LG webOS 3.0 Brings Gobs of Free Content to Smart TVs

The Consumer Electronics Show for 2016 is almost here, and that means it's time for electronics manufacturers everywhere to give consumers a taste of the tech that the new year holds in store for them. Prominent TV manufacturer LG plans to show off webOS 3.0: a brand new operating system for its smart TVs, which hopes to put less distance than ever between videophiles and what they want to watch.

The most prominent advancement is LG's Channel Plus feature, which offers free streaming content from companies like Bloomberg, Time, Condé Nast and the Wall Street Journal. LG has teamed up with a content company known as Xumo in order to deliver this feature, which essentially offers premium content to LG owners for free.

In terms of functionality, LG was also quick to highlight its "Magic" features. Magic Zoom allows users to zoom in on video without any apparent loss in quality. Magic Mobile Connection allows users to connect their smartphones or tablets to the TV and display mobile apps onscreen. Magic Remote allows mobile devices to become remotes, up to and including turning the TV on and off.

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webOS 3.0 also promises a host of smaller features, such as a Channel Advisor that recommends programs over time based on what you've watched, an updated Music Player, which can turn the TV's screen off but leave the speakers on. The IoTV app in webOS 3.0 lets you control LG smart appliances right from your TV screen. Users can also watch different programs from different sources on the same screen using a Multi-view mode.

Tom's Guide reviewers have enjoyed working with webOS 2.0 on the company's current smart TVs, so unless webOS 3.0 radically redesigns the entire experience, it should continue to provide an easy way for users to interact with their television sets. We'll go hands-on with the technology at CES and bring you a full report.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.