Discover webOS TV

webOS TV is a web-centric platform that powers the LG Smart TV. webOS TV is a developer-friendly platform with powerful capabilities that you can leverage for creating feature-rich web apps. Best of all, webOS TV is based on technologies you are already familiar with, like HTML, JavaScript, CSS, so you can choose the way you want to develop.

Let's start by getting to know the webOS TV System UI.

webOS TV System UI

How will users access apps on LG Smart TVs, how will they launch them, switch between them, etc.? We will describe the system UI based on webOS TV 6.0. Previous versions of the webOS TV system UI might slightly differ from the current description.

It is essential for you to understand how the webOS TV system UI manages apps on LG Smart TVs so that you create your apps appropriately.

Screenshot of webOS TV 5.0 Home​​

webOS TV Under the Hood

This section provides a high-level overview of webOS TV and the possibilities. It will help you determine the best solution for your business needs.

Brief image of webOS TV platform architecture

webOS TV platform architecture

  • Apps & 3rd-party services include:
    • Web app using Enyo, Enact, and web runtime
    • 3rd-party JS service using Node.JS
  • webOS TV system components include:
    • System bus
    • Cloud services, app manager, device manager, media, security, notification manager, networking, connectSDK gateway, TV, Blink
    • Other system components
    • Linux kernel

webOS TV System Components

webOS TV is based on Linux. The core of webOS TV is a rich set of essential services that enable apps to manage media, devices, security, networking, TV functionality, and more. 

The System Bus is a channel through which apps communicate with the services available on webOS TV. In the diagram above, App Manager, Media, etc., are examples of webOS services that apps can access through the webOS TV System Bus. Apps can also access custom services (provided by 3rd party developers) through the System Bus.

Web Apps

Web apps built for webOS TV are very similar to standard web apps. You can create web apps for webOS TV using standards-based web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Anyone with experience in building web applications can easily start developing web apps for webOS TV.

Web apps for webOS TV:

  • Are typically optimized for larger displays.

  • Are designed for a lean-back experience vs. the lean-forward for web apps used on a mobile device.

  • Can be implemented by various JavaScript app frameworks such as Enact, jQuery, and more.

There are two types of web apps you can build for webOS TV:

  • Packaged web apps: Packaged web apps reside on the TV. Packaged web apps have most of the resources they need to work successfully, available on the TV.

  • Hosted (Server Hosted) web apps: Hosted web apps reside on a remote web server. Users access them through an Internet browser. You can build hosted web apps for webOS TV using standard web technologies like HTML, CSS, and Javascript. These apps need connectivity to the webserver to run successfully. As these apps reside on a remote web server, you can update them at any time without having to worry about pushing updates to the TV.

To learn more about web apps for webOS TV, see App Development.

Enact Sandstone TV UI Library

Enact is a new JavaScript app framework built around the React UI library that is easy to use, performant, and customizable. Enact provides the building blocks for creating robust and maintainable applications. To let developers update their apps, Enact also supports the Sandstone library.

To learn more about the Moonstone UI controls, see Sandstone Library.
To learn more about the Enact App Framework, see Enact.

JavaScript Services

webOS TV supports JavaScript services. webOS TV JavaScript services are created using Node.js. JavaScript services can perform background processing, low-level networking, access to the file system, and more. Apps can access the webOS JavaScript services through the webOS TV System Bus.

To learn more about webOS TV JavaScript Services, see JavaScript Services.

Connect SDK

Connect SDK is an open-source framework (developed by LG) that connects mobile apps to multiple TV platforms. Connect SDK enables webOS TV apps to be promoted through mobile apps using Connect SDK. To learn more about Connect SDK, visit the Connect SDK site.