Get Smart

Technology Trends Trends & Culture - August 29th, 2012
LG_2012CES_NETCAST

Smart TV from LG

We have long grown out of the cliché that every home innovation or technological advancement in our living room is some sort of Jetsons-style childhood dream come true.

We have, almost to the point of burden, technology filling up our houses and are finding new problems to solve as soon as progress is made. Things we didn’t even know we needed are replacing dreams of futuristic gadgets and becoming must have items both in our pockets and in our homes.

Sometimes, though, a product comes along with an aim to change the way we do certain things, and sometimes it works. We all watch TV, some of us more than others, and the vast majority of us own a set. Smart TV, on the other hand is, while fast growing, still a relatively nascent segment. It seems that it will not stay that way for long.

In an Olympic year, retailers always expect star models to fly off the shelves as consumers finally stop putting off that upgrade – the action in London deserved to be seen in all its glory as broadcasters across the world piped out hours of footage and extra content.

Smart TV places all your multimedia tools and entertainment systems in one place. The television, long the focus of many a living room, is now your go-to place for downloading and watching movies, sending email and updating your social-networks, gaming and even viewing or sharing family photos as well as catching sport in style. It is no longer surprising to hear about capabilities like that, along with built in Wi-Fi, but for the concept to work, it needs to be done well.

Firstly, all this needs an interface, and one company that seems to be making the right moves is Global electronics giant, LG. LG re-entered the Japanese TV market in 2010 after a short time away and its latest Smart TVs are taking key real estate in many electronics stores across Tokyo as store managers delight in watching them grab all the attention.

LG Smart TV

The interface of the LG Smart TV is the first thing that sets it apart from competitors. That the word ‘smart’ is so often used with new phones featuring lifestyle capabilities is not lost on LG. The customizable ‘Home Dashboard’ doesn’t look far removed from the screens in our pockets, and apps which enable further personalization sit neatly on the bottom tier of the home screen. Whether you want to flick about on YouTube or watch something you recorded while out, it will be a click away. The hub is reliable and can be set up with profiles for different users.

The TVs look sleek and even the affordable LM7600 models have style which would grace the most advanced homes. Even before switching on an even more impressive top-of-the-range LM9600 series – available in 47- and 55-inch models – you will notice the 4.9mm frame is so narrow that the screen almost bursts out. It’s almost borderless viewing. This also means that the TV will fit the same space as a conventional 42 inch screen may have done. Front-to-back, too, the LED screen dimensions are between 1.8 and 3.9 cm at their widest point.

Before you even tune to broadcast channels or slot a Blu-ray Disc in to your player, you will want to test out your Smart TVs 3D capabilities and, with hours of original content pre-loaded into the LG TV, you can do just that. 3D sound zooming – the internal speakers seem up to the job for most programming – and more customization in the levels (just how close do you want that movie to feel?) add to a rich experience which had seemed out of reach for most home users until recently. It feels easier on the eye than the current experience in the cinema; the light levels are natural and the glasses are comfortable.

LG Smart TV

THE LEAN BACK CONCEPT?

After looking at how we huddle our necks around our smartphones and tablets, the control of which necessitates tactile hands and concentration, LG wanted us to approach the TV differently.

With the Magic Remote, all you need is a little wrist power – you will never again need to move your head from the back of the sofa. Relax.

MAGIC REMOTE?

This remote is an ergonomic handheld device which succeeds in its simple goal. This is no longer just a point and click device.

Controlling a mouse-like cursor on the screen with the wave of your hand, scrolling through web pages with a neat click wheel and setting gestures (for example, make a ‘V’ in the air and up will pop a box containing recently watched content) is a joy.

You don’t even need a direct line of sight to the TV, as the remote works from just about anywhere.

SMART TV IN JAPAN

You will have access to Tsutaya TV, an online library of downloadable movies, games and TV shows and you will have access to the Smart TV App Store, from which you can download hundreds of apps, including anything from gaming to education.


This feature was part sponsored by LG. All images courtesy of LG. Click here for more info.