What is WebOS 2.0?
The system was fast, responsive and highly intuitive and it's an indication of how successful LG's approach was that all the other manufacturers now offer Smart TV systems that look suspiciously familiar. Well they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but how do LG follow up on last year's success? Well it looks as though they have taken the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" approach and WebOS 2.0 looks very similar to last year's platform.
In fact, the only major changes appear to be the addition of a series of shortcut menus down the right hand side of the screen and a My Programmes page for greater customisation. Otherwise it's business as usual with the main launcher allowing you to access everything including inputs as apps and LG's superb Magic Remote allowing you to quickly and easily navigate to your choices. So does WebOS deliver enough to retain its crown in 2015 or has it been usurped by a rival Smart TV system?
Alternatively, if you scroll to the right you essentially move forwards in time and the launcher shows you all the apps that are available and you can then open any of these. To open an app you simply move the cursor over that app and press enter, so if you're watching Netflix and want to open BBC iPlayer just click on the home button, put the cursor over the BBC iPlayer tag on the launcher menu and click enter. That's it, the system then takes you straight into BBC iPlayer without having to come out of Netflix or go into a separate home page first.
The entire interface is highly intuitive, combining simplicity and elegant graphic design with a slick and fast system architecture. Just how fast will depend on the model you buy but WebOS 2.0 is available on the majority of LG's sets and not just the high-end models. The use of faster processing this year means that WebOS should be very quick, switching between apps almost instantaneously. Obviously if the system needs to open your Netflix account for example, that might take a few seconds, but otherwise it's very responsive. LG have refined the system to speed up the boot up time and make the entire system more responsive.
The layout of the launcher itself is completely customisable, so you can add more apps and move them around, so that the most frequently used app are the first ones that you see. To add more apps you just need to go to the LG Content Store, here you'll find single page that combines content from a host of different sources including movies, premium, 3D, apps and games. The system will provide recommendations and provide an easy way to find more content and new apps, allowing you to customise your launcher menu further and take full advantage of all the apps available.
We're not entirely sure we like the shortcut menu, it feels tacked on and detracts from the overall cohesive nature of WebOS. You can already access the menu system via the button on the launcher menu so a direct access button on the remote would have been more useful. As it is, to access the picture menu system takes four clicks, which is really annoying when you're calibrating the TV. However for most people the shortcut does allow them to quickly change picture modes, sound modes and aspect ratio but we wish it felt more integrated into the rest of the system.
The shortcut seems like something that LG just added to differentiate this year's version of WebOS from last year and the same goes for the input button. This feels unnecessary because you can already select any input via the launcher menu. Also new this year is the My Programs page, which allows users to bookmark their favourite programs and content. As with the shortcut, we sometimes felt it just detracted from the simplicity of WebOS but at least it does provide a way of combining your favourite content into a single page.
Navigating WebOS 2.0 is easy thanks to the Magic Remote, which remains one of the best motion TV controllers on the market and this year LG have even added voice control. The remote is ergonomically designed and sits comfortably in the hand, providing motion control with a high degree of accuracy. The Magic Remote was created for use with WebOS and the two compliment one another perfectly, allowing the user to navigate the system with complete freedom. The seamless combination of WebOS 2.0 and the Magic Remote means that you'll be expertly controlling and navigating your new LG TV in no time.
EPG & PVR Features
Video on Demand
- Integrated into the TV itself
- Very intuitive
- Easy to use
- Extremely responsive
- Comprehensive system architecture
- Missing a couple of catch-up services
- Menu access laborious
LG WebOS 2.0 Smart TV System Review
We also found that accessing the main menu system was laborious and whilst most people won't need to after they've initially set their TV up it is a pain for calibrators and reviewers. However by resisting the urge to tinker with a winning formula too much, LG have positioned themselves very favourably this year. Samsung's Tizen powered smart platform looks a lot like WebOS but has been plagued with issues, whilst Panasonic, Sony and Philips have been at the mercy of third-party providers, resulting in serious delays. LG meanwhile have a system that both works and hasn't delayed the launch of any of their TVs, making WebOS a real asset to the manufacturer and a system that remains the one to beat.
Ease of Use
Media Playback Quality
Applications - Software
Applications - Hardware
Voice and Motion Controls
Our Review Ethos
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