Smart TVs are dumb.
There, I said it. Lots of people agree too:
- John Siracusa hits the nail on the head with his article: CES: Worse Products Through Software
- In December, NDP Group reported that people only use TVs for watching video in Internet Connected TVs Are Used To Watch TV, And That’s About All
- Wired is a bit more succinct: No One Uses Smart TV Internet Because It Sucks
What, exactly, am I talking about?
Here’s an example taken from my own LG 42LS5700 “Smart” TV:
It took approximately 30 seconds for me to complete 2 simple tasks:
- Turn on the TV
- Change the input (to my PC)
That’s it! Simple, right? Hit the power button, wait a second, then cycle through inputs until you find the right one. Done! Except that LG has over-engineered this common task into a ridiculous procedure that takes an excessive amount of time, effort and attention to complete.
User interaction involved was:
- Press power button on remote;
- Press either the precariously placed “Q-menu” button at the bottom of the remote [shown] or press the Home button, which takes longer to load;
- Click the “Inputs” app on screen*
- Waiting for app to load
- Select appropriate input**
* The pointer disappears from the screen at strange intervals. Often the pointer will have disappear just before you manage to click the on-screen button you’re searching for.
** You will have to scroll back from screen of inactive inputs if your last input used is now inactive. (Seriously, wtf LG?)
And this is just one situation!
There are so many broken user experiences with this system it’s baffling that the product made it through user acceptance testing. Maybe before adding more useless “Premiere” content, LG, you should spend time building a better OS experience. Then try to engage the users, and make them want to use “Premiere”. As it stands now, I try to avoid interacting with the “smart” features of my LG TV at all costs!
Anyone else have similar experiences?
Add to the discussion on Hacker News: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5514994
Update: I tweeted at @LGUS asking if they had any comment on their Smart TV’s poor performance. Unsurprisingly their response questioned whether I had contacted LG support. I suppose I could waste my time on the phone, but I don’t see the point. Blogging for commiseration is much more satisfying.