Posts with tag smart tv
webOS lives on... again
Last year LG resurrected Palm’s ill-fated webOS smartphone platform, reimagining it as a next-generation Smart TV platform with little in the way of any sort of competition when it comes to usability and design. It was just June that LG announced that they’ve sold 1 million television sets running webOS, and now the company is back with seven – yes, count them, seven – new models running an upgraded version of LG’s webOS platform, which the company is calling webOS 2.0, all in various sizes. Oh, and some of them are even curved.
But unlike last year’s webOS Smart TVs, which featured essentially mostly conventional 1080p LCD panels, this year LG is making a bold move by heavily pushing the next generation 4K OLED technology. OLED panels have several improvements over traditional LCDs, including blacker blacks, deeper and richer colors, and better energy efficiency.
OLEDs aren’t necessarily anything new – they’ve been a staple of numerous CES’s past, at this point – but LG’s new webOS 2.0 OLED Smart TVs promise to be among the first relatively affordable OLED sets. 4K panels, of course, offer a much higher resolution than 1080p displays resulting in a much sharper, more detailed picture.
LG hasn’t said anything in the way of pricing or availability of any of their 4K OLED Smart TVs, however expect to learn more in the weeks and months ahead.
The end game
It’s Friday. The liveblogs are ending; the major announcements wrapped up, the wacky finds fewer and further between. CES 2014 has finally come to an end, and this was our second year covering the event, finding the most important, most influential, or just plain most crazy announcements of the week. It was also our biggest year covering the event, with thousands of readers visiting the site to check out the best of what CES has to offer.
It was a pretty crazy week. Let’s revisit it. Click through after the break to read more.
Cards are out, lines are in
WebOS is back. That’s if LG has its way, who today made their plans for the reinvention of the Smart TV based on the platform official. Originally developed by Palm, then put in the hands of HP in the wake of their Palm buyout, then open sourced by HP after the company cut the cord after failed launches of numerous new WebOS devices, and then finally bought by LG last year. But before you get all excited, former WebOS fans, let me cool your tempers a little bit – this is very much not the WebOS you knew and loved. This is WebOS reborn.
The new WebOS largely ditches the familiar “cards” metaphor that Palm introduced with WebOS those many years ago and instead focuses on a new “line” metaphor – because, according to LG, “what’s easier than a line?” Clearly the UI had to be rethought in order to work on the big screen using the remote as the primary method of input, and what LG has come up with is beautiful – but very, very different.
To make the television easier for the end consumer to set up and navigate, LG has introduced a new character dubbed “Bird Bean” – we kid you not – that will act as the Clippy of your next LG television, guiding you through the set up process and allowing you to better navigate the uncharted territory that is the webOS based Smart TV. Apps are in, but an app ecosystem is out, for now. LG says that they’re focusing on making sure all the content people expect are there for now, so while you’ll see favorites such as YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, etc., you won’t see your favorite third party indie app for now.
LG says that over half of all their televisions that they’ll release in 2014 will come equipped with WebOS, and that those televisions will make up around 75% of all their TV sales. This is uncharted territory for WebOS, LG, and the entire Smart TV industry – and we can’t wait to see where this goes.
Your TV isn't so smart, but your next could be
Last year during CES I made a bold claim; I said that 2013 would be the year of the 4K TV – the year that the industry’s next big leap in resolution would begin to go mainstream. Now, you could make the argument for me being both right and wrong in my prediction. 4K TVs have become mainstream in the sense that people are going into Best Buy and purchasing them, however, adaptation is extremely low and native content is still virtually nonexistent. Fast forward one year from that statement and I’m wondering whether I had the wrong idea. Perhaps the future of televisions has less to do with resolution and more to do with intelligence. Maybe instead of looking for widespread adoption of 4K televisions, it’s time we start looking for the introduction of something far more difficult to achieve. Will 2014 be the year of the Smart TV at last?
Read on after the break to find out.
Big TVs are good TVs
LG is positioning itself to be the leader of the smart television revolution in 2014 with the much rumored and recently leaked webOS TV, but that doesn’t mean its stopping there. Far from it, in fact – LG is also showing off tons of other beautiful, futuristic, and huge televisions at CES this year. Take the LG 105UC9, for example: a 105-inch television with a super high resolution panel of 5120 x 2160, higher than that of 4K. Oh, and of course, it’s curved – because goodness knows that no new screen is complete these days if it’s not curved.
Of course, that’s an extreme case unlikely to ever find its way to your family room, so lets get a little more practical. LG is also planning the UB9800 series, a lineup of 4K televisions that’ll come in 65-inch, 79-inch, 84-inch, and 98-inch varieties.
All of these TVs can play 4K (and beyond) content from almost any source imaginable, including HDMI 2.0, USB 3, and even LAN with h.264 decoding built right into the television. Who says a television needs webOS installed to be considered “smart?” We’ll be sure to bring you all the latest in television news all throughout the week as we comb through every last CES 2014 announcement. Stay tuned.