It’s easy to look for the smart TV with the best display panel or the loudest speakers, but those aren’t necessarily classified as operation features. Sure, better visuals are always welcome, but you might be disappointed if it lacks “true” features. For example, an 86-inch OLED system won’t do you any good if it doesn’t have any HDMI ports or speaker connections.
With that in mind, there is a checklist you can use to determine which TV is best suited for you.
Features to consider
Remember that the TV with the most features isn’t always the right one, and you need to be sure that you’ll at least use most of them for the TV to be worth your money. Still, there are many features that go into a great smart TV, though which ones you’ll need depends on your setup.
Starting with the basics, consider how many external devices you have that need to connect to the TV. HDMI is the most common input source and is used by all video game consoles, home theater systems and streaming devices. If you don’t want to swap cables around when changing the source, look for a TV that has the same amount of HDMI ports as you have devices.
That’s the hardware side of things, but software also contributes to quality. Many smart TVs feature high dynamic range, which improves the contrast between very dark and light areas on the screen. Taking that a step further, some high-end TVs feature Dolby Vision, which adds greater depth, contrast and more colors to content.
You might seek out a 4K TV that uses these features, but it doesn’t have to be limited to 4K content. A great additional feature to have is upscaling. The software manipulates any content that’s at a lower resolution and fills in the pixel gaps to upscale it to 4K. This lets you enjoy any films or videos at a much higher quality.
Coupled with the visuals, the audio can play a huge role in your enjoyment. The default speakers on large TV are usually good-enough quality for watching sports or general TV shows. However, when it comes to blockbuster films and video games, they aren’t sufficient.
The best solution for this is to look for a TV with an optical audio connection that lets you attach an external speaker source. Tacking on to that, a TV with built-in Bluetooth allows you to stream the audio to any wireless speaker.
But hardware isn’t the only solution to better audio. A great feature to have on a smart TV is Dolby Atmos. It uses the AC-3 lossless audio format to create a theatrical experience by adding height channels, letting sounds be interpreted as three-dimensional objects. In addition to hearing the action horizontally all around you, it creates audio that sounds like it’s coming from above or below you.
Connectivity and streaming
It’s a shame when you have a technologically advanced TV and nothing to watch. But manufacturers have thought about that too, and more models now have built-in Wi-Fi receivers. This lets the TV connect to the internet so you can access most streaming apps.
The best feature to have is an intuitive interface that makes browsing and navigation easy. Most smart TVs use an Android-based operating system, an app store and a remote controller capable of voice recognition. This integrates with virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, letting you automate other things in your home through your TV, such as lights or cameras.
Best smart TVs with the most features
This 75-inch smart TV uses some of the latest technology to give you an excellent viewing experience. The LED display panel can easily handle 4K content, and the a5 Generation 5 AI Processor enhances all aspects. It has several connectivity ports, is equipped with built-in support for virtual assistants and features LG’s Magic Remote.
Sold by Amazon
This smart TV uses Samsung’s Dynamic Crystal technology to give you an excellent viewing experience, as it can convert any content into 4K resolution. It features HDR and built-in voice assistants, and the Motion Xcelerator reduces the instances of motion blur. It has three HDMI ports and an optical audio connection.
Sold by Amazon
For an all-in-one system, this TV is an excellent choice. It has a 75-inch 4K Ultra HD display that features HDR and Dolby Digital Plus, and the Alexa voice assistant is controlled with your voice. It also gives you access to the Amazon app store, where you can download your streaming apps. It has several connectivity ports, and the HDMI eARC lets you add audio equipment for enhanced sound.
Sold by Amazon
This TV is packed with features that are perfect for epic movie nights. The HDR processor enhances the visuals, Triluminos Pro technology ensures perfect color balance and 4K X-Reality Pro software upscales any content to 4K.
Sold by Amazon
This TV’s 50-inch NanoCell display ensures that colors are vivid and vibrant, while its AI processor updates the video and sound quality. It has a dedicated gaming mode that controls motion blur and contrast and is compatible with voice assistants.
Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
- The Samsung 32-inch Class LED Smart TV is great value on a tight budget.
- This Hisense 50-inch ULED U6 Series uses Quantum Dot technology for great visuals.
- With an IQ Picture Processor and V-Gaming Engine, this Vizio 40-inch D-Series smart TV has many features for gamers.
- This LG 27LP600B-P 27-Inch Full HD smart TV features two built-in speakers with Dolby Audio and a refresh rate of 75 hertz.
- The LG QNED80 Series 75-Inch Class QNED uses LG’s AI Processor 4K to convert content to 4K and has built-in FreeSync Premium and Variable Refresh Rate for gaming.
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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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