Superficially Smart TVs (LG 43LH5700)

My parents recently got a LG smart TV. It is the NZ edition of this one.

Setup involves selecting your country (TV frequencies I guess.) Agreeing to send all your data to LG and Connecting to WiFi. There is also an Ethernet port in the back for those who want Wired.

The TV it’s self is pretty decent. I haven’t had a working TV for 5ish years and simply watch YouTube or Netflix (or perfectly legally downloaded content) on my Computer. With this I was skeptical that the resolution was the same as my 24in monitor (1920x1080), but stretched to 43in, giving far less dots per inch. However from 5m back on the couch that’s not very noticeable. It’s a nice size for someone who’s used to a 24in monitor.

The sound was pretty awful. We had it sitting on the floor, while waiting to set up a wall mount. The speakers are aimed downwards and in this position the sound hits the floor and is distorted. It has a 3.5mm headphone jack in the back which I used to plug in a proper sound system. This is basically a requirement.

I haven’t tried watching actual TV with it, we don’t have the required dish, and can’t stand the terribleness of NZ TV anyway. The Netflix app works well, the awkward bit is signing in, and getting everyone to leave the room as you type a password arrowing around an on screen keyboard.

YouTube also works pretty well, but again, searching for videos is incredibly awkward.

It also comes with the Lightbox app prelisted, which for those who don’t know is a NZ Netflix competitor.

Now here’s my complaint. The LG Smart TV OS, which wont even show me what version it is running, is the dumbest ‘smart’ operating system ever. If I were to get my own TV I would get a dumb one and make it smart my plugging in a raspberry pi or the like. The LG Smart TV store is incredibly sparsely populated with as stupid apps as 2048. On a TV! Why!? What I am looking for is an FTP Client app. With that I could connect it to the home’s NAS and stream video files from there. The store doesn’t even has a feature to search for the string ‘ftp’. If I go to the My Media page, it simply tells me no storage units are plugged in. Of cause not, there plugged in to my router and shared through my network, like any self respecting technical person would do.

Can one call it a TV smart when it can’t even connect to an FTP server!?

It also doesn’t have a web browser, so you are limited to apps for online content. It does have 2 HDMI ports so you can make it a smart as your computer if you want and simply ignore the dumb operating system it comes with.

Plugging in USB devices, works as expected. You can view either Photos, Videos or Music, then search through the device for the matching content. The file structure is kept. I tested with a FAT32 thumb drive, so I don’t know how it would preform with an ext4 hard drive but I don’t expect much of it. When viewing photos it spends a second on a black screen between viewing 2 photo, which is quite annoying. I didn’t have any music on my thumbdrive so haven’t tried that. It plays my downloaded episodes of WestWorld beautifully. I haven’t tried any OGG formats yet, again, I don’t have high expectations here.

Overall, my parents decided to get a smart TV because they don’t want to mess around with raspberry Pi’s. The want something that will just work, without having to call me over to fix it, especially since I will be leaving home within the next year. I think that’s great, I don’t really want to be called over. I think getting a superficially smart TV is great for those who don’t know what FTP stands for, however, If you are on this forum, I would advice against it. Or at least against one running LG’s operating system.

No. It’s a consumer grade appliance with very little information given. This is why I don’t participate in my families purchases, when buying technology I tend to get frustrated at how little information is given and turn to an open source kickstarter project that costs twice as much plus import taxes. Not something the rest of my family wants.

Not the same tv, but this is an example how sparely NZ stores display specs.

Do you know what LG’s policy on OS updates is for this TV and for how long? I’ve no doubt IoT devices like this offer interesting features, but it would be horrible security-wise if they don’t.

I had a ‘smart’ bluray player from LG. It worked ok at first, but it wasn’t long before it left a lot to be desired.

Most of these have an app that will play DLNA sources. I run minidlna on my machine and can browse and play on the TV from there useing DLNA.

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