There’s nothing quite like watching good TV, and there’s nothing quite like owning a good TV to watch it on! Almost every household in the world has a TV set – that beautiful box in the corner which pumps drama, comedy, action, films, sports coverage and news into our lives.
The TV is often the hub of family time together. So because you’ll be spending so much time in front of it, it’s important to get the best you can for your budget. Smart TVs are the smart choice. Televisions which are designed to do more than just kick out the latest goings on in Albert Square or the latest contentious VAR decision!
But how do you go about picking the best smart TV for you? In this brief ‘beginners guide’ blog, we hope to answer that for you, and set you on your way with a few pointers so that when you browse our website and make your choice, you’re fully armed with the facts.
What exactly IS a Smart TV?
In short, a smart TV is a high quality standard television set, but with the addition of an interactive interface coupled with internet connectivity. So if you buy a smart TV you will have easy access to on-demand online services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and more. More advanced smart televisions usually also have a range of apps, and may even include full web browsing capability (like that found on your PC or laptop). Smart TVs have become pretty standard in your average households over the last decade, as the ‘digital age’ has advanced.
What do I need to think about when I’m buying a smart TV?
Well, “Don’t panic!” is our first bit of advice. Just like when you’re buying more or less any new bit of tech these days, you’ll be confronted by acronyms when you’re browsing your smart TV choices. But there are basically only two options for TVs: LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode).
LCDs, which illuminate pixels using a central lamp, are usually the most cost-effective type of TV to buy. The picture quality is improving exponentially as manufacturers continuously step up the quality, with advances such as ‘quantum dots’, which add more colours and brightness. But OLEDs will almost certainly always have the better picture —they offer a level of precision and control over colour and contrast far better than any current standard LED system. But there will also probably always be a higher price for OLED, too.
Full HD (otherwise known as 1080p) was the TV standard for a while. With 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically there were around two million pixels visible per frame. But 4K offers TV viewers a 400% increase in quality, as the picture is made up of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. That is an incredible amount of resolution per picture. So, as you’d expect, with approximately four times as many pixels as a regular Full HD picture, the 4K specifications make for an absolutely cutting-edge TV viewing experience.
HDR and refresh rate
Okay, so we’re bundling up two considerations into one paragraph here. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range which, if your set has it, means that the TV can show a greater range of colours than older models. Consequently pictures look deeper and more detailed. Refresh rate does what it says on the tin. It’s the rate at which your TV’s picture refreshes. Basically, the higher the refresh rate the better your viewing will be. No more blurry action shots, for start!
Smart TV capability
So the TV side of things is taken care of… but what about the smart side? As we’ve said earlier, a smart TV is an internet-connected television which offers a range of online access – such as on-demand content from BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub, and access to TV streaming channels like Netflix. Some models also have a suite of apps, meaning that the potential for checking your social media or doing an internet search on the big screen is there. Some smart TVs can also connect to other devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Most new TVs being made these days are smart, so there are plenty to choose from. It’s worth thinking seriously about your requirements and your lifestyle, and approaching your choice of smart TV from that angle. Ebuyer stocks a great range of TVs including many smart TVs, and so you’ll be able to find something high-end if that’s your bag, or something more suited to your modest budget.