LG adds support for Amazon Alexa control to their 2018 TVs

LG has announced that they’ve added support for Amazon Alexa control to their 2018 televisions. The 2018 LG OLED TVs and LG SUPER UHD TVs with ThinQ can now be controlled hands-free through external Amazon Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices. LGs televisions, especially their OLED sets, are among the best on the market, so it’s great to see Alexa support added.

LG’s TVs that are gaining support are 2018 models running WebOS version 4.0 or greater. The compatible models include: W8, G8, E8, C8, B8, B8S, SK95**, SK85**, SK81**, SK80**, UK75**, UK69**, UK67**, UK65**, UK64**, UK63**, LK62**, LK61**, and LK59**.

A pair of LG SmartThinQ Alexa skills have been released. The Basic skill grants natural language Alexa control. With it you can make simple requests like “Alexa, turn on/off the TV” and “Alexa, turn the TV volume up/down.” You can also change channels by number by saying “Alexa, channel 12” or by name by saying “Alexa, change the channel to CNN.” Similarly, you can change inputs by the input name, such as “HDMI 1” or by the input label, such as “Alexa, change TV input to the set-top box.” Of course, you can also control playback with play/pause/stop/rewind/fast-forward commands.

LG has also released a Complete skill that allows for more advanced hands-free control, but you’ll need to as “Alexa, ask LG…” to execute these advanced commands. With the complete skill you can search for content by saying “Alexa, ask LG to search [query] on TV.” You can also ask for recommended videos if you don’t know what you want to watch.

The complete skill also allows for setting changes via voice, such as “Alexa, ask LG to turn up/down the brightness on the TV” or “Alexa, ask LG to turn on/off subtitles.” Alexa can also launch apps built-into the TV by saying “Alexa, ask LG to launch [app] on TV.”

In addition to controlling the TV, the LG complete skill is aware of what you’re watching and can provide information about the content. You can say “Alexa, ask LG who is the director/cast of this program on TV” or “Alexa, ask LG to give me a summary of this program on TV.”

LG is not the first major television manufacturer to add Alexa support to their TVs, and they certainly won’t be the last, but their support is among the most extensive that I’ve seen. This is thanks to the secondary “complete” skill that goes far beyond the functionality that Amazon provides in their media skill kit.

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7 comments
  1. Itzme says:

    Gets really confusing when you have a Harmony Hub, that also have many of those same commands but don’t require “ask LG” or don’t require “ask Harmony.”

  2. Brantome says:

    It’s not really that confusing if you realise that LG have finally delivered what Harmony and Sony delivered last July on the back of the Alexa video entertainment API which provided a generic set of commands for controlling Audio Visual equipment. Basically, you can drop harmony for control of your LG tv and now do it directly.

    • AR says:

      alexa will get confused , they need to fix it so that you can use the same natural commands in more than one room by having the ability to put devices in rooms with the alexa and have it only control the device in the room / group.

      i use a broadlink RM pro and RM plugin app alexa bridge to control my bedroom TV each command shows up as a light
      i name the devices as commands so i can use natural language
      “alexa turn on the TV” “alexa turn on ABC” etc.
      but if i put those “devices” ,”ABC” “NBC” “TV” etc.
      in a group with the bedroom echo
      it would still get confused if i were to get a broadlink RM mini
      for the living room and use the same commands and if this TV has no way to link it so it only works from 1 echo device than it would get confused too.

      right now i use anymote to control the other TV with the alexa anymote skill “alexa tell anymote to turn on ABC”
      i hate this , too much syntax
      if only it would let you use the same natural commands in more than one room

  3. Itzme says:

    Does the LG also control volume on the AVR? Tuning and all trickplay And commercial skipping my DirecTV HR44? Everything on The Fire TV and Apple TV? Or do we keep Harmony for that and use the LG skill on the LG?

    • Brantome says:

      It’s just a skill for the LG Tv talking directly to Alexa. It’s NOT a replacement for all that a harmony hub can do – the latter is a networked universal infrared remote control (by and large), while the new LG TV skill is what it says – an Alexa skill to control newer LG TVs.

  4. Dave says:

    Can this function be disabled on these new LG TVs?

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