For as much as I loved the LG 9300's curved OLED screen, trying to navigate through the set's menus using the motion-controlled smart remote and the onscreen Web OS menu could be an infuriating task. Hopefully the second generation navigation menu that LG just announced ahead of CES will make it less of a chore.
This isn't a full-blown overhaul, mind you, more a series of pointed tweaks. The new WebOS 2.0 is still based on the ribbon design that debuted on the 2014 models—but does the same thing better. For example, rather than the 40-second boot-up time seen in version 1.0, the new Web OS is ready to go in just 3 to 4 seconds. The integrated YouTube app has also been optimized and reportedly loads up to 70 percent faster than the current system. And instead of forcing the user to either switch remotes or endure the onscreen virtual keypad in order to control the cable box, the new navigator has added a My Channels section that can be populated by your most watched television stations—essentially a favorites list that can be controlled right from the ribbon.
The existing universal search and discovery, as well as intelligent signal input switcher features, have also been tweaked to improve their performance, enabling users to seamlessly flip between not just channels but streaming services and external devices without the need for multiple remotes or deep dives into the system's menu system. We'll have a hands-on of this new navigator from the CES show floor, so stay tuned for more details and initial impressions come January. Maybe, just maybe, WebOS can still make smart TVs not suck.