LG just announced their upcoming Apple TV competitor called the ‘Smart TV Upgrader’. The device will be officially unveiled at CES next week and will go on sale during the second quarter of 2011. It will bring a TV web browser (ugh) as well as “premium content” (shows and movies) to your TV including ‘LG apps’. If this works out for LG we are probably not to far away from an App Store for the Apple TV.
“The market for Smart TVs is set to take off this year, and the ST600 offers a perfect entry point,” said Havis Kwon, President and CEO of LG Home Entertainment Company. “With the LG Smart TV Upgrader, we’re taking the excitement and convenience of Smart TV and adding in LG’s trademark ease-of-use because we see a significant audience who are interested but not interested enough to buy a whole new TV.”
The real question is: Is this the mythical Plex Box? Plex and LG signed a huge deal to work together earlier this year.
Above is a picture of the device and here are its technical specifications (and more info):
iPad Air 2
To compare LG’s offering to the Apple TV it has only 1GB of flash storage in comparison to the Apple TV’s 8GB. This means that LG’s unit is heavily cloud based as 1GB is not enough for a rental system similar to Apple’s. Maybe for TV shows only but LG’s unit will do full on movies too. Just like Apple’s offering, LG’s will be touch based with a peripheral called the “Finger Touch RCU.” Apple has their iOS Remote application for their set-top-box.
Here’s the full press release:
LG SMART TV UPGRADER MAKES EVERY TV SMARTER ST600 Smart TV Upgrader Lets Users Enjoy Web Browser and Premium Content on Their Regular TV Sets SEOUL, Dec. 30, 2010 – At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, LG Electronics (LG) will be unveiling the Smart TV Upgrader (ST600) that makes it easy for viewers to transform their regular TVs into Smart TVs at an affordable price. Embracing all the benefits of internet connectivity, the Upgrader gives regular TV owners access to all of LG’s Smart TV functions including premium online content, Smart Share and the full range of LG Apps. “The market for Smart TVs is set to take off this year, and the ST600 offers a perfect entry point,” said Havis Kwon, President and CEO of LG Home Entertainment Company. “With the LG Smart TV Upgrader, we’re taking the excitement and convenience of Smart TV and adding in LG’s trademark ease-of-use because we see a significant audience who are interested but not interested enough to buy a whole new TV.” By connecting the ST600 to a regular TV set, users can access a vast range of premium content from global providers, as well as the best locally sourced shows and movies to cater to different tastes around the world. The ST600 also connects users to the growing range of LG Apps, which are custom designed for use on TVs and offer everything from language classes to games. LG makes the viewing experience more compelling still with its superb compatibility, which lets users simply and wirelessly transfer content from their Digital Living Network Alliance(DLNA)-compatible PCs and other compatible devices for viewing on the big screen. LG’s Smart TV Upgrader will be unveiled at CES 2011 in Las Vegas and rolled-out to TV owners in the second quarter of 2011. Specifications: – Main CPU: BCM7615 – DDR 384MB, 1GB Flash – LG Add-on Architecture + Web Browser – AC 100-240V, 50/60 Hz – Wi-Fi, Ethernet, DLNA (DMP) – USB: 1EA (USB mouse, external storage) – Input Devices: Finger Touch RCU – Premium Content – LG Apps – Size: 11cm x 11cm