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Saturday, 4 April 2015

A technical review of LG LB650 smart tv series

The  smart TV menu

This article mentions some technical characteristics and personal experiences of setting up and  using  the LG 3D smart tv series for a limited time. The specific model at hand is 32LB650, which comes with WebOS and also provides a satellite receiver.
On the bright side,  the tv offers trouble free ways of wireless and ethernet connection,USB and HDMI sockets, comes with 2 pairs of 3D glasses, which I have not been able to test, hence 3D content is still rather scarce to find in a reasonable price. The 500Hz refresh rate is good for watching sports, but when the background has stripes of different colours the picture quality deteriorates. The ecological function is wonderful,as the tv LEDs dim automatically while the daylight decreases.
On the dark side, the assembling   and installation procedure is rather poorly described in the manual. Furthermore, the remote control is practically suited only for traditional, non smart tv operation. One has either to buy a magic remote for 50 € by LG, or setup an application for the mobile called LG TV plus almost for  free. This offers a touch pad similar to laptop users, full access to the WebOS menu applications and normal functions of the regular tv use, such as switching off or lowering the volume. However, the application sends all user commands  via the internet and maybe the LG servers, to the tv, meaning that perhaps all user input is captured and analyzed for statistical, business,  or any other reasons. Therefore, an internet connection is required, no Bluetooth option as far as I can tell. On the other hand, Samsung offers an additional remote for smart tv operation at no extra cost.  What is worse is the primitive  web browser, which does not allow neither any downloads, nor acrobat plugin installation. Thus, playing the vast majority of videos or watching live stream tv channels on line is often impossible. Only newest HTML 5 pages are compatible. Having contacted the LG support for offering a solution did not brought back any reply or hint. Moreover, the browser throws often out of memory errors and the bookmarks cannot be organized in folders. I guess that internally a java virtual machine is running, or maybe not?
All in all, the menu and regular or satellite tv operation works well, the sound is crystal clear, but the WebOS seems in my personal opinion, not suitable for smart tv operation, Finally, the browser leaves a great deal  of bug fixes and improvements to be expected in future releases.