What is smart TV? Best smart TVs for 2018


How Do Smart TVs Work?
Investing Learn how investing works Stock and shares Isas Types of investment Fund supermarkets Financial advice Editor's picks Are you ready to invest? Here's a brand-by-brand breakdown of how to turn any tracking off, and what you lose if you do: Best and worst home insurance. Know your rights - parenting. Electricity Energy monitors Smart meters Smart thermostats Solar panels Saving money on your energy bills. We've got hundreds of expertly-tested models to suit all needs and budgets in our TV reviews. Best Buy vacuum cleaners The latest Best Buy-recommended vacuums that our tests show are a doddle to use, and leave carpets and hard floors spotless.

How Are Smart TVs Related to the Internet?

Smart TV: what you need to know

Get to grips with what information your credit report contains and why it matters. Tips to finding the best credit card. The credit card market is vast and varied. Understand which type of card is right for you. Money Helpline for guidance on everything from tax to travel insurance. How to get cheap car insurance. Follow our eight steps to drive down the cost of your cover. Best and worst home insurance. See which policies come out top based on cover and customer satisfaction.

Travel insurance company reviews. We've scrutinised policies to find out which companies combine good cover with great customer service. Know your rights - insurance. Find out when you'll qualify for the state pension and how much you're likely to get. The best income from your pension pot. Get to grips with the different ways to turn your pension pot into an income. Do you want an annuity, income drawdown, lump sums - or a combination?

Calculate and compare income options. Calculate how much money you could get from different pension options - are you likely to be better off with an annuity or income drawdown? Know your rights - pensions. Best and worst banks. Choose the right bank for your needs with our unique customer-satisfaction rankings. Best banks for dealing with fraud. Find out how your bank compares when it comes to handling fraud claims. How safe is online banking? Understand how scammers attempt to access your bank account - and how to protect yourself.

Best personal finance software. Discover the software packages that are best at helping you manage your money. From splitting your ticket to timing your booking right, find out how to cut the cost of your journey.

Are you ready to invest? Use our checklist before risking your money on the markets. Do you have the right safeguards in place? How to invest in a stocks and shares Isa. Understand your options for tax-efficient Isa investing - should you take advice or make your own decisions? Choose the right investment broker for your needs with our unique ratings: Find out how to make a will, either on your own or with the help of a professional.

Discover how to get a grant of probate and how the process works if you're doing it yourself. Setting up power of attorney. Understand the costs and the forms you'll need to fill in. Write your will online. Make your will online with Which? Wills - it's quick, easy, and affordable. Get expert legal advice on probate. Sign up to Which? Legal for clear, step-by-step advice on problems big and small.

Top 10 best child car seats. Our experts round up the top-scoring child car seats that have passed our safety tests and are easy to fit. Our lab tests and panel of parent testers have revealed the strollers, travel systems and all-terrain buggies that won't let you down.

How to buy the best baby carrier or baby sling. Expert tips for buying a carrier that keeps you and your baby safe and comfortable. Find the right place for you to give birth. Explore your maternity options and decide what's best for you with Which? Know your rights - parenting. Join the conversation on parenting. Best Buy high chairs. These Best Buy high chairs are sturdy, durable, easy to clean and have useful features, such as effective foot rests. Choosing infant formula milk.

Best Buy breast pumps. Say goodbye to uncomfortable minutes spent expressing milk. Our tests have revealed the best easy-to-use breast pump models. Best Buy baby monitors.

These top-rated baby monitors won't let you down when you need them most. The best nit and head lice treatments. Head lice leaving your kids scratching their heads? We've surveyed parents to find out which nit treatments work best. How to choose the best stair gate.

We help you choose a safe and easy-to-fit stair gate in this expert buying guide. Free and cheap baby stuff. What to expect when you are expecting - in the way of freebies and cheap baby-themed goodies. Parents' 10 most useful baby products.

Parents vote on the most useful baby kit - plus the so-called essentials that will just gather dust. Discover how much you can expect to pay for different types of childcare.

Consumer Rights when shopping. Step-by-step legal guidance on cars and motoring. Legal for full telephone support from our experts to put you on the right track. We pack them, drop them, pull them and carry them so you can find a Best Buy that won't let you down.

Best and worst car hire. There are some awful car hire companies, according to our survey. We reveal the best and name the ones to avoid. Find out the airlines loved by their passengers, and see ratings for comfort and value for money.

Step-by-step legal guidance on travel. Know your rights - travel. Our care system is at breaking point. Help us convince the government to confront the creaking care system. Join us in calling on the government, regulators and businesses to confront scams head on. When your flight's delayed, all airlines should compensate you automatically. Are you with us? Dangerous products are putting millions of people at risk.

Sign our petition to demand action now. Are you getting the broadband speed you were promised? Use our tool to find out. Our railways are plagued by delays, cancellations and overcrowding. Sign our petition to demand better. New rules mean more choice as you approach retirement. Join our call for better pensions. Plagued by nuisance calls and texts? Use our tool to report the culprits. Free-to-use cashpoints are at risk of closure. We want the regulator to take action now to save Britain's cashpoints.

Do you feel tricked by sneaky fees and charges? Sign our petition to help us put a stop to this practice. We don't think banks always treat their customers fairly - help us hold them to account.

Do you think you pay a fair price for your energy? If in doubt sign our petition. A community website to share your views on the consumer issues of the day. An expert guide to your consumer rights with free tools and advice for what to do if things go wrong.

Get involved in our latest campaigns and find out how to take action. Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy. A smart TV is an internet-connected television that offers a range of online features, such as on-demand content from apps like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4, access to streaming services like Netflix, and the ability to connect to other wireless devices like smartphones.

These internet-connected smart features help you get more out of your television. Most new TVs are now smart, with a wide range of models to choose from, including Best Buy smart TVs available at affordable prices. The definition of a smart TV is getting broader. High-end TVs now support voice control. It's not technically new, but the latest models from LG, Samsung and Sony now let you search for content on your TV rather than type or flick through channels.

This new feature means voice control is more useful than ever. Some TVs even double as smart hubs, giving you control over smart bulbs, thermostats and other devices without the need for an extra hub. In this guide, we'll explain what you get with smart TV, show you some of the best new models and tell you more about the smart features on each brands TVs.

We'll also show you how to stay secure and protect your privacy while using a smart TV. Just want to see great smart TVs? We've got hundreds of expertly-tested models to suit all needs and budgets in our TV reviews. Looking for information on a specific brand's smart system or if you're curious what data smart TVs capture about you use the links below to jump to a specific section of this page.

Some excellent new smart features combine with incredibly detailed images to make a brilliant Best Buy TV. We don't often recommend TVs like this one, but our experts were hugely impressed with the stunning detail and colours, and the exceptional sound.

It's a deserving Best Buy. We had high hopes for this TV and it didn't disappoint, with a Best Buy-worthy performance in our test lab. Wonderful picture quality, whether you're watching SD, HD or 4K content, is complimented by the excellent smart system that makes it easy to find all the content you want from streaming and catch-up apps. This inch model is another good value choice, with a sharp picture and pleasant sound backed up by an easy to use smart TV platform.

This set is one of the better small TVs, with its easy to use, customisable smart system, and Freeview Play, which is a simple way to use catch-up TV services from the electronic programme guide. The vast majority of modern televisions now have 'smart' capability, with only a handful of small TVs releasing without access to smart features.

You don't need to connect a smart TV to the internet to just watch regular television, but if you do go online there are various benefits, including:. Samsung's Tizen smart TV platform has evolved since its launch in into one of the best around. That said, while the other major TV brands have incorporated services such as Freeview Play and YouView handy smart electronic programme guides with catch-up TV built-in Samsung hasn't gone with the crowd.

We've found Samsung's smart-TV platform to be easy to use, although getting around is a bit more of a challenge on TVs with just the standard remote. More expensive Samsung TVs come with a voice-control remote - this has been dubbed the 'One Remote' for the latest models. While it lacks a motion-sensitive on-screen pointer that we see from other manufacturers, the One Remote can control compatible devices that are attached to the TV, such as sound bars and Blu-ray players, making it a sort of universal remote.

This smart home tech gives you control of smart devices, such as light bulbs and thermostats from your TV. The advanced features Bixby brings, includes searching for movies and TV shows starring specific actors, checking the weather and answering questions. Find your new Samsung set with our Samsung TV reviews. It features a 'launcher' bar at the bottom of the screen that allows you to quickly jump into things like the TV guide, apps or the web browser.

You can customise the launcher with your favourite services by dragging and dropping them into the order you want. This software combines catch-up TV features with the electronic programme guide, so you can see what shows are coming up and what you might've missed from one menu.

Just like Samsung, LG offers two types of remote control - a standard version and one known as the 'Magic' remote, with a moveable cursor on screen for clicking on apps and icons. It's great for smart-TV functions, but it's only included free on the pricier TVs, otherwise you'll have to buy it separately. The vast majority of LG's support the Magic remote. With the right devices, you could get alerts on your TV when the washing machine had finished its cycle, or when the timer was done on your oven.

Voice commands will be more advanced on the TVs, too. You'll be able to search for content with specific actors and directors and the TVs will be better at recommending content based on these searches.

Only the Magic remote has the built-in microphone for voice control. Browse our latest LG TV reviews. It's not as easy to use as Samsung and LG, but it's a clean, simple interface - the sort you'd expect from Google.

Sony has kept things traditional in terms of remote controls. The remote that comes with Sony's higher end TVs has voice text input system but otherwise it looks much like a traditional remote.

There's no motion-controlled cursor that could make navigating the smart TV platform easier. The remotes are simple, but some have a built-in microphone that lets you control certain aspects of the TV with your voice. You can ask the TV to go to specific channels and search for specific movies and shows, to see if they're are airing on any channels or streaming apps you have installed.

Find your perfect Sony set in our Sony TV reviews. Panasonic's smart-TV service is powered by Firefox, the popular web browser. Its big focus is customisation, with a homescreen you can personalise with your favourite and most-used apps. Freeview Play is a standard feature on its smart TVs. From our recent tests, we've found Panasonic's smart-TV service is OK to use, although there's definitely room for improvement.

It feels a little clunky when compared to likes of Samsung and LG, but generally it's fairly intuitive. Panasonic's range will be compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. As long as you have a Google Home or Amazon Alexa you'll be able to control features on your TV, such as changing channels, adjusting volume and selecting inputs.

It's a handy feature, especially if you're prone to losing the remote. Browse expertly-tested models in our Panasonic TV reviews. Need help getting other devices connected to your TV. Use our free tool to see exactly which devices to wire in to which connection and further advice on hooking up everything from a sound bar to a smartphone.

Smart-TV makers - including those listed above - are able to track and monitor the way you use your television like never before, including what you watch, what buttons you press on the remote and the websites you visit on your TV's browser.

This can have benefits, such as more personalised recommendations of things to watch, but there are also potential downsides. In theory, the TV brands can gather vast quantities of data on you and, in some cases, use that information to make money through posting targeted adverts on your smart-TV service. You can decline them and still watch TV. In many cases, however, that results in you losing access to some smart functionality of the TV.

We're calling on the TV manufacturers to be more upfront about what they're tracking, and why, plus give you clearer options to opt out if you want to. Here's a brand-by-brand breakdown of how to turn any tracking off, and what you lose if you do:. Shockingly, we were able to pull the actual audio out of the raw data drawn from the Samsung models.

This means if you haven't secured your wi-fi and if someone's eavesdropping on your network, they could hear what you say to your TV. Samsung said that it deployed a software update on 11 March that it claims encrypts the voice search data. This extended to all Samsung smart TVs at the end of March. As long as the TV has the latest software update this vulnerability should no longer be an issue, but we'll be checking this for ourselves. If you own a Samsung smart TV and want to disable voice recognition — meaning the TV no longer stands in readiness for you to say 'hi TV' and activate the voice features - head to the Settings menu and select Smart Features.

Then go to Voice Recognition and switch it off. Panasonic told us that its TVs do not "constantly monitor conversations", but it advises users not to "include any personal information in the voice commands". It said that it plans to launch a software update that will encrypt the voice data. Voice search is only activated on Panasonic TVs if you hold down the microphone button on the remote control.

Some TVs have an 'info bar' feature that listens out for your voice and activates various features on the TV. This can be turned off in the smart-TV settings menu. When connecting any device to the internet, including a television, it is vitally important to protect yourself from the more negative aspects of the online world, including hackers and malicious threats. Here's some steps to make your TV more secure while going online. Best Buy sound bars Upgrade your TV's sound with one of these fantastic, easy-to-install sound systems.

Read the latest consumer news The latest consumer news, with independent expert analysis and advice on issues you care about.

Know your rights - shopping Find out where you stand with Which? Join the conversation on technology Talk about the burning issues that matter to you at Which? Computing Wi-fi routers and extenders Laptops Printers Antivirus software packages Cloud storage tools Ebook readers Tablets Shredders Broadband deals Broadband providers External hard drives Desktop PCs Editor's picks Best Buy laptops The very best laptops we've tested, with great battery life, speedy processors and sharp screens.

Best Buy printers Top-quality machines that turn out fast, high quality prints and won't cost a fortune. Tech Support Troubleshooting tips and simple tutorials on our tech advice website.

Solve your tech problems Contact the Which? Best Buy bridge cameras These brilliant bridge cameras take five-star photos in all types of lighting conditions. Best Buy action cameras Whether you're snorkelling or cycling, these are the action cameras worth buying. Join the conversation on technology Get involved - talk about the consumer issues that matter to you at Which? Best Buy radios Find a radio with crystal-clear sound that makes tuning in to your favourite stations a pleasure.

Best Buy speakers Make the most of your music with one of these fantastic wireless and Bluetooth speakers. Phones Mobile phones Cordless phones Simple mobile phones Mobile security apps Nuisance calls Mobile phone providers Editor's picks Best Buy mobile phones The best smartphones we've tested, with sharp screens, snappy processors and long-lasting batteries.

Best Buy cordless phones Top-quality home phones you can rely on - and perfect for nattering to friends and family. How to buy the best sat nav Expert buying advice to help you cut through the jargon and find your perfect sat nav.

Best Buy dash cams Avoid buying a dud dash cam by choosing one of these brilliant Best Buys. Know your rights - cars Find out where you stand with Which? Join the conversation on motoring Talk about the burning issues that matter to you at Which? Car Survey Discover how feedback from 60, UK drivers helps us steer people to the most reliable cars.

Best Buy smartwatches From smartphone notifications and messaging to activity tracking, these watches do it all. Smartwatch or fitness tracker Use our interactive tool to help you decide whether you need a smartwatch or a fitness tracker. Best mobile networks overview We reveal what mobile phone users really think of their network - use our results to choose the best network provider. Smart homes and gadgets Smart home hubs Wireless security cameras Smart thermostats Drones Virtual reality Editor's picks Best Buy wireless security cameras The best smart security cameras we've tested, from brands such as Nest, Belkin and D-Link.

Best Buy smart thermostats Keep your home warm and your energy bills in check with one of these Best Buys. Switch energy company It's easy to compare and switch suppliers with Which?

Know your rights - energy Find out where you stand with Which? Dishwashing Dishwashers Dishwasher tablets Washing-up liquid Limescale remover.

Kitchen accessories Steam cleaners Spiralizers Unusual kitchen gadgets. Find the right trader Get the job done with a choice of thousands of endorsed Which? Know your rights - Home appliances Find out where you stand with Which? Bedroom Mattresses Adjustable beds Electric blankets Mattress toppers Pillows Duvets Editor's picks Best mattress brands Thousands of owners have rated their brand of mattress in our survey to reveal the best brands for getting a great night's sleep.

Choosing the best type of mattress Memory foam, pocket sprung or latex? Top 10 bed shopping tips Expert tips for choosing the right bed for you and your home. Know your rights - Shopping Find out where you stand with Which? How to get the best hearing aid From types of hearing aid to getting the best fit, our comprehensive guide reveals what you need to know.

Best Buy electric toothbrushes The best electric toothbrushes for cleaning power and battery life, based on our rigorous lab tests. What to grow Gardening through the year Grow your own. Gardening accessories Barbecues Compost Compost bins Controlled release fertilisers Mini greenhouses Greenhouses Sheds Cat repellents X-hose and other expandable hoses Artificial grass.

Editor's picks Best Buy lawn mowers Don't get lumbered with an awkward-to-use lawn mower - pick one of these top-rated models instead. Hedge trimmer buyer's guide This expert guide explains the different types of hedge trimmer, plus how much you need to spend. Best Buy pressure washers We round up the top-scoring pressure washers in five different categories to help you find the best one for your garden.

Gardening Helpdesk Find simple solutions to your gardening questions. Editor's picks Top five best cheap washing machines Bag a bargain Best Buy washing machine with our experts' pick of the cheapest on test.

Best Buy vacuum cleaners The latest Best Buy-recommended vacuums that our tests show are a doddle to use, and leave carpets and hard floors spotless. Tumble dryer buyer's guide Vented, heat pump or condenser? Air treatment Dehumidifiers Air conditioners Air purifiers. Electricity Energy monitors Smart meters Smart thermostats Solar panels Saving money on your energy bills. Know your rights - home appliances Find out where you stand with Which? Household essentials Batteries Rechargeable batteries Light bulbs Dishwasher tablets Washing-up liquid Limescale remover Laundry detergent Fabric conditioners Carpet stain removers Editor's picks Best Buy laundry detergents Find out which own-brand and branded laundry detergents and washing powders deliver top-class cleaning at the best price.

Five tips for choosing the right light bulb From fittings to colour temperatures, how to buy the best halogen, LED or standard light bulb for your needs. Best Buy dishwasher tablets Fed up of opening the dishwasher to find streaky glasses and grimy plates? Food and drink Nespresso compatible coffee capsules Best food and drink Supermarkets. Pets Pet food Dog harnesses. Recycling Supermarket packaging How to recycle. Editor's picks Supermarkets compared Find out how your supermarket compares with the rest using the results of our poll of thousands of shoppers.

Best Champagne Top-rated supermarket and branded fizz, based on the verdict of our expert panel of taste testers. Editor's picks Best and worst kitchen brands We've surveyed more than 2, owners to bring you customer scores and ratings for 11 top fitted-kitchen brands. Double glazing companies rated The best and worst double glazing firms, as voted for by thousands of Which? How to treat damp Expert advice on getting rid of damp caused by condensation, penetrating damp and rising damp.

Switch energy supplier Save some money or get a better service with Which? Best Buy smoke alarms Keep your family safe by choosing one of the smoke alarms that earned top marks in our stringent safety tests. How to protect your smart home data Ensure your smart home devices aren't leaking out your personal data with our in-depth guide. Editor's picks How to choose the best shower What you need to consider when choosing a new shower, plus reviews of the best brands and models.

Buying and installing a stairlift Discover the average price you should expect to pay for a stairlift and how to get financial help to buy one. Best Buy mobility scooters We've road-tested popular mobility scooters to uncover the best for comfort and ease of driving on different surfaces. Learn about elderly care Get free, practical advice about caring for older people with Which?

Join the conversation on health Talk about the burning issues that matter to you at Which? Given the popularity of smartphones, such as the iPhone, it's entirely possible that the concept of a "connected device" could easily translate to a television.

But what is a smart TV and what does it do? Like a smartphone, a smart TV offers a number of "internet connected services" that normal televisions can't offer. It has the equivalent of a computer built into it, giving you a greater number of services.

IPTV is a specific type of internet video standard, but is now also used as shorthand for any video streamed via the internet to your TV. It can take the form of short clips or continuous "live" channels.

While these features aren't new, and have been a part of some televisions and set-top boxes since , the term "smart TV" has given them a name. While smart TVs have plenty of whizz-bang features, there is one that promises to revolutionise how we use our televisions. If you currently download a lot of video or music from the net, then the right smart TV can access that content directly without you having to copy it onto a disk or USB stick! All of the smart TVs currently accept an Ethernet cable at the back of the TV, while most also support wireless connection.

To connect to the internet, you will need to set up a home network , and the process is very similar to connecting a laptop. Our preferred method is a wired connection, however, and while you will need to hide the cable away, it will provide a much more stable link. Smart devices have been with us for a long time. According to Wikipedia, the first smartphone was released in The IBM Simon was a touchscreen phone before its time with applications that we now take for granted, such as email, a calendar, an address book and games.

Aside from lacking productivity functions, such as email and word processing, a smart TV is a lot like a computer. It enables you to browse the web, watch YouTube and catch up on social networking. Some of the TVs such as Samsung currently support Flash as well, which means a better web browsing experience. However, as the category is new, there are inevitably features that will come and go.

For example, how many people will use Facebook -- which to many is a private activity -- on a TV in front of their family when they can easily use a laptop in front of the TV?

To us, the most exciting capability of smart TV is the ability to watch video on demand. On most TVs you'll also find dozens of specialty channels offering surfing, football, music and almost anything else you can imagine. If you just want to sit down in front of the TV and relax without having to choose something else every three minutes, then services like Bigpond TV currently on Samsung and LG offer "regular" channels of music and sport.

We look at some of the sports content currently offered here. Panasonic is making a big deal of its forthcoming games titles, which will include titles by Gameloft, in addition to a number of exercise games that utilise an optional monitor wrist band. Skype is another new application, which, with the addition of a webcam, lets you talk to your friends and family on your TV.

Cars & travel

Leave a Reply