The impact of streaming audio and video over the Internet is indisputable. Each TV manufacturer offers consumers a line of smart TVs that use a variety of operating systems.
For example, Vizio has SmartCast and Internet Apps Plus, Samsung has its Tizen Smart Hub, Sony has Android TV, and some TCL, Sharp, Insignia, Hisense, and Haier TVs come with the Roku OS.
The Smart TV operating system that LG has adopted is WebOS, which is currently in its third generation (WebOS 3.5). WebOS is a very complete system that provides efficient and easy operation of broadcast TV, network and Internet functions, including access to a rich list of streaming channels, and also includes full web browsing, as well as what can be done on a PC.
Sign in to Channel Plus
LG Channel Plus – Menu Access. Image provided by LG
However, to make the WebOS platform even more efficient, LG has teamed up with Xumo to include a feature called “Channel Plus.”
Although the Xumo App is offered as an option on some other branded TVs, LG included it as part of the core experience of WebOS (version 3.0 and higher) under the Channel Plus label. It can also be added via firmware for up to select 2012-13 LG Smart TVs with Netcast 1.0 to 3.0, as well as any 2014-15 models with WebOS 1.0 to 2.0. This includes LG’s LED/LCD and OLED Smart TVs.
Channel Plus Content Deals
The first part of Channel Plus is the addition of direct access to over 100 free streaming channels, some of which include:
- CBSN (IP-125)
- Dust (IP-318)
- Fail Army (IP-200)
- Fun or Die (IP-201)
- GQ (IP-430)
- Applicable (IP-360)
- PBS Digital Studios (IP-370)
- Reuters (IP-130)
- Saveur (IP-409)
- Shouts! Factory TV (IP-255)
- Sports Illustrated (IP-738)
- SyFy cable (IP-318)
- The Hollywood Reporter (IP-320)
- TIME (IP-135)
- TMZ (IP-323)
- WIRING (IP-351)
- Best of Channel Plus (IP-999) Shows the latest channel additions you may not know about.
How to activate Channel Plus
LG Magic Smart TV Remote. Image provided by LG
Here are the steps to activate Channe Plus on a compatible LG Smart TV.
- Press Home on your TV remote.
- Go to Settings .
- Select Canal Plus .
- If there is a notice that a new version or update is available, click the update. The update can periodically provide new channels.
- Make sure Channel Plus is ON.
- Click the Channel Plus icon in the WebOS menu bar.
Channel Plus Content Navigation
LG Channel Plus – Channel Guide. Image via LG
Navigating Channel Plus is easy. Rather than having to leave the Over-the-Air (OTA) channel listings to find these added channels in the apps selection menu, the channel offerings mix directly with a TV’s OTA channel listings – hence the name. Plus channel.
When users select the Canal Plus option, while scrolling through their broadcast channel listings, they will also see added Xumo-provided channels in the same menu. This means that unlike cable/satellite, Netflix, Vudu, Hulu, etc…, over-the-air viewers do not have to leave the main channel selection menu to access the new streaming channels on offer. Of course, even if you get your programming via cable or satellite instead of an antenna, you can still jump over to LG Channel Plus to access its broadcast channel listings.
On the other hand, for OTA TV viewers, Channel Plus offers more seamless content access and navigation for viewers. This makes finding that favorite niche show or content easier and faster.
Have you ever noticed how much time you spend searching for a show instead of watching it? Although Channel Plus does not remove it completely, it certainly helps.
The LG Channel Plus feature can be accessed directly from the main menu bar at the bottom of the TV screen (see photo example shown at the top of the article).
Clicking on the Channel Plus icon takes you to a full page channel navigation menu. As you scroll through the menu, a brief description of each channel you highlight will appear at the top of the screen. You’ll also notice that each “channel” also has a number assigned to it which can also be used to access the channel if you don’t want to scroll.
Plus, you can also tag your favorite channels with a “star” to make them easier to find.
In all cases, when you find what you want, just click on it.
Canal Plus by other names
XUMO has also extended the LG Channel Plus concept to other TV brands, including:
- Hisense/Sharp – 60 channels are available through the virtual input selection function.
- Roku Magnavox, Sanyo, and Philips Roku TVs and Roku Media Streamers – The XUMO app can be added to Roku media streamers and Roku TVs through the Roku channel store.
- Samsung – The Xumo App is available through the Samsung App Store.
- Vizio — Available through Vizio TVs with Internet Plus applications. Vizio is also offering an additional alternative in partnership with Pluto TV which it refers to as WatchFree on 2018 models going forward.
The final result
LG’s partnership with XUMO is part of an ongoing trend that blurs the steps normally required to stream content over cable, satellite and the Internet. Instead of the consumer having to decide which menu to go to to find a specific content provider, everything could be included in one integrated list. In other words, the source of the programming is not the main concern: your TV should be able to access it and deliver it to you, without you having to try to figure out where to find it.
For better access speed and performance, LG/XUMO suggests Internet speed of 5mbps.