Simple smart TV - the basics

A smart TV is an internet-connected television that offers a range of online features, such as on-demand content from apps like BBC iPlayer and 4OD, access to streaming services like Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime video.

In smart TVs, the software is pre-loaded and your television will have a user interface that is more like a computer than an old style TV guide.

A smart TV has 5 main functions:

  1. Access to TV content streamed via the internet;
  2. Freedom to watch programmes as and when you choose;
  3. To surf the internet on your TV;
  4. To use Apps like you would your smart phone;
  5. Plug in USB or storage devices to show movies and photos or access content stored in the cloud.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. A reasonably fast broadband connection;
  2. An unlimited data broadband package;
  3. A TV licence for BBC iPlayer.

There aren’t many TVs that aren’t smart these days so rather than should I or shouldn’t I, the choice is really which one:

1. Samsung Tizen

Easy to use and easy to get around this is a solid smart TV;

2. LG Web OS

A customisable launcher bar at the bottom makes this easy and quick to use and some higher models come with a ‘magic’ remote that works like a mouse pointer.  A fun walk through of set up makes the whole process reasonably painless.

3. Sony Android TV (powered by Google)

Not as easy to use as Samsung or LG but lots of potential for apps outside of TV functionality.  YouView guide works well for catch up TV content.

4. Panasonic (powered by Firefox)

Freeview Play allows you to scroll back over the guide to previous days to watch shows you may have missed.  A little clunky to use compared to Samsung and LG.

Choosing the right platform is worth taking time.  Getting your hands on the remote and seeing which you like is a good idea.  However, it shouldn’t make or break your buying decision over the quality of the picture in my opinion.

Many never use smart functionality due to being unsure of how to install it and use it.  I hope you will be presently surprised how this functionality can really free up your viewing and provide access to new shows when YOU want it.