LG Smart TV on 2011 Blu-ray players (review)

CNET reviews LG's Smart TV streaming-media content portal, finding that although it doesn't offer quite as many services as competitors, its simple user interface makes it a strong pick.

Matthew Moskovciak Senior Associate Editor / Reviews - Home theater
Covering home audio and video, Matthew Moskovciak helps CNET readers find the best sights and sounds for their home theaters. E-mail Matthew or follow him on Twitter @cnetmoskovciak.
Matthew Moskovciak
4 min read

LG Smart TV user interface
LG's Smart TV has the simplest user interface we've seen for streaming-media content portals on 2011 Blu-ray players. Matthew Moskovciak/CNET

They may be called Blu-ray players, but in 2011 they're as much about streaming-media services as they are about high-definition discs. With every manufacturer having a different collection of streaming-media services, we've been taking an in-depth look at each company's content portal for 2011.

Today, we're looking at LG's Smart TV, which takes a markedly different approach than Samsung's Smart Hub, which we reviewed earlier this month. LG's Smart TV doesn't have extras like cross-platform search or recommendations, but it does has our favorite collection of streaming-media services, plus a refreshingly simple user interface.

LG Smart TV is the same on most 2011 LG Blu-ray players--and home theater systems with built-in Blu-ray players--but slightly different on LG TVs. The entry-level BD630, BD640, and LHB326 don't offer the full LG Smart TV suite, instead only offering access to Netflix, CinemaNow, Vudu, and YouTube.

Editors' note (April 28, 2011): LG recently recently added several streaming-media services to Smart TV, including Amazon Instant and MOG. This story has been updated to reflect those changes.

LG Smart TV streaming services vs. competitors