LG TV test report

After my Samsung smart TV test of two weeks ago I was interested in another TV test. Last Friday I was at a client that turned out to have an LG smart TV with browser, and I ran some quick tests.

The interface

LG’s interface is better than Samsung’s. Although the browser does not offer a way of jumping from link to link, as the Samsung one does, its cursor-based interface is a lot better than Samsung’s, mostly because there is no sudden acceleration. In addition, when the cursor stops over a link it changes into a hand, just like on desktop.

Like Samsung’s, this LG browser has a toolbar, but unlike the Samsung this toolbar is not accessible with the cursor. Instead, when you scroll up enough the cursor disappears and is replaced by an arrow-key navigation for the toolbar. All in all the interface works reasonably well.

The best feature is a History button in the toolbar that shows pages you recently visited.

Google is the default search engine, but clicking on the search box allows you to change that.

The browser

The browser announces itself as Mozilla/5.0 (DirectFB; Linux; ko-KR) AppleWebKit/534.26+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0 Safari/534.26+, and I can’t make heads or tails of that. Even WhichBrowser only says “Linux.” Let’s call this one LG TV WebKit. I did some random tests, but didn’t really find a connection with any other browser. It’s a true WebKit, though; the -webkit-device-pixel-ratio media query is supported while the resolution one isn’t.


This browser does not support the three mobile viewports. Instead, it behaves as a desktop browser, where the window (which stretches across the entire TV screen) is the only viewport. Zooming is possible and works just like on desktop.

I noticed one rather annoying bug: in all 100 or so browser versions I tested so far, the width media query uses the value of document.documentElement.clientWidth. On this browser it doesn’t, and the bug is in the JavaScript property. It seems that the correct viewport width (1280px on 100% zoom, 640px on 200% zoom, etc) is divded again by the zoom factor (so that on 200% zoom document.documentElement.clientWidth gives 320px instead of 640). Very annoying, since it trashes one of my theories. But I’m going to ignore this and advise you to do the same.

That’s it, I’m afraid. I only had 90 minutes or so for testing, so any question you still have will have to wait for another opportunity.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, web developer, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter or Mastodon.
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