LG Has Its Smart Display “Smarts” In A Standalone Box That Can Now Drive Other Manufacturers’ Smart Screens
August 21, 2023 by Dave Haynes
LG has taken the interesting step of marketing a standalone media play-out device that runs the same webOS operating system as its lines of System on Chip embedded smart displays.
The LG WP402 media player would work like an LG smart display, but allows the solutions provider and end-user to plug this in to an already-operating digital signage network’s displays, whether they’re already smart or not.
So … a network user that wanted to standardize its chosen CMS software platform to work with just one operating system and use LG webOS smart screens going forward could use the HDMI out on the box to drive, for example, Samsung screens on a network that would otherwise need to have a CMS that supports Samsung’s Tizen OS. Or use a middleware solution like SignageOS.
LG already had a WebOS box – the WP400 – but it works only with LG displays, while the WP402, as noted above, can drive the displays of rival manufacturers.
The price point – based on some searching – is pretty reasonable … roughly $300 USD and about £230 in the UK. I’m not sure how long this has been out there (maybe last year and a half?), but Signagelive has a habit of being early adopters for new software and hardware, and has announced it now supports the devices.
While first-time rollouts of digital signage networks allow a clean, reasonably uncomplicated start with respect to hardware and software choices, a LOT of existing networks can have a mish-mash (sophisticated technical term) of hardware deployed – displays, players and software. Starting fresh is ideal, but expensive and time-consuming. If what’s out there, notably screens, still have lots of operating hours left in them, this sort of thing would likely be attractive.
Samsung also has S-Box standalone devices but I think they are specifically geared to its direct view LED line-up.