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LG Smart TV - Voice Recognition and Content Discovery

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
LG Smart TV


Our Score:


LG 2013 Smart TV System - Voice Recognition

Pressing the 'Mic' button on the Magic Remote calls up LG’s voice recognition system, joining similar systems offered by Panasonic and, most notably, Samsung. Interestingly, LG’s voice system doesn’t offer you control over your TV; rather it just allows you to verbally input terms into the TV’s content search engine. An engine that covers everything from the VOD services carried by LG’s Smart TV platform to YouTube and the Internet.

This approach to voice interaction actually makes perfect sense to us, as it stops the voice recognition system from getting too complicated or ‘invading’ parts of the TV’s functionality where it really doesn’t need to go.

The system recognised pretty much everything we said to it accurately, and the presentation of the results is attractive. It’s great, too, that unlike Samsung’s Smart TV system, you can see instantly when a search result appears which source that option is available from, and how much it might cost you if it’s available via a pay per view platform.

It’s important to add, too, that as well as supporting searching for specific films, TV shows, actors and so on, LG’s online platform carries a recommendations system activated, for instance, just by saying ‘show me recommendations’.

LG 2013 Smart TV system

LG 2013 Smart TV System - Recommendations

This recommendations system joins similar systems on the latest Philips and Samsung smart TVs in that it bases its recommendations not just on promoted content but also on an analysis of your own live TV viewing history. It's more sophisticated than the Philips engine, and while it only seems to offer recommendations from VOD sources (Samsung's system also provides recommendations picked from the EPG listings), it does interestingly also take the 'Like' history from your friends into account if you sync your TV up with social networks.

LG's recommendation system seems to take its recommendation results from a slightly larger spread of on-demand content providers than Samsung’s system does. Particularly great is the inclusion of the BBC iPlayer in its results.

While LG’s list of ‘connected’ search engine sources seems more extensive than Samsung’s, though, its results are sometimes pretty questionable, even when your voice has been correctly recognised. For instance, requesting Tom Cruise films actually resulted in Tom Robinson occupying most of the first search result slots...

LG 2013 Smart TV system

Another issue is that as the search engine doesn’t look at enough on-demand content providers. At the time of writing it seemed as if the only significant players connected to LG’s system were the BBC iPlayer, Acetrax and YouTube. And if you’ve been following the news lately, Acetrax will actually have closed for business by the time you read this review.

As with Samsung’s content search engine, it’s a real shame LG hasn’t currently managed to get LoveFilm and Netflix connected in with its search engine. Indeed, until these two big UK content providing hitters are included, it seriously limits the Recommendation feature’s real-world usefulness.

Still, with the basic infrastructure up and running, it’s probably only a matter of time and deals before the scope of the search feature is indeed extended as we want it to be.


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.


June 27, 2013, 10:06 am

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


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...


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!!!


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


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


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


January 5, 2014, 9:09 am

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


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...

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


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.


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


August 18, 2014, 7:17 am

LG for the win!


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


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


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


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.

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