Installing a smart TV requires a short procedure. You go through it on the TV with the remote control. Select your language and country, and in the next step you can choose to perform part of the installation via the LG ThinQ app on your smartphone. Start the app, add a device and scan the QR code that appears on the TV screen. This method is a bit more convenient, but you still have to complete part of the installation with the remote control.
The LG ThinQ app doubles as a remote control, with all the necessary keys and the option for text input. You can also select connected devices, launch apps or set the Always Ready mode. It is possible to share the camera of your smartphone with the TV. The app also provides a convenient way to view photos and videos from your smartphone on the TV.
This guide is based on the OLED65G36LA (with software version 03.10.24, April 2023), but applies to almost all 2023 LG TVs.
It is recommended to check regularly for updates. Do this in the Settings, via “Support”, “Software update” and click on “Check for updates”. You will also find the current version on that screen. Suddenly also check “Automatic updates”, then the TV itself regularly checks whether there is new software.
In 2022, the numbering of the OS has been adjusted, LG now uses version numbers that refer to the release year, WebOS 22 and now WebOS23. Important to know: in principle, new versions do not flow to older devices. App updates and certain features may become available on earlier versions, but this is never guaranteed.
Since 2021, LG has switched to a Home screen that fills the entire screen. This trend has meanwhile continued with almost all manufacturers. The structure of the Home Screen is also starting to look very similar.
At the top right you will find five icons for the TV guide, search, settings, notifications and the logged in user respectively.
The top half of the screen is occupied by a single panel, which is used for advertising or affiliate content. Currently that is for LG Channels. That is a free streaming service that offers a whole range of internet TV channels, just like Samsung TV Plus. Samsung integrates those channels completely into the TV guide, which is not the case with LG. The app behaves more like YouTube with its own home screen where you see recommendations and where you can browse the range of channels based on theme (Comedy, Music, Sports…)
The bottom half of the screen is occupied by the Quick Cards and the list of apps. Quick Cards are a new WebOS 23 feature. LG groups certain functionalities there, so that you can easily find them.
You can only scroll down once on the Home screen. We think that’s a good choice, it keeps everything a bit more compact. The “Trending Now” line features featured content, which seems to come mainly from Disney+ at the moment. Below that you will find the “Now Streaming” bar, where you will see recommendations from various services. They are sorted by service, currently Rakuten TV, Prime Video and YouTube. You cannot change anything on this screen. The usefulness is therefore rather limited, we prefer recommendations as in Android TV, by genre. But because all of this is on the second screen, you never actually have to get there if you don’t want to.
With Quick Cards, LG hopes to make it easier for you to find certain things. Quick Cards can be compared to folders in which a number of apps or functions are grouped together. An important difference, however, is that you cannot choose what appears in the Quick Cards. The content and presentation is fully managed by LG. It is possible to change the order of the Quick Cards.
We count six Quick Cards: Most Recent Resource, Home Office Applications, Games, Music, Home Hub (for all IoT devices), and Sports.
- Most recent source: this Quick Card is the only one that has a permanent place at the front of the list.
- Home office: Those who want to use the TV screen for work can do so with the options offered here. A Bluetooth keyboard and mouse are of course required. There are many possibilities: Windows 365, Chrome remote desktop, remote connection to a PC, Google mail, calendar, sheets, notes and documents, and Facebook Messenger.
- Games: This Quick Card shows a number of gaming apps at the bottom: Geforce Now, Utomik, Blacknut, as well as YouTube and Twitch. If you connect a console or gaming PC, it will be visible there. Centrally you see recommendations from Geforce Now and Utomik. For the best experience, it is best to connect a gamepad.
- Home Hub: This only contains the Home Dashboard that LG has been offering for several years. You will find all connected devices there, but if you want to quickly select a different source, it is much easier to use the input button on the remote control. The Home Hub also shows IoT devices and smart devices that you have at home. LG supports Matter to make it easier to use devices together.
- Music: Enjoy music? Then you can use this Quick Card. At the bottom you will find tiles for Bluetooth and the media player, Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, Deezer and Tidal. The card shows recommendation from YouTube or LG Mood.
- Sports: This only contains Sports Alert, which has also been available for several years. You can choose from all kinds of international competitions and follow your favorite teams.
Quick Cards seem like an excellent idea to us. But it’s a pity that you can’t personalize the cards, that would have made this option much more powerful. In Music you might want to add the app for the Berliner Philharmoniker, or in Sport there are also quite a few apps that would find a place there.
webOS 23 Apps
The row of apps at the bottom of the Home screen is your primary route to other content. The row contains just under fourteen tiles and you can completely personalize it yourself, both the position and which apps appear. To do this, scroll all the way to the right in the list. In addition to the apps of your choice, there are also tiles for built-in features: Appstore, Sports Alerts, Home Hub, Art Gallery, Web Browser, Alexa, and Media Player. You cannot remove these tiles from the list, but you can swap them (or leave them at the very end).
LG’s app range is particularly extensive. All major international players are available: Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, Apple TV, HBO Max, Viaplay (Formula 1), Local services are also well represented: NPO Start, Pathé Thuis, Videoland, KIJK, RTL XL, NLziet, KPN iTV / KPN Smart TV, Streamz, VTM Go, TV Vlaanderen/Canal Digital. Missing for the time being: Ziggo Go, Telenet Flow and VRT Max, but they are of course on LG’s wish list.
After the initial setup of the TV, a number of apps are already installed (although almost all get an update when you start them for the first time). That selection includes Netflix and YouTube, for example, but is also country-dependent, which is of course because of the local apps. If your favorite app is not listed, you can go to the app store. The app store is divided into categories, but we don’t find it very clear. The search function is your best friend here. To install a new app, you must log in with an LG account. If you have done the installation via the LG ThinQ app, this has probably already happened.
Support LG TVs air play 2. You can also cast YouTube and Netflix from your smartphone. You can share the entire smartphone screen via the LG ThinQ app. The TV does not offer full Chromecast functionality.
If you don’t watch TV, but want to use the screen as a photo frame or decorative art, you can activate Always Ready. LG offers you different options: clock, works of art, animations or mood sound with an animation. The choice is limited within those categories, although you can also use your own photos via the LG ThinQ app.
When the TV is in Always Ready mode, you can also use it as a speaker for your smartphone (easy to connect via the LG ThinQ app).
A particularly useful feature of the LG remote control is the ability to assign the number keys to live TV channels or apps. Long press “0” to call up the Quick Access menu. Once a button has been assigned, you can start the assigned app or TV channel by long pressing that button.
Menu web OS 23
When you call up the settings, either via the gear icon on the screen or via the button on the remote control, you always end up in the Quick Menu first. LG expanded that this year. At the top you will see the last setting you clicked on. If you click on the icons for Image mode or Sound mode, you can also go directly to the advanced settings for image or sound. You can also customize what appears in the Quick Menu, although not all options are available.
Via the “Multi View” icon in the Quick Menu you can activate a Picture-in-Picture mode or display two screens side by side. Combinations are possible between live TV, HDMI sources, YouTube, a smartphone screen, the camera of your smartphone or the internet browser. Not all combinations are possible, but LG clearly shows which options are possible.
If you want to dive into all settings, click in the Quick Menu, on the gear icon at the top right. Or you long press the gear button on the remote control, then you go directly to the full settings menu.
Smart TV interfaces are clearly evolving in the same direction. A home screen that fills the entire screen but reserves a lot of space for advertisements and partner content has become the norm. LG WebOS 23 follows that trend, but manages to present an excellent result within that limitation. The interface works smoothly and responds quickly. LG WebOS 23 offers a wide selection of apps and a lot of functionality. The new Quick Cards are an excellent addition that clearly show the different functionalities to the user. Some further personalization options would make them even more valuable.