Choose a Smart TV it is not always an easy task. In the middle of 2021, it is rare to find televisions of medium ranges, and even medium-low, that do not obey this new modality, since they have been a common product for a few years and their popularity is increasing.
This type of televisions, compared to the normal ones, it has an internet connection, mainly. But, if you don’t know what a Smart TV is, what exactly does this mean?
What is Smart TV and what does it allow?
Smart TV technology, in Spanish, can be translated as “smart TV”. This term refers to the fact that it has an internet connection – in some cases even some Artificial Intelligence with which to interact – and is designed to provide many more services than cable / antenna television.
This, by itself, already implies a series of advantages, such as that the connection can depend only on the television. But these devices do not stop there, but have, as standard, several streaming applications. That is to say, combine traditional television and new formats.
The most common apps with which there is compatibility, and they even come already installed by themselves, are Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and even Twitch or HBO. In addition, many Smart TVs also allow:
- Mobile connection. Many of these televisions have the option of connecting the TV directly to the mobile. Either through screen mirror –That the mobile screen is reproduced on the television– or by applications such as YouTube that give the option to “send” the player to the TV.
- Voice or gestures. Some of these televisions give the option of interacting with them directly with the voice or with certain gestures, similar to what it would be to have a smart speaker.
- Connection with other devices. Depending on the operating system, some Smart TVs can connect to other smart devices such as the aforementioned speakers such as Alexa.
- Camera. Although it may seem a bit uncomfortable to have a webcam on the television, some have one to make video calls directly from the living room.
These are some of the uses that can be given to a Smart TV. Depending on the model, this may vary since, the higher the budget, the more options they usually bring.
We must also bear in mind that, if our television is a traditional one without an internet connection but with an HDMI port, there are TV Boxes; devices like Apple TV, Chromecast or Amazon Stick, which turn any television into a Smart TV.
What does each Smart TV use
What differentiates some Smart TV models from others? Leaving aside the aspects that can vary depending on the budget – such as resolution and inches – the main difference lies in the operating system. As in a computer or a mobile, each TV has a specific operating system that has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s review the main ones.
Manufacturers: Sony, Toshiba, Hisense, TCL, Thomson, Iris, B&O, Jaier, LeEco, Philips, among others.
Android TV is one of the most widespread operating systems among some of the most recognized brands of televisions, such as Sony or Philips. This system has the usual options in Android devices: compatibility with Google Assistant, access to Google Apps or support with Chromecast or Google Nest.
The biggest drawback of Android TV is that, compared to others, the interface can seem somewhat ugly.
Note: There is a variant of Android TV that is AOSP (Android Open Source Project). It is an open source version of this software that allows manufacturers to create their own Android TV layer. Within this group is: Amazon Fire TV, Oneplus, Xiaomi, Vu TV, among others.
Tizen is one of the most attractive operating systems when it comes to Smart TV. It is an OS created from Linux by Samsung and that is present in other devices such as Blu-Ray readers.
It is a system with very good performance and that includes most of the applications that one expects on a television: YouTube, Twitch, Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO, among others. In addition to having an app store to expand this catalog.
WebOS is to LG what Tizen is to Samsung: it is the Korean brand’s own operating system. Its main asset is its interface, since it is very visually attractive, clean and very intuitive. But when it comes to applications, it may lag behind Android TV or even in comparison to Tizen OS, although the main apps such as Netflix, HBO or Spotify are not lacking.
In addition, LG has licensed this operating system, so it is likely that it will evolve in the future or even other manufacturers will start using it.
My Home Screen is the evolution of Firefox OS that sells its performance as its main attraction, since it consumes fewer resources than other operating systems. Of course, although it has access to the main streaming applications, outside of them it offers very few options.
Ever since Huawei had to ditch Android, it has been working on its own operating system for all its devices: Harmony OS. It is a Linux-based system that was released for your mobiles first.
Harmony OS has nothing to envy in terms of performance or interface with other operating systems, but its biggest problem is that it cannot use any Google service.
Although some Philips models have Android TV, others have SAPHI, Philips’ operating system. In some models, you can even choose which OS to install on the Smart TV.
So far, it is one more option for these users and, compared to Android TV, it improves the interface and performance. But you can lose in a variety of applications.
We recommend three models
After reviewing the main features of Smart TVs and what operating systems exist, what are the best options when buying one? At ConsumoClaro we recommend some alternatives for less than 350 euros.
The first recommendation is a 32 “(inch) Smart TV from Samsung, whose price varies between 233 and 200 euros, depending on whether it is on sale or not. It is a very good option to make the “leap” to smart televisions or, simply, to change the one we already have for little money.
It has an HD resolution, with HDR and PurColor and Ultra Clean View technologies. So, despite having a somewhat low resolution compared to other similar models, the image quality is very good.
Hisense is a Chinese brand that must be taken into account when looking for a quality-price television. The 43 “43AE7000F model is one of the best televisions, if not the best, if we are looking for a powerful Smart TV, with high resolution and at a low price: 339 euros.
This Hisense TV has 4K resolution, which alone should be a huge draw for some people by now. In addition, it has HDR10 and Dolby certified sound and compatibility with Alexa.
In addition, you can still get the 2019 model – which loses compatibility with Alexa, HDR10 and Ultra Dimming – for 329 euros (see more offers), so the price can also be adjusted a bit.
What if we look for a very cheap smart TV? For 159 euros (see more offers), Samsung has a 24 “model that can be perfect for rooms smaller than the living room such as the kitchen or bedroom.
It has HD and HDR resolution, in addition to PurColor technology. Which makes it a very good option for those who are only looking for a small Smart TV and for very little money.
* ConsumptionClaro’s team of journalists and experts rigorously and independently recommend products and services to our readers. Every time you buy through some links added to this text, eldiario.es receives a commission.
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