If Apple Makes This Apple TV They Will Win the Living Room War

This is what Apple needs to beat everyone: an Apple TV with the graphic oomph of an iPhone 5S, plus a new larger remote that doubles as a full gamepad and a motion joystick—like the Nintendo Wii remote. If this concept becomes a reality, Cupertino really could win over living rooms worldwide. Read More >>

LG's WebOS TV Hands-On: An Awesome Resurrection

CES this year has seen LG give official word that it would be using WebOS as the brains for 78-percent of its upcoming smart TVs. There was a lot to like about WebOS back when it ran on smartphones, but we were a bit skeptical about how it would get by in a smart TV. After all, smart TV user interfaces are almost universally bad. Not this time. We just got to spend some hands-on time with WebOS running on a few of LG's 2014 TVs, and we really liked what we saw. The first thing you'll notice is that navigation is incredibly fast. Using the joystick on the remote control, you guide the cursor around the screen, and as you do things pop up instantly. Not only that, everything is animated and really attractive. From the home screen you can access all of your favourite apps (and there are a lot already, from Netflix to Google Maps). If you don't like how they're laid out, you can just drag and drop to move them around. Very intuitive. There are a fair number of second-screen like features built-in. For example if you're watching a Danish murder mystery on TV you can pop open an overlay on the right side that will give you more info on it, and/or links to other shows it thinks you'll like. It's all very nicely integrated. The LG store acts as a sort of integrated hub for content. There you'll be able to download movies, TV shows, apps, and even games. You can plug a USB controller directly into the TV and play games as if there were a console attached. Or, if you don't have a physical controller, you can download an app to your smartphone and use it as a remote (it pairs via Wi-Fi). It was pretty responsive when playing a Spiderman game that had been downloaded for the demo, and while it looked pretty good, we're not talking PS4 graphics here or anything. One of the sticking points is text entry. If you wanted to enter in some search terms, or type a URL into the built-in web browser, you'd have to pull open a keyboard, and hunt and peck your way through with the cursor. That's how Roku players work, too, and it's very tedious. To counter this, LG has included options for voice and gesture controls. Using a voice search we were able to get the upcoming weather forecast and search for content. It wasn't entirely accurate, but to be fair, there was a lot of background noise. Hopefully it would work better in a home environment. The gestures are slick, too. You just raise a finger in the air (a polite one, please) and it immediately brings up an interface for adjusting the channel or volume simply by waving your finger. You can also bring your finger up to your lips to instantly mute. It was surprisingly responsive, though we have yet to see how it handles a room full of furniture and people. Some of the higher-end TVs will come with built-in cameras for this. Others will require you to purchase the small camera separately, and while WebOS will be on some of LG's Blu-ray players, the voice and gestures will be limited to the TVs. Overall, we were really impressed by how polished the system looked and how responsive it is. We generally hate smart TV UIs, but this felt like something very different. I can say without question that it's the best smart TV interface I've ever seen. It was actually smart! It didn't look like an early-2000s feature-phone. It didn't lag or stutter. It was designed like it was meant to be on a beautiful 4K TV, and that says a lot. Obviously, we only got to see a little bit of it, and the only thing we were allowed to use ourselves was the gesture control, so only time will tell if it can measure up to these auspicious first impressions. Hopefully we'll be reviewing one when they start rolling out later this year. Read More >>

Samsung's 2014 Smart TVs Will Be Controlled By Your Pointed Finger

Kinect may have been at it for years, but it's taking most companies a fair old while to really get to grips with gesture control. Now, Samsung is planning to offer more fine-grained, finger-sensitive functionality in its 2014 smart TVs. Read More >>

LG's Smart TVs May be Phoning Home With Details of all Your Media Viewing

An innocent toggle within the settings of some LG smart TVs may be giving the company permission to log all of our viewing habits and send them back to its HQ for analysis, in the name of serving us better forms of adverts. Read More >>

What's the TV of the Future Going To Look Like?

There’s no two ways about it: the television is having a bit of a mid-life crisis. With screens reaching a deep-black perfection, everyone’s favourite big screens have turned to 3D gimmicks and buggy Smart TV interfaces to hide the slightly-thinning comb-over that comes with old age. But at the same time, there’s a new kid on the block. Set-top boxes and add-on dongles, cheap and with a singular purpose, are challenging the ‘Smart’ bit of Smart TV. Read More >>

Why Do Companies Keep Making Pointless Features Like This?

Jumping on the tail-end of the bandwagon, Panasonic's rolling out a new and improved Smart TV hub. The features list is certainly comprehensive, but a disturbing number of the things it's crowing about are totally and utterly pointless. Screw that, they're just plain stupid. Read More >>

LG Working on an Open WebOS-Powered Smart TV

Google TV was a wonderful idea, but there's no denying that it's flopped. LG has a new idea, though, and is reportedly developing a line of TVs powered by the newly open-source webOS platform. Read More >>

Philips Gives You a QWERTY Keyboard On Your Remote For Your Smart TV-Using Pleasure

Despite rumours of the death of Philips' TV business, the 5-month old TP Vision is keen to show us that Philips TVs are alive and kicking with two new, good-looking smart TVs. Because, apparently, that's what the consumer wants -- more smart in your TV, and now with a keyboard on the back of your remote too. Read More >>

Samsung's New Flagship Is Smarter Than Your Average Television

The age of the Internet is transforming our televisions from unidirectional broadcast nodes to interactive and intelligent communications devices. Take Samsung's new ES9000 Smart TV series for example. Read More >>

Google TV Will Finally Arrive in the UK Next Month

After waiting almost two years for it, Google TV is finally going to make it over to the UK courtesy of a Sony set top box. Whether it'll actually be worth buying, that's another matter entirely, but at least it's actually here at last. Read More >>

Here's a Closer Look at the Ikea TV That Makes It Look Even More Awesome

The nice thing about the upcoming Ikea TV, other than being smart and cheap, is that it blends the television into your furniture to completely banish unsightly cables from your living room. Here's how it would look like in a "real life" setting. Read More >>

New Samsung Remote Trades Its Buttons for A Touch Pad and Voice Control

As TVs have packed in more and features, including multiple inputs and internet connectivity, the complexity of the remote has grown to match. Now you're lucky to get a remote shorter than your forearm. This new remote from Samsung, however, will replace the bevy of buttons for a touchpad and Siri-like voice control. Read More >>

M&S Builds "Lifestyle" App for Samsung Smart TVs

That image up there is the aspirational lifestyle of the average Marks & Spencer shopper, as presented through the shopping chain's new app for Samsung Smart TVs. Read More >>

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I Don't Care If This Viral Video Is an Ad For LG's OLED TVs; It's Bloody Hilarious

You didn't really think a thief could walk out of an electronics store carrying a 55-inch OLED TV without getting caught, could you? Nicely played LG, nicely played. [Simply Zesty via @Pompeymeado] Read More >>

LG's Smart TVs Get Smarter With LoveFilm Streaming

In its continuing war with Netflix, LoveFilm’s pushing hard to get its streaming service on as many devices as possible. The latest lucky TVs to get LoveFilm will be LG’s Smart TVs, which means you won’t even need a set-top box to get your on-demand fix. Read More >>

I Talked to Samsung's Voice-and-Face-Recognising Smart TVs and It Kind of Sucked

Samsung's new and supposedly snazzy Smart TV, the UNES8000, promises to use voice and face recognition to let you control your TV without any remotes. You know, the future of TV interfaces, according to a lot of companies lately. Read More >>


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