Should you be in the market for a smart TV today, you have no shortage of options. From renowned brands like Sony and Samsung to rather obscure ones like Vitron and EEFA, there is something for everyone. But which one is the right TV for you?
There are so many things to look at while shopping for and deciding on a smart TV and price and TV screen size are right up there but should these not be a huge issue or should you still have options on the table even after factoring in these options, here are some things to bear in mind.
OEM or Brand of the TV
Cheap is expensive. This applies to the TV market fully. The law of diminishing returns also applies. This means that spending the bare minimum on a TV gets you exactly what you pay for with the associated build-quality issues and lackluster operating systems and performance.
Also, spending tons of money on a TV does not guarantee the absolute best experience. As such, there is a often sweet, happy medium, and various TV brands are known to deliver value for money, others deliver top quality while others are straight-up overpriced.
Before selecting a TV, find out your needs and requirements and look across the various OEMs and their offers to find something that tickles your fancy and checks your boxes. Also look into the build quality, reputation of the brand, local support in terms of service centers, and read reviews on the internet from persons that already own said products.
Age and Version of the Operating System
Just like in the smartphone world, you don’t want to buy a device that’s several generations old. This is because tech moves fast and you risk not being able to take advantage of features that are exclusive to newer TVs with better capabilities.
Of course, you don’t expect to buy and update your TV every year and these TV OEMs know this. As such, you’ll be okay getting the very latest model or the previous generation because oftentimes, these year-old devices see a decent price cut once a new version is launched.
Closely related to the age of the TV and the Android version is the processor. Admittedly, TV specs don’t usually lay as much emphasis on the processor as say smartphones or even PCs would because you don’t really need a super capable chip to run things on the TV.
However, having a fairly capable CPU in your TV ensures that your experience doesn’t degrade rapidly over the years that you’ll be owning and using the TV. A good illustration is to check out the difference between Smart TVs from just a few years ago and current models and feel the difference in speed and snappiness.
Unless you want to install and play games on your TV, you really don’t need tons of storage. Even then, most TVs come with between 8 and 16 GB of internal storage. This is enough to install your must-have streaming apps and services and a little more.
To be safe, try to max out the internal storage as far as your budget allows. This ensures you don’t get into a situation a few months in where you have to uninstall important apps just to install other apps. luckily, most Smart TVs will have USB ports to expand your storage or play external media from pen drives or external Hard drives.
Software running on it
The Smart TV market is fragmented in terms of operating systems, a little more than any other market. Of course, there are the big players like Google TV and Android TV, and Apple TV but these aren’t the only ones.
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We have covered Roku as a platform extensively and there are still other platforms like Amazon’s Fire TV, VIDAA OS, Tizen, and many more. While these systems are Smart, your selection of apps and even the smartness might vary widely.
While we’d recommend you stick to mainstream offers like Google TV, you might want to do your due diligence while shopping for your next smart TV and find out that the app you really need to have on your TV is available on the said Smart TV OS.
True, many of these Smart TV OS are supported by their respective companies, and should you run into issues, these should be your go-to. But this support is often limited to a number of years and for a lifetime of use, you will find yourself relying on the community for support.
As such, it is important that while shopping for a smart TV to pick a TV OS that has a robust community forum where users are able to discuss issues and share workarounds to said troubles. Android TV and Apple TV obviously have robust platforms and dedicated community support, and so do ROKU and a few other platforms.
There is no method to the madness that is shopping for any electronic and the sheer number of options in the market does complicate the situation even more but this also means that you’ll probably get exactly what is right for you.
Of course, these aren’t the only things to look out for so we’d love to hear from you. What do you look out for when shopping for a Smart TV?