Google Assistant is now available for all LG 2018 ThinQ TVs be they OLED or UHD LCD. They can now act like a giant tablet adding new visual depth to Google Assistant.
It can also control all the LG compatible connected soundbars
as well as some IoT devices.
Angus Jones, General Manager of Marketing for LG Australia
There is quite a lot of tech behind this. First, there is the hardware (and that is why earlier TV models can’t use Google Assistant). Then the interface between LG’s ThinQ AI and Google Assistant
To use Google Assistant, simply
press the microphone key on the LG Magic Remote and issue a command. The request
routes to LG’s servers to see if it is something
that ThinQ can do. If not, it goes to Google.
ThinQ is our hardware interface that works across all LG
ThinQ devices. We did not want to duplicate what Google already does with the
Assistant and its massive language and search resources.
Apart from using the remote, you can also use a Google Assistant speaker like LG’s WK7 (GadgetGuy review here). That requires an extra step, “OK Google, tell LG to open Netflix …”
That raises the question of ‘privacy’.
You can use an LG TV as a straight TV – no data collection. To use its smart features requires you must agree to our terms and conditions. We use this data as part of a global ongoing product improvement program. For example, if we see one function used more than another, we may change the menu layout to make life easier. It is all anonymised, and we don’t sell that data.
When you enter the world of Google Assistant, indeed any voice assistant and you agree to its term and conditions they apply to whatever you do with the device.
What that means to the layman is that Google (or Alexa or
Siri et al.) knows what you are watching,
where it came from. They use that data to
do what they do best – target advertising to you.
To use Google Assistant on LG 2018 ThinQ TVs
Owners of LG 2018 TVs will receive it as an over-the-internet
update. Make sure your TV has Wi-Fi or Ethernet connectivity firsrt.
If required go to Setup and press check for updates. Google
Assistant should then appear in the ribbon command bar.
You will also need a Google account, e.g. Gmail address and
a current credit card if you wish to use Google Assistant to purchase content
or access paid services. Current compatible paid services can link to the Google Assistant.
What can you do with it?
Anything that you can do with a Google Assistant speaker. LG
2018 ThinQ TVs add a visual component. For example, you can ask it to find a dinner recipe, and
it will show an image and step-by-step instructions.
I was impressed at the work that has gone into the
interface. It is logical and allows the magic
Remote to act as a cursor to select further options.
TV commands include basic controls like changing the
channel, muting, switching inputs, switching source, turning off the TV after a
set amount of time, setting the sound input, switching on Bluetooth and turning
off the TV when this program ends. Pretty well most things you can do with a
You can also use voice to do things like open a web browser,
adjust the picture settings, go to a channel, search for content and ask
questions about a film’s cast.
It is also possible to control IoT devices like lamp,
kettles and other connected devices.
The only caveat is that Google assistant is linked to one
Gmail account so while others can use voice controls the owner needs the
Netflix, Spotify etc., linked to their account.
Jones also briefly showed Amazon Alexa controlling the LG 2018 ThinQ TVs.
Its skills are not as advanced yet as Google Assistant. We will try to support all mainstream voice controls. We are all about making the best ThinQ TV or home appliance, not trying to set up a Google or Amazon!”