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How to use Smart TV and quick functionality overview with LG 42LN570S

I have this model from the title for about a few months, so I decided to write a few words about how I use my smart TV and its functionalities. I’ll try to describe what technologies I used at the first place, my own way, and similar concepts you may expect from other vendors (Sony, Samsung, etc.).

Picture and specifications of this model are below:

0LG-42LN570S

 

– Year: 2013.
– Dimensions: H: 56.6 cm ; W: 96.8 cm ; D: 7.9 cm ; weight: 9.5 kg)
– Screen size: 42″ (106.68 cm; ), Full HD (1920×1080)
– Display: LED, 100 Hz
– Integrated digital tuner
– Energy efficiency: class A+ (0.3 W standby; 52 W in use)
– NTSC Playback
– PVR
– Smart TV
– Image Enhancer: LG Triple XD Image Enhancement Engine, Progressive Scan
– Supported picture formats: 480i/p, 576i/p, 720p, 1080i/p
– Speakers: Stereo, 2×10 W (Virtual Surround Plus, Dolby Digital Decoder, DTS)
– I/O: (Component Input, Composite Input, Optical Digital Audio out, HDMI input, LAN port, Phono I/O, Scart, USB port, WiFi ready/USB dongle, MHL)

When you turn on your smart TV for the first time, quick start-up Wizard will guide you through some basic settings (language, network connection, etc.). You can skip the most of these settings and configure it later. I configured everything later in detail, accessing the Settings menu.

I used wired connection (standard Ethernet cable) to my modem in order to provide Internet connection to my smart TV. In the TV’s specification, you can see that it’s WiFI ready, so if you buy WiFI dongle you can have a wireless connection (dongle is not included in the package, and must be purchased separately).

The first option I noticed is possibility to pair a TV with computer or smartphone to view YouTube content.

Follow this procedure:
– open Web browser and type: http://www.youtube.com/pair
– open the settings of YouTube application on your smart TV and notice “pairing code
– type down that code in the Web browser to add your TV in the device list (see the picture below):

1PairLaptopPhoneAndYoutube

So, any clip I open on my Android phone or laptop, I can play back on my TV as well. Sure, you can browse and search various video files using YouTube application on TV, but that’s way too slow. Note that this functionality works just with the official Android YouTube app (PVSTAR+ and other apps won’t work).

The second thing I tried is this wonderful app for Android called LG TV remote. This is a killer app – it makes your phone remote WiFI controller but also a touch pad. In touch pad mode, an arrow cursor is displayed on your TV and it’s a pure enjoyment to control TV this way. You can navigate through various menus and settings, use Web browser and other applications. This application also gets current TV program from your television set, so the smartphone becomes your second “mini TV” (so you can watch your favorite TV show from the toilet seat :-p )

Smart applications
– YouTube
– DailyMotion
– Facebook
– AccurateWeather
– HBO GO
– RedBull TV
– Skype
– iConcert
– Web Browser
– Accu Weather
– Daily Motion

* Note: there are video games, too. You can install them from the Software Center (LG Smart World).

Moreover, smart TV will occasionally prompt for a software update. During software update, you shouldn’t turn off your TV.
LG Smart World , is the software center where you can download and install various applications and games to your smart TV (such as Filmbox Live, MojEnterijer, myTVLink)

When it comes to applications I ran Accurate Weather and noticed that there are just predefined cities (select Continent\State), so I could’t see the weather forecast for my hometown. Interesting info is that one of the well-known cities, Dubrovnik, wasn’t in that predefined list on the TV app… If that’s the same case with you, I recommend that you create a bookmark in TV’s Web browser and see a relevant forecast.

Web Browser is one useful app, flash supported, and it seems it’s Chromium based.  I managed to surf CreativForm website and its blog, as well as random YT videos.

iConcert, although sounds very catchy, delivers poor concert database for watching (and they are cut versions…). Nothing that you can’t find on the YouTube to watch in full length.

HBO GO is good option for those who purchased premium subscription.

RedBull TV and similar applications I use rarely, because I’d rather watch a movie or show I downloaded than watch it on internet TV .

~

The next thing I discovered is the magic of Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA). DLNA is a protocol which enables communication standard between home devices. Therefore, DLNA certified products are compatible with each other in data and information exchange.
That means that I can share and exchange my files with following home devices:
– computers, with appropriate software
– Android smartphones, with appropriate software (although modern phones are DLNA certified by default)
– LG Smart TV, DLNA certified

Let’s focus on that computer part. I installed LG SmartShare, so my computer can interact with other DLNA compatible devices. After you install this software, set the identifier (how the other devices will see that computer) and data sharing. Sharing can be restricted; you can allow access only to specific devices.

I shared a folder with bunch of music and connected with my TV. Terrific, with one click my laptop streams songs via wireless connection.

2LGSmartShareDLNA

Note: LG Smart Share will access Windows Media Player Library by default and import it, in its own list. I haven’t found a way to turn off that option (I turned off Library in WMP, because I don’t use this software anyway).
Windows Media Player also acts as DLNA server, which can be seen from the following list:

3LGSmartShareWindowsMediaPlayer

I marked Windows Media Player with the blue rectangle and LG Smart Share with the red rectangle. Note this on the right side: BubbleUPnP (GT-I9100). I streamed my music from my laptop on my Android phone. With that free app BubbleUPnP your computer becomes DLNA compatible device, as well.

Another useful application for Android is iMediaShare Personal, which provides your phone DLNA capabilities. I opened that app, chose a song and tried following options:
– play a song on my Android device (Loud Speakers)
– play on LG Smart TV
– play on the computer

I got that feeling of perfect harmony, everything is connected and you are the manager; try to play a song on the phone, then choose TV (the phone stops, and TV continues where the phone stopped), and finally connect to PC, where integrated SmartShare Player automatically opens and continues where TV stopped the playback – and all control is in your hands, in Android phone.

Let’s see how Windows Media Player displays found DLNA devices:

4WindowsMediaPlayerDLNAiMediaShare

Windows Media Player can access shared content from LG SmartShare and Android smartphone.

The example above was related to music playback, but you can manipulate with video files and pictures as well.

TV shows HD and full HD video files without annoying lags (I remind you that smartphone connects through WiFI and PC uses wired connection to the modem). I enjoyed watching HD recordings on a large screen. When you slide photos on your phone, TV changes the photos, too.

The next thing I tried is playing a movie with configured subtitles. I found in the user manual of LG SmartShare software that only SMI are supported, and that SUB and SRT need to be converted to  SMI, in order to display them. My experience is quite different: I tried MP4 files, AVI files with DivX codec, and all worked well with SRT subtitle (note: although it’s not necessary to name a movie and a subtitle with the same name, I use that convention. Additionally, I define the name length 8 characters max).

TV software has some useful features, like defining size, color, and code set of the subtitle.

But what about the mirroring? Can I mirror my phone’s screen to my TV? Yes, it is possible. I tried to mirror my display via DLNA, but that was a bit difficult to achieve, so I don’t recommend trying that. Maybe this will be a simple thing in the future, but today I see the mirroring via DLNA just as a proof of concept. Although theoretically possible, you’re not supposed to use DLNA for such things – other technologies are designed for that purpose, like Intel WiDI technology, where desktop mirroring between smartphone and smart TV is a piece of cake.

I won’t write a tutorial on this one, I’ll just mention which steps I took to achieve DLNA desktop to TV mirroring. So take this steps if you want to experiment a bit:
– First of all, you should know that VLC player has an option to capture the screen of your desktop, and stream it.
– Download a server application (like Serviio or Wild Media Server) which can send that stream to TV.

This procedure is a pain in the ass and if you want mirroring without performing complex steps use Intel WiDi . In order to mirror display with this technology note that:

– TV must be equipped with a WiFi dongle (or integrated Wifi), it won’t work with wired connections such as mine.
– Computer needs to have new generation of Intel processors (i series – i3, i5, i7, …. )

I haven’t bought this WiFI dongle, yet, so I didn’t try this way of connection. I saw how it works at my friends place, on Sony Bravia smart TV. Sony did a great job with integration between its devices so Bravia perfectly mirrors display between  SonyXperia Z smartphone and modern Sony laptops where there is even dedicated button for achieving mirroring.

Meanwhile, I bought external hard disk drive Toshiba, USB 3.0 with 1 TB storage space, so I tried Time Machine technology on my TV, and recording TV shows on external HDD.

Note:
– You must connect your HDD to specified HDD USB slot on TV.
– TV will format HDD for this purpose in JFS file system, so backup your data before you continue.

When the disk format finishes, you’re ready to work with the Time Machine mode. Time Machine allows you to easily get back 10 minutes or half an hour if you missed your favorite TV show. Good thing if your phone rings or a neighbor rings at the door, or simply – you go to toilet.

The catch is that Windows doesn’t recognize JFS partitions by default, so when you connect your external HDD to your PC, you won’t be able to use it. Also, if you recorded a show, that content you can’t reproduce on your PC, because it’s encrypted. Linux can access that disk, but can’t play recordings. Windows can’t access that files by default, unless you install 3rd party software, like these:

5RaiseDataRecovery 6NucleusKernelJFS

I read that previous generation of LG smart TVs just damaged the headers of recorded video files, so you could use video recovery software to access those files, fixing the header. My model uses heavy encryption, so it’s still not possible to decode those video files.

If you have an older LG TV try TSDoctor, because you have a good chance to recover your recorded video files. Ina my case, software hangs because it found encrypted stream (although he recognized the file type):

7CypherosTSDoctor
Some recommendations:
* Home Media Center (UPnP/DLNA server and transcoder)
Linux: Universal Media Server

Summary
How to use Smart TV and quick functionality overview with LG 42LN570S
Article Name
How to use Smart TV and quick functionality overview with LG 42LN570S
Description
I have this model from the title for about a few months, so I decided to write a few words about how I use my smart TV and its functionalities. I'll try to describe what technologies I used at the first place, my own way, and similar concepts you may expect from other vendors (Sony, Samsung, etc.).
Author
www.CreativForm.com