Buying the ideal smart TV can be a challenge because of the wide variety of technologies being used in television sets today. Brands such as Samsung, LG, TCL, Sony, Philips, and AOC, among others, offer models that promise different features and features that go beyond the picture quality itself.
The user also needs to be aware of factors such as operating system, image refresh rate, integration with other services, and much more. With this in mind, Techidence has prepared a list of factors that the consumer should take into account when choosing the best smart TV for their home.
Full HD, 4K or 8K
The main criterion in the search for a new TV is the relationship between screen size and resolution since this characteristic ends up defining the price of the product. Currently, Full HD TVs (1920 x 1080 pixels) are more restricted to entry-level models and with smaller screens, going from 32″ to 49 inches. More in the account, these TVs tend to be simpler also in features.
The 4K models (3840 x 2160 pixels), on the other hand, are the most common in the market. There is a great variety of TVs with Ultra HD resolution, going from intermediary screens with 40″ inches to huge panels, of 65″ and beyond.
As 4K TVs are the most demanded, there is a great variety in prices and different levels of technology offered. For a better experience, it is important to be aware of issues such as screen panel type. Also, support for technologies such as HDR and Dolby Vision for picture, and DTS:X and Dolby Atmos for sound can make the difference in content consumption on a smart TV.
Finally, in the premium segment of the market are TVs with 8K resolution screens (7680 x 4320 pixels). Here the offer is reduced to larger screens and much more expensive models from brands such as LG, Samsung, and Sony.
This technical data interests mainly gamers, but may also be relevant for other types of consumers. The refresh rate is the measure of speed – or frequency – at which the screen refreshes per second. The most common value, valid for input TVs and even mid0range models, is 60 Hz, which means that the screen displays up to 60 frames per second.
More expensive TVs, such as models of LG’s OLED and QLED lines from Samsung, can count on displays with double speed, capable of updating 120 times per second (120 Hz). This ensures more fluid images, something fundamental for games and content with many action scenes, for example, where the frames pass faster. However, it is good to remember that, to get the most out of the feature, the console or PC must be capable of generating 120 images per second.
Another relevant point concerns the synchronism with the 240 Hz used by the cinema. 120 Hz screens will perform closer to the experience of watching movies in a movie theater, something much valued by cinephiles.
It is important to remember that, in terms of refresh rate, what matters is the native value of the screen used on the television you are researching. Aware of the importance of the resource, manufacturers tend to create methods that simulate the behavior of 120 Hz displays on 60 Hz televisions with names like “TrueMotion” and “Clear Motion Rate”. Although the approach fixes some aspects and has its advantages, the simulated experience is not the same as the native technology.
HDR and HDR10+
Although the presence of technologies such as HLG and Dolby Vision is interesting on a smart TV, the reality is that HDR, in its different versions, is much more common.
What you should value in terms of HDR is the support for the HDR10+ standard, the most current version of the technology and which represents richer colors and higher quality images, provided that the content is compatible. Simpler versions such as HDR and HDR10 can offer a more uneven usage experience depending on the model, given the discrepancies between different types of screen technology.
Starting your selection process by resolution helps you get an idea of the prices and level of technology you can expect from your new purchase. But having a good idea of the size of the TV is very important.
Too big screens in a small room should cause some discomfort when watching, as well as a very small screen in larger environments, which will limit the perception of the resolution chosen and the technologies that are part of the television. Our guide offers a good perspective on how to get a general idea of the recommended screen size for your space.
Although there are several types of operating systems for televisions, Tizen, Samsung, webOS, LG, and Android TV, Google and present in TCL and Sony TVs, among others, are the best known. However, simpler platforms can be found in several entry-level products.
What you should look for here is the offer of platform apps and the availability of online stores to find these applications. The best-known platforms will guarantee access to apps like Netflix, as well as a multitude of content and resources for your TV. Already simpler and generic alternatives, common on entry-level TVs, can disappoint in the offer and variety of apps available.
The important thing in terms of interfaces is to ensure that your device covers your needs. For greater versatility, the ideal is that the TV has about three HDMI inputs and two USB ports, although low-end models usually sacrifice some inputs.
Another detail is the generation of interfaces. If you want to go after television with specifications to last for many years, the most significant novelty of the moment is the HDMI 2.1. The technology allows videos up to 10K and high rates, important for those who want to enjoy games on the new Playstation 5 (PS5) and Xbox Series X.
Another tip is to be aware of network connectivity: if your TV is 4K, make sure you have an Ethernet port to connect the device directly to the router, since streaming video in this resolution over Wi-Fi can disappoint.
Sound interfaces are also very important. Simpler TV models can bring only optical sound output, while more versatile products will support Bluetooth connectivity and even P2 to connect speakers or headphones via cable.
Smart TVs can provide a wide variety of ways to integrate with your home and other devices. In high-end products, it is possible to perform voice commands and use virtual assistants, making the TV another connected product in the environment, allowing you to interact with lamps, cameras, gates, among other IoT devices.
On a more basic level, it is interesting to keep an eye on what your potential TV offers when distributing content. Having Chromecast built-in, for example, can bypass the limitations of a store and a very simple operating system, since you can simply stream from the phone.
Another detail is that brands tend to integrate their products well: if you have LG’s mobile phone, in general, the manufacturer’s TVs will have more resources added to your smartphone. The same goes for Samsung, which has apps and features that extend the functionality of the television.
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