Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): LG Electronics, MGt, Microsoft

--LG Electronics Launches New Range of Connected-TV Products
--MGt Launches PayWizard Micropayment Solution for STB's, Connected TV's, Mobiles and PC's
--Ballmer: Microsoft to Offer Kinect-Controlled Netflix, Hulu Plus on Xbox Live

Due to the large volume of news coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show, which kicked off Wednesday in Las Vegas, we are covering stories in this issue in summary/round-up form. We anticipate that it will take us several days to catch up with all the news generated by the show: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us. Our regular news coverage will return shortly.

  • LG Electronics has unveiled a new range of Smart TV products. "The easy use of LG Smart TV begins with its simple, uncluttered Home Dashboard," the company states in its press materials. "On a single screen with TV Live, Premium Content, LG Apps and Launcher Bar, LG's Home Dashboard offers simple, intuitive access to Smart TV's full range of entertainment options and an easy way to find whatever viewers want to watch. While many remote controls now have as many buttons as keyboards, LG has gone the other route and stripped the remote down to its absolute basics. LG's Magic Motion Remote Control lets users simply wave and click, so they have no need to take their eyes off the screen when choosing and activating their choice. In addition, a drag-and-drop function makes the control even simpler and more convenient to use. LG's Smart TV provides instant access to an outstanding range of content, including movie VOD, Major Sports League pass and catch-up TV services, both from premium global providers and specially selected regional content companies. In addition, the custom-made LG Apps offer services ranging from lifestyle and education to entertainment and games that can be enjoyed by the whole family. The TVs' Smart Share function allows users to wirelessly stream content from compatible devices for viewing on their television screen. With Smart Share, users can also directly transfer stored content from their PC, and access simultaneous metadata--including actor profiles and plot synopses--about whatever movie they’re watching. The platform also includes the Web Browser, so users no longer need to turn on their laptop to access the Internet. With this feature, news, reviews and a host of other content can be viewed directly on the television screen." LG has also launched the Smart TV Upgrader (ST600), which it says "makes it easy for viewers to transform their regular TV's into Smart TV's at an affordable price."
  • MGt, a company that specializes in providing broadcasters with multiplatform solutions for billing and customer management, has launched a micropayment solution called PayWizard, which it says "supports transactions made on any device, including digital set-top boxes, connected TV's, mobile devices and PC's," and is targeted at "content owners, broadcasters, service providers, consumer electronics manufacturers, gaming companies, publishers and other media owners to more effectively engage and build profitable long-term relationships with their viewers."
  • In his CES keynote, Wednesday evening, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that, starting this spring, Xbox Live Gold subscribers will be able to use Microsoft's Kinect technology to control Netflix and that Hulu Plus will also come to Xbox Live as a Kinect-enabled experience. However, he did not--as some had speculated (see the article published on, January 4th)--announce a product that would compete with Google TV or Apple TV.


North America