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Good TV but very clumsy "Smart" features & interface
on March 25, 2012
The LG LS5700 is an OK TV. If I could, I'd give it 2-1/2 stars. The LS5700's selling point is supposed to be the "smart" features that let you connect to the Internet, get content from Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc. and share content from other devices in your network. It does have a nice crisp HD picture after you tweak the color settings, and so-so sound, as expected. But if that's all you want in a TV there are less expensive alternatives. Unfortunately, the interface for using the "smart TV" features is very clumsy. And although the manual does a good job of showing how to connect the TV, it has almost nothing on how to use the "smart" features. The built-in menus are supposed to do that. The on-screen menus and LG's online support are minimal at best, and just plain wrong in one case (see below).
On the plus side, the TV connected easily to my home network, using either WiFi or an Ethernet cable. And the "smart" features do work, if you can stand the interface However, this is TV is not the user-friendly web-integrated TV I was hoping for. That's still some time in the future.
The TV includes a remote that's used to access the "smart" features and also to set up the TV, connect to your WiFi network, etc. It has sort of an air mouse pointer that shows up on the screen. When you use features that require entering text, there's an on-screen QWERTY keyboard that you click on with the remote control's pointer. Using the on-screen keyboard is just plain horrible. It's very slow and the remote's pointer is slow and somewhat jerky. If you get into the TV's setup menu you can change the pointer's setting to "fast", which helps a bit, but the on-screen keyboard is hopeless.
It's not mentioned in the manual, but you can attach a wireless keyboard through a USB port. That lets you enter text more easily than you can with the on-screen keyboard. But the wireless mouse that pairs with my new wireless keyboard doesn't work. LG tech support says the set can take only one user input even though there are three USB ports. (They responded very quickly -- within hours -- to their credit.) So you have to use the remote control to do the pointing. What this TV really needs is a remote with a decent pointer and a little pull-out keyboard or a keyboard on the back. Samsung, Sony and Viszio (among others) do that; I would have been a lot happier with the set if LG did the same thing.
There's an iPhone app from LG that could (in theory) make the interface better. It's supposed to allow you to control the TV from an iPhone. The app doesn't have a keyboard, according to reviews on iTunes, so it's not perfect. Far worse, although the LG web site specifically mentions that the LS5700 series is compatible with the app, the app doesn't work with this model. This was confirmed by LG tech support, and the app's information tab has a list of supported models includes the LW5700 series, but not the LS5700 series.
To access music, photos or video on your home network using the DLNA capability, you need to download an application from the LG website to your computer. The TV's setup menu does mention that you need to have media sharing software, but you have to dig deeply into the on-screen menus to find out.
Perhaps LG intends to update the iPhone app, or the set's firmware, or offer a compatible remote with a keyboard and a better pointer. But until then, avoid this model if you want easy-to-use "smart TV" features. The interface on this set is not ready for prime time. (EDITED 3-30-2012)