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Friday, 22 March 2013

LG 42LM620S

Hello!

I got myself a new TV for the living room - the old CRT had to be replaced sooner or later. I searched around to find the best solution for my tight budget and came up with the LG 42LM620S.

At this time, this TV is being sold out, as newer models were launched:

  • LG 42LM640S
  • LG 42LM660S
  • ...

Main Features

I got the device at a very good price and I was really amazed by the sheer amount of functionality:


  • 42" LED screen
  • Great looking and very flat
  • Four tuners:
    • Analog cable
    • DVB-T
    • DVB-C
    • DVB-S/S2
  • CI+ Interface
  • 4x HDMI Input connectors
  • 3x USB connectors
  • 3D capable (passive technology: half the vertical resolution but very cheap glasses - same as in movie theatres)
  • SmartTV: Youtube, Browser, Apps, etc.
  • Can reproduce all common media formats from USB or from networked server
All of this is valid for basically all TV's of the LG LM series.

Settings Editor

After setting up the TV and connecting all cables, I soon found out the first anoyance of this otherwise excellent product: after a full channel search I had over 3000 channels in the list. How on earth should I edit this list? The build-in functions are ridiculous and painfully slow.
Then I made a new discovery: change a setting on the reception parameters and the channel list gets reset!

Fortunatly an internet search brought the solution: most LG televisions feature a special hidden settings screen, which is normally used by LG technicians to configure, test and setup the device. From here it is possible to activate the hotel mode and there is a neat function, as well, that allows to save the current settings to a USB memory. Naturally, the settings can be read and programmed from such USB memory, too.

One user wrote his own settings editor for LG and Samsung TV's, making it possible to comfortably edit the channel list on a PC.




For this to work, you need:

1) A universal programmable remote. I used the "All In One URC-3940", which cost me about 14 Euro in a regular store. There are other remotes that can be used, like the "All In one URC-3920" or the Logitech Harmony 300i.

2) The remote needs to be programmed to match the LG TV. The above mentioned remotes feature more codes for LG than the number of physical keys. You need to reprogram one of the keys individually with the required code that will call the EZ-Menu of the TV. Visit this page for further information on how to program remotes: http://openlgtv.org.ru/wiki/index.php/Access_hidden_service_menus_/_modes

3) Download the setting editor "ChanSort": http://beham.biz/ChanSort/ChanSort.html

Happy channel list editing!

Hacking the hotel mode

If you happen to spend a night in a hotel that has a LG TV in the room, you may be lucky! If it has USB ports, you can us them to watch your favorite movies on the big screen, instead of the laptop.

Unfortunatly, it is common for hotels to activate the so called hotel mode, that prevents guests from changing the settings on the TV. Often, the USB ports are deactivated, as well.

Use the above link to OpenLGTV to find out how to access the hotel mode menu and deactivate it, to be able to use the USB ports. Don't forget to activate the hotel mode again...

By the way: cheaper LG TV models with USB ports don't allow reproduction of movies. This has commercial reasons, as well as tax reasons. Still, by accessing the secret service menus, you can actually "upgrade" your TV, to unleash its full potential!

Media Server

To really benefit from this great TV, you should install Serviio (http://www.serviio.org/) on your PC. This software will implement a media server service based on Java. I know that Windows brings its own Media Server (you can activate it in the advanced network settings), but trust me: it sucks big time!

Serviio is free in the basic version, but still it does all you need, including the use of subtitles (Windows Media Server can't deal with subtitles).



Android Remote App

LG provides an app for Android, that allows to remote control the LG TV over WIFI. This alone would not be that remarkable. It is the fact that the app allows to use the touch screen as a touch pad, that makes all the difference!

The TV will show a nice pointer, which you can move with the phone or tablet. This makes navigation so much easier. Of course you can use it to play games, as well.

But just the improvement in usability, when it comes to using text input, i.e. in the Youtube app, totally justifies installing this free app!


HbbTV

The LG LM series feature the HbbTV online guide, used i.e. in Germany. This is much like the upgraded Videotext of the 21th century. Channels can render additional informations in HTML and even include access to their media libraries.

If you can receive the Astra 19.2E satellite, it is worth checking this out. However, you will need to setup your TV for the German region. Don't worry, the TV's language and SmartTV region can be setup independantly. But beware: changing the region will wipe your channel list, so make a backup first.

By the way: if you change the SmartTV region, you will be prompted with different contents! Since you do NOT lose the channel settings if you change this region, it is worth trying to see, what apps and contents are available in other countries...

Have fun!
vma


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