LG has a new River OS smart TV interface and it's full of ads

Is the ad-heavy River OS the future of LG's TVs?
(Image credit: LG)

LG has a new TV operating system, and it could bring more ads to your viewing experience. River OS (spotted by flatpanelshd) was created by LG Ads Solutions, which sells ads for use on LG's TV interfaces. And it's coming to consumer TVs this year.

For all intents and purposes, River OS is just another smart TV interface, with personalised search, discovery and recommendations engines. It will handle all device, input, channel and app switching within the smart TV. And it has deep integration of voice controls. But what's different is its ad-focussed nature. 

Because it has personalised home screens, ads will be tailored to the individual viewer based on their profile. Ads can also take over your homescreen.

Click on a native ad, and you'll be taken to trailers, videos, microsites, and "other experiences", according to LG Ads.

LG's webOS 6.0 – which comes preinstalled on LG's 2021 TVs – already carries ads, and has personalisation features. So there will likely be some crossover between the two platforms.

River OS will launch on TVs in India before the end of this year, and in the US and beyond in 2022. LG Ads says that "major content streaming services and apps will be readily available on River OS-powered TVs", and lists its partners as LG, Sharp, Hisense, Toshiba, Seiki, Skyworth, Tivo, and Sling Media (with more than 10 more joining in 2021). So expect to see River OS launch on these brands’ devices soon.


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Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.

  • bristollinnet
    If this is the route that LG are taking, then (frankly) I'll use my next LG TV effectively as a monitor, with visuals fed by the relatively ad-free experience such as from Apple TV. There is a reason why most people watched England lose to Italy on the BBC rather than ITV...
  • manicm
    I will happily stick with Samsung sans Dolby vision or atmos. This is a matter of personal dignity and self respect.

    Trouble is I can see Google TV sets going the same route i.e. Sony TVs etc.