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Re: in general, a tv's smart features are limited compared to a dedicated device...
Thanks for the advice. It's fixed now, so I am happy. I suspect it might be that I bought the TV new last year but the model was the end of the line. Might have been a couple of years old in the box. The Firesticks we bought at the same time and it might just be that they are more up to date than the gear inside the telly. Still, I'm made up with myself for figuring out a way to fix the problem and passing it on for anyone in the same predicament.
but my lg oled smart tv gubbins has been working fine for the last couple of years, and i've not had any problems at all with it. plenty of updates, picture quality is excellent, and no stuttering at all.
if your hub is distant, it could simply be that the signal you're getting to the tv isn't good enough - that could either be a crap hub, or something interfering with the signal. if you've bought a recent stick, it might simply have a better wireless chip in there that gets a better signal. if you have more devices on your network now (and most people do over time), that'll slow things down, too. also, buffering tends to be network related rather than anything to do with the tv - it might be that the connection you have is experiencing more traffic now, too.
in general, though, go for a roku stick - it's the only device that'll give you all of the providers (amazon, now tv, netflix, google).