LG wants an Open webOS-powered television

HP’s Open webOS has certainly been making the rounds in recent weeks.

Indeed, the discontinued operating system made an appearance in the form of an Android app, debuted on a LiveCD and was loaded onto a Samsung Galaxy Nexus as well as Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet. 

So what’s next for Palm’s former flagship OS? Well, it turns out that LG wants to use the Professional Edition of webOS to power a television.

According to Derek Kessler of webOS Nation, the process of porting the versatile operating system to the big screen has been underway for at least several months. 

“Headed by HP’s Leonid Zolotarev, with Keith Weng leading program management and former Motorola project manager Thom Davis in charge of engineering, the Open webOS porting project has aimed to bring the user interface of webOS to the television, replacing LG’s aging NetCast smart TV platform,” Kessler explained. 

“NetCast was introduced back at CES 2009 (the same CES where the original Palm Pre was introduced and won Best of Show). While webOS has been overhauled multiple times since then, NetCast hasn’t evolved much, though it’s had a few new apps added over the years.”

As Kessler notes, the project obviously involves much more than a simple port, namely the coding of new widgets and apps in Enyo like Netflix, Yahoo, CinemaNow, Pandora, Vudu and YouTube. In addition, engineers are reportedly working to speed up painfully slow boot up times.

Interestingly, LG is said to prefer Open webOS to Google TV, as the industry heavyweight is uncomfortable with Mountain View’s terms for using its television platform.

“[They also] fear what Apple could accomplish if they were more aggressive in the TV market. So while Open webOS may not be LG’s property, it’s something that they can do with as they please, and with the willing assistance of HP/Gram,” added Kessler.

LG remains on track to showcase its Open webOS TV at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, although it remains unclear when devices powered by the platform will actually hit retail shelves.