LG Channel Plus - What You Need To Know

LG WebOS 3.0 With Channel Plus Examples
LG WebOS 3.0 With Channel Plus Examples. Images provided by LG Electronics

The Dominance of Smart TV

As of Spring 2016, the number of households that have at least one TV, Blu-ray Disc player, media streamer, and/or game console connected to the internet totals about 49 million (or 52% of U.S. households).

The impact of audio and video internet streaming is beyond dispute. Every TV maker offers consumers a line of Smart TVs using a variety of operating systems.

For example, Vizio has SmartCast and Internet Apps Plus, Samsung has Smart Hub, Sony has Android TV, and some TCL, Sharp, Insignia, Hisense, and Haier TVs incorporate the Roku operating system.

The Smart TV operating system that LG has adopted is WebOS, which is now in its third generation (WebOS 3.0). WebOS is a very comprehensive system that provides efficient and easy operation of TV, network, and internet streaming features, including access to an abundant list of streaming channels, and also includes full web browsing, just like what you can do on a PC.

Enter Channel Plus

However, to make WebOS 3.0 even more efficient, LG has partnered Xumo to include a new feature called "Channel Plus".

Although the Xumo App is offered as an option both Vizio and Panasonic Smart TVs, LG has decided to include it as part of the Web3.0 core experience under the Channel Plus Label.

Channel Plus Consists of Two Parts

The first part of Channel Plus is the addition of direct access to 50 free streaming channels, some of which include: TIME, PBS Digital Studios, WIRED, Saveur, Cooking Light, GQ and Sports Illustrated, BuzzFeed, Mashable, Reuters, FailArmy, and Funny or Die.

Now, here comes the second part. Instead of TV viewers having to leave their Ant/Cable channel listings to find these added channels in the Apps selection menu, the Xumo channel offerings are mixed right in with the TV's Ant/Cable channel listings - thus the name Channel Plus.

In other words, when users select the Channel Plus option, as they scroll through their ant/cable listings, they will also see the added Xumo-provided channels listed in the same menu.

This means that unlike Netflix, Vudu, etc..., viewers don't have to leave main channel selection menu to access the new internet streaming channels being offered.

Channel Plus makes finding both Ant/Cable and Streaming Channels faster. So far Channel Plus only applies to 50 selections. It would be great of LG's entire internet streaming channel offerings could be included in the continuously scroll-able Channel Plus menu - perhaps with the next generation of WebOS (4.0)?

Channel Plus and Linear TV

If the Channel Plus concept expands to other TV brands and includes all available streaming apps, the line will continue to blur between broadcast, cable, and satellite content. Instead of the consumer having to figure what menu to go to find specific content provider, it could all be included in one integrated list.

One example of a similar integrated TV channel/Streaming Apps selection menu is offered by Channel Master on its DVR+ OTA DVR, which it refers to as Linear TV. There system combines channel listings for all available Over-the-air broadcast channels with 30 popular internet streaming services (as of 2016), for more details, read my previous report.

Some Examples of Channel Plus Compatible LG TVs (2016 Model Year)

According to LG, Channel Plus is available via scheduled firmware update on all LG OLED and LED/LCD SmartTVs running WebOS 3.0 beginning August 2016.

4K Ultra HD OLED TVs

B6P Series - Buy From Amazon

C6P Series - Buy From Amazon

E6P Series - Buy From Amazon

G6P Series - Buy From Amazon

4K Ultra HD LED/LCD TVs

UH9500 Series - Buy From Amazon

UH8500 Series - Buy From Amazon

UH7700 Series - Buy From Amazon

UH6550 Series - Buy From Amazon

UH6500 Series - Buy From Amazon

UH6100 Series - Buy From Amazon.

Note: In addition to WebOS 3.0, Channel Plus, and 4K Ultra HD display resolution, LG's OLED TVs and UH7700, UH8500, UH9500 LED/LCD TVs also incorporate HDR (both Dolby Vision and HDR10) and Wide Color Gamut.

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