Today, we’re analysing the 5 best smart TVs on the market in 2016. If this is the year of the smart home, then its also the time to make perhaps the easiest and most noteworthy ‘smart upgrade’ – from the humble TV to its next generation, internet of things enabled big brother.
The TV space has undergone a lot of change of the last decade. We saw the emergence of high definition, and then we flirted with 3D having been enthralled by the cinematic masterpiece that was Avatar. By the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, attention was already starting to turn to super-HD TVs, beginning with 4K and moving towards 8K resolution. In between all of this, seemingly running via a parallel dimension is the idea of the smart-TV, a genre to itself. Smart TVs have undergone a lot of changes and we can see quite a lot of new models coming up, with some big manufacturers making some big promises around what’s to come this year.
What are smart TVs?
Before we get too carried away, lets quickly define what constitutes a smart TV. Smart televisions are basically television sets that come packed with many more amazing features and much heightened connectivity compared to a normal TV set.
They come with faster speed connectivity and have a plethora of amazing features to boast. They are different from internet TV or even web TV in the sense that the operating system comes preloaded in smart TVs.
Simply put, a smart TV is any TV which comes pre-loaded with the internet. This enables you to watch Netflix, or on demand TV directly through your TV set, without relying on other – often subscription based – services like Sky. This lets you get much more out of your set, without having to watch Netflix on an iPad or laptop. As a result, the TV returns to the centre of your home entertainment.
More than anything, we believe that smart TVs are a longer term money saver. Services like Amazon prime (formerly Lovefilm) and Netflix are a lot cheaper than rival services like Sky Movies. More and more homes are using smart sets to remove the need for Sky, and instead invest 10% of the old Sky bill in Netflix. So whilst they come at a significant cost, they do bring a longer term upside.
Let us take a look at 5 of the best smart TVs which seem to be the perfect choice at the moment.
The LG 60” 4k Ultra- HD smart TV (LG 60UF770V) – perfect for Netflix and other on-demand junkies who value the bigger picture
The clinching factor about this TV model has to be the eclectic display. It comes with a 4K IPS panel which helps in offering the right coloring angle and the resolution is four times the natural HD. For those of you who have never seen a 4K picture, we’ll just say that its life changing. Regular definition to HD was a big step up, and this step up is at least as comparable. If picture clarity is one of your top concerns, this is definitely the model to look out for. Its effectively combining two of the big trends for 2016; ultra HD and smart features.
This TV runs on an award winning webOS platform and offers seamless support. You can enjoy movies on demand through sky movies (subscription service via BSKYB) or even NOW TV. Further, there is the option of streaming live sports as well. The ultra HD 4k content offered by this smart TV makes it one of its kind. It makes use of LG UF770 4k Upscasler and this converts even low resolution picture to 4k quality and gives you an extra edge.
Though it is priced quite high, but the feature list, the display and high resolution makes it worth your money.
Expect to pay around £1,150 or $1,650 for this set. Its the perfect choice for Netflix junkies, providing upscaled picture quality on the big screen.
Panasonic Viera 40” HD TV (Panasonic Viera 40CS520B) – the best smart TV under £500, this represents the best value for money
This is nowhere as expensive as the LG model we just spoke of but at ‘just’ £350, it represents a huge amount of value for money. Its the best smart TV for under £500 in our opinion. It is decently priced and is power packed with some of the most impressive features. You can enjoy all your media content on your Panasonic smart TV. The myStream service offered by this TV has been much talked about because it is one of the most intuitive interfaces and it has enabled richer and smoother navigation. You get a wonderfully navigable interface which is easy to operate yet packs a solid punch.
myStream essentially blends and organizes all the content on your smartTV onto a single channel. It will also offer you recommendation on the different TV programs and even on-demand video which you should watch.
Further, you can access a great deal of internet apps and it also comes with cloud services too. Also, the in-built Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to easily share your content on mobile and tablet seamlessly
Samsung 48” free view HD (Samsung UE48JU6400) is the best bet to build a smart home around
Samsung are the best manufacturers of TVs in the world today and are also very progressive in the smart home space in general. Their devices are cutting edge, and with SmartThings (their smart home OS), they are intending to put their TV sets at the heart of a smart home which is connected to upwards of 200 different smart devices. This means that an investment in a Samsung smart TV puts you ahead of the curve.
Forgetting the wider household upside, the TV is a great standalone product. This 40” TV truly brings all colour to life with its brilliant pictorial depiction. This TV makes use of the IHF picture quality which is known to produce extremely detailed coloured images which will jazz your viewing experience in the finest manner. The images are known to look a lot natural and vibrant and the colour depiction is quite accurate. Apart from this, it also sports an all new smart hub which helps you connect your TV to various different apps and networks. You can easily browse for the best content and feel free to connect any of your devices and then play games or throw the media files and watch them on the go.
It also comes with a new feature called the brief on TV. This is an innovative concept as it turns on your TV when your alarm goes off and it can then display some important data including weather, time or even your daily schedule if you have it programmed in the system.
One of the noteworthy features of this smart TV has to be the multi-link screen which allows you to enjoy two channels side by side, simultaneously.
Sony Bravia 32” HD TV (Sony Bravia KDL32R403CBU)
If you are not on the lookout for a really huge size and all you are looking for is good clarity, this Sony TV seems to be a great choice. It is an HD ready TV that comes with a clear resolution enhancer which cuts down on the noise and imperfection. This technology helps in strengthening the images and also adds the right touch of natural finesse to the images. The realism of the picture is significantly improved with more depth added to the images.
One of the highlights of this model has to be slim design. The TV is just 4.9mm thick and it can be easily mounted on the walls or placed anywhere you want. It comes with a Motion flow XR 100 Hz technology that refreshes images at a rate quicker than what is normal. It offers 720 lines of vertical resolution and is a must buy for those who love clarity and have favored the technology by Sony.
Samsung 40” HD smart TV (Samsung UE40JU6400)
Samsung has invaded the world of smart TVs with a lot of amazing models which comes with great specifications. This is yet another leading design with a 40” screen that comes with a brilliant resolution. The images are very detailed, natural and way better than regular HD. The PurColour technology brings the picture to life and the UHD upscaling will allow you to enjoy sharper images which have an exceptionally high realism quotient.
This TV too offers seamless support when it comes to apps and you can connect your devices and even stream content from it or watch live TV too. The multi-link screen feature is available on this model too.
These are five of the top trending choices in the field of smart TVs. They are undoubtedly a great choice and are trending in the field of technology. Of course, they span a varied budget and budget could often be the decisive factor when buying a TV.
So, look out for these options and find out the smartTV that seems to be best suited for your needs.