LG Thursday introduced the latest spin on its smart TV platform initiative for third party TV makers, called “webOS Hub.”

The company announced Thursday that it has started rolling out webOS Hub, which is billed as an upgraded version of its webOS solution that brings third party manufacturers more customization options designed to offer greater convenience, customization and content for end-users.

Both LG and Samsung have started competing to license their respective webOS and Tizen smart TV software platforms to smaller third-party TV brands around the world. Samsung recently announced its first three brand customers including Akai in Australia, Bauhn in New Zealand and Linsar in Europe.

For its part, LG has enlisted more than 20 brands to use webOS and has a goal to reach more than 200 in its network. Both manufacturers are up against aggressive platform expansion initiatives from major TV OS developers including Google (Google and Android TV), Roku (Roku TV), Amazon (Fire TV) and others.

LG said its new webOS Hub will be available to its network of partner brands including Seiki, Eko, Stream System, Konka, Aiwa and Hyundai. The current field of supporters represents a ten-fold increase from when LG began licensing out the smart TV OS ecosystem in early 2021. Over 120 million devices in 150 countries are now powered by webOS, LG said.

In its announcement, LG called webOS Hub more than just a TV OS. The expanded system adds additional features and technology benefits from associated technology partners including Dolby, Realtek, Gracenote and CEVA, and has been certified by more than 160 broadcasters around the world.

The expanded platforms allows LG’s smart TV brand customers to customize the user interface (UI) in a variety of ways, including customizing the look of the Home screen by selecting the color scheme, choosing a visual style, or inserting logos for better visibility.

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These webOS Hub customizations are intended to help smart TV manufacturers better differentiate their products in the marketplace while delivering a more expansive and enjoyable experience to end users.

Using webOS Hub, TV set owners will get easier access to a curated selection of content appealing to a wider range of tastes and preferences. Among the newly available tools the platform will deliver is “Next Pick” that recommends up to three live programs, from broadcast stations or a connected set-top box, as well as one VOD title or app.

Additionally, the new update supports LG’s Magic Explorer, which displays information relevant to the content being played, such as actor bios and filming locations.

webOS Hub also provides an improved viewing experience with Clear Voice PRO, a feature that makes onscreen dialog easier to hear.

As with its predecessor, webOS Hub carries major content streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, and LG’s free, premium content service, LG Channels. Recently added streaming services added to the mix include sportscentric streamer Fubo TV and popular cloud gaming services.

“Along with access to a diverse range of high-quality content, LG’s comprehensive solution for smart TVs presents an array of cutting-edge features, such as advanced picture processing, variable refresh rate (VRR) support, and the Game Optimizer, which offers finetuned picture and audio settings for different game genres,” the company announced.

LG said the first webOS Hub-powered OLED TVs from LG’s partner TV brands will be launching soon.

“We are committed to refining and expanding our webOS Hub ecosystem, which continues to introduce more and more consumers to the unparalleled user experience of LG webOS,” said Park Hyoung-sei, president of the LG Home Entertainment Company.

Over 120 million third-party devices in 150 countries are now powered by webOS – a number that is set to grow with the availability of the new and improved webOS Hub.

“We are committed to refining and expanding our webOS Hub ecosystem, which continues to introduce more and more consumers to the unparalleled user experience of LG webOS,” stated Park Hyoung-sei, LG Home Entertainment Company president.

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By Greg Tarr

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