LG Smart TV customers will soon be able to receive Google Play Movies and TV content on their televisions and other connected devices through a deal reached with Google.
The services, which will allow users to rent or buy thousands of movies and television shows through Google Play for viewing, will roll out first in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada starting later in November, according to a Nov. 17 announcement from LG.
The expanded content options will be compatible with LG's WebOS Smart TV platform as well as its earlier NetCast 4.0 and 4.5 platforms, according to the company. The Google Play content is cloud-based, allowing users to begin watching on an LG Smart TV and then resume watching the programming later where they left off using their smartphone, tablet or PC.
"U.S. consumers are increasingly demanding fresh, high-quality content and we're seeing the smart TV market grow rapidly as a result," David VanderWaal, the vice president of marketing for LG Electronics USA, said in a statement. "Offering our consumers the best possible home entertainment experience is our highest priority and our partnership with Google to offer Google Play Movies and TV helps LG deliver more quality content options along with leading TV picture quality and a simple and fast smart TV experience powered by our WebOS Smart TV platform."
The LG WebOS Smart TV platform allows users to find and switch between movies, shows and other video content as they watch, whether from broadcast TV sources, streaming services or external devices, according to LG. Content in 4K is also available from partners including Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, YouTube, DirecTV and more.
The service will be expanded later to more than 104 countries where LG Smart TVs are sold.
The streaming video marketplace continues to get more crowded as companies bring out products to go after expanding video streaming demand from consumers.
Earlier in November, Roku announced that it will offer a new Roku SE special edition video streaming player as a promotion on Black Friday weekend for $25, half the cost of its normal $49.99 retail price. The Roku SE features 1080p video streaming and a simple user interface, with access to some 3,000 streaming entertainment channels that offer some 300,000 movies and television show episodes. The device runs on Roku OS 7, the company's latest built-for-TV operating system, and works with Roku mobile apps for iOS or Android. The Roku SE works with High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) or analog televisions.
The Roku SE will be will be available in the United States for a limited time during Black Friday weekend starting Nov. 26 online and in select national retail stores, according to Roku. The company confirmed that the SE will be sold at Best Buy, Walmart and Kohl's stores that weekend, as well as on Amazon.com and Roku.com.
In September, Apple unveiled a new version of its Apple TV, with an improved remote, Siri integration, new capabilities for Apple Music, a new operating system, improved gaming and multiplayer options, and more. Apple TV now includes a 64-bit A8 processor and fast 802.11ac WiFi and will come in two versions—a 32GB model for $149 and a 64GB model for $199. The earlier Apple TV version will continue to be sold for $69.
In May, Lenovo unveiled its first Cast streaming video hub, which appears to be aimed directly at Google's $35 Chromecast dongle, Roku's products, Amazon's $40 Fire TV stick and other competitors. The Cast is a streaming hub that can deliver content wirelessly from Android, Windows and iOS devices to a big-screen television. The $49 Cast, which went on sale in August, can be plugged into an HDMI port of a TV and then linked wirelessly to a content source for playback. The Cast, which looks like a black rubber hockey puck, plays media from a DLNA or Miracast-enabled tablet or smartphone using dual-frequency WiFi, and it can transfer content over distances up to 65 feet, including through walls.