AVOD Service Xumo Renews Deal With LG

AVOD service Xumo has renewed its relationship with LG Electronics to continue powering the Channel Plus service for LG smart TVs.

Currently available in 45 million U.S. households, the service has been rebranded LG Channels for 2019 LG webOS smart TVs in the United States, Canada and internationally. LG Channels, powered by Xumo, has also rolled out in seven additional countries — France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Brazil, and most recently, Mexico.

For the past three years, Xumo has powered LG Electronics’ premium Channel Plus service, available within the traditional programming guide of LG smart TVs that gives viewers access to more than 180 free, curated channels across 12 programming genres from broadcast TV to streaming channels and thousands of free movie titles. Total hours streamed continues to increase by a minimum of 10% month over month, according to Xumo.

“Our initial and ongoing partnership with LG has laid the groundwork for Xumo to deliver what has become the next generation of television programming,” noted Xumo CEO Colin Petrie-Norris in a statement. “We’re thrilled to continue powering a wealth of streaming content to not only existing Channel Plus viewers in the U.S. and Canada, but to consumers the world over who demand wide choice and premium, live and on-demand streaming entertainment.”

LG Channels has launched for free internationally with 50-plus of Xumo’s top digital channels, such as Eleven Sports, eSports Revolution, FailArmy, Football Daily, Motorvision, NowThis, Stingray Ambiance and This Old House, with more to be launched each subsequent month, according to Xumo. Localized streaming channels will also be added to the lineup for each specific country as the service expands.

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Channel Plus is available on webOS-enabled 2012-2018 LG smart TVs and is also now available on 2019 LG smart TVs as LG Channels. The full channel lineup can be viewed here.

Xumo offers more than 180 digital channels of free premium programming across 12 genres, including sports, news, kids and family entertainment, live events, comedy, lifestyle and movies. The ad-supported service is available in 45 million U.S. households via a multi-screen distribution network of smart TVs, mobile, web and streaming boxes. Xumo delivers its over-the-top video-on-demand and live linear digital channels through content partnerships with media providers such as CBSN, PeopleTV, NBC News, Food52 and HISTORY, as well PGA TOUR and many others.

LG Bowing ‘Native Ad’ Technology for Connected TVs

LG Electronics Sept. 10 announced it is partnering with Tremor Video to bow so-called “native advertising” on select Internet-connected televisions.

Tremor Video provides entertainment advertisers and apps with ad placements that are native to the smart TV experience across millions of connected TV devices — helping them to stand out with content discoverability.

The ad units run in a “highly visible position” on the LG smart TV’s home screen — helping to drive viewers to an app or drive tune — in campaigns for specific TV shows and movies.

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Matthew Durgin, head of content innovation at LG Electronics USA, said collaboration with Tremor Video “helps advertisers make their brand messages stand out in a crowded landscape,” adding, “This exemplifies how LG smart TVs provide added value to advertisers and viewers alike.”

These promotional placements can support the overall subscriber growth to streaming services and apps supported on LG smart TVs.

“Partnering with LG provides advertisers with a turnkey, cost-effective way to entice viewers with their brand messages before they enter another streaming service,” said Jay Baum, Tremor Video’s chief commercial officer.

Comcast’s Xfinity Streaming App Embedded on LG Smart TVs

Comcast and LG Electronics Sept. 5 announced the launch of the Xfinity Stream beta app for 2019, 2018, and 2017 LG Smart TVs.

Xfinity Stream gives subscribers the ability to access the live, on-demand, and cloud DVR programming on LG 4K Ultra HD Smart TVs — LG OLED and LG NanoCell TVs — and HD Smart TVs, without the need for a traditional set-top box.

With Xfinity Stream on LG 4K Ultra HD and Standard HD Smart TVs, Xfinity TV subs can browse the Emmy Award-winning X1 guide, featuring rich and immersive graphics and imagery.

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Other features include quick access to their most recently watched programming; parental controls; TV shows, movies, sports, kids, and the ability to access and scroll through the guide on the same screen while watching live programming.

LG is a member of the Xfinity TV Partner Program, launched to expand the range of retail devices Xfinity TV customers can use to access the programming that is included with their subscription on the television in the home.

All content within Xfinity Stream for participating partner program devices is delivered over Comcast’s secure private managed network, enabling customers to access and enjoy their cable service on devices like LG Smart TVs, without the need to lease a traditional set-top box from Comcast.

The 2019 LG OLED TV lineup features screen sizes ranging from 55 to 77-inch class options.

LG Rolls Out Roll Up TV

LG Electronics literally rolled out what SVP of marketing David Vanderwaal called the “ultimate future TV”; it’s a TV that rolls out of the sound bar box below.

To oohs and aahs from the crowd, the company unveiled its LG Signature OLED TV R, which “magically rolls up,” senior director of product marketing Tim Alessi added during a Jan. 7 press conference at the CES show in Las Vegas.

The TV “brings freedom of design to a space,” Vanderwaal noted.

The TV can roll up only partway in the box, which includes a Dolby Atmos soundbar, to become a control console to check the weather and perform other functions.

In what is called the “zero view,” the TV is hidden completely and can be used to play music.

The company also announced LG’s first 8K OLED TV, device compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa (in addition to Google’s Assistant announced last year) and the addition of Apple AirPlay to the 2019 TVs.

In partnership with Qualcomm, LG phones will include the Snapdragon 5G mobile platform.

“5G will be a reality in 2019,” said Jim Tran, SVP and GM of handset products for Qualcomm Technologies, adding “you will be able to download a 4K movie in seconds.”

LG Announces Sound Bar Lineup for CES

LG Electronics announced a new 2019 sound bar lineup to be showcased at CES 2019.

The bar lineup is equipped with artificial intelligence and features two CES Innovation Award recipients (models SL9YG and SL10YG), according to an LG press release. LG’s premium SL9 took home the Best of Innovation title, the company announced.

LG models SL10YG, SL9YG and SL8YG were created in collaboration with Meridian Audio.

“The collaboration goes far beyond basic fine-tuning or the adoption of feature-sets, with both companies joining forces to engineer sound delivery for a truly unrivalled listening experience,” according to the release. “Drawing on 25 years of experience as the Master of Digital Signal Processing, Meridian’s Bass & Space technology improves the soundstage and envelops listeners in rich, uncompromising sound and strong bass. Together with its Image Elevation technology, designed to lift the soundstage in a more lifelike way to boost listeners’ sense of immersion, Meridian creates a true cinematic experience, delivering powerful surround sound like no other.”

Able to up-mix two-channel audio to multiple, distinct channels without generating any distortion, the Meridian Upmix technology increases sound immersion by improving the sound field while upgrading the clarity of vocals and lead instruments, according to LG.

LG’s sound bar models SL10, SL9 and SL8 support both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Users can add the Wireless Rear Speaker Kit (sold separately) to achieve a more cinema-like experience, according to LG.

The new sound bars also offer AI smart connectivity and voice recognition with the built-in Google Assistant. Users can control their LG sound bar and get information with a command such as, “Hey Google, increase the volume,” or, “Hey Google, what artist is playing?” Compatibility with Google Assistant-enabled smart products make it possible to control connected devices throughout the home via voice command. Users can say, “Hey Google, ask LG to turn on the air purifier,” to the sound bar to make adjustments.

The sound bars “have a sleek, understated design that perfectly matches the chic style of LG’s exceptional OLED TVs,” according to LG. At 57mm (2.25 in) deep, the LG SL9 can also be installed flush to the wall. An integrated gyroscope sensor gauges the position of the product (fixed to a wall or on a flat surface), adjusting sound directionality to guarantee the optimal listening experience, according to LG.

“LG’s 2019 sound bars deliver amazing performance tuned in close partnership with Meridian Audio with the convenience of smart AI connectivity,” said Kim Dae-chul, head of LG Home Entertainment Company’s audio and video business. “The high-quality sound and versatility of our newest lineup takes home entertainment to a whole new level and satisfies a growing demand for premium sound bar solutions that provide impressive listening experiences, greater convenience and stylish, modern aesthetics.”

LG Introduces ‘World’s First’ 8K OLED TV

LG Electronics is introducing the world’s first 8K (7680 x 4320) OLED TV, according to a company press release.

Previewed at IFA 2018, the 88-inch, 8K LG OLED TV features more than 33 million self-emitting pixels to produce the “unmatched contrast ratio and true blacks that define OLED TV’s iconic picture quality,” according to the release.

OLED TV shipments in the market are expected to double in 2018 and reach more than 9 million units by 2022, with the 8K TV market expected to grow to more than 5 million units by 2022, the release stated.

“LG’s first 8K OLED TV is the pinnacle of technological achievement and the next evolutionary step in display technology,” said Brian Kwon, president of LG Home Entertainment Company, in a statement. “4K OLED played a major role in reshaping the TV industry, and LG is confident that 8K OLED will do the same.”

LG Launches Compact CineBeam 4K Laser Projector in U.S.

LG Electronics has launched its LG CineBeam 4K Laser Projector in the United States, “allowing any room in the house to turn into a movie theater,” according to a press release from the company.

The projector will be available at select U.S. retailers starting this week at a suggested retail price of $2,999.99.

“The LG CineBeam 4K Laser Projector is a true game changer in the projector market,” said Tim Alessi, head of home entertainment product marketing at LG Electronics USA, in a statement. “Portability and versatility combined with 4K technology delivers the ultimate large-screen home cinema experience in a compact size. This projector will lead the way in changing how consumers view 4K content in any room at home.”

“LG’s engineers and designers took on the challenge of downsizing the LG CineBeam 4K Laser Projector without sacrificing image quality,” according to the release. “The result is a premium device half the size of most competing 4K projectors while remaining price competitive.”

The LG CineBeam 4K Laser Projector earned the CES 2018 Best of Innovation Award for “its bright, detailed 4K picture quality and sleek, compact design delivering the ultimate home cinema experience,” LG noted. The company also noted its inclusion in the latest edition of Red Dot’s Best of the Best Product Design Award.

“With more high-quality video content and formats available to consumers, demand is accordingly rising for a device with the versatility to display streaming content as easily as Blu-ray,” the release noted.

The LG CineBeam 4K Laser projector can create a 150-inch screen at 2,500 lumens, making it LG’s brightest projector, according to LG. It also supports HDR 10 content.

The LG CineBeam 4K Laser’s portable size and upright design are made possible thanks to its mirrorless I-shaped engine, which allows the projection of high-quality images whether the device is on the floor, mounted on the wall or hanging from the ceiling, according to the release. The projector also features a carrying handle and Auto Cord feature. The Mirror Reflector serves as a lens cover to protect the projector from dust when stored. On the audio side, the projector includes two 7W + 7W stereo speakers for sound “without the need for external speakers or a soundbar,” according to LG.

LG’s embedded webOS smart platform allows viewers access to online streaming services offering 4K content, according to the company. Standard connectivity options also include ports for USB, Ethernet and HDMI, as well as wireless support for external devices such as a keyboard and mouse.

LG CineBeam 4K Laser Projector

LG’s AI TVs Incorporate Google Assistant

LG Electronics USA May 8 announced the launch of the Google Assistant on its 2018 AI TV line-up.

This includes both LG OLED TVs and LG Super UHD TVs with ThinQ AI, which will deliver AI features operated directly through the TV’s remote control with no additional hardware required, the company reported.

The Google Assistant combines with LG’s webOS-based ThinQ AI to enable 2018 LG TVs to deliver “an intuitive AI experience that uses natural language commands to control TV functions, seamlessly discover and play content and control TV settings,” according to LG.

“With the Google Assistant, you can ask it to manage daily tasks, access information, control compatible smart home devices including lighting, appliances and much more,” an LG press release reads.

LG and Google are collaborating to develop a range of features and are working to expand consumer accessibility in multiple languages, the company announced. LG’s 2018 AI TVs can perform hundreds of voice commands utilizing the company’s own open smart platform as well as the built in Google Assistant. With LG’s ThinQ, users can immediately connect to external gaming consoles and soundbars, switch picture mode or turn the TV off at set times.

LG 2018 AI TVs can retrieve information or switch to a channel that offers the content requested by the viewer, according to the release. “Switch to Discovery channel” instantly connects users to information about future travel destinations. Users can learn more about their desired films by saying a character’s or actor’s name. They can tell the TV to “search for the soundtrack of this movie” or “turn off the TV when this program is over” without needing to schedule a time.

With the Google Assistant built in, LG’s 2018 AI TVs allows users to manage different tasks, find answers or control smart home devices, the LG release noted. Users can press and hold the mic button to ask for information such as the weather forecast, nearby local businesses, or check the score of a game without disturbing the viewing experience. Users can also display Google Photos and access devices such as robotic vacuum cleaners, thermostats, air purifiers and smart lighting.

“With the Google Assistant now available natively in 2018 LG AI TVs, LG has truly elevated the TV to a whole new level of AI adoption in the home,” said Tim Alessi, head of home entertainment product marketing at LG Electronics USA. “Beyond the unrivaled picture quality that LG TVs deliver, LG’s partnership with Google creates a true visual hub for information and connectivity in the home. LG has only begun to scratch the surface of what we will innovate in the AI ecosystem working collaboratively with cutting-edge, industry leading partners such as Google.”

LG’s 2018 AI TVs also work with existing Google Assistant devices such as Google Home and other smart speakers with the Assistant built in, allowing users to send voice commands directly from a separate Assistant device to their LG TV. TV owners can speak to other Assistant devices to control TV functions such as volume, play, pause, start, stop, fast forward, channel selection and content search.  LG’s 2018 AI-enabled TVs will work with other Google Assistant devices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, with further expansion to be announced later this year.

LG Adds Hulu With Live TV to Its Smart TVs

LG Electronics USA April 10 announced that its smart TVs now include Hulu with Live TV.

The updated user interface is available on all 2018 and 2017 LG Smart TVs with webOS, as well as select 2016 models.

“As interest in streaming live events continues to rise, we are offering LG smart TV owners a seamless solution that enables them to experience today’s pivotal cultural moments as they are happening from the comfort of their own home,” said Matthew Durgin, director of smart TV content partnerships at LG Electronics USA, in a statement.

Hulu with Live TV offers viewers access to live and on-demand programming from more than 50 top channels, in addition to the service’s on-demand streaming library with thousands of movies and shows. Hulu’s live offering gives viewers access to personal-ized sports experiences, as well as the opportunity to record live TV through the Cloud DVR option. Current LG TV customers with Hulu subscriptions may enjoy Hulu with Live TV by updating their subscription plan.

The 2018 LG Smart TVs with webOS are now available with the updated UI and access to Hulu with Live TV at retailers nationwide.