LG Formally Announces WebOS Smart TV OS Licensing Program
LG Electronics (LG) officially announced Tuesday that it is making its webOS TV platform ecosystem available for use by other TV brand partners.
The company had previously kept webOS as a proprietary smart TV operating system for its own products, but is now following the path of the Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Google’s Google TV/Android TV OS’s by licensing the software platform to other manufacturers.
Samsung had previously announced its intention to similarly license its proprietary Tizen OS, but thus far no partners have been revealed.
“LG is now expanding its expertise beyond TV manufacturing to encompass webOS TV software platform development and adoption by other TV brands,” the company said in statement. “This has the potential to reshape the TV business for both technology and content providers while significantly growing LG’s presence and prominence in the global home entertainment market.”
The news was actually revealed prior to CES 2021 when Konka North America announced it would be using the webOS platform in select 2021 television series as an alternative option to models its sells based on Android TV.
LG uses webOS as a platform not only for streaming AV entertainment apps but as a hub for the control of various smart home devices that can be operated using the intuitive graphical user interface on televisions. LG has been running the base webOS smart TV design in its own premium model sets since 2014.
Initially, LG’s platform licensees will be running the legacy webOS 5.0 platform this year, as LG transitions its own branded products to the new webOS 6.0 bringing updates in usage and graphics.
LG said licensees of webOS TV will gain access to the familiar “UX design” of the platform that offers a host of convenience features including voice search and control, integrated AI algorithms and easy device connectivity and integration with the TV set.
LG said licensees will also have the ability to access a large range of streaming entertainment app partners for a wide range of content selection options including top streaming apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and sports streaming service DAZN.
Is also providing its own “LG Channels” free premium ad-supported content streaming service. Compatible TV models also have access to the dedicated Magic Motion remote control that has been popular with LG smart TV models for interfacing with the on-screen menu selections.
LG said more than 20 TV manufacturers around the world will have “committed to the webOS partnership, including brands such as RCA, Ayonz and Konka with more partners expected to join in the future.”
The webOS ecosystem is supported by technology partners including Realtek, Nuance, Gracenote, CEVA and Universal Electronics, among many others.
“The webOS platform is one of the easiest and most convenient way to access millions of hours of movies and TV shows,” stated Park Hyoung-sei, president of the LG Home Entertainment Company. “By welcoming other manufacturers to join the webOS TV ecosystem, we are embarking on a new path that allows many new TV owners to experience the same great UX and features that are available on LG TVs. We look forward to bringing these new customers into the incredible world of webOS TV.”
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By Greg Tarr
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