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LG’s latest 4K monitor wants to be your smart home hub

You could only stream via AirPlay 2 to an overpriced Apple monitor or a Samsung smart TV — until now. LG just released the Smart Monitor which has AirPlay 2 built into it and doubles as a smart home hub, so now you can stream from your Mac to the monitor without the need for cables.

The LG Smart Monitor 32SQ780S is a 32-inch 60Hz monitor with a 4K display mounted on an adjustable ergonomic stand. It’s a beefy boy, at nearly 25 pounds and 16 inches thick. There are USB-C ports on the back, but not much else in the way of I/O.

The LG Smart Monitor with a Netflix show streaming on the display
image: LG

One look at the LG Smart Monitor and you might think you’re looking at Apple’s sunflower iMac from 20 years ago. The monitor juts out from a thick cylindrical stand and you can adjust both the height and the tilt of the panel.

Where the monitor really shines is in its smart home functionality. Along with AirPlay 2, it runs on LG’s own webOS software. It comes with apps such as Netflix and Hulu pre-installed.

AirPlay 2 is Apple’s upgrade to its original AirPlay streaming technology, which is an alternative to Bluetooth. AirPlay 2 uses greater bandwidth than Bluetooth, which allows for faster streaming of media content such as audio and video, and also allows Apple’s famous Airdrop technology to quickly send large files around.

Not many companies have embraced AirPlay 2 because of its locked-down proprietary nature. Bluetooth is simply cheaper and easier to implement. Only Samsung has dipped its toes into Airplay, but now LG has fully jumped in with their new Smart Monitor.

It almost feels as if LG wants this monitor to double as a smart home hub. It has a smart home dashboard where you can manage devices around your home. Adding smart home functionality to a computer monitor actually makes sense when you stop to think about it. You’re on your computer a lot during the day, so why not turn the monitor into a hub?

There’s no word yet if it can control Apple’s HomeKit-compatible devices. Given its integration with AirPlay 2, we imagine it will.

Nathan Drescher
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Nathan Drescher is a freelance journalist and writer from Ottawa, Canada. He's been writing about technology from around the…
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