26 April 2014

LG opening up WebOS, Smart TV winning raves

LG smart tv with webos
As LG’s WebOS-based Smart TV earns a rave review, Linux.com examines how LG quickly merged its TV platform into WebOS with a little help from Yocto.

When Korean consumer electronics giant LG purchased HP’s mobile Linux WebOS operating system in Feb. 2013 with vague plans to incorporate it in future “smart TV” designs, it seemed more like a death knell for the well battered distribution than a rebirth. After all, so-called smart TV platforms, such as LG’s own Linux-based Netcast, were minimalist affairs, and there didn’t seem to be much hope for innovative open source development on such a platform. Yet, not only has WebOS emerged as a potent contender for Internet TV, but LG has begun to release portions of the platform as open source.

WebOS Smart TV praised

At this January’s CES show, LG’s WebOS based Smart TV was one of the hits of the show. Engadget gushed that it was “the best smart TV UI we’ve ever used.” That sentiment was reinforced by many other hands-on observations, as well as a full-length review this week by Digital Trends of the recently shipped LG Smart TV.

LG smart tv with webos
LG Smart TV with WebOS

“The verdict is in: webOS is awesome,” writes Digital Trend’s Caleb Denison. “It’s the best argument yet against using an over-the-top box like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV.”

Denison goes on to rave about the UI’s appearance, simplicity, fast multitasking, and voice-enabled search via the Wii-style “Magic Motion” remote control. He also notes the advantages of a UI that controls all aspects of the TV, not just programming.

“LG’s webOS platform changes the way smart TVs will look in the future,” concludes Denison. “It’s going to push competing platforms to innovate.”

Rebuilding a TV platform on WebOS and Yocto/OE

We had imagined that a TV port from a mobile OS that once ran on HP Pre phone and TouchPad tablet would be more a process of reduction than addition, with many features going by the wayside. As it turned out, it was something of the reverse. Over at Linux.com this week, Libby Clark interviewed Steve Winston, LG’s WebOS project lead, who said, “We have taken the stripped down OS and turned it back into a fully fledged embedded operating system for a TV.”

To integrate the LG TV middleware into WebOS, LG decided to convert its entire TV platform to the OpenEmbedded build environment used by WebOS, with the help of Yocto Project OE code. Winston explains the process of transforming its entire TV platform on the one hand while bending WebOS to its will on the other — all within a year of shipping product. By switching entirely to OE, future revisions should be much easier, said Winston.

According to Winston, LG is in the process of deciding which parts of WebOS will be released as open source. The company recently released an Enyo application development framework for TV called Moonstone, says the story. It’s unclear whether this is the same as the Mochi WebOS code released under Apache 2.0 earlier this month from the now-LG controlled Enyo Javascript framework group.

LG Connect TV
LG Connect TV prompt

Also this month, LG released an SDK for cross-platform app development under an open source license. This “Connect SDK” will let developers build apps that run on LG WebOS, LG Netcast, Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV, says LG.

It’s unclear whether LG will extend WebOS to other consumer electronics in its diverse product line, which includes a number of Android phones and at least one Firefox OS phone, the LG Fireweb. In February, however, LG announced an “all-in-one” digital signage system that runs WebOS.

Further information: The LG Smart TV with WebOS is available now in various sizes and prices. More information may be found at LG’s Smart TV web-page. The interview with LG’s Winston can be found at Linux.com.

Courtesy linuxgizmos


  1. LED signs are wherever you look now days. It appears like that billboards and businesses everywhere have genuinely discovered the advantage in advertising with LED. In years past it was the neon signs that let you know whether a business was open or shut, or what they did. Neon signs are as yet utilized today by businesses like Indoor led display manufacturers. So the inquiry I have is, which is best for business?

  2. There are plenty of dissertation web pages internet as you're get hold of of course revealed in the web-site. 19" tv

  3. Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job. iptv box hrvatska

  4. I read that Post and got it fine and informative. xcine.tv/traler

  5. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read even more things about it! app store screenshot template

  6. many thanks for telling!. “Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.” by Abraham Lincoln.. app store screenshots

  7. Average In turn sends provides is the frequent systems that provide the opportunity for one’s how does a person pick-up biological, overdue drivers, what one mechanically increases the business. Search Engine Marketing imac mockup free

  8. Keep up the fantastic piece of work, I read few posts on this internet site and I think that your web blog is really interesting and contains lots of superb information. imac mockup psd

  9. This measurement is from left to right, and from top to bottom. flat screen tv wall mount

  10. An LED or liquid crystal display is chock full of tiny crystals, as the name implies. Most LED televisions have greater black levels and very bright white tones, especially compared to older televisions with a fluorescent backlight. smart tv deals

  11. You made some respectable points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and found most people will go along with with your website. mobile app development companies

  12. Can I simply say what a aid to search out somebody who actually is aware of what theyre talking about on the internet. You positively know tips on how to carry an issue to light and make it important. Extra individuals need to read this and perceive this aspect of the story. I cant consider youre no more popular since you undoubtedly have the gift. website design company

  13. Hi there! Good post! Please do tell us when I could see a follow up! ux design agency


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.


Copyright © 2018 Tracktec. All rights reserved.

Back to Top