Since 3D hasn’t caught on big, the next batch of TVs on the market are pretty much all called Smart TVs. The next big thing is a TV that can access content on the Internet as well as video, pictures and music stores on computers on your home network. Sounds interesting but you are not ready to spring for a new HD TV..well LG has the LG Smart TV Upgrader ST600.
It also comes with a pretty solid feeling remote.
Don’t let the technical sounding name fool you this neat little gadget is a snap to install. Plug in the power, plug in a HDMI cable from your TV or AV receiver and plug in an ethernet cable (I happen to have one at my Home entertainment Centre) or it will connect to your wireless router. A wired connection is plug and play..if you are using wireless you will be asked for the password for your router
Pretty painless..it will work out of the box but you may want to customize the settings especially if you are using an AV Receiver..the setup page is pretty clear.
Once set up to your satisfaction the on screen presentation is simple. On the left you have your favourite premium sources click on the box and you will see a screen showing all the currently available sources..this will be updated periodically..for example Radio Canada’s Tou.TV will soon be added.
Once you have clicked on your choice..in this case Netflix the full screen menu is attractive and easy to navigate..search has the usual pain using the remote to click through letters..a future upgrade will enable a Android or iDevice remote control app which will make things a lot simpler.
You can set Home City and others in the free Accuweather service, once that is done the temperature will display in the upper left of the premium menu and the background picture reflects the type of day it is.
The web browser is pretty basic and does not support Flash..once again entering URLs with the remote is time consuming.
But the remote does help a little bit..the centre button is touch sensitive so you can use it to move the cursor around.
Next is playing content from your computer..LG provides the Nero DLNA server but I prefer the free server from Serviio..either way it works really well..you can see all your devices on the screen but you can only play back from DLNA enabled devices..the server in my Windows Home Server also works well. If you have Windows Media Player 12 you can set that to stream content..it works but doesn’t support all file formats.
In this case I have selected my desktop and you can see I have a couple of movies stored..both are in the increasingly popular MKV format which is supported by the LG.
Playback is smooth after only a few seconds of buffering..the quality of picture and sound are excellent and I have not seen a stutter or hesitation after watching two full length movies.
The LG Smart TV Upgrader ST600 is a great little device..simple to install and it does the job well. Is it perfect…no..I would like to see Flash support in the browser and LG should enable the smartphone apps ASAP..it would make search and web browsing simpler. Should you buy it..I say an unqualified yes it does what it is supposed to do and it does it well
The LG Smart TV Upgrader is available at Best Buy for $149.99
Now for the Giveaway..I have one LG Smart TV Upgrader to give away. Give Mom control of her TV..she would love it for Mother’s Day. I have several ways to enter..each one will give you one chance to win.
- Subscribe to the blog by clicking on the button near the top of the right column. Existing subscribers will be automatically entered.
- Follow @hometechmtl on Twitter
- Click on the Tweet or Facebook buttons at the bottom..one entry for each
- Enter a comment below..tell me why your Mom would love this gadget.
- Tweet this: RT @hometechmtl Just entered to win a LG Smart TV Upgrader Follow @hometechmtl and retweet http://wp.me/p16xC1-pT #cdntech