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Smart TV's-Must Have Features? (1 Viewer)

Johnny Angell

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Many of the HD TVs are now smart. We may take the plunge soon to upgrade to 3D. What are the must-have features? Built-in wifi, I would think. What apps are the most important? What are the best rental apps? BTW, I do have Amazon Prime. This will be our first set with internet capability, so I'm really looking for ideas.
 

Sam Posten

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I have three smart tvs and those features are pretty much never used. Dedicated consoles are so much better UI and speed wise. Were you ever excited by Web TV? If no then smart TVs aren't for you. They are designed for technophobes who neither demand better or care to know what they are missing.
Edited to add: I love the smart features of my Fridge tho! Those are designed to always be on and operating on a device where I'm not leaning back relaxing on a couch. On the couch I'm never going to pull up youtube or Google Search, and I'd rather watch Amazon or Netflix on my PS3, apple TV or Xbox. On the fridge I have it flip between headline news, weather, twitter etc so I always get something unexpected when I'm at the door.
 

Johnny Angell

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So there's no feature of a smart tv you like? We don't have a game console or apple tv. Aren't smart tv's at least good for renting movies?
 

Sam Posten

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This is one of the things you really have to check out yourself to see if you can enjoy it. For me personally no, they are not a draw. As someone who doesn't have any external devices maybe you will like them. Try em out in best buy or whatever.
 
K

Kevin Collins

Originally Posted by Johnny Angell /t/322703/smart-tvs-must-have-features#post_3956354
So there's no feature of a smart tv you like? We don't have a game console or apple tv. Aren't smart tv's at least good for renting movies?

Most smart HDTV's have Netflix or some other digital delivery/streaming service. However, they are not all standard and their quality isn't always what you would expect to see on a big HDTV. In fact, the bigger the HDTV, the more noticeable the encoding issues.

You also need to keep in mind the Internet connection you have. Most of the digital streaming providers do adaptive streaming, which means that if you have a slow connection, you get a lower bitrate being delivered to your device. This equates to less picture quality.

You can also experience this with wireless connectivity if you don't have that setup properly.

So there are other considerations to take into consideration regarding SmartTV.

If you are looking for convenience and a large variety of content beyond what you can get with Red Box or your own library, then it is a good option, particularly if you don't have a dedicated box (i.e. PS3, AppleTV, Tivo, Roku, Xbox 360). If you have NetFlix, then you at least have the option of streaming or rental.
 

Sam Posten

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Agreed with what Kevin says. Anyone who is considering spending over $1k on a TV would be well served to spend an extra $200 and get an Xbox or PS3 for Netflix and Amazon, or an Apple TV at a minimum. All three are going to be mass market items and have much better long term updates than any individual Blu Ray deck or TV "smart" solution. Just my opinion.
 

Johnny Angell

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So Kevin and Sam, you are saying I'm better off going with a a dumb tv and a box or console. Last I heard, apple tv doesnt do HD. is HD even an option via Internet?
 

Sam Posten

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Apple TV supports 1080p and Dolby Digital 5.1
Not sure on the app support for that, but their own store stuff is available in that right now.
Netflix is all kinds of different rezzes and sound output on different boxes.
I like my Apple TV but it wouldn't be my only box. It complements my Xbox and PS3 nicely tho, especially, and I kid you not on this, for watching trailers.
 

Steve Schaffer

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Beyond a certain level it's difficult to find a set that isn't "smart". Once you're into sets with 3D capability it's pretty much certain that it will also have internet capability. A separate box is still a better solution, even if the set does have the feature, if only because it's cheaper to upgrade a box when new stuff comes along.
HD from streaming video is usually bit-starved to the point that it's HD only as far as resolution but much more subject to compression artifacts. In order the quality of your HD picture will be, from best to worst:
1-Blu Ray disc
2-OTA broadcast (signal recieved from local broadcast stations via antenna)
3-satellite or cable
4-streaming video via internet.
A PS3 or Wi-Fi enabled BD player will handle #s 1 and 4. I know disc based video isn't fashionable nowadays but you won't see the full potential of your new HD set any other way.
 
K

Kevin Collins

Originally Posted by Johnny Angell /t/322703/smart-tvs-must-have-features#post_3957237
So Kevin and Sam, you are saying I'm better off going with a a dumb tv and a box or console. Last I heard, apple tv doesnt do HD. is HD even an option via Internet?

The previous version of Apple TV supported 720P, the current version supports 1080P. For $99 it's kind of hard to go wrong if you are RENTING. There isn't a streaming subscription service. If you want that then you will want Netflx or Hulu, which Netflix is on XBox and PS3 (or about any new Blu-ray player).

I haven't really seen where SmartTV costs more than dumb TV. What typically happens is that the SmartTV comes along with other features that are on the HDTV. SmartTV's have the lowest internet connection rate of any internet device and the usage is the lowest as a percentage among devices that display video.

This could be for a variety of reasons, but one could definitely be that the SmartTV's UX generally sucks (at least the ones I have played with). At Microsoft, we have a lab where every high end device comes in for evaluation and there are demonstrations of those technologies for the product teams to see. The last one I saw was the Samsung motion control Smart TV. What a POS, sometimes you could use your hands and then you would have switch to using the POS remote control.

It's those types of experiences where a person tries it once and then leaves it alone for ever.

If you really want a SmartTV, I would test out the connected features in a store before you take it home to make sure you can tolerate the interface. PS3, XBox and AppleTV all have substantially better UX than SmartTV's...

However, if you are on a tight budget and need the other upsell features that are on the SmartTV, then I believe you will get the same image quality as you would on any other device. It just might be frustrating to get to the point that you are viewing something.
 

schan1269

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Nothing beats an "entertainment PC"...
I have one of these on two TVs, and one of the TVs is a smart TV and the apps it has (including the DLNA) sucks in comparison.
If you want a seamless online solution...
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-AspireRevo-AR3700-U3002-Compact-Desktop/dp/B00433SP6G/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1343973434&sr=1-1&keywords=aspire+revo (this is just an example)
 

Johnny Angell

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What I really want is the ability to rent movies via Internet, via Netflix or some other service. I want an excellent 3D tv in the 55" size. I'm getting the feeling I should forget the gadgets (like gesture control, Amazon users that are happy with the set are all unhappy with that feature). I was looking at that Samsung because of the bundle.
If I could sve bucks on thet tv, I could get a console for the Internet capability. isn't the Xbox the one with the motion control? God help me, but when I saw the commercial showing players using THE FORCE, I wanted one.
What does the Apple TV get me that a console does not?
You don't have to sell me on blu-ray. If I can swing it, I want to get an oppo for the region free capability.
 

schan1269

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Yes Xbox has Kinnect. Does it work as well as they attempt to say it does in the commercials? No...but it is darn close.
I have no idea what Apple TV gets you. We have two of the entertainment PCs and an Ipad 1 and 2. The Ipad 2 does everything Apple TV does and then some.
The only issue I've ever had with Apple TV is it dropped analog audio. Apple TV 1 still has analog audio. So if you want an ATV for "internet radio listening" and want to shoot that through multi-zone on an AVR, without having to buy a DAC...find a used ATV1.
ATV1 does 720P. So you'd have that tradeoff. But, if you don't have a HUGE bandwidth of internet and unlimited usage...you'll only get 720P out of an ATV2 anyway.
Speaking of which, my cousin decided to "network his house" including the ADT. Spent a bunch of money for wireless cameras(he has cows and horses) and all sorts of other stuff. He discovered Netflix and Hulu...
The one thing he forgot to do was put himself on an unlimited Verizon Wireless (which at the time they still had) internet plan....
The 2nd month(cause they are behind a month) he had $675 in overage charges...
By the way, I use Sprint internet. Have had it for 7 years. I'm grandfathered into a $60 a month unlimited plan. I'm going to cry when my thumbdrive dies and have to "upgrade". I routinely burn through 9-12 gig a month.
 

schan1269

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You buy this thing...
http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Digital-AV-Adapter-MD098ZM/dp/B007IRBNRW/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1344049069&sr=1-3&keywords=apple+hdmi
 

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