LG replacing the fantastic webOS 2.0 for 4K TVs with webOS 3.0 at CES 2016
Stephan Jukic – December 23, 2015
WebOS 2.0 has definitely been one of LG’s fantastic successes in their TV technology department for 2015. After a relatively good but not superb webOS 1.0 delivery to smart TVs and 4K TVs in 2014, the company really nailed the ball out of the field with the excellent, highly acclaimed webOS 2.0.
This smart platform was widely considered to be one of the best if not the best of 2015 and featured strongly in LG 2015 OLED 4K TVs while even some of LG’s otherwise somewhat lackluster 2015 4K LCD TVs compensated greatly for their problems with contrast by offering the excellent features of this particular smart TV operating system.
Now however, as CES 2016 approaches along with the typical updates to major TV technologies for the new year, we can look forward to the arrival of webOS 3.0 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.
The new smart platform will obviously also be installed in the majority of LG TVs for 2016, including all of their expected OLED and LCD 4K TV models and given the performance of version 2.0, the bar has been set high for the new system.
Visually at least, from some preliminary viewings of the new interface, webOS 3.0 doesn’t look much different from its still operational predecessor. However, in terms of internal features, it’s been loaded with new technologies for optimizing and modernizing LG devices and 4K TVs in particular as far as this site is concerned.
Furthermore, in the face of some stiff potential competition from very affordable but extremely flexible and powerful new set-top boxes for Full HD and 4K content, webOS 3.0 will have to face even more challenges than its 2015 predecessor did.
WebOS 3.0 comes with a few particularly notable new technologies that users are sure to enjoy for assorted reasons.
For one thing, you’ll now have the ability to split your screen for viewing two different TV channels at the same time or two different content sources entirely. Thus, for example, a user could watch a regular broadcast TV channel on one side of the screen while enjoying a 4K Blu-ray disc movie on the other, or possible a piece of streaming content from one of LG’s built-in 4K UHD/HD streaming apps.
Other aspects of the new webOS platform include the ability to run the LG Music Player app on your speaker system even while your TV is turned off and the capacity to control LG smart appliances around the home via the loTV app which comes with webOS 3.0.
Even more important than the above however, are the array of new LG “magic” technologies which webOS 3.0 will be home to thanks to its deeper integration with a given LG 2016 TV’s hardware.
One of these is called Magic Zoom, which is designed to allow magnification of any part of a TV screen without loss of picture quality. Furthermore, the webOS 3.0 system also comes with an updated Magic Remote for toggling set-top boxes on and off and for controlling DVR functions in an LG TV.
Finally, there is the Magic Mobile Connection system in this new version of webOS, which lets users stream apps from within their smartphone to their LG 4K TVs with 3.0 installed.
Finally, we can also look forward to some minor interface improvements in the form of Channel Advisor and Channel Plus recommendation technologies for even more ease of use in the already excellent design that we’d seen in webOS 2.0.
Channel Plus is the particularly interesting of these two as far as home entertainment sources in 2016 are concerned, since the technology is designed to mix broadcast and streaming content sources into a single unified list of entertainment options, thus further blurring the line between OTT video from platforms like Netflix or Amazon and conventional broadcast TV entertainment viewing.
While all these improvements do indeed bode well for webOS 3.0, there are challenges ahead for the company as well.
For one thing, LG has recently laid of roughly 20 employees from their webOS development-oreinted lab in Silicon Valley, thus making continued development of the smart TV platform a more difficult and talent-stripped undertaking than before.
Secondly, new set-top box technologies are also emerging on the late 2015 and 2016 home entertainment content landscape, and these set-top boxes have plenty of their own excellent and highly versatile connectivity, gaming and entertainment options to offer to viewers. In simpler terms, new 4K UHD and Full HD set-top platforms like the Roku 4, Amazon Fire TV and the upcoming Joey 4K box will force TV platforms like webOS 3.0 and the smart platforms of LG’s 4K TV competitors to really offer some compelling smart content and web connectivity technologies in their TVs.
Story by 4k.com