Despite its recent TV recall, LG is one of the dominant players in the OLED TV space – LG Display makes all of the OLED TV panels that are used by Sony, Vizio, Panasonic, Philips, and other brands.
However, one area where LG doesn’t have much exposure is its WebOS smart TV platform.
Unless you buy an LG TV, you may not have heard of WebOS as other smart TV platforms, such as the Android/Google TV, Roku TV, VEWD, and Fire TV OS‘s are included in multiple TV brands. Samsung’s Tizen OS is not used by other brands. However, Hisense offers either Google TV, Roku, or VIDAA for various models.
The WebOS Hub
LG hopes to change that as it has recently started licensing its WebOS smart TV platform, with the moniker WebOS Hub for use by other TV brands. So far, they claim that they have lined-up agreements with RCA, Seiki, Kodak, Konka, Aiwa, Hyundai (yes, Hyundai makes TVs), and more.
To implement this strategy more effectively, LG has added access to the Apple TV app, Apple Music, AirPlay, and Homekit to the WebOS Hub. According to their agreement with Apple, these options should be available in over 100 countries and regions
LG claims that TVs that incorporate WebOS provide an easier, more versatile smart TV experience thanks to a diverse selection of content and innovative features that help bring viewing convenience and pleasure to even more audiences worldwide.
Using the Apple TV app, users can subscribe to the Apple TV+ streaming service. In addition, users can subscribe to select third-party streaming subscription services the Apple TV app, and buy or rent movies and shows from its 100,000 film/show catalog.
Apple Music includes an ad-free library of over 100 million songs, 30,000 curated playlists, and 4K music videos on Apple Music Radio. However, whether Spatial Audio/Dolby Atmos music or Hi-Res audio is supported via the TV has not been confirmed.
With the webOS Hub AirPlay can be used to share music, images, and other content for iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
The webOS Hub-powered TVs are also Apple Home-enabled. This allows users to their TV through the Apple Home app (with Siri voice control) using Apple HomeKit technology.
Other WebOS Hub Features
Although some WebOS features may vary by market, here are some possibilities
- Clear Voice PRO: This feature makes onscreen dialogue much easier to hear.
- More Streaming Services: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Fubo TV, and more via the Content Store.
- LG Channels (powered by XUMO) are included.
- Cloud Gaming: NVIDIA GeForce NOW may be included on select models.
Tip: All TVs with WebOS Hub also include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and HDMI-ARC/eARC. Other capabilities at the TV maker’s discretion.
One brand that offers a selection of WebOS Hub-equipped 4K UHD LED/LCD TVs is RCA – Available through Amazon
Our Take: LG’s strategy is interesting, but with all the other Smart TV OS platforms that are available, will WebOS be able to compete with the rest? As a user of several TVs with different smart platforms, I haven’t seen LG’s WebOS to be significantly different.