LG Plans Google TV Expansion

LG is to introduce Google TV models including wireless connectivity, set for introduction at CES in January

Consumer electronics manufacturer LG is building out its lineup of Google televisions to seven models in five screen sizes for 2013, including premium models featuring LG’s Cinema Screen design that sports an ultra-thin bezel for a more immersive viewing experience.

The GA6400 series will be available in 42-, 47-, 50-, 55- and 60-inch class screen sizes, and LG applied the Cinema Screen design to its 2013 premium GA7900 series (47- and 55-inch class screen sizes). The sets offer wireless connectivity options to a variety of devices and will be officially introduced at next month’s 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Android links to Google TV

The latest YouTube application update for Android, smart phones and tablets can be automatically paired with Google TV over the same home network via Wi-Fi, making it possible to send videos from a mobile device to the TV.

google christmas doodleLG Google TVs will also offer the OnLive application pre-installed, which turns the set into a gaming platform without the need for a separate console. The app also makes hundreds of video games available from the cloud.

In addition, LG’s Magic Qwerty Remote, which combines a keyboard with the Magic Remote’s point-and-click control, works together with the Google platform to enhance the effectiveness of voice search and the PrimeTime quick guide.

An updated home dashboard also offers streamlined access to video on-demand, such as HBO Go, content from YouTube and more applications.

Consumers can also tell the remote to switch to a specific channel number, station or website with a voice command, allowing easier browsing through the more than 100,000 available movies and TV episodes available.

“LG is committed to providing diverse home entertainment options that offer the most satisfying user experience and the latest LG Smart TVs with Google TV do just that,” LG Electronics Home Entertainment Company president and chief executive Havis Kwon said in a statement. “They deliver a stellar user experience by merging the latest Google TV platform with LG’s proven Smart TV technology. The result is a comprehensive system that is groundbreaking in its simplicity.”

‘Smart’ TVs

A December Gartner forecast projected that 85 percent of all flat-panel TVs produced in 2016 will be “smart” TVs – sets that are able to access a wide variety of content from the Internet over a broadband connection, and can receive traditional TV broadcasts through terrestrial transmissions or via satellite, cable or an Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) set-top box.

The report noted that a web-connected TV is not essentially a game-changing competitive feature on its own, though Gartner analysts estimate worldwide unit production of flat-panel smart TVs will grow from 69 million in 2012 to 198 million in 2016.

Instead, compelling features unique to the brand user interface will help rival manufacturers gain an edge and drive overall market demand.

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Originally published on eWeek.