LG Electronics USA revealed Monday an expanded list of content partners for its webOS Smart TV platform, including access to streaming Full HD and 4K content from DirecTV without the need of extra boxes.

LG also announced a free firmware update for 2014 webOS Smart TVs, bringing most of the features and functionality of 2015 webOS 2.0 TVs to the earlier television models.

LG said the upgraded LG webOS sets will offer an improved user experience with a more intuitive layout, convenient shortcuts, quicker boot-up time and even faster response when switching between applications.

More on LG’s expanding webOS TVs after the jump:

The free webOS 2.0 upgrade for 2014 webOS TVs is billed as “the first of such kind in the industry.”

“As more consumers embrace streaming content as a preferred method for their video consumption, our goal is to ensure LG smart TVs are offering the simplest, fastest ways to access content services,” stated David VanderWaal, LG Electronics marketing VP. “Continuing to add high-value content providers, such as DIRECTV, supports our webOS brand promise of ‘making TV simple again,’ even on previous years’ models as seen with our webOS updates.”

LG said its 2015 webOS 2.0 TVs will have the ability to access DirecTV and 4K DirecTV programming in remote rooms through a connection to the core Genie HD DVR. The slim-client receiver functionality will be built into the TVs and accessed through an app.

LG said select 2014 and 2015 LG Smart TVs will now allow subscribers with a Genie HD DVR to enjoy a full HD DVR experience on each select LG Smart TV in their home without extra set-top boxes. DirecTV now offers a variety of 4K UHD titles, including new releases, popular films and nature documentaries.

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LG said the select 2014 and 2015 LG Smart TVs will receive the DirecTV Ready application by Sept. 2.

LG said it has also added iHeartRadio and Rdio apps to the expanding webOS platform.

iHeartRadio is a free, all-in-one streaming music and live digital radio service offering thousands of live radio stations from across the U.S. and custom stations inspired by popular artists or songs. iHeartRadio also offers mood or activity based “Perfect For” stations as well as on demand podcasts, all from the comfort of the living room.

Rdio is a global music streaming service available in 85 countries, providing “access to every song, on every device, anywhere in the world instantly, online or offline.” This combines the best of personal choice, social engagement, expert curation, algorithmic personalization and live broadcast radio.

Meanwhile, 2014 webOS TV owners whose set’s will be getting a free webOS 2.0 firmware update will be getting faster performance when launching the Home menu, accessing settings and loading applications.

The webOS 1.0 models receiving the update must have automatic update option enabled to receive the upgrade automatically. If automatic update is not enabled, users will receive a pop-up message on their screen to guide them through the easy upgrade process. The 2014 Smart TV series that will receive the update are: LB6300, LB6500, LB7100, LB7200, UB8500, UB9200, UB9300, UB9500, UB9800, EC9300, EC9700 and EG9700.

The update will add a “My Channels” section that allows customizing favorite live TV or set-top box channels on the Launcher Bar.  Also to be added are improved Quick Settings that adds vertical “buttons” on the right side of the screen activated when the Magic Remote cursor passes over them.

A new Updated Input Selection now includes a Quick Menu option for faster access to a variety of inputs and a newly modified “Live Menu” will update the live channel list with a modern look and feel.

LG said that more than a dozen 2015 LG 4K Ultra HD TV models – including LG’s 2015 OLED 4K TV lineup – are designated as Netflix Recommended TVs under the new program that helps consumers identify televisions that offer a faster and easier to use Netflix experience.

By Greg Tarr


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