LG WebOS Smart TVs will soon have an NVIDIA GeForce NOW app

LG is clearly dead-serious about expanding its smart TV kingdom, not just in terms of hardware but also software. In addition to adding new apps and services to its smart TVs, like Apple TV+ and support for AirPlay 2, LG has also started licensing its WebOS platform to other smart TV manufacturers. Most of those new features have revolved around “passive” entertainment, but this newest feature treads into the realm of interactive content, with the upcoming arrival of NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW game streaming to select LG smart TVs.

There are two or three major game streaming platforms these days, but NVIDIA was actually playing around with that possibility long before Google revealed its own take with Stadia. GeForce NOW did go out of beta a bit later, but it also has one of the largest numbers of supported devices to run. In addition to mobile, computers, and consoles, GeForce NOW is also coming to smart TVs, at least those running LG’s WebOS.

Select 2021 models of LG’s 4K OLED, QNED Mini LED, and NanoCell TVs in 80 markets will soon be able to test out a beta version of the GeForce NOW app that’s coming this week. Of course, availability still depends on whether the service is actually available in particular countries, but US owners need not worry about that at all. They also don’t need to worry about their TV’s hardware capabilities because the whole point of game streaming is to offload the heavy processing to remote computers.

Those remote computers happen to be using NVIDIA’s beefy RTX graphics card to stream smooth 1080p games running at 60 fps, complete with ray tracing effects. That said, this particular feature requires a paid subscription.

LG naturally promotes features of its TVs, like deep blacks on its OLED sets and fast 1 ms response times to combat input lag. It will be curious to see how the image quality will end up since they will have to be upscaled on 2K and 4K TVs. LG also isn’t saying if this app will be exclusive to LG smart TVs or if it will eventually find its way to third-party WebOS sets.

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LG webOS TV platform is now available for other TV manufacturers

Despite the popularity of smart TVs, there is currently no clear winner among the handful of smart TV platforms available. Google’s Android TV may have the numbers but it doesn’t have a wide lead against Samsung’s Tizen-based platform, LG’s webOS TV, Amazon’s Fire TV, and the handful of other custom platforms on the likes of Roku, for example. LG, however, seems to have bigger ambitions and wants to corner that market by licensing its webOS TV platform to other smart TV makers.

webOS has definitely come a long way since its birth as the successor for Palm’s old palmtop software. It eventually changed hands from HP and then to LG who pretty much used it exclusively for its smart TVs. The latest iteration of webOS is so far removed from its mobile roots that some early webOS fans and believers might no longer recognize it as such.

That said, webOS TV, as LG calls it now, has admittedly grown and mature in the past few years as a strong contender in the smart TV market. In addition to the usual plethora of content sources, webOS TV has probably embraced more connectivity options and platforms than any of its competitors. For example, it supports not just Google Assistant but also Amazon Alexa and even Apple Home or AirPlay.

LG is now offering those features to other TV brands, putting it directly in competition with Android TV. Although LG makes its own TVs, of course, it sees this expansion as a way to make its presence known on its own competitors’ TVs as well.

The question, of course, is which TV makers would actually bite LG’s offer. It already named RCA, Ayonz, and Konka as some of its first customers. These don’t have their own smart TV platforms to use or have barely adopted Android TV for their own but it remains to be seen if there will be bigger brands that will be added to that list in the near future.

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