Is an LG TV an Android TV?

You pick your way through the virtual aisles, looking over the specs of different smart TVs. You’ve heard a lot about them and are considering buying one. A lot of the ones you’ve come across use Android operating systems, but what about the LG Smart TV? 

LG TVs are not Android TVs, Android is an operating system that is paired with Google-developed and related products. LG TVs use a Linux-based operating system called Web OS. These different operating systems are pretty different, and each has a unique blend of advantages and disadvantages for users. 

Chances are that didn’t clear things up all the way, so let’s get a little deeper into it. We’ll compare the two, look at various features of the LG Smart TV, examine the compatibility of LG with Android, and more in the next few sections. Read on to find out more. 

Android TV VS Web OS 

So, you’ve got it narrowed down to two TVs, one operates on Android, while the other uses Web OS. Otherwise, they’re pretty much the same- similar positive reviews, similar dimensions, comparable pricing. But which to go with? Which will be the right one for you? That depends on a few preferences you may have for the user interface and more. 

Feature/Point of Interest Web OS Android TV 
User Interface The customizable launch bar at the bottom of the screen allows you to set up your favorite apps for easy access. Customizable rows of apps fill the home screen of Android TV systems for you to choose from. Apps LG TVs come preinstalled with a handful of popular streaming apps, such as Youtube, Disney Plus, Prime Video, and more. Has only a limited selection of downloadable apps at this time. Wide range of apps available on the Google Play Store that you can run on your Android TV. Android also allows you to “sideload” apps, which LG doesn’t allow for. 
Remote Point and click functionality allows you to navigate easily as if navigating a computer with a mouse. Navigation directed with arrow keys and select button, limiting you to a slower, clunkier interface. 
Games While some games are available for the LG Smart TV it wasn’t a point of focus for developers. Android TV has access to a majority of Google Play Store games to pick from. 
Screen Sharing The Screen Share app allows you to broadcast your smartphone screen onto your smart TV. All Android TVs are equipped with Chromecast, which allows for screen sharing between phones and Android TVs. 
Smart Speaker Integration Many LG Smart TVs are compatible with both Google and Amazon smart speakers. Compatible with all Google Assistant speakers; some models are compatible with Amazon Echo products. 
Available as a Plug-in Device Only available on LG Smart TVs; no plug-ins currently available Can be loaded and run through various pluggable devices made by Google and affiliated developers. 
Controller App for Smartphone LG TV Plus allows users to control their LG Smart TV from their smartphone with an easy-to-use app. Android TV Remote Control is a popular and user-friendly option for controlling your Android TV with your phone. 

Hopefully, that will help lay out some of the differences between the two major smart TV operating systems. There are plenty of similarities, but the few distinctions there are can be significant depending on what you’re trying to do with your smart TV. 

Can I Install Android on an LG Smart TV? 

What if you’re a bit of an Android purist, but like LG products as well? Can you load Android onto an LG Smart TV without having to buy another device? As nice as that would be, that’s not the world we’re living in. 

Unfortunately, no, you cannot install Android directly onto your LG TV. Since they are competitors, there’s not much logic in allowing one operating system to be loaded directly onto the other’s machines. There are some workarounds, like external hardware you can get to allow any TV with an HDMI port to act as an Android TV. 

So be sure to know which you’ll prefer before buying one. Maybe see if you can test one in a brick-and-mortar store before jumping the gun. Doing so puts you in a position to be sure you’ll like what you’re shelling out money for and taking home. 

What Device Turns Your TV Into A Smart TV? 

So, you’ve got a TV or old computer monitor with an HDMI port that you want to beef up your entertainment with. There are lots of fun things you could do with an old tv or monitor, but adding a Chromecast or similar pluggable dongle increases the entertainment capacity of your device. 

A Google Chromecast is your best bet for getting Android functionality on your LG TV. It allows you to use your TV or Computer monitor as an Android device controlled by another Android device you own through an app-based interface. This replaces the standard remote that most smart TVs use. 

By acting as a “bridge” of sorts between your device and television, it allows you to use your old TV as a stripped-down version of a smart TV. Many consumers prefer the lower cost of this option, as coming up with the few hundred dollars for a “true” smart TV can be difficult. Streaming dongles cost far less and are often quite easy to set up and use. 

What Are the Disadvantages of a Smart TV? 

Smart TVs are generally great additions to the home entertainment space you’re cultivating. They allow for seamless movement between your other devices and your TV, which also has web search functions, voice command capabilities (when used with a smart speaker), and syncing with other devices. 

This also means that your browsing data, metadata, and other personally identifying information are likely being gathered and either used by the company that produced the TV or sold to third parties. These entities often target ads and other content to you directly based on what you search, watch, and even talk about. It’s a little spooky, but that’s the price you pay for top-notch tech. 

Final Thoughts 

Deciding between an Android TV and an LG Smart TV? We’ve discussed their different features and benefits, some workarounds for the budget-conscious, and some of the disadvantages of smart TVs. Hopefully, you’ve learned a bit about the differences in their platforms and can make an informed buying decision. 

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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