Out of all of the TV brands on the market today, how can you tell which one you should buy?
Many consumers and TV manufacturers have embraced smart TVs, which feature apps for streaming shows from Hulu, Netflix, and HBO. Consumers are responding to this type of connectivity and are buying smart TVs at a fast pace.
Smart TVs are starting to become commonplace for television consumers, and they’re expected to be 70% of all TV sales in 2018.
If you’re thinking that it’s time for a smart TV, keep reading to learn which brand is right for you.
What is Smart TV?
With all of this new technology, it can be easy to get confused.
A smart TV is different from streaming devices on the market that essentially do the same thing. Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon Fire are all devices that connect to your TV set. These devices have different apps such a Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Pandora, and hundreds more.
These are for TVs that don’t have WiFi capabilities. You can connect your device to your television and stream away. If you want local TV, you can hook up a digital antenna and get signals from stations within a 35-mile radius.
With a smart TV, you have all of these features integrated into your TV. You just need one device instead of two. Smart TVs are starting to feature voice recognition and home assistant software. You can now ask Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant to change the channel or turn up the volume.
With Samsung’s SmartHub, your home can be voice controlled through your TV set. You can give commands like lock the doors or turn out the lights.
Smart TV Platforms
When you start shopping for smart TVs, you’ll notice two things. The first is that there are a lot of smart TV brands on the market. The second is that smart TVs run on different platforms. Think of these platforms similar to how Windows and Apple’s OS work on your computer.
These are the most common smart TV streaming platforms you’ll find on the market today.
You may already be familiar with the Amazon Fire Stick. The streaming platform is being integrated into TV sets, too. You’ll find Insignia and Toshiba brands utilize this platform. On the downside, Amazon Fire users can’t access YouTube due to a disagreement between Google and Amazon.
This primarily powers Sony and Sharp TV brands. Its user interface is updated and very easy to navigate. Since Google is behind this platform and knows a lot about you already, you can expect a more personalized experience.
Roku’s platform is well known for the number of apps available. You’re likely to find Roku’s platform to be featured on more affordable TV brands.
SmartHub is Samsung’s Smart TV operating system, which is also known as Tizen OS. This has a much different and user-friendly look. It has a horizontal bar at the bottom to choose your apps. It also can easily connect to Samsung’s Smart Home.
Best Smart TV Brands
Now that we talked about the software behind Smart TVs, let’s talk about hardware. You’ll find that this is the real difference maker. You’ll also find that some TV brands are great for certain price points and
Samsung: Usually at the cutting edge of TV technology, Samsung is known for its high-end screens that deliver great quality with a higher price point.
LG: LG is building its reputation as a middle of the road brand that delivers good quality and affordability at the same time.
Sony: This has been one of the top TV brands for years, though it lost some ground in innovation to Samsung. You’ll still get a high-quality TV at a higher price point.
Toshiba: This is an interesting brand because it’s s well-known, but it’s less reliable the then other brands listed here.
TCL: This up and coming TV brand is slowly developing its reputation for decent quality, budget TVs.
How to Buy a Smart TV
What should you look for when you’re buying a smart TV? You should take into account your viewing habits. Do you already watch a lot of stuff on Hulu and Netflix? Do you plan to cut the cable cord completely?
Smart TV platforms don’t always offer the same apps. Most will have Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, and other popular apps. There are some apps that are available on some devices and not on others.
For example, if you watch a lot of soccer, you’ll want to make sure you have access to Fubo, Sling, NBCSports, and/or B/R Live.
Take time to think about what your favorite channels and programs are. You’ll then want to make sure that the TV fits with your watching habits.
What Do Those Numbers Mean?
You’ll notice that there are a bunch of numbers related to TV sets. There’s 1080p, 4k, 720p, 60Hz and more. What do they all mean?
For starters, 1080p, 720p, and 4K refer to the resolution of the screen. Budget TV brands usually have 720p resolution, which means that there are 720 horizontal lines for each frame. With 1080p and 4K, you have a higher resolution.
The higher the resolution, the sharper and clearer the images on your screen. You’d think that with a 4K TV, you’ll be just fine. You’ll be paying more money, and the truth is, you won’t be able to tell the difference unless you bought a larger TV. If you’re going to buy a 36″ television, save yourself some money and get a lower resolution set.
You also want to look at the refresh rate of the TV set. If you see that a TV brand offers 60Hz, that means that it can display 60 frames in a second. That’s not bad for general viewing. For gaming, you should consider a refresh rate of 120Hz.
Once you decide which TV brand to buy, you’ll have to get it installed. Check out this website for more information about wall mounting your TV.
Get Your TV Connected
TV technology has evolved from these massive boxes to sleek, connected, all-in-one devices. With a Smart TV, you can control your home and you can watch just about anything you want. It’s a great thing if you want to cut off cable.
There are dozens of Smart TV brands to choose from. Just be sure to keep in mind your favorite shows and TV habits before buying.
For more great tips and product reviews, check out these articles today.