Smart TV Buyer’s Guide
Buying a new smart TV can be a confusing experience. With all of the technical specifications and unfamiliar features, how do you choose the right TV for you?
We’re here with this helpful guide to help you buy your first smart TV. Remember that a smart TV can’t replicate the internet browsing experience of a tablet or a computer, and nearly any media streamer can turn a regular TV into somewhat of a smart TV. With that being said, having the apps already installed saves you needing to buy yet another device. Many TVs out there in homes already have smart functionality built in – even if the features aren’t being put to use by their owners – so don’t use that as your sole benchmark for choosing a new TV. Instead, think about 4K resolution if you want a TV that will take you into the next generation of broadcasting. A 120Hz refresh rate is also beneficial, though you can generally ignore things like contrast-ratio specifications. You’re better off testing actual TVs in person to see which style you prefer – even if you end up buying the television online. And whichever model you choose, avoid curved TVs unless you’re specifically seeking out this feature. Reports indicate that the curve detracts from the image quality, rather than enhancing it. So which smart TVs are worth further investigation?
LG TV (OLED65B6P)
OLED TVs are a wonder to behold. OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode, and each pixel produces separate light and color to its neighbors. It gives much greater contrast to the picture and makes colors pop. That’s useful in this LG OLED TV since it also uses cinematic color and boasts Dolby Vision to help reproduce the theater experience in your own home. It features webOS 3.0 smart functionality, which gives you a clean interface that’s easy to use. It allows you to launch services like Amazon Video, use the web browser, screen share content from your phone, and access media files from a USB device.
LG 55-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV (55LH575)
If the above TV is a little beyond your price range, then try this 55″ model. Its LED backlighting improves the contrast and color of any picture. It also connects to WiFi so you can enjoy your favorite shows on Netflix with a minimum of fuss. While a handful of reviewers reported a small lag using the smart features, many users love pairing it with a game console.
TCL 32-Inch Smart TV (32S305)
While half the size of the 65″ LG TV, the TCL satisfies the budget end of the market – and is currently the #1 best selling LED TV at Amazon. Its 720p HD image quality suits its 32″ size, and it also boasts three HDMI ports. If you add a thumb drive to the USB port at the back, you can even pause live TV for 90 minutes. It’s surprisingly lightweight, which makes it easy to install, and it connects to the WiFi in your home. It’s perfect for smaller bedrooms or home gyms. Best of all, it comes with Roku software installed. That opens up a whole new world of media streaming and dispenses with the need for an extra Roku streaming box.
Sony 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (XBR55X900E)
Sony’s 4K model has an unmatched picture quality. It supports HDR (high dynamic range) images, which gives you the best contrast possible. The TV boasts a 4K HDR Processor X1 which even upscales non-HDR content so you can enjoy a better picture no matter what you watch. This smart TV features an Android operating system so that you can play Android games on it. You can find 4K content on YouTube, Amazon Video, and Netflix to explore what the resolution is made of. It comes in 49″, 55″, 65″ and 75″ models so you can find the right size for your home.
Smart Apps for a Smart TV
A benefit of smart TVs is their connectivity to universal remotes. The SURE Universal Remote app lets you control your smart TV, and your other smart devices, from a single, simple interface. The app features an on-screen keyboard to make searching for your favorite content easy and a screen solely dedicated to all of your smart TV apps. You can change channels, alter the volume, and even stream media – all from your smartphone or mobile device. And with a device database that’s constantly being updated, any new smart devices should work seamlessly with the SURE Universal. Over to you – which smart features do you look for when shopping for a smart TV?