Sigh. I really find TVs with enhanced features that useful. The problem is that the software goes out of date very quickly, and I am entirely dependent on the TV manufacturer for updates, which will likely stop shortly after the TV goes out of production (which is what, 6 months these days).
All I really want out of a TV is good picture quality, and a bunch of input ports. For video streaming, gaming, and other apps, I prefer to have a separate box for that, which can be replaced and/or upgraded less expensively.
It went nowhere, but at least it was something at one time.
I'm curious to see if it will stay open-source. At this point, though, Firefox OS has much more mindshare as a full-stack mobile web OS anyway.
I wouldn't be so categorical about that. There's at least a minority of users, most of them technical, that really appreciated WebOS for its capacity for multitasking and the UI, if nothing else . (How relevant would this be in a TV OS is debatable.)
Even today WebOS remains a good platform for hacking with an unofficial app marketplace  that's still actively maintained and offers, among other things, two "real" Linux distributions (Ubuntu and Debian chroots). I keep a Palm Pre Plus with Debian myself for use in various experiments (like making a time-lapse camera). I got it for cheap when it was clear that WebOS is in decline but now I (along with many others who did the same) would be in the market for a new WebOS device if one came out, though probably not a TV.
 See, e.g., comments right here on HN: http://www.hnsearch.com/search#request/comments&q=webos+..., http://www.hnsearch.com/search#request/comments&q=webos+....
It was buggy, the scrolling felt slow because the settings were wrong (as proven by the buttah-patch), same for the animations, the default-browser lacks html5-support, the connectivity of the phones is bad, pages often don't load without a reason even when on wlan (and when not, it often fails to fetch a slowly loading page bit for bit, which was made even worse because the browser would reload that page the moment it was loaded because he was inactive too long(!)) - it wasn't performance that was the issue here.
So maybe LG really can take the system and make something out of it. The tile-system sure could work on TVs designed to be used with a remote-touchpad-controller.
The Palm folks then spent too many months de-Mercerizing the code for webOS 2.0...
I'm the Enyo tech lead and I've got an offer from LG.
Quite impossible. TV is the large entertainment display in your living room. That won't die. Whatever currently runs that display might die, but it will be replaced with something better.
I want Spotify for my TV. Let me choose shows to watch, when I want them, streamed from my fiber internet connection, on-demand, right after they come out, and I will pay a premium.
Netflix is so close to this. They need a few more agreements and a better interface designed for TV and designed for an entertainment system. Frankly I'm a bit surprised they're not there yet; it leaves the space open for someone else to fill with a better living-room UI.
Big opportunity here folks, if you can deal with licensing & legal. Someone else do it, I don't have the time.
tl,dr: A TV is just a display, we're not going to stop watching content, why say TV is bound to die?
Assuming I've read the OP right, I don't agree with the assessment that the TV industry ``is bound to die''. The demand for high-quality, well-made programming remains relatively stable (maybe increases gradually over time), and even with the best will in the world, amateur producers can't produce anything to match something like Game of Thrones. So there will probably always be something akin to the TV industry producing that sort of programming.
What probably will change is the means of distribution -- it'll be over the internet instead of over the air -- but I don't think there will be a radical shift in the style of broadcast for a long time. People are happier paying $XX for a cable/satellite package and getting an Eat-As-Much-As-You-Like experience instead of buying each course separately. If this wasn't the case, we'd already have seen a massive uptick in people cancelling their TV service and just buying $PROGRAMME season-by-season on iTunes. As far as I've seen and read, that just isn't the case.
At this point something like Roku or OUYA is a lot closer to the future of TV than even Google TV, which for reasons I'll never understand doesn't seem to even understand the basic use cases of smart TV - video and games.
I don't see how webOS gets LG any closer to what people want from a smart tv.
Gestures and its card system.
I cannot imagine how that translates to a TV.
Wait. We're talking about webOS here. It's always screwed, so never mind.
This is still early days but it looks like Android TV is happening despite Google rather than because of them.
Is there, though? I'm pretty technical, and very interested in the whole FLOSS thing, and I'm pretty much of the `meh' contingent when it comes my TV's software's licensing. All I really care about is turning the damn thing on, watching what I want, when I want, and being able to afford to rent the stuff I want to watch. Now take that disinterest in the licensing and `openness' of a TV's software, multiply it several times, and you get close to the amount most non-technical people care about the software their TV runs.
I've worked with non-technical people long enough to know that they care about getting done what they want to do, easily, more than almost anything else when it comes to software. That attitude may be short-sighted, but it's very much the standard; all they want from a TV is the ability to watch $PROGRAMME with as little pain and inconvenience as possible. Caring about the philosophy of the software a TV runs is very much a `nerd' past-time, and that's not likely to change soon.
We've seen what happens with Sports deals on Pay TV and people don't like being taken for fools. The remaining moral barriers to piracy dissolve very quickly when people feel cheated.
I own a small agency who builds apps for these platforms we can hit LG/Samsung/Panasonic/Sharp/Sony tvs with a single code base now. There are still a few outlier platforms like Yahoo Roku etc but HTML now gets us ~80% of the market.
If you have some time to write about it, I'd love to hear more about how these systems work, are they packaged or delivered over http? Do you use <video>?
As for availability of programming, that's basically what I said in my initial reply: *``all [the viewers] want from a TV is the ability to watch $PROGRAMME with as little pain and inconvenience as possible''.
If the ultimate goal is (as it should be) to get these broadcasters' programming everywhere, on all TVs, the last thing we need is another damned platform with a tiny userbase. We need some kind of consolidation, or (ideally) interoperable standard, that allows a ``write once, run everywhere'' ability for their apps.
The real question is whether the UX will be beautiful on TVs with remote controls. It was on the Pre, but that's nothing similar.
WebOS has been targeted to mini-phones, larger smartphones, tablets, printers & now TVs. Won't stop until you see it on a LG refrigerator.