Home / TVs & Audio / TV / LG Smart TV / Interface

LG Smart TV - Interface

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
LG Smart TV

Summary

Our Score:

9

So far we’ve somehow managed to avoid talking about the onscreen Smart TV interface LG has introduced for 2013 – even though it’s actually a very nice system indeed for the most part.

Rather than splitting its content over multiple home ‘hub’ screens like Samsung and Panasonic do this year, LG’s approach is to populate a single hub with various themed content ‘folders’ or cards providing direct links to associated content.

The default set up for these folders finds a Premium folder up first containing all the key online video service providers contained on LG’s platform; then there’s a 3D World folder providing direct access to streamed programmes on LG’s own 3D World channel; a Smart World card providing access to information-based apps and LG’s Cloud (more on this latter app presently); Game World aggregating all the games carried by LG’s platform; and Smart Share, which shows stuff collected from your connected mobile devices, PCs and USB drives.

A maximum of three of these folders is shown on screen at any one time, so that the icons can be kept large and easy to select using the magic remote. You scroll along between pages of folders just by moving the cursor to the left or right side of the screen.

LG 2013 Smart TV system

The opening Smart page also happily shows a shrunken version of the TV programme you were watching when you hit the remote’s Smart button. We were a bit annoyed to find a fairly large advert box beneath the TV screen, though; we really don’t see why we should have to suffer ads when we’ve paid so much for a TV – especially as the ads inevitably occupy space that could be filled instead with extra content shortcuts.

One other niggle with the Smart Hub layout is that if you scroll right to access the extra content shortcut cards/folders, the TV screen disappears. Surely it would have been better if the TV screen had been locked permanently in position at the left of the screen while the content folders scrolled separately, without forcing the TV picture to disappear.

Each folder/card on the Smart hub shows eight direct links on the home hub screen, with other options available by selecting the ‘More’ tab at each folder/card’s top left corner.

Add to these folder/card link icons a row of further feature and content shortcuts along the menu screens’ bottom edge and you’ve got a system that looks busy, showcases lots of apps you might not have seen if everything was tucked away in submenus, and delivers plenty of direct content access all without ever looking cluttered or confusing. Excellent.

As with Panasonic’s excellent My Home Screen interface, moreover, LG has provided a simple interface for creating your own folder/card of links. However, rather bizarrely you’re only able to import links from a very limited list into this personalised card. You can’t, for instance, choose which video content providers you want to have on your home card, or your preferred games.

We guess LG could excuse this by saying that since you need to scroll past the other themed cards to get to your personalised one you’re going past all the main content folder/cards anyway, and so can get to content in those folders/cards quicker without having to move to your personalised menu. But personally we still think many users would have appreciated being able to create their own folders from ALL the apps available.

LG 2013 Smart TV system

While we can see ways for further improvement of LG’s Smart TV interface in the future, though, we need to make it absolutely clear that the combination of the attractive, content rich menus, solid degree of personalisation and brilliant intuitiveness of the magic remote make LG’s Smart interface seldom less than a joy to use. Especially as the system proved both robust and reasonably fast during our tests – a pleasingly far cry from the rather buggy smart platforms LG has launched in past years.

That’s it for part 1 of our exploration of LG’s new Smart TV platform. In part two we’ll be running through the platform’s content, and the startling number of ways LG has provided for enabling you to access content across a range of devices.

diddler

June 26, 2013, 1:49 pm

This isn't WebOS is it? Doesn't look like it anyway. They are supposed to be revamping all these interfaces with WebOS in 2014, might be a bit of a bugger if suddenly your Smart TV gets all stupid with no updates. You could buy a Sony TV if you wanted that.

Technicpuppet

June 27, 2013, 10:06 am

I have a 2012 LG TV and it is fantastic for DLNA. Plays every format.

Mustafa

August 30, 2013, 9:46 pm

The mini tv does not work on my Samsung Gs4 either:( I can do everything just like more than a remote control but this function is not working and makes me sad:(

Marcelo Taranto

October 4, 2013, 12:05 pm

What a joke!! How could a review being made without any mention about the image quality, like black level, view angle, response time, etc??
It can't be serious...

andyvan

October 4, 2013, 12:43 pm

This is a review of the Smart TV features on their own. It's not a standard TV review. We cover all that stuff in our reviews of specific TV models.

Marcelo Taranto

October 4, 2013, 12:57 pm

My bad! I didn't realize it was a Smart functions only review. ;)

Casper Joefield

October 8, 2013, 4:29 pm

ok I am having some problems with my 42 inch smart tv..my remote works just like any other remote,where it suppose to be a magic remote where I can use the pointer as seen in videos on youtube unfortunately mine doesn't work like that..been tryin like forever to solve this problem and no help so far..question!! does my smart tv must have a motion LG camera to use the pointer from my remote,and yes the remote that I have is the remote I got with the tv when I bought it...and help on this would be great...getting pissed..

Ivm Ivm

October 11, 2013, 4:11 am

LG TVs have serious issues with DLNA technology. It does not support changing sound track for now. But it worked in earlier firmwares and one day they just decided to break it. NEVER LG ANYMORE!!!

Bobmaca

November 8, 2013, 1:59 am

LG sucks.. Well the tv was great tell it went dead. Bought a 47"3D smart tv and it went to crap a just over a year later. Just stopped working. Customer service sucks.. Now I have to go out 30 miles away from my home to get butt rapped on the repairs. It would be one thing if I lived in the damn hills but I live in Tacoma Washington and still have to travel.. Aholes..

Steven Pribilinskiy

November 9, 2013, 11:17 am

I have to confirm that i can't change sound track for downloaded mkv files, however it was worked a year ago. Since then i'm waiting for a new firmware because there's no way to roll back to a previous version :( Very frustrating

miki

November 24, 2013, 3:21 pm

lg 2nd display is usless, no notebook app that supports it also is not working on HTC Mobile Devices

Charles90210

November 28, 2013, 7:56 am

LG Smart TV is probably the worst news journalism ever on this Earth. I mean the MSNBC talking head is talking about shitting and pissing in a female's mouth and Lg calls this smart TV

hardwe||

January 5, 2014, 9:09 am

hey can you show a video about how to mirror using NFC tag pleas

trashcooky

February 3, 2014, 6:00 pm

You need the magic remote as the standard one sold with the TV is usually only a generic push button type: http://www.johnlewis.com/lg-an...

mick london

March 6, 2014, 8:07 pm

I bought a 55" lg smart just over a year ago and the lcd penal is gone and they LG dont want to know great it is like burning £1800 pounds

neilwheel

March 15, 2014, 2:40 pm

If you're thinking of buying an LG TV because of the Eurosport Player, take my advice - don't bother!
The app does not work, Eurosport ignores any attempt at communication regarding its non-performance and trying to get a subscription refund is impossible. In short, probably the worlds' worst (cr)app.

♜Donzzy™

March 17, 2014, 4:59 am

I'm thinking of buying either LG or Samsung. Which one is better?

Vinícius Rodrigo

April 7, 2014, 7:37 pm

I have the same problem .... do you solved?

kathleen nepia

June 24, 2014, 10:17 am

i have LG on now dont forget smart remote i forgot now im in need minz 2013

David

August 18, 2014, 7:17 am

LG for the win!

David

August 18, 2014, 7:19 am

Some models come with magic some come with regular. If you're sure yours is supposed to be a magic remote I would contact LG

David

August 18, 2014, 7:20 am

As an owner of 2 LG smart TV's (6205 and 6700) I will say the image quality of LG is amazing

David

August 18, 2014, 7:21 am

I agree, I have the 6700 and it plays almost everything I throw at it. Only the Xbox has better DLNA IMO

David

August 18, 2014, 7:23 am

Really? I have 2012 and 2013 LG's that would be nice. As it is there are still updates but not webos

Miyako O'Conner

February 12, 2015, 8:29 am

Great article John. For those who live outside US like me, you can access Netflix, Hulu and similar media stations on your LG Smart TV by using UnoTelly or similar tools.

comments powered by Disqus