Slideshow

WebOS 2.0: The most underrated feature of LG smart TVs

Multitasking, Netflix certification and smartphone casting are among our favourite features

  • 2015 LG Smart TVs and webOS2.0

    Upcoming LG smart televisions in 2015 will run webOS 2.0, the company's second generation smart television platform. The operating system works easily with companion devices, including smartphones, tablets and PCs, has an ecosystem of apps and can be used to surf the World Wide Web. Here are its newest and its best features.
  • The interface

    An enjoyable change made to webOS 2.0 has to do with a penguin. Its installation wizard uses an animated penguin to welcome owners to the platform. Steps include connecting the televisions in the 2015 range to Wi-Fi and configuring them to work with existing set-top boxes. The entire wizard is fun, colourful and simple. Little improvements have been made to the interface of webOS. Most noticeable is the incorporation of a quick settings menu which has icons cascading down the screen’s left hand side. The icons provide access to popular settings only, such as the ability to cycle between various screen modes. More detailed settings can be accessed by clicking the sixth icon at the base of the screen.
  • Multitasking

    Sifting between broadcast TV, gaming consoles, a video-on-demand stream and applications on a webOS 2.0 television can be done easily from the task manager. Its inclusion makes switching between different and active sources easy, such as alternating from a Netflix stream to a gaming console and then back to the Netflix stream. In this instance, the stream resumes almost instantly upon return. Processing hardware varies across the 2015 range of LG televisions with some models coming with dual-core CPUs and others coming with more powerful quad-core CPUs. We tested webOS 2.0 on the LG LF6300, a 55-inch LED television powered by a dual-core processor. Overall performance was fast, though there were a couple of occasions where the television showed signs of lag.
  • Netflix certified

    More people are turning to video-on-demand services to watch their favourite television shows. LG televisions running the second generation webOS platform are certified for use with Netflix. The Netflix application is tailor-made for large screen televisions. Entering in a Netflix username is less difficult because the on-screen QWERTY keyboard automatically populates different email domains, including ‘@hotmail.com’, ‘@gmail.com’ and ‘@yahoo.com’. Using the application is little different to running Netflix on a tablet. We tested Netflix over a 3 megabyte per second ADSL 2 connection and encountered no glitches during two episodes of Brooklyn 99. It started quickly, the stream did not pause at any time and the overall picture quality was clear and smooth. Netflix is not the only video-on-demand service supporting webOS. The application store supports local services such as ABC iView and SBS on demand.
  • Smartphones and Miracast

    Sharing the screen of a smartphone with an LG webOS 2.0 television can be done easily -- though it depends on the smartphone. The open source nature of Android could still cause compatibility issues, such as those experienced during our testing of Sony’s 55-inch X9000B television. We managed to mirror the display of a Sony Xperia Z3 with little trouble to the LG television. It involved launching the TV’s ‘screen share’ application, enabling Miracast from our Z3 smartphone and then clicking the ‘throw’ icon from photos in the smartphone’s gallery. Miracast will reflect everything being performed on a smartphone’s screen. Zoom in on a photo and the television’s screen will mirror it pinch-for-pinch. This is a great way to share content among a group of friends or to share a presentation during an office meeting. Television remote controls aren’t suited for quick text entry. Miracast works well when web-browsing because it lets people enter text from their smartphones and then cast the content to their television.
  • The Internet, only bigger

    The web browser pre-installed on webOS 2.0 televisions is technically good enough to surf the Internet. Usability on the other hand could be an issue depending on the remote control shipped with the television. Two types of remotes are offered to LG webOS 2.0 customers and the type depends on the television’s model. Televisions higher up in the range come with LG’s magic remote and its point-and-press approach streamlines the process of entering text. Televisions lower in the model range ship with a stock remote control and using the navigational D-Pad to enter text is an experience thwarted by too many button presses. Controlling the cursor is a bother too as it slowly creeps up and down the page. There is a solution. Downloading LG’s smart television application makes it possible to use a smartphone as a trackpad for the cursor and as a keyboard to enter text.
  • Sharing media across a network

    One application of note on webOS 2.0 televisions is ‘SmartShare’, which is LG’s one stop shop for the playback of multimedia. SmartShare works a file manager that aggregates content from various sources, such as external storage and the devices operating on a home’s Wi-Fi network.
  • Phones, tablets and computers on the same Wi-Fi network can stream multimedia to a webOS 2.0 television. Android smartphones can do so with the least fuss by downloading another LG application called “LG TV SmartShare - webOS”. The app eases the content streaming process by pairing the television with the smartphone.

  • Pricing for LG's 2015 UHD televisions is as follows: UB980T Sizes available: 65in, 79in, 84in Processing: dual-core Price: $5499, $9999, $14999 98UB980T Sizes available: 98in Processing: dual-core Price: $39,999 UF770T Sizes available: 43in, 49in, 55in, 60in, 65in, 70in Processing: quad-core Refresh rate: 100Hz (43-55in), 200Hz (60-70in) Ultra luminance technology: Yes Price: $1799, $2399, $3099, $3799, $4699, $6499 UF850T Sizes available: 49in, 55in, 60in, 65in Processing: quad-core Refresh rate: 100Hz (49-55in), 200Hz (60-65in) Ultra luminance technology: Yes Price: $2599, $3399, $4199, $5199 UF950T Sizes available: 55in, 65in Processing: quad-core Refresh rate: 200Hz Ultra luminance technology: Yes ColourPrime technology: Yes Price: $4699, $6499 UG880T Sizes available: 79in Processing: dual-core Refresh rate: 200Hz Curved screen: Yes Price: $11999 [[artnid:571721|Read more about LG's 2015 range here]]

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