Smart TVs – What’s all the hype about?

Last week, we saw a lot of hype around smart TVs at CES. But, before you head out to replace all the TVs in your house, let’s dive into what smart TVs are all about and whether or not we need the upgrade.

Smart TVs – What’s all the hype about?
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Whether or not you’ve been keeping up with tech, chances are you’ve already come across a smart TV. As simple as they sound, these TVs streamline entertainment between all the devices we use today. When Samsung launched the first Smart TV way back in 2008, things seemed exciting but there was still that hesitance to accept the new technology. Fast forward a decade and we are talking about bigger and slimmer as well as sharper displays. But the question remains the same – is it worth going for an expensive smart TV just to use it for five hours a day?

So, What is a Smart TV?

Before we get into the details of the latest products we saw at CES 2018, let’s first get to know a little more about smart TVs. A smart TV is one that connects to the internet for using streaming media services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, and more. The advantage is that it can also run entertainment apps, such as on-demand video-rental services, internet music stations, and web browsers. Now, with Amazon Alexa, things are going one step further. With voice-recognition software, your TV integrates into the rest of your smart devices. From controlling your smart home to playing music with Pandora, Alexa gives your smart TV that extra edge to make life even easier.

What Are the Primary Features?

We get a lot of queries from our users about which features a great smart TV should have. This is a very important question and proper research will land you the best TV for your needs. Here’s our list of primary features you should consider:

  1. Size: It does matter and totally depends on your space and the distance from which you’ll be viewing your TV.
  2. Resolution: the number of dots or pixels that make up the screen. The higher the number, the sharper the display.
  3. Display: there are LCDs, LEDs, and OLEDs. The OLEDs are the most expensive because their backlight system gives them a sharper response and better contrast. But, if you’re strict on budget, LEDs are the next best thing.
  4. Software: While brands like Samsung, LG, and Panasonic have their own built-in smart TV software, Sony features Android TV while TCL relies on Roku.
  5. Security: When any device in the tech world is classed as ‘smart,’ you need to consider its security. Theoretically, a smart TV can be hacked and white-hat hackers can get into your system and do things like change passwords or switch channels. Thanks to Samsung, Samsung Knox technology combats this problem.

What’s Next in Smart TVs?

The biggest TV hype at CES 2018 surrounded the LG rollable OLED display and The Wall by Samsung. While both TVs offer breakthrough technology in their field, having one at home right now is a bit over the top. Ever since its invention, the TV has remained in the living room in the same position for years. But now with a rollable display, you can fold up your TV like a newspaper and use that space for something else temporarily. It’s space-saving, versatile, and definitely gorgeous. But, what’s the point?

LG rollable TV display

65-inch rollable OLED TV concept, which previously started out as an 18-inch version

On the other hand, if you brought home a 146-inch microLED display, you’d never want to go back to the movie theater again. The Wall by Samsung is essentially that – a theater. It certainly enriches you with a smarter TV experience that you’ve never seen before. But, my only concern here is the insanely massive size and subsequent high price tag. Not to mention, for those who haven’t considered getting a 4K TV at home yet, this is a really big jump. Nevertheless, the MicroLED technology eliminates the need for backlight or color filters which delivers a stunning viewing experience. Plus, the screen is durable and efficient.

The Wall Samsung Modular Smart TV

The Wall is the first modular TV to feature MicroLED technology.

However, what actually made Samsung stand out this year at CES was their mobile-friendly television experience. By integrating with the SmartThings app, you’re able to access and control your TV right from your smartphone.

Another show-stopper at CES 2018 was the Hisense 100″ Laser TV. This smart TV uses the power of laser technology to produce 4K ultra HD resolution as well as 4K upscaling. As they say on their website, it “is the TV you’ve been waiting for.” If those specs aren’t enough, they also threw in Harman/Kardon audio, Wi-Fi connectivity, loads of built-in apps, and a TV tuner to really tick all the boxes at an affordable price.

A slightly different take on smart displays came from NVIDIA in the form of the BFGD. It’s primarily for those who are looking for a better TV for gaming. The Big Format Gaming Display comes in at 65 inches and is complete with killer graphics. If you’re the type who prefers big screens for Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, this is the kind of TV for you.

Bottomline – Should You Get One?

LG wall CES 2018

The wall of TVs at the LG stall of CES 2018

Walking through the world of smart TVs might sound magical but, in real life:

  1. If your living room isn’t large enough to host a 100″ smart TV, you should stick to smaller versions.
  2. If you’re willing to shell out on a projector for that big screen experience, maybe up your budget a bit and grab a great smart TV to take that experience to the next level.
  3. Current smart TVs have streaming services and devices, like Chromecast, that are good enough for now. Waiting it out to see what’s next in this industry might offer a big drop in prices.

Are you in the market for this new-age technology or are you going to keep your living room a bit more simple? Let us know in the comments below.

The Gadget Flow Daily Digest highlights and explores the latest in tech trends to keep you informed. Want it straight to your inbox? Subscribe ➜

Madhurima Nag is the Head of Social Media at Gadget Flow. She side-hustles as a digital marketing lecturer/speaker and loves to voice her opinion on marketing, crowdfunding and gadgets (of course!) in general.
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