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Your next smart TV might be powered by LG’s webOS

Yes, even if it’s not from LG.

lg logo and rollable tv in background
Image: KnowTechie

At CES 2021, LG showed the world what webOS 6.0 will look like. The smart TV platform is adding things like Stadia and GeForce NOW streaming, and soon you might not need to buy a TV from LG to use it. That’s because LG is licensing webOS to other brands, with RCA, Ayonz, and Konka already signed up.

That’s the business model that both Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV have adopted, supplying the software platform for other company’s TV hardware.

That’s likely a win-win, with the larger name recognition of LG helping to sell lesser-known brands, while their TVs introduce new markets to all that webOS has to offer. It will also provide LG valuable data to improve its own devices, from a wider pool of users.

LG’s licensing partners get a whole bunch of stuff, including:

Licensees of webOS TV receive the familiar and highly acclaimed UX design along with a rich pool of features such as voice search and control, integrated AI algorithms, and easy connectivity that have earned webOS positive industry and consumer accolades. With LG webOS TV, partners also get a diversity of content options including access to global streaming service apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and sports streaming service DAZN as well as LG Channels, the company’s free premium content streaming service. Compatible TV models also include the dedicated Magic Motion remote controller.

At present, the “powered by webOS TV” platform is based on the older, webOS 5.0, so no fancy Stadia or GeForce NOW game streaming for now. It will be interesting to see how updates are handled, as you’d reasonably expect OS updates on any smart TV.

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