LG follows Sony by using cloud to link Android and TV

LG is set to open a cloud service that lets customers play their smartphone content on their smart TVs, days after rival Sony did the same.The LG Cloud service will go into beta on Tuesday.

LG is set to open a cloud service that lets customers play their smartphone content on their smart TVs, days after rival Sony did the same.

The LG Cloud service will go into beta on Tuesday. The company claims it will be "the first that allows user[s] to manage and consume all types of content on 'three screens', which include Android smartphones, PCs and smart TVs".

However, Sony's PlayMemories Online, which launched last Wednesday, provides a similar service that arguably takes in even more screens. With Sony's service, photos and videos stored in the cloud can be viewed on PCs, the PlayStation 3, smartphones, tablets, TVs and connected picture frames — although compatibility for the TVs and frames will only come later this spring.

LG says that its system is particularly fast, due to the fact that it transcodes content in the cloud in real time.

"There is no need to worry about installing codecs or converters, everything happens seamlessly and in the background with no involvement from the user. No other cloud service can make this same claim," LG said in its statement.

This also works for 3D content, LG said, although that makes little difference if the user does not have both a 3D-capable smartphone and 3D LG TV.

Tomorrow's consumers don't want to go to one cloud for music, another cloud for video, another location for photos and yet another cloud for their office files.

– Havis Kwon, LG

According to LG home entertainment chief Havis Kwon, the company has set up a new division called Smart Business Center to deal with cloud services.

"Tomorrow's consumers don't want to go to one cloud for music, another cloud for video, another location for photos and yet another cloud for their office files. In the end, our solution is about making life more convenient," Kwon said.

Sony's service gives registered Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) users 5GB of free storage on PlayMemories Online. LG said it will offer both paid-for and free storage tiers, but has not yet given details.

Last week saw Google launch its Drive cloud storage service, which also offers 5GB of free storage. Drive has not yet been explicitly linked to the Google TV set-top box service, but the potential is there for that to happen.