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.