Millions of smart TVs, set-top boxes with the ability to access the Internet, have already been shipped to customers around the world. Access to various streaming apps and other features directly through the television, via a high-speed Internet connection, is one of the key perks of owning a smart TV. Sales of these hybrid screens worldwide has been so successful that the latest report from MarketsandMarkets predicted unit shipments worldwide to jump all the way from 64 million in 2011 to 153 billion by 2016.
“Take the time to research the smart TVs that are worth the investment.”
Not all smart televisions are built equal. Selecting the right device is critical if you want to get the most out of the service bundle you got from your local cable and Internet provider. It’s worth a bit of extra time to decide if smart TVs are worth the investment and, if so, which model is the right one for your home.
Top manufacturer options to consider
Smart TVs are designed to act as the central entertainment hub of your living room. It makes sense to invest in a television capable of streaming all of the content you are currently paying for in the living room. Not all smart televisions come equipped with access to the same entertainment, so it pays to do your due diligence in evaluating which set can stream which types of content.
A review of popular smart screens by Digital Trends points toward LG and Samsung as the brands customers prioritize during their search. LG’s crisp, 4K UHD televisions are seeing price drops on a regular basis, meaning the clearest picture available on a smart TV is becoming increasingly accessible to consumers across the globe. Those looking for a bit more of a modest investment but don’t want to skimp on performance should check out LG’s 55-inch HDTV, which now retails at around $700.
Samsung’s HD and UHD 4K options come in at a close second. Their massive selection of apps and streamlined interface are an attractive option for those consumers to the smart TV party. Digital Trends also ranked Sony and Vizio as two of the better smart TV manufacturers on the market. These brands are great choices if high-end options from Samsung and LG are just out of your price range.
New and improved smart TV technology around the corner
One issue that repeatedly slows the adoption of new technology is a discrepancy between market and manufacturer buy-in. Without a demonstrable market for smart TVs, manufacturers are hesitant to roll out new smart TV platforms. On the other hand, lack of available hardware stifles choices and makes it difficult to motivate consumers to try out expensive new technology. One side must break before the technology can move forward. Thankfully, it appears that manufacturers have already begun integrating smart TV features into their products with greater regularity, signaling a shift in the market.
Sony is interested in distinguishing itself from its rivals, noted Adweek, by turning its platform of smart TVs into an online shopping center. The remote controlled interface makes it a breeze to point and click your way to browsing the latest digital downloads and various items from retailers like Overstock.
Manufacturer Mitashi is currently working on a smartphone that runs on an Android operating system. Such an advancement would help to improve the profile of several smart TV products and also make it easier for you to operate the home via your smartphone.