Best smart TVs

About The Author

CNET Editor

Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury

If you're looking to buy a new TV, then a feature that should be high on your list of your considerations is connected or "smart TV".

A smart TV is a television that gives you access to a whole range of entertainment options via the internet. These include catch-up TV, video-on-demand, music streaming and web browsing. Of course, no "smart" device would be complete without downloadable apps.

While at present there are only two manufacturers with Smart TV branding — Samsung and LG — we quietly predict that next year every one of the "Big Four" will be using it.

Our pick of the current crop of smart TVs is LG for the highly intuitive, and also additive, Magic Motion remote. It enables you to use your remote like a mouse and makes navigating menus and web pages tremendously easy. We'll also give props to Samsung's D8000 plasma for the inclusion of the compact QWERTY remote, which simplifies text input in some, but not all, of the TV's apps.

Here is a list of the best smart TVs we've tested so far, and we'll be adding more in the near future.


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kevinT posted a comment   
United States

We recently bought a Samsung (http://best-gear.org/samsung-46-inch-1080p-240hz-3d-led-hdtv-silver-un46d8000/) and we are very happy with it.

We got a 60% discoutn on Amazon

 

blessie posted a comment   
Australia

Bought LG plasma for $2800 and it just died before our eyes after 1 year and 2 weeks, past the warranty and no extended warranty. The LG customer service people weren't helpful nor sympathetic of our predicament at that time. Same experience as my brother in law. For our family, LG TV is one brand we will never ever buy again. Waste of money and caused a lot of grief.

 

CampbellS posted a reply   

Yeah , agree about 1 year warranty.

TVs designed in the 70's and early 80's still going now built to last. TV's and other appliances made now designed to fail after warranty so to keep consumers buying.Disgrace.

 

KylieL posted a reply   
Australia

Dying just after warranty means nothing, ring Dept fair teading as you are covered under the Australian Consumer Warrenty!!!! They have to honour the warranty, plain

 

diggings posted a comment   
Australia

Oh, did I omit to mention that the set comes without instructions for inputting text via the remote, when on the Net. One small delight is that passwords are not displayed, so one has no idea if the correct password has been input!

Apart from the Smart Hub hassles, it's still a great tv.

C'mon,l Samsung, take a leaf out of LG's book and include an extra remote that makes inputting much simpler!
CHEERS
NOEL
PS I did take my medication this morning.

 

diggings posted a comment   
Australia

it's a great television, spoilt by the Smart Hub's inability to allow an external full-size keyboard. And if ever there was a product designed to drive users out of their tree - this is it! It simply isn't consistent in the method of using it; perhaps I should enlist the aid of a surplus nine-year-old to teach me.

I'm not alone in the angst this gadget causes - and, hey, I've been around computers and electronic stuff for yonks. If you think this is just the ranting of an old fool, suggest your read one or two, internet forums on this tv.

Samsung has available a remote with QWERTY keyboard on the other side, but it seems the keys are very small, and who could trust it, after what Smart Hub offers. It seems to list at $149.

CHEERS
NOEL

 

idiotphone4lover posted a comment   
Australia

Deep Blacks, Shadow Details, and Local Zone Dimming: Traditionally, plasma TVs have offered superior blacks and deep grays areas where LCD TVs claim to have caught up thanks to LED backlighting systems with local zone dimming. And sure enough, those technical advancements have made LCD TVs better. But does that mean LCD TVs are now as good as (or better than) plasma TVs?

When it comes to reproducing pure black test panels the best LCD TVs can perform well, but when it comes to reproducing blacks, deep grays, or fine gradations of color or shadow detail in real-world movies or TV programs, I think plasmas still enjoy significant advantages.

Remember that in order to improve black and deep gray performance, todays best LCD TVs use LED backlighting systems with local zone dimming where the screen is divided up into a grid of illumination zones, with each zone providing backlighting for literally thousands of pixels. When a region of the screen is, on average, relatively dark, illumination for the zone can be turned down, and vice versa, but that does not mean illumination is precisely right for each pixel within the zone.

In a plasma TV, however, each pixel is effectively its own illumination zone, emitting precisely the right amount of light. When it comes to accurately rendering continuous, fine gradations of color or shadow detail, which would you rather have a set that offers a handful of backlighting illumination-zones (LCD TVs) or one that offers 2,073,600 self-illuminated pixels (plasma TVs)? Advantage Plasma.
(TAS)

LCD displays has been around since the 1980s on laptops. Boneheads

No one makes real LED TVs, only TFT LCD with LED backlight TVs.

Plasma is newer technology than LCD.

Be Smart when you buy a TV:
Do not buy a very thin TV, as thin TV's have a THIN SOUND.
Do not buy TV with plastic screen, as it WILL SCRATCH.
Do not buy a TV based on the looks of the box, look at the PICTURE QUALITY ONLY.
Do not buy a TV that has hyped up colours, FAKE RED TAN SKIN or EGG SHELL SKIN.
Do not buy TV based on internet applications, if you have SLOW or LIMITED INTERNET CONNECTION PLANS.
Do not buy a TV if you cannot use blue filter to adjust colours, FILTER ONLY WORKS WITH CRT or PLASMA.
Do not buy TV with hyped up remote control, as this WILL BREAK and COST a FORTUNE to REPLACE.




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