LG rolling out new webOS Hub for third-party smart TV makers

Electronics maker LG is rolling out a new version of its webOS streaming television platform that incorporates a new hub for third-party partners.

The LG webOS Hub will become available to partner manufacturers that license LG's streaming platform for use in other smart television sets. Manufacturers that are slated to get access to webOS Hub include Aiwa, Seiki, Hyundai and Stream System, the company said in a press release on Thursday.

The webOS Hub will incorporate many third-party applications that are supported by LG's streaming operating system, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, YouTube and Fubo TV. It will also include LG Channels, the company's free, ad-supported streaming service that offers over 200 linear streams of content, and support for Nvidia's cloud gaming service is coming soon.

Third-party TV manufacturers that incorporate webOS Hub into their system will be able to tweak parts of its user interface. Companies will be able to drop their own logo onto the webOS Hub, tweak the color scheme and make some other subliminal changes in order to customize it to each television set.

"We are committed to refining and expanding our webOS Hub ecosystem, which continues to introduce more and more consumers to the unparalleled user experience of LG webOS," Park Hyoung-sei, the president of LG Home Entertainment Company, said in a statement.

A version of webOS powers LG's own line of smart television sets. In August, LG said it was rolling out an updated version of the operating system to include a redesigned home screen, which looks similar to the webOS Hub announced this week.

LG said webOS Hub was developed in partnership with Dolby, Realtek, Gracenote and CEVA and has been certified by over 160 broadcasters around the world. More than 120 million devices in 150 countries are powered by some version of webOS, a number that LG says is expected to grow now that it is offering webOS Hub.

According to analytics firm Omdia, LG’s webOS is one of the more-dominant smart television platforms internationally, with around 18.5% of the market. It is bested only by South Korean competitor Samsung, which has nearly 30% of the global streaming platform market.

LG acquired webOS from Hewlett-Packard in 2013. Prior to the acquisition, Hewlett-Packard was largely using webOS to power its Palm line of pocket devices, including variants of the Palm Pilot and a webOS-powered smartphone called the Palm One.