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How to choose a smart TV

Creative abstract digital multimedia entertainment and media television broadcasting internet business concept: smart TV display screen with color web interface isolated on white background with reflection effect

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In the old days, just getting colour transmission on your TV was enough to put you ahead of the game. But things aren’t so simple any more. Nowadays, size, shape and definition are just the start of choosing a TV.

The next step in the evolution of home entertainment is the smart TV.

Smart TVs combine the best of television, the Internet and your favourite mobile device to give you the ultimate entertainment hub.

Need help picking a smart TV that is best for you? Check out these tips.

Why do you want a smart TV?

This is probably the most important part of making your choice. The rise of streaming services in Australia such as Netflix and Stan have made owning a smart TV even more appealing. These types of subscription services are accessible on most new smart TVs, making that one less thing you have to worry about when choosing your device.

samsung

source: samsung.com

But that is not the case for other apps. This includes the “on demand” apps that allow you to catch up on past series from certain broadcasters. Not all smart TVs have the same licensing agreements and compatibility. Many apps have exclusive contracts with TV companies so they are only available on their models. Make sure the smart TV you’re considering can provide the specific programs you want to watch.

Prospective smart TV buyers might also be looking forward to browsing the internet on their set. Some models make this easier than others. Give the Internet a spin on whichever smart TV you’re considering before buying, if you think this is a feature you’ll use regularly.

Interface
People often choose electronics, such as mobile phones and tablets, based on feel – that is, how easy it is to navigate the menu. Choosing a smart TV isn’t that different.

Is it easy to scroll through options? Is it intuitive to use the new features and apps? The importance of these aspects is amplified if you are planning to use these smart TV extras often.

The level of personalisation on offer differs from company to company. Some have a standard app screen to cycle through. Others allow for multiple profiles for different users. Explore the options available on several models to see what you’re most comfortable with.

howtogeek

source: howtogeek.com

Traditional aspects still matter

The shiny, new features of smart TVs are what make them so irresistible. But it’s also worth considering the more traditional aspects of large electronics. Size and definition are still two of the most important factors when choosing a smart TV. Taking into account placement in your home and the TV’s interaction with natural light will help you get the most out your new toy.

Happy shopping!

What features are you most excited for on your new smart TV? Let us know in the comments below.

13 comments

  1. len Stewart says:

    I’m considering Fetch TV and need to know if the present major interference I experience on the ABC channel will continue with Fetch TV as it appears I still need to receive a signal through my external antenna even with Fetch TV.

    • Amy Pearce says:

      Free-To-Air channels do still need an antenna to work, the difference is, you plug the aerial into the Fetch box and the Fetch box into the TV.
      If you have poor TV signal now, a set-top-box won’t change it unfortunately.

      You can watch ABC iView through the iiNet TV with Fetch package – read more here: http://www.iinet.net.au/tv/fetchtv/features

      – Amy

  2. L. West says:

    If you want to be able to use IPTV you will need an Ethernet connection to your router. Otherwise the Wi-Fi will become saturated or the video will start and stop.

  3. Julie says:

    What sort of cabling is required for a smart TV? Any special requirements which we need to consider?

    • Christian Polson-Brown says:

      Hi Julie,

      No special cabling is required for most smart TVs. They connect via a power cable same as usual, then typically connect to the internet via Wifi.

      – Christian

  4. Wal says:

    I’ll chime un on the FetchTV.. I would suggest that your reception will not be as good as it is through your TV today, my experience has been that Channel 10 is borderline in my area and the Fetch TV has much more trouble with the reception than the TV, so I end up not being able to watch or record much from that channel (or the associated digital channels in that reception band ie 11 etc) through the Fetch. Of course that doesn’t matter much if you only use the Fetch for Netflix and iview etc.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I suggest ringing iiNet support, ring in the early morning to get the best help, usually from overseas. Make sure the
    technician speaks clearly and you understand the instructions and explain clearly your problems I have found them excellent and patient and have put in Fetch and wifi and other things on their instructions only and I’m in my seventies.
    If you have aerial difficulties possibly you need a ‘a new modem’ or wifi options..or something is obstructing your
    direct connection. I have Fetch and occasionally my ABC
    channel waivers and wobbles it could be a bird on the line outside, witch happens on mine or the positioning of the set top box a minor adjustment…..good luck T Salehian

  6. Lorraine says:

    I’m just in to process of looking to buy a smart tv but need to ensure it also has Freeview plus, any recommendations?

  7. Ian McKenzie says:

    It is well worth doing research before purchasing–we bought an LG smart TV in Nov 2014; had a lot of trouble getting ABC iview, solved by a couple of reboots, and also can’t get Ch 7 streaming service because the computer within the smart TV won’t let us download Adobe Flash, which is a pre-requisite for getting the service. Samsung seems better, the best I can say about LG is that they couldn’t care less!!

  8. irina burgess says:

    Like Ian, I too bought an LG Smart TV in Nov 2014 and have also had issues getting ABC iview so I wouldn’t recommend buying an LG Smart TV. Plus the sound isn’t that clear.

  9. Ian Westrip says:

    My smart Samsung tv will connect to the modem but will not connect to iinet? Why is this so?
    Do i need a cable connection or is their some other reason?

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Ian,

      This is a bit of a tricky one, as we’d refer you to Samsung. You may need to try a direct connection, but if you’re using Wi-Fi, logging into the modem and checking the WEi-Fi settings may show if the TV is detected.

      – Leo

  10. Tony says:

    We bought an LG 60 inch Smart TV in early 2013, and within 1-2 years lost the ability to get ABC iview. I would steer clear of LG in future.

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