What Do Smart TVs Do? Are They Worth It?

What is Smart TV?

A smart TV also called a connected TV is a digital television or set-top box that has inbuilt internet and combines computer-based and TV-based technology.

Other than providing the normal broadcast content provided by the media houses, smart TVs can also offer internet services, live media streaming, and online interactive media.

For the user to connect to the Internet on the smart TV, they can rely on wireless connectivity such as WiFi or through the use of Ethernet cables. There have been different debates on their functionality and the question that most people ask is “Are smart TVs worth it?“.

Bestsellers:

Comparison:

Preview
Samsung 2020 32 INCH T4300 HD Smart TV
Samsung 48H5500 48-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p Smart LED TV with Wi-Fi Direct and Freeview HD (discontinued by manufacturer)
LG 42LF652V Smart 42 Inch TV with webOS
Sony Bravia KDL32WE613 (32-Inch) HD Ready HDR Smart TV (X-Reality PRO, Slim and streamlined design) - Black
Title
Samsung 2020 32 INCH T4300 HD Smart TV
Samsung 48H5500 48-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p Smart LED TV with Wi-Fi Direct and Freeview HD (discontinued by manufacturer)
LG 42LF652V Smart 42 Inch TV with webOS
Sony Bravia KDL32WE613 (32-Inch) HD Ready HDR Smart TV (X-Reality PRO, Slim and streamlined design) - Black
Resolution
720p
1080p
4K
1080p
Connectivity technology
Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet, HDMI
USB, WiFi
Bluetooth, USB and HDMI, Wifi
USB
Screen size
32 Inches
48 Inches
42 Inches
32 Inches
Supported Internet Apps
Now TV, Netflix, All 4, BBC Iplayer, MY 5, Google Assistant, ITV hub, YouTube
Skype, Youtube, Facebook
-
Opera browser, YouTube, Netflix
Price
£224.00
£509.92
£444.47
£269.00
Preview
Samsung 2020 32 INCH T4300 HD Smart TV
Title
Samsung 2020 32 INCH T4300 HD Smart TV
Resolution
720p
Connectivity technology
Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet, HDMI
Screen size
32 Inches
Supported Internet Apps
Now TV, Netflix, All 4, BBC Iplayer, MY 5, Google Assistant, ITV hub, YouTube
Price
£224.00
Preview
Samsung 48H5500 48-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p Smart LED TV with Wi-Fi Direct and Freeview HD (discontinued by manufacturer)
Title
Samsung 48H5500 48-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p Smart LED TV with Wi-Fi Direct and Freeview HD (discontinued by manufacturer)
Resolution
1080p
Connectivity technology
USB, WiFi
Screen size
48 Inches
Supported Internet Apps
Skype, Youtube, Facebook
Price
£509.92
Preview
LG 42LF652V Smart 42 Inch TV with webOS
Title
LG 42LF652V Smart 42 Inch TV with webOS
Resolution
4K
Connectivity technology
Bluetooth, USB and HDMI, Wifi
Screen size
42 Inches
Supported Internet Apps
-
Price
£444.47
Preview
Sony Bravia KDL32WE613 (32-Inch) HD Ready HDR Smart TV (X-Reality PRO, Slim and streamlined design) - Black
Title
Sony Bravia KDL32WE613 (32-Inch) HD Ready HDR Smart TV (X-Reality PRO, Slim and streamlined design) - Black
Resolution
1080p
Connectivity technology
USB
Screen size
32 Inches
Supported Internet Apps
Opera browser, YouTube, Netflix
Price
£269.00

How are Smart TVs Different from General TVs?

Smart TVs offer internet services that normal TVs cannot offer. With inbuilt computer functionality, smart TVs offer the viewer a wide range of services including streaming popular online content such as movies through apps like Netflix, CinemaNow, Vudu, etc, that cannot be provided on normal TVs.

The technology behind the running of smart TVs is also completely different from the one used by normal TVs. You can browse the web on most smart TVs, connect a keyboard and a pointing device, making it a gigantic computer screen. Imagine a smart TV as a computer built into a traditional TV.

The striking difference in terms of content is the ability to watch video on demand on smart TVs. Some high-end manufacturers also offer Skype calls via the TV’s built-in camera and mic.

New smart TVs are also offering the user new ways of controlling it. Instead of the traditional remote devices used in normal TV sets, some smart TVs can also be controlled via facial recognition, gestures and voice navigation.

There are different apps for different purposes just like we have in modern smartphones.

Smart TVs

How to Use Smart TV?

Smart TVs suit a wide range of different people:

  • Music lovers can stream live music on their smart TV using apps like Pandora.
  • For movie enthusiasts, there are movie apps like Vudu, Netflix, CinemaNow, and Amazon video on demand. With these apps, the user can download and stream movies from TV libraries and movie stores. This gives the user the option to view TV shows they might have missed.
  • For gamers looking for live interaction, smart TV acts as a virtual playground for games like Quizmaster. Along with built-in gaming apps, almost every Smart TV can be connected to gaming consoles like Xbox or Playstation. And with the advent of 4K resolution smart TVs, PC gamers can now enjoy an even more refined 4k TV gaming experience.
  • Smart TVs also keep the user updated with informational apps such as Accuweather and Google maps.

Doing Away with Terminology Confusion

If you’re confused about the difference between a 4k TV and a smart TV, or the difference between a smart TV and an LED TV, let us do away with the confusion quickly.

The old TVs used to be cathode ray tubes which were replaced with LCD, then Plasma and then LED TVs. These, in very short are different technologies used in presenting the picture.

Whereas 720 pixels HD, FULL HD, 4K or UHD TVs, etc determine the picture quality of a TV screen and can be based on any of these technologies, the same goes for smart TVs too.

Smart TVs are different from general TVs only in terms of the user interface and internet connectivity and not in terms of the back end technologies.

How Does Smart TV Work?

While the technology used to display the picture can be either LCD, Plasma or LED, smart TVs use open based technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for creating the user interface. The latest smart TV models are running on HTML 5.

With such technology, developers are able to integrate interactive media in smart TVs, run social networking sites and offer personalized communication.

Advantages of Smart TVs

Integrated TV Experience

Smart TVs offer more than just switching on a TV set and sitting on the sofa to watch pre-programmed content.

With smart TVs, you can watch YouTube videos, do video conferencing, compete in online games and check the happenings on social media with the inbuilt component that comes with these TVs.

Smart TV owners can also stream online movies from apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and CinemaNow.

Highly Interactive

Smart TVs are manufactured in a way that they “communicate” with the viewer. For example, they can suggest to the viewer what movies or TV shows are popular based on what friends are watching.

Convenience

Smart TV viewers have the convenience of connecting and managing all their online activity from one spot.

Disadvantages of Smart TVs

Security

Due to their online connectivity, smart TVs are potentially exposed to hackers and malware. There have been suggestions that smart TVs be installed with firewalls to minimize hacking and infiltration of malware.

Privacy

Just like in the case of accessing the internet on a computer or a laptop, another concern with the use of smart TVs is the interference with the viewers’ personal privacy.

Concerns have been raised about the possibilities of spying through the cameras that come with these TVs. Loss of personal data is also another possible drawback. Since viewers use smart TVs to access their social networking sites, the users’ sensitive information such as passwords may also be at risk.

With internet connectivity and social interaction at the core of smart TVs, there are more chances that your content preferences be known to friends and others.

App Repetitions

Most of the social media apps that come with smart TVs are already on our smartphones.

It is much easier to access some of these apps on smartphones rather than smart TVs due to typing restrictions on smart TVs. Typing is available using the remote as a default feature, which can be very tasking unless you connect an external keyboard. A

Also, many of these apps are personal in nature where you might not want everyone to see your information on a big screen, for example, your Facebook timeline or email.

Come with Pre-installed Apps

Most of the smart TVs come with pre-installed apps. Some do not offer the option of updating the apps or adding new ones. That means the viewer will be stuck with the same apps until they decide to buy another smart TV.

Brands that Offer Smart TVs

The major companies that make smart TVs include LG, Panasonic, Toshiba, Vizio, Hisense, Samsung and Sony amongst others. Each brand has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Which Smart TV to Buy?

Samsung UE22H5600

Samsung UE22H5600

  • With a full HD1080p, this smart TV offers clear, crisp and amazing photos.
  • The processor is quad core, which allows faster processing of information.
  • 22 inch screen
  • Built in WiFi technology
  • Comes with the Samsung Smart Hub that offers instant access to video on demand games and catch up TV
Samsung 2020 32 INCH T4300 HD Smart TV
  • Key Features Crystal clear picture Enjoy vibrant colours with the Samsung UE32T4300AKXXU 32" Smart HD Ready HDR LED TV. Its contrast enhancement and PurColour features give more depth and colour contrast to what you're watching – creating brighter whites and truer blacks.
  • Stream amazing content Enjoy great content from Apple TV, BT Sport, Netflix, Disney+, and more without needing to plug in a smart stick. You'll find an incredible array of new movies, action-packed dramas, sport and more all in one place and at the touch of a button. Works with your smart home Works with Alexa, Bixby & Google Assistant speakers
  • Smartphone app: SmartThings Screen mirroring: Yes Smart TV services: - Catch up TV: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5 - Streaming: Netflix, Prime Video, BritBox, Disney+, Rakuten, Apple TV+, NOW TV - App store: Samsung TV App Store - Custom homepage - Full internet browser - Social media: YouTube, YouTube Kids - Gaming apps Please note: Some services are only available in the UK
  • Box contents: - Samsung UE32T4300AKXXU 32" Smart HD Ready LED TV - Remote control - Batteries - User manual - E-manual - Power cable Dimensions: - TV: 438 x 737.4 x 74.1 mm (H x W x D) - TV with stand: 465.4 x 737.4 x 150.5 mm (H x W x D) - Boxed: 500 x 879 x 127 mm (H x W x D) Weight: - TV: 4 kg - TV with stand: 4.1 kg - Boxed: 5.8 kg Guarantee: 1 year


Samsung 48J5500

Samsung J5500

  • 48 inch Smart TV with live streaming functionality and web browsing
  • Fast processing and access to favourite content
  • Color Enhancer Plus for personalized viewing experience
  • Enjoy a wide variety of channels with Freeview HD
  • Full HD 1080p – 300 PQI providing excellent picture quality

 


LG 42LF652V Smart 42 Inch TV

LG 42LF652V Smart 42 Inch TV

  • 42 inch smart TV with built in WiFi technology
  • WebOS
  • High resolution Full HD offering clear and quality photos and videos
  • The speaker system is multi channelled providing excellent sound quality

 

LG 42LF652V Smart 42 Inch TV with webOS
  • Ultra HD 4K streaming with 4K upscaler
  • IPS 4K panel with magic remote
  • Ultra clarity index
  • Ribbon plate stand
  • German (Publication Language)


Sony KDL-32W705C Smart Full HD