In today’s world, having a smart TV is no longer a luxury but a necessity. There are certain functions that smart TVs can do which have made them all the rage. The allure of owning a smart TV driven by its ability to perform multiple functions like accessing the internet, accommodating built-in apps, and supporting browsers. However, not all smart TVs are made equal. If you’re in the market for one, there are certain features that you should always look for to ensure that you get value for your money.
Here are the factors to consider when buying a smart TV.
Picking the right operating system is the most important part of buying a smart TV. After all, it’s called a smart TV and you need to make sure that it is, indeed, smart. Smart TVs run on different operating systems that offer different functions. Some offer more choices of apps, some have better interfaces and user experience and others are more compatible with third-party devices.
Roku and Android TV are the most common operating systems for a smart TV. When you go to buy a TV, your electronics dealer will most likely ask you whether you want an Android TV which is the most popular one. it offers a great user experience and more customization features compared to others. It also comes with a voice control feature and supports Google Assistant and Alexa.
2. HDMI and other connection ports
Before buying a smart TV, it is prudent to take stock of electronic devices in your household that you might need to connect to the TV. Make sure that the smart TV has the necessary ports to accommodate your devices. Every smart TV comes with a number of connectivity ports. One of the most important ones is the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port.
This port helps connect your smart TV to other devices such as a laptop, gaming console, and speakers. There are different types of HDMI ports and most smart TVs come with standard HDMI 2.0 or 2.1 ports. However, it’s important to check before buying a TV. Smart TVs also come with other connection ports such as USB ports, an S-video port and a VGA port which you should always check for.
3. HDR compatibility
High-dynamic-range television (HDR or HDR-TV) is a technology that improves the quality of display signals. HDR compatibility can significantly improve your watching experience. It is contrasted with the retroactively-named standard dynamic range (SDR). HDR changes the way the luminance and colors of videos and images are represented in the signal, and allows brighter and more detailed highlight representation, darker and more-detailed shadows, and a wider array of more intense colors.
HDR allows compatible displays to receive a higher quality image source. It increases a picture’s dynamic range and adds more depth to the scene. There are different kinds of HDR technology such as Advanced HDR by Technicolor, Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HDR10+. Most smart TVs will either support Dolby Vision or HDR10 since they’re the most common in the market.
Dolby Vision is by far the most advanced of them all providing 12-bit color depth and up to 10,000 nits of peak brightness. Sony and Hisense are the most popular TVs that use Dolby Vision whereas Samsung TVs support HDR10+. It’s important to check your smart TV’s HDR compatibility since some streaming sites provide HDR content and support certain formats. For instance, Netflix supports HDR and Dolby Vision formats.
Smart TV display options can feel overwhelming. In most cases, we don’t even know what they mean and the electronics salesperson bombards you with jargon and tries to pressure you to buy the most expensive one even when you don’t need it. Don’t buy a TV with less than 4K resolution. Whether you enjoy watching TV or not, 4K resolution makes such a huge difference to the image quality that you simply need it. Additionally, there are many affordable 4K TV brands in the market right now, so you don’t have an excuse.
For those who are keen on their watching experience, you can invest in a QLED TV. This is one of the most recent display technologies and has instantly reigned supreme. Companies like Samsung, Hisense and TCL have introduced QLED TVs to the market which have been well received. However, the only downside of QLED TVs is their high price point but if you can afford it, it’s definitely worth the money.
5. Sound quality
It is not uncommon to purchase a smart TV and later realize that it has poor sound quality once it is mounted. Therefore, it is necessary to test the smart TV before completing a purchase. Once you do this, it will be even easier to determine if you need to buy a sound bar or an extra speaker.
6. Screen size
The most obvious spec that we all look for in a smart TV is the screen size. It has also been the biggest selling point for most manufacturers. Different TV manufacturers compete to come up with the largest and most awe-inspiring screen. It’s important to keep the size of the room in mind while picking the size of the TV. A large screen in a small room can not only eat up a lot of valuable space but also it can damage your eyes.
7. Streaming services
One of the selling points of smart TVs is their ability to support streaming. It should be noted that streaming capability is largely dependent on the brand. Before making a purchase, make sure that you test if your smart TV supports your preferred streaming services.
If you plan to mount your TV on the wall, make sure you buy one of the larger sizes, mostly 43 inches and above. This is because the positioning of the TV against the wall and its distance from the sitting area can make a smaller-sized TV uncomfortable to watch, straining the eyes of the viewers.