updated 07:30 am EST, Thu December 30, 2010
LG Smart TV Upgrader ST600 debuts before CES
LG continued a series of pre-CES unveilings today by releasing its first attempt at a purely digital media hub. The Smart TV Upgrader ST600 gives any TV, including those from LG's competitors, the same access to LG's Internet TV functions and TV app store as one of its own TV sets. In the US, that should bring Netflix and Vudu movies as well as a full web browser and DLNA media sharing.
The emphasis on streaming keeps the hardware requirements light similar to those of the Apple TV the Smart TV Upgrader competes against. A minimal Broadcom BCM7615 serves as the main processor, and it carries just 384MB of RAM along with 1GB of flash storage. Ethernet and Wi-Fi provide the networking. Out of the box, the device comes with a touch-driven remote, but a USB port provides either room for a mouse or a place for external media storage.
LG plans to formally unveil the set-top box at CES next week and will ship it in the spring. Pricing hasn't been given out, but the reduced specs could price it below Apple, Roku and others with network-only media hardware.