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LG webOS TV Hands-On
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Old 04/25/2014, 10:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Another first look of the LG webOS Smart TV by Digital Trends:

Hands on: After failing on phones, webOS flourishes in LG’s latest smart TVs





When we first learned LG had purchased webOS from Hewlett Packard (HP) as part of a plan to refresh its smart TV platform, we were left scratching our heads. What would LG want with a failing mobile operating system that only served to give HP a tech-induced migraine?

When we finally saw webOS in action on a new LG TV at CES 2014, it looked pretty promising, but it was too soon to tell. Yesterday, we got some extensive hands-on time with a webOS-powered smart TV, and the verdict is in: webOS is awesome, and it’s the best argument yet against using an over-the-top box like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

With most smart TV platforms, it’s like most of the “smart” features – your Netflix, Hulu and Amazon apps, – get locked away in a separate little box, divorced from the rest of the TV. With webOS, the whole TV is smart TV. It’s all seamlessly integrated: you turn on your TV, and everything it can do is right there in front of you. There’s no separate menu, no waiting for something to load or close down, you just turn it on and … boom, it’s all right there. Simple.

That’s the buzzword LG’s webOS team uses frequently when describing webOS, “simple setup, simple discovery, simple operation.” Every interaction is accomplished with LG’s familiar, Wii-style “Magic Motion” remote control. You point, click, and scroll your way through the interface, with plenty of animated flourishes that make just navigating around seem fun.

One key webOS feature on phones was putting each app on a “card” to make jumping between them easier – a feature that reappears on the TV version, too. When this line of cards appears along the bottom of the screen, you first see what’s happening in the present. You’ll likely see a screen shot from what’s playing on live TV, accompanied by apps and inputs stretched from left to right. Navigate to the left, and you’ll see cards for what you were watching in the past. Navigate to the right, and you’ll see an expanded selection of apps that show what you could be watching in the future. This timeline approach just seems to make sense, and since there’s just one line, you aren’t likely to get confused about what each row might represent.

But don’t take this simplicity for weakness; webOS is a very capable platform that’s been built to be as fun as it is functional.

Switching between apps is remarkably fast. Let’s say you start watching House of Cards: Season 2 on Netflix, then bounce out of Netflix to show your friends a funny YouTube video. When the YouTube clip is done, switching back to Netflix is as fast, if not faster, than switching the channel on your cable or satellite box. Even switching from an Ultra HD stream from Netflix to another app and then back again is snappy. With such swift movement among apps, we found ourselves wanting to explore more, rather than set the remote down. That’s a refreshing change of pace with a smart TV.

The webOS TVs’ Discovery, or search, is is already solid, and it shows a lot of potential for the future, too. As it stands, a voice search conducted from the home screen will poll key apps, such as Netflix, Hulu and Vudu, – as long as you’ve set up your subscriptions – then return all available options. So, if you’re looking to watch Dexter, for instance, you’ll say “Dexter” into the remote control’s microphone, and the TV will show you where it is available, and whether it is available for free with your subscription, or requires a pay-per-view fee and, if so, how much.

Since webOS is at the heart of the TV’s user interface, there isn’t any real separation between the TV’s settings menu and the rest of its operating system. This is perhaps most evident when needing to change picture settings while watching streaming content through one of the available apps. In the past, changing picture settings required closing down the app entirely. And even then, there was no guarantee that your chosen settings would be used when you re-launched the app. With LG’s webOS TVs you can make any adjustments to the TV’s performance or settings on the fly, without “leaving” the webOS experience. Finally!

For all of webOS’s advantages in terms of user-facing features, its open architecture makes for some behind-the-scenes perks that will ultimately benefit the user, too. Thanks to what LG is calling “connect SDK,” developers will be able to make just one app that will work with multiple platforms such as webOS, Roku, Chromecast, and others.

That means they can spend more time making one really good app, rather than sacrificing features for the sake having enough time to code a different app for each platform. This could mean more apps come to webOS on the long term, and that will only make the experience richer.

We don’t like to toss the term “revolutionary” around carelessly, but we do feel that LG’s webOS platform changes the way smart TVs will look in the future. It’s going to push competing platforms to innovate, and when companies start innovating, the consumer wins. WebOS is already a hit right out of the gate, but we can’t wait to see where it goes in the future.


LG's webOS TV platform finally puts the smarts in smart TV | Digital Trends
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Old 04/28/2014, 01:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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How LG perfected its smart TVs with an orphaned mobile OS by Digital Trends

Digital Trends expanded its hands-on review and posted a new video. I like when he shows the TouchPad and a Pre 3 (?) at the begining.

"Will see big innovation in the very near future" “ Connect SDK is really a piece of technology that different developers can use to make their mobile applications talk really easily to different TVs,” Collin Zhao explains.

We need a NEW smartphone LG, come on.




How LG perfected its smart TVs with an orphaned mobile OS | Digital Trends
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Old 04/28/2014, 08:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Not sure if posted already but CNET 'hands on' review @ Hands-on with LG's WebOS Smart TV: Is 'simple' enough? - CNET

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Old 04/28/2014, 09:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Not sure if posted already but CNET 'hands on' review @ Hands-on with LG's WebOS Smart TV: Is 'simple' enough? - CNET

Kind regards,
PD
Already posted here: http://forums.webosnation.com/webos-...le-enough.html

Thanks though!
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Old 04/28/2014, 11:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by akitayo View Post
How LG perfected its smart TVs with an orphaned mobile OS by Digital Trends

Digital Trends expanded its hands-on review and posted a new video. I like when he shows the TouchPad and a Pre 3 (?) at the begining.
I thing it is a Windsor
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Old 04/28/2014, 12:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I thing it is a Windsor
Yep certainly looks like an slate phone
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Old 04/28/2014, 01:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We need a NEW smartphone LG, come on.
It goes without saying that we'd love to have a webOS phone (and tablet), but aside from LG making the commitment, are there not issues that hold back LG from going the route that HP should have stayed on? In other words, proprietary issues, patent issues, etc.

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Old 04/28/2014, 02:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Maybe they ported Open webOS for the article? ;-)

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It goes without saying that we'd love to have a webOS phone (and tablet), but aside from LG making the commitment, are there not issues that hold back LG from going the route that HP should have stayed on? In other words, proprietary issues, patent issues, etc.
I don't think so. Open webOS is unhindered in that way and much of what LG has done is open-source. They no doubt have some mobile patents of their own they could add to webOS. I don't see how webOS will be any more of a problem to use than any other mobile system.
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Old 04/29/2014, 12:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Maybe they ported Open webOS for the article? ;-)



I don't think so. Open webOS is unhindered in that way and much of what LG has done is open-source. They no doubt have some mobile patents of their own they could add to webOS. I don't see how webOS will be any more of a problem to use than any other mobile system.
Just to play Devil's Advocate, there is at least the little problem that the HPalm webOS telephony stuff is basically still sitting back in 2009. Of course, if LG and LGSVL can build webOS into a great TV system in a little under 2 years now, I also don't see much of anything stopping them from doing anything that they really put their mind and their money into at this point. (insert Snoop Dogg lyrics)
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Old 04/29/2014, 02:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just to play Devil's Advocate, there is at least the little problem that the HPalm webOS telephony stuff is basically still sitting back in 2009. Of course, if LG and LGSVL can build webOS into a great TV system in a little under 2 years now, I also don't see much of anything stopping them from doing anything that they really put their mind and their money into at this point. (insert Snoop Dogg lyrics)
But the Pre3 was introduced in 2011! ;-) And that's assuming the telephony system is inherited from webOS. Why then, is it lacking a dialler app? I thought Open webOS was released without proprietary telephony. I'm not sure where the current stuff has come from, but I'd guess Libhybris / Android. A problem might be 4G/LTE support... ?

I think that hopefully covers it for webOS-Ports (who surely considered this before doing all that work). I'd have thought (as you imply) that LG's status as a commercial hardware manufacturer would present even fewer problems.

The biggest problem they would have is convincing the general public that webOS is not a 'failed system'. The key still seems to be discoverability (how to use it) and eco-system. It seems that both iOS & Android app stores are bloated with junk & copy-cats, so the biggest number might not be as important as a decent number of quality apps. It's not, "How many..?", but, "Can it do X?"
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