It's rare, if ever, for TV software to be the most anticipated debut at a big CES press event, but that's exactly what LG's webOS interface achieved ahead of the company's presser today. Alas, we weren't allowed to touch LG's Magic Remote, which will work in concert with the webOS UI, and really get to grips with it; but in terms of its look and feel, it really does convey a sense of much smoother and less cluttered interaction between user and TV. It's still somewhat odd to need to direct a cursor across the screen, but there's no denying that the slices representing each app and the general interface that we were shown had the right idea overall. Everything is large, easily readable, and uncomplicated — all important considerations when building a usable television interface.
LG promises that over half of its 2014 TVs will run the new webOS UI, and there should be greater opportunity to sample it at the company's booth later on in the week. For now, webOS looks as promising as we thought it would be. It certainly has Netflix CEO Reed Hastings geeked, as he was around after the event to talk up the new LG software.
The other big — both literally and figuratively — debutant for LG was its 105-inch curved UHDTV. Ultra HD is another way of saying 4K, but LG has put an extra spin on top of the high resolution by curving the television, making it more cinematic and immersive. That works extremely well on the large scale of the TV, and is supported by some great color accuracy, broad viewing angles, and high contrast of the IPS LCD. It didn't impress quite as much as the smaller curved OLED TV, which is much more home-friendly at 77 inches, but as a technical feat, it's certainly a great credit to LG. The company didn't have any intel to provide with respect to the pricing and availability of any of its new televisions.