LG Smart TV Upgrader Review | Gadget Review
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LG Smart TV Upgrader Review

Where is the best place to buy a TV online, whether you want cable or not. With the advent of services such as Hulu Plus, Amazon VOD, and of course NetFlix a lot of people are finding it hard to justify continuing to pay for a cable subscription. One of the issues though, is that if you have a non-internet connected television, then you need to either drag computer everywhere you want to watch things (kinda hard with a desktop), or purchase something that enables your TV to connect to the net. This is LG’s incursion into that field…

Normally when I want to watch Netflix, I use my PS3 to do so (or the 360 when I’m feeling adventurous), so I was kind of skeptical when the Smart TV Upgrader showed up here, after all how much use could it really be?  It’s not like I ever used any of the other services (besides YouTube) that it connected to – NetFlix had everything I needed, so how much would I actually have this thing on?  Well, as I soon discovered, quite a lot actually.  What started out as me wearily testing out something I figured I wouldn’t care for, quickly turned into me constantly using a product that worked great.

The LG Smart TV Upgrader is unbelievably simple to set up for any TV that has an open HDMI port – just plug in and go.  You can do extra things like connect an optical cable if needed, and an Ethernet cable if you want a wired connection, but neither are necessary.  The internal antenna for the Smart TV Upgrader’s WiFi has a really good amount of range, and I was able to pick up a good signal throughout my house (even in the back upstairs room where reception can be spotty).  Setup of the WiFi was simple as well – just like connecting a laptop or a gaming console.

The response time in the menus could have been faster (in fact that’s one of my biggest complaints) – in a world where everything is moving faster all the time, the menus on the Smart TV Upgrader are sluggish.  The remote is also very small and basic (plus the up and down navigation buttons on the one I received needed to be pressed hard to get any kind of response), and could easily get lost I would think.  I’m all for making things smaller (the actual Upgrader itself is very small), but with three kids and five dogs, remotes tend to get lost in my house.  As an option though, you can download a remote for your iPhone, or Android powered smartphone, and then you can hide the little remote for emergencies.

The Smart TV Upgrader also has Apps you can download, but I didn’t see anything really that great to bother with.  It’s a fairly new product in the USA though, so I’m hoping that will change down the line.  If you look at their Korean library, there are a large number of apps there (some of which I’ve been told are really good), so I would sincerely hope that they bring those over.  Another thing it has is a web browser – but I’m not sure anyone would ever use it.  I mean it’s a nice feature and all, but I feel like it was just a bullet point for the back of the box.  In a day and age where practically everything else has a web browser though, I can see why they did it.

The biggest selling point for the Smart TV Upgrader is the sheer amount of services it connects to.  Want to listen to music without your computer?  It’s got Pandora.  Want to check out something on YouTube?  It’s got you covered there too.  Want to watch something on VUDU or DivxTV?  Yeah, it’s got those too.  I’ve seen other boxes like this before that don’t connect to half of these services, let alone new things like Amazon VOD.

Something else that was truly useful for me, is that it allowed me to stream content on my own computers to it.  Since I have a number of digital movies downloaded to my desktop, it was very nice to watch them on the big TV with really no extra effort involved.  The Smart TV Upgrader also supports playback via a usb memory stick (for pictures and the like).

Because of how much use the Smart TV Upgrader has been getting in my house, and because of the ease of use, I’m rating it with four and a half stars out of five.  If it was a little faster, and had more useful extra Apps, it would have gotten the full five.  As it is though, this is probably the best solution out there for doing what it does.

Pros:

  • Super easy setup
  • Connects to a wide variety of services
  • Very tiny and pleasing form factor

Cons:

  • UI is slow
  • Not many Apps yet, and the ones there are “o.k.” at best
  • Menu design could be better

You can get the LG Smart TV Upgrader from Amazon for $107.99

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50 Comments to LG Smart TV Upgrader Review

  1. Ron Harries

    You say that the LG upgrader is unbelievablly simple to install. I Have installed many electronic gizmos before. DIY Ham Radio, computers, etc. They, in the end, have all worked but the u[pgrader does not.
    I plug it in, install the HDMI cable, change the input of the TV (LG). Here I do see that the thing is booting and then a great big nothing. If I hit the reset button, it will than reboot, but, that is it.

    Can somebody help. Ron

    • Christen Costa

      Hey Ron, more than glad to help. What HDMI input are you plugging it into on the back (or front) of the TV? What source are you switching to on the TV? You might want to start with the following:
      1) Try a new input (make sure the source on the TV matches)
      2) Try a new HDMI cable (make sure you don’t bend the cable as it can break – a slight curve is ok, but never 90 degrees).

      If that doesn’t work, you’re next step is to contact LG. When and where did you buy it?

  2. Jimmy

    I’m using AKASO MXQ Pro TV Box,it’s really good,good price and good quality,AKASO has various models of TV Boxes,really worth looking at it!Maybe you should look it

  3. Hugh

    Is the Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K 400 with built in
    Multi-Touch Pad compatible with LG 47″ Smart TV,s ?

  4. susan

    how to you connect the lg smart tv upgrader to netfix Ihave been trying and it does not work

  5. mobill1

    I am glad I bought my LW6500 last year so I don’t have to buy this but, it must be a really good news for those people who bought an LG TV long time ago.

  6. Alfredhayesjr

    Sadly upgrader does’nt support subtitles on netflik, as does my Wii….which i gave to my daughter…..really miss the subtitles

  7. Rraphaelj

    FORGET the LG ST600 Smart TV Upgrader:

    You do NOT have full internet access.

    It does NOT alow you to use a keyboard or a mouse. 

    You CANNOT watch Youtube movies or any other Flash content websites.
    LG Does not even support this part anymore: NO MORE SOFTWARE UPDATES!You can use it as a boat anchor maybe… depends on the weight of the boat…

  8. Carl

    Using the Smart TV Upgrade can I use a wireless keyboard and mouse? Does the Smart TV Upgrade have full Internet access?  Will the Smart TV Upgrade turn my none Smart TV into a Smart TV?

    Carl

  9. Anonymous

    The LG Smart TV up-grader  works pretty well based on experience, reviews facts and observation.

    • Sal

      Mine does not play avi files. What software do you need to install on your computer? I installed the Nero software that came with the device. Thanks.

  10. Kelly

    Since the LG Smart TV up-grader has apps that i can use in downloading many features ease, i guess my worries are all over.

    • Rraphaelj

      Apps are totally useless and there will not be anymore than the useless ones already available…

  11. Anonymous

    Since the product looks simple and has a fast response time, I will go for
    it.

    • Rraphaelj

      If you can live with apps that no one needs, NO flash content on websites, NO keyboard, NO mouse, and mostly: NO SUPPORT FROM LG… go for it! :-)

  12. Webcamguy

    This device is good in concept however poor in execution. Most of us purchased this device for online media which use flash. Many of these sites upgraded to Flash 10 – LG installed Flash 8. The device is pretty much obsolete unless LG provides a Flash 10 upgrade. As of Jan 1/12 – I strongly do not recommend this device….

    • Rraphaelj

      For thta reason it is on sale now in Luxembourg for 1/3 of the original sale price. 

      LG hates customers!

  13. Budlightlime24

    what a waste of time, energy, money and patience. what they dont tell you is that it needs to be within 15 feet of the router otherwise it dont work. DO NOT BUY UNLESS YOUR MODEM IS BESIDE YOUR TV, HAS A HORRIBLE RANGE. AND LG PLEASE USE PAPERED MANUALS. PC’S AND TVS ARE FAR APART, AND I’M NOT WASTING INK AND PAPER.

  14. Bobby

    I connected the gismo to the TV but can’t get it to capt the internet signal. My laptop capts the internet signal from the same room. How can I get around that?Anyone?Thanks.Bobby

    • Rraphaelj

      Don’t ask LG, because they won’t know… plus they do not even support it anymore… :-(

  15. Radelster

    After thinking i would need nothing besides my lg tv/dvd players to enjoy my tv experience …. i purchased a logitech revue for $89. It has worked well for the most part. Netflix,amazon work. Vudu, hulu do not. Major networks do not either. Google tv has been updated for honeycomb…but it has not rolled to logitech yet. The solution?
    Purchase a good laptop with hdmi out. I have over 15 sites bookmarked to watch tv. All the major sites and hulu work.
    The BEST thing about a laptop vs fhese ‘smart’ tv boxes……YOU control the updates instead of waiting for aomeone else to send them to you.
    These boxes are a great idea if the company is sensing regular updates. Otherwise…do it yourself!

    • Rraphaelj

      LG does NOT support it anymore… :-(

  16. yoav bahat

    Were didyou find the android remote app for this device?
    Can you give the link?
    Thanks

  17. Adrian Wood

    The user interface is absolutely terrible, mainly because of the el cheapo remote. You have to use the left/right/up/down arrows to move through the alphabet buttons, and it’s always skipping buttons or not moving. The reviewer says it’s slow, but actually it’s a total pain to use. So frustrating I usually give up and go do something else. Supposedly the iPhone app for LG TVs works, but I can’t make it connect (still trying).

  18. Abdo_icecube

    i have a question does this device work on all lg tvs or specific ones ?
    thanx

    • Shawn Kline

      It works on all tv’s – not just LG ones

    • Titoshauri

      this product works with any tv with HDMI input. 

    • Ksdkfjnsd

      how do i install flash player to smart lg tv

      • Afish4u

        you can’t LG likes to screw us all over.  nice to know my 47″ 3d tv 5 months old is now crap and useless.

      • Rraphaelj

        You dont! It does not support flash and LG wont upgrade; they do not even support the unit anymore, if it’s broken you’re supposed to throw it away and buy more crap from them… :-(

  19. Jimjohn

    Hands down, this is the best and cheapest streaming box if you want to stream video from a computer to your tv.  (other than the playstation/xbox but they are more $ and if you have two tv's, this is perfect for the 2nd one)

    • How can it be the 'best'… if LG is not going to perform future maintenance on it?  Not saying that IS the case… but after they bill the Netcast as 'the FUTURE of entertainment'… and then stop development….. when they say 'this will be the last box you need to buy'…. Sorry, I cannot believe them.

      • Rraphaelj

        “Future of entertainment”; the LG way: we sell you things that you think do certain things; they don’t so we sell you more things tand make you believe they do things… LG finds it entertaining to be responsible for heaps and heaps of electronic garbage that does not work and is failing by design, so you buy new stuff.

    • Dorothygaryallen

      Hi, i would normaly stream sports to my computer and was wondering if this is possible to achieve using this product?

      Thanks

      Gary

  20. Wiersmachris

    I cannot get it to work with a 3tb external hard drive…the only reason why I purchased it.

  21. Monster

    Don't buy as you cannot watch alot of video content currently available on the net. I spoke with LG and this device is not compatible with most video until they are able to update the media player. Thumbs down. We actually returned ours today!!

    • Geonet

      Why not connect an external hard drive directly to the smart tv…it works for my Lg 6500 series tv…it played the new mkv, mp4, mpe, avi's etc etc?

      • Sal

        I can’t play avi files on mine. LG support don’t know what to do. What software do you need to install on your computer? Thanks.

    • Rraphaelj

      I will probably return mine as well, fortunately I did not pay a lot for it as it was on sale, now I know why. :-)

  22. geri

    when i plug it in to the wall and tv and hit the on button what do I do next.  it does nothing.  if it is wireless it should work independently.  The internet router is available and I run the computer just fine right next to the tv.

    help confused.  Im ready to send it back and then I saw this sight.

    • Jimjohn

      ..you have to switch your tv to the input that you plugged the LG device into…just like when switching inputs to the one the dvd/blu-ray player is on…or a gaming system…

    • Ron Harries

      Did you get a reply to this. I am having the same problem. Good Luck

  23. Ome Twi

    This thing looks OK except two issues:
    1. It does not support multi-languages in MKV files and maybe others.
    2. Apps support limited numbers of Internet TV.
    It does not allow to add others, like WebTelek.

  24. Somasunder

    LG smart TV web browser,Ican't do real player video but samsung does.Can any one explai?

    • Ti TO

      real player?  I bet it require flash installed.  I bought this box yesterday and hook it up it works fine but the browser content that plays on flash will not work… I am trying to get customer service for advice, for me if it can not access content that requires flash then its an obsolete product. for example try livestation.com and see if you can be able to watch tv…. 

  25. Radelster

    DID YOU KNOW????   For the past couple years, LG has incorporated their Netcast technology into their TV and Blu-Ray players.    They are STILL advertising on their website Netcast is 'the future of Entertainment'.    I purchased 2 tvs and 1 blu-ray equipped with it.   When I inquired about adding Hulu, LG stated… we are no longer developing new apps for Netcast.  Instead, we want you to purchase our Smart TV box.   They went on to say… it will be the last box you will ever need.     This from the same company advertising the 'future', when they have stopped creating new applications.
    I WAS very happy with LG products, until this incidence.   I even asked for some concession in purchasing this box (I bought my 55″ 3D TV in Feb 2011).. and was told, sorry we don't offer any.
    Is this a company you want to do business with?

  26. Glenn

    Thank you very much I have been looking at this for some time and the shopp assistants do not seem to know much about it at all. Have you looked at http://xtreamer.net/Ultra/ this seems to tick a number of boxes with the advantages of Android. Glenn

  27. I think this might be a future purchase for us…as watching Netflix on the xbox gets laggy most of the time

    • Anonymous

      if it works as well as the apple TV then buy it.  Otherwise stick with apple tv.   Boxee on your ipad to stream from your computer direct to the apple TV.    I was looking at this as an alt. 

      • Kakamanna

        Thanks to ALL but i am late to read this and unfortunately bought LG …. S SSSSS>>>t , i should have read in advance. LG people, try to have some shame to work on your technology,,,

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