[Updated 9:30pm] — Following up on its well-received first WebOS based smart TVs, LG has announced a new line of 4K ULTRA HD TVs, running v2.0 of the Linux-based OS.
LG’s first-generation WebOS based Smart TV was one of the hits of CES 2014, and subsequently garnered rave reviews. Now, as we near CES 2015, the company has previewed a new line of 4K ULTRA HD TVs that run an updated 2.0 version of the Linux-based OS.
4K ULTRA HD TV
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WebOS 2.0 offers up to 60 percent faster boot time, as well as an easier interface and easier connectivity to external devices, says LG. In addition, users can now customize their menus on the Launcher Bar, says LG.
The 4K ULTRA HD TVs, which will be more fully described at CES next week, will use either Wide Color LED or Quantum Dot technologies, depending on the model, says LG. The new Wide Color LED models uses different phosphor-based LEDs to display greater color depth and more lifelike images, while the Quantum Dot models deliver high color accuracy along with a 30 percent increase in the color gamut, claims the company.
The TVs’ IPS panels provide 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution. Other touted features include True Black and new Natural Color controls, as well as a multi-channel Ultra Surround System, developed in partnership with Harman/Kardon. A new 4K Upscaler algorithm is said to offer smoother rendering of non-4K content.
WebOS 2.0 demo (left) and homescreen closeup
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A week prior to the 4K announcement, LG posted another announcement teasing WebOS 2.0 functionality for upcoming TVs to be shown at CES. In addition to the features noted above, LG said WebOS 2.0 will offer 70 percent faster switching to YouTube.
LG also said it had sold over 5 million WebOS-based TVs. As noted by Engadget, however, it appears these users won’t be able upgrade to WebOS 2.0 unless they buy a new TV. This would seem to negate one of the key advantages of using an advanced Linux-based OS, although it may help LG sell more TVs. Perhaps more details on upgrade possibilities will be elaborated at CES.
One final WebOS-related tidbit: WebOS Nation recently reported that Alcatel OneTouch, which makes both Android and Firefox OS phones, has apparently purchased the old Palm trademarks from HP. Although the story could not be confirmed, if true, it could be that Alcatel will apply the Palm name as a way to boost its name recognition. HP acquired the names when it bought Palm and its WebOS mobile operating system back in 2010.
Meanwhile, there is still no word on that WebOS-based smartwatch that was teased in October.