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Your Guide to Shop for Smart TVs

Dec 28, 2021

A person laying on a sofa watching a smart tv

The smart TV market offers a wide variety of TVs with different features and prices. Whether you’re looking for a smart TV to use as your main TV or you just want something that can be used to watch a streaming service, there’s a smart TV out there that will suit your needs. This article provides information on how to find the right smart TVs for you, including what factors you should consider when shopping for one.

What is a Smart TV?

A smart TV is a television that has been enhanced with features and technology that allow it to connect to the internet. This means that users can access streaming content and apps without the need for any other devices. Additionally, smart TVs often come with built-in voice assistants, like Amazon's Alexa or Google's Assistant, which allow users to control various functions of the TV using voice commands.

When Did Smart TVs Become Popular?

According to Good Home Automation1, the first patent for a smart TV was granted in 1994. But the first smart TV wasn't developed until 2007, when HP created the Mediasmart TV. However, it wasn't until 2012 that smart TVs started gaining more traction in the market, after Samsung released its smart TV ES800, which included a variety of never-seen-before features.

Advantages of Smart TVs

Easy to Use

One of the major advantages of smart TVs is how easy they are to use. Almost all models come with setup instructions that allow users to connect their new TV to the internet without any issues. Additionally, most TVs come with voice assistants built-in, allowing users to control functions of their TV using just their voice.

Fewer Remotes

Most smart TVs include a single remote that allows users to control both their TV and how it connects to the internet, which means you'll only need one remote for your entire living room.

Affordable Pricing

Smart TVs have become so common that the majority of new TVs on the market contain some level of smart capabilities. As smart technology becomes more and more common, prices will continue to drop as new features are created and added.

Access to the Internet

Smart TVs allow you to stream content from the internet because they have an ethernet port to connect directly to routers; some models connect with a built-in modem. Other models have the option to connect to the internet through WiFi.

Disadvantages of Smart TVs

Security Risks

One of the main disadvantages of using smart TVs is that they can be susceptible to security risks. Many smart TVs are connected to the internet and, as a result, can be hacked if the proper precautions are not taken.

Added Setup Time

While they are generally easy to set up, smart TVs may require a bit of additional time and effort before you can use them. In addition to setting up your TV itself, you will also need to connect it to the internet if it does not have WiFi capabilities.

The Future of Smart TVs

Smart TVs have experienced a great deal of change in the past 10 years, going from obscure to commonplace in nearly every home in America. With the rapid increase of streaming services and the ever-growing popularity of voice assistants, it’s safe to say that smart TVs will continue to grow and evolve in the years to come. It is likely that smart TVs will begin to be developed by tech powerhouses, due to the massive amounts of customer data and insights that can be gleaned from these devices.

The Top 11 Things to Look for When Shopping for a Smart TV

All smart TVs have features that make them unique from the rest, with each model being more advanced than the other. So, it’s important to know what type of smart technology your desired smart TV has before making your decision. With so many choices to choose from, some important things to consider are the price of the TV, the size of the TV, the resolution, the screen type, the ports it offers, the operating system and much more.

Price

Smart TVs range in price from very expensive to affordable; the more features you want your smart TV to have, the higher the price will be. One thing that many people fail to think about is how much they’re willing to spend on their smart TV. There are lots of deals available online and offline, which can help you get a discount on any smart TVs if you do your research right. If there’s a TV you like but the price isn't right, look into Acima’s lease-to-own solutions.

Screen Size

One thing that many people fail to think about is how large they want their smart TV to be. Smart TVs come in different sizes and the larger they are, the more expensive they can be. For example, a smart TV with a larger screen is going to be more expensive than one with a smaller or medium-sized screen. The space you have available in your home will also impact the size of the TV you choose.

Screen Resolution

When it comes to smart TVs, higher resolution means better image quality. If you’re looking for smart TVs that produce the best possible picture quality, you should look for ones with full high-definition (HD) resolution.

Contrast Ratio

Smart televisions usually have high contrast ratios, and this is one factor that can contribute to picture quality. A smart TV with a higher contrast ratio generally produces a better image quality than those with lower contrast ratios.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate determines how often images are displayed on a screen per second, which affects picture quality and motion clarity. Most smart TVs have a refresh rate of 60Hz, which means they will display images on the screen at a rate of 60 times per second.

Operating System

Smart TVs usually come with either of two operating systems. The first one is the open-source platform, which is developed by many manufacturers to provide smart TVs with a wide range of applications. The other type comes preloaded with specific apps that are only compatible with the manufacturer's smart TV platforms.

Audio Quality

Smart TV manufacturers are spending more time and money to make sure that smart TVs have the best sound quality possible. Smart TV users are able to customize their viewing experience by changing the sound settings or creating different soundscapes. Smart TVs usually have the option to connect via Bluetooth® or wireless speakers.

Screen Type

Smart TVs come with different types of screens, including curved and flat-screen options. A curved TV will give your viewing experience a more immersive feel than a flat one because it curves around the viewers' field of vision.

HDMI Ports

If you’re planning on connecting many devices to smart TVs, the number of HDMI ports on your TV will be important. Smart TVs typically have at least two or three HDMI ports, which will allow you to connect a Blu-ray player and gaming console without needing an additional device.

USB Ports

Smart TVs usually come with either one or two USB ports, providing enough space for you to plug peripherals into your smart TV. If you want to connect smart TVs so they can be used simultaneously, the number of USB ports on the TVs is something else to consider.

Internet Connectivity

Smart TVs allow you to connect to the internet, allowing you access to a wide range of websites and apps. Some smart TVs come with their own proprietary operating system that allows users access to specific applications. Before making your decision, confirm that the way the TV connects to the internet matches your requirements.

How Can Acima Help?

Acima can help you get the smart TV of your dreams with flexible options that allow you to make manageable lease renewal payments as you work towards ownership. If you make the number of payments defined under your lease or exercise an option to purchase it early at a discount, it’s yours! If you no longer need it, you can simply return it in good condition at any time without further obligation. Check out the complete list of Acima electronics providers and get your dream TV today without using credit.

Common Questions People Ask When Shopping for a Smart TV

What’s the difference between a flat-screen TV and smart TV?

The only difference between a smart TV and flat-screen TV is that the smart TV updates data with a WiFi or ethernet connection. The flat TV doesn't require any internet connection to view programs. A smart TV offers the user an opportunity to browse the internet and use streaming services that are directly built-in to the TV.

Should I get a sound bar with my TV?

A sound bar can be connected to a smart TV for better audio quality. However, if the viewing distance is long or you want immersive surround sound, then it's best to get a dedicated sound system because a sound bar cannot provide accurate and clear surround-sound effects.

What are some of the best smart TV features?

Smart TVs come with many different features. Most of these include apps, connectivity options, sound settings, picture quality adjustments and more. One feature to look out for is HDR which allows you to view detailed images in both bright and dark areas at the same time.

What are the different types of screen displays for smart TVs?

There are two main categories of smart TVs: LED and OLED. The difference between these lies in their screen-display technology. An LED TV uses an LCD panel to light up individual pixels, whereas an OLED TV has organic material that lights up on its own.

Sources:

  1. What Year Did the Smart TV Come Out? (the FULL Story)” — Good Home Automation