Today’s TVs are primarily referred to as smart TVs, sometimes known as connected TVs. With built-in internet and a variety of both free and paid apps, smart TVs are the embodiment of the union of entertainment and technology.
Our staff members own a wide variety of smart TVs, so we’ve created this buying advice based on both industry standards and our own personal experiences to help you choose the right model for your needs, tastes, and budget.
A Smart TV: What Is It?
Because a smart TV has an operating system built in, users can view streaming media without connecting an external device. Those who prefer viewing the newest series on Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services are big fans of smart TVs.
Top 7 Things to Think About Before Purchasing a Smart TV
There are seven important things to think about while buying for a smart TV before making your choice:How Much Should You Pay for a Smart TV?
You ought to be able to locate an affordable smart TV regardless of your budget. On the other hand, you can obtain more features, larger sizes, and higher resolutions with a larger expenditure. To future-proof your investment, it might be worthwhile to purchase a more expensive smart TV, but if you need something for less money right now, you can still locate a good model.
Costs differ significantly between models and manufacturers. These are some typical pricing parameters for smart TVs; but, if you search about, you might be able to discover models in different sizes and with higher resolutions for a lower cost.
A smart TV allows you to view, control, and browse network- and internet-based content. Nowadays, nearly every TV sold is categorized as a smart TV, and several manufacturers, such as LG, Vizio, and Samsung, provide smart TVs for sale.
Which Smart TV Size Is Appropriate?
When purchasing a new smart TV, it’s critical to carefully examine the size you want because size and resolution have a big impact on the cost of the device.
Measure the size of the room where you plan to place the smart TV to establish the ideal size, and then choose a display size that will maximize your viewing experience without taking up too much space.
The sizes of smart TVs vary depending on the manufacturer. When measured diagonally, the most popular sizes are 42 inches, 50 inches, 55 inches, 65 inches, and 75 inches. Anything longer than 65 inches puts you in a much more expensive range. For those who want 80- or 85-inch smart TVs, there is also an incredibly upscale market.
You may have trouble picturing how your smart TV will fit in your room, even after you’ve sized it. It’s not just you. Customers may see what an augmented reality TV would look like in a room by using apps from Samsung, Sony, LG, and TCL. Additionally, Best Buy provides an augmented reality viewer so you can verify the fit of your new gear.
Which Resolution Is Appropriate for a Smart TV?
Three resolutions are available for most TVs: 1080p, 4K, and 8K.
Purchasing a TV with a 4K resolution is what we advise for optimal use. TVs with 1080p resolution are good, but by today’s standards, they are out of date, and upgrading to a higher resolution no longer comes with a price penalty.
8K TVs are now high-end and expensive, taking the place of 4K TVs. Since the costs are considerable and there isn’t much content (movies or TV series) in high enough resolutions to noticeably alter the visual quality, it’s definitely not worth the investment just now.
Ultra HD, sometimes referred to as 4K, is a great compromise since it offers a high-quality resolution at a number of reasonable prices. You can also fully utilize the 4K material that many streaming services and applications offer.
Does a Smart TV Need to Support HDR?
High dynamic range, or HDR, is a picture-improving technology found on the majority of the top smart TVs.
High Dynamic Range (HDR) enhances the color gamut and highlights fine details in a picture’s darkest and brightest areas. There are a number of HDR formats that you might come across, including HDR10, Dolby Vision, HDR 10+, and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), but as long as the display supports HDR in some way, you should be fine. There aren’t many differences between the formats.
How often should a smart television refresh?
Smart TV displays have refresh rates of either 60Hz or 120Hz. The number of image resets per second is indicated by this parameter. The image maintains sharpness and reduces motion blur the more times it refreshes.
While watching sports, a high refresh rate is great, but use caution when watching movies at higher refresh rates. That kind of display might give movies a different appearance from what you would see in a cinema.
Even on a higher-end TV, you’ll probably keep the refresh rate at 60Hz for the most of the material.
Which Integrations Ought a Smart TV to Offer?
The ability of a smart TV to use voice commands and interface with other smart devices in your house is one of its most alluring advantages. For instance, Google Assistant and Google Chromecast are integrated into Sony’s Android TVs. You may therefore operate your gadgets from the TV if you have an Android TV and a smart home with plenty of Google devices.
Purchasing a smart TV that integrates Alexa makes sense if you have Amazon Alexa-enabled devices around your home, such as Echo Shows or Echo Dots.
When determining whether to get a smart TV that connects with a specific platform, take into account your preferences, your home, and your other devices.
Roku TV TCL 28S3750, 28-Inch
Roku TV, 28-inch, TCL 28S3750. Picture sourced from Amazon.com
Which Apps Ought a Smart TV to Have?
The main function of a smart TV is entertainment, thus when selecting one, your tastes in entertainment will play a big role. While many platforms offer broad access to services like Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, not all smart TVs will be able to run every app.
Most smart TVs come with app stores where you can choose and download more apps, and all of them will come with some preinstalled apps. For instance, LG TVs can access the LG Content Store, and Samsung smart TVs allow you to visit the Samsung App Store. Conversely, Vizio smart TVs come with all of their apps preinstalled. Updates are used to install new apps, but content from incompatible apps must be projected or mirrored on the screen.
Make sure your favorite applications are installed and available on any smart TV you are thinking about buying. Or, to help supplement accessible apps, think about using a gadget like a Roku stick.
What’s the difference between 4K and HDR?
To Whom Is a Smart TV Advisable?
Modern TV buyers ought to think about getting a smart TV. Standard TVs might cost less, but smart TVs are more cost-effective than ever and offer greater value for your money. It might even be difficult to locate a 4K TV without “smart” functions.
When shopping for a new TV, smart TVs should be taken into account due to their improved picture quality, increased features, internet connectivity, apps, smart home integrations, and other features.
2023’s Top Smart TVs for Streaming
How Do I Proceed After Purchasing a Smart TV?
Although it’s not as simple as plugging in a regular TV, bringing home and configuring your smart TV is still rather simple.
When choosing the ideal location for your new smart TV, take into account power outlets, having access to a strong WI-Fi signal, and whether you can connect the TV via Ethernet.
If necessary, add a cable hookup or antenna.
In order to manage and control features, upgrades, and apps, you will need to create an account. Learn how to locate, choose, and install apps as well as navigate your model’s settings during initial setup.
The majority of smart TVs come with mobile apps.It’s likely that during or after setup, you’ll need to download the companion app for your smart TV.
Select and arrange the apps that are available, create a content library, and decide which programs to record. Additionally, you might have to sign into your streaming accounts.
It might also be necessary to configure more devices, including media players and game consoles.
Once the fundamentals are configured, tweak the color, brightness, and menu appearance to customize your viewing experience and discover all of your smart TV’s functions.
A woman is viewing her smart TV.
Maskot/Images via Getty
Extra Advice on Purchasing a Smart TV
The “best” smart TV to purchase is really a matter of taste and want, therefore there isn’t one in particular. Remember the following:
Ascertain that you have access to electricity, cable connections, and other necessities, as well as where you wish to place the TV.
Fireplaces and other heat sources should be avoided since they may harm your components.
When wall hanging your smart TV, you might want to opt with a larger screen size because it will be positioned farther away from your seating area and flat against the wall.
Prior to buying, find out if the TV is compatible with the streaming services you choose.
Note everything you may require to connect to the television. Smart TVs do not come with a DVD or Blu-ray drive attached, even though they can stream a wide variety of material. In the event that you wish to connect anything to the TV, be sure it has adequate HDMI ports.
Examine the sound quality of your smart TV to see if you require a soundbar or additional speakers.
When examining smart TVs in a showroom, pay attention to how bright the screen seems in a well-lit space.
To ensure you receive the greatest deal, keep an eye out for price variations and periodic sales, like Black Friday, when considering a smart TV.