Option List

24 October 2013

LG Magic Remote

Motion controls are just a gimmick, right? This one will change your mind, and also the way you interact with your TV...

Gagan Gupta
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We must admit, motion control doesn’t bring us any fond memories. Mostly because it’s primarily associated with gaming… the kind that requires you jumping in front of your TV set and generally looking like you belong in a padded room wearing a white coat.

But finally, we come across an application of the motion control technology that can actually be useful instead of just a gimmick. That too from a very unexpected source.

LG has been bundling motion control remotes for a while now, but this year they have upped the ante, by making the remote sleeker, easier to use, and with an added voice command feature. But besides the feature list, what makes the most sense is primarily the design. The remote is smaller than their previous iteration, and quite handy. It's smaller than any other TV remote out there, which makes it lighter and a lot sleeker. The button layout is intuitive, with a very helpful scroll wheel in the centre, which along with the motion control makes menu selection a lot easier and faster.

We've been burned a lot with motion controls in the past. Just look at some of our game reviews for instances on that. But this one seemed different...

Motion control itself is fantastic. Unlike a game controller, you're never in an out of range mode, which means that you could have your hand on the couch rest and still be able to motion control everything with simple wrist flicks. This helps fix the biggest peeve we generally have with motion controls i.e. to keep our hand stretched out in the calibrated zone, which is the last thing anyone wants to do when they're unwinding after work.

Important functions like channel change, volume adjust and even directional arrows are thankfully provided as separate buttons on the remote. But the most interesting button to us was the little round one with a mic imprinted on it - the one that activates voice command.

So, the problem with most voice command applications, including Siri on iOS and Google Voice is that they're not very good with the Indian accent. And I'm not even talking about the "Would you like some curry" accent that yankees love imitating; I'm talking about the accent-neutral english that most of us speak. This one, however, worked.

We were able to pull off YouTube video searches and bring up TV functions by simply saying what we wanted. No training required either. You want the Nissan Terrano video review done by us? Just say, "TopGear India Nissan Terrano". Want to play something from your connected USB device? Say "USB". We'll say it again - it worked.

We've been burned a lot with motion controls in the past. Just look at some of our game reviews for instances on that. But this one seemed different, mainly because it was not inconvenient and didn't seem forced. Once we got the hang of using this, we didn't even bother getting back to the regular remote, and that's saying a lot.

Want one? LG is bundling these babies with their Cinema 3D range of TVs. You can buy one separately for Rs 4,190, but make sure your TV is compatible with it first.



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