LG’s Ultra HD and OLED models in 2014, as well as in many 2014 FullHD LED LCD TVS.
Both Samsung and LG are moving to a new range of Ultra High Definition and OLED over 50″ TV’s as research is predicting a slowdown for the overall plasma and LCD TV market in 2014.
The bright spots LG claims are growth sectors in bigger screen sizes: 50 to 59 inches, which are predicted to grow 9 percent, 60 inches and larger, are predicted to grow 19 percent.
Fourteen out of 47 new LG TV’s in 2014 feature screen sizes 60 inches or larger, with many offering Ultra HD resolution – the next growth area.
This year’s LG Ultra HD TVs feature a new and improved 4K up-scaling system that the company feels will be the best in the industry in 2014.
Also improved is various step-up levels of picture-processing and contrast-enhancement technologies (including LED dimming in premium LED-based UHD LCD TVs) that add to the overall performance package added along with QebOS in 2014 step-up lines