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TV buying guide: Everything to consider when buying a TV

Tony Ibrahim | Aug. 10, 2015
Should you buy a UHD TV? What about OLED? Which ecosystem do I want to belong to? Will it work with my smart TV? Does size matter? All this and more answered in our comprehensive TV buying guide.

LG offers an OLED television that has a UHD resolution, and the good news is there's barely any price disparity between it and the LED-backlit LCD televisions on offer from its rivals.

The ecosystem

Which ecosystem your television belongs to directly influences how it will be used, the applications that will work with it ,and whether it will work with your smartphone, tablet and computer.

The four largest television companies in Australia are each backing a different operating system.

" Samsung TVs run Tizen " LG TVs run webOS " Panasonic TVs run Firefox " Sony TVs run Android TV

It's important to check if your streaming video-on-demand service, such as Netflix, Presto, Stan and Quickflix, along with your favourite catch up TV service, has an application designed for your TV. And whether or not applications important to you can work on what will be the biggest screen in your home.

Use it with your smartphone, remote or tablet

The television you buy should communicate with the smartphone, tablet and computer you already own. Some televisions promote a closed ecosystem. Take Samsung's Tizen televisions, for instance, which work best with Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

Others support Android smartphones and even those running Apple iOS. Owners of an iPhone will appreciate that they can cast content to a Panasonic TV because the company has invested in a companion smartphone application.

LG's webOS televisions support this functionality, but primarily with Android devices. Most of its range works with Miracast; a wireless standard that makes it possible makes to mirror a smartphone's display right onto the TV.

Sony's latest televisions runs a version of Android 5.0 Lollipop specifically designed for TVs. It has Google's Chromecast technology built in, and this means content can be cast to the television seamlessly.

Google's Chromecast works too with Apple devices, provided they install Google's Chrome browser or the Chromecast app.

Most of these televisions make it possible to use your smartphone as a remote control. All of them come with two separate remotes, sans for LG's, which has one 'magic remote' fit for all situations.

The most underrated television feature

Audio performance is the most neglected feature when it comes televisions. The trend of thinner televisions is antithetical to producing wholesome sound. Speakers need space.

A TV from any one of the big four brands can have its sound quality augmented with a soundbar or surround sound system. Take a look at the room you intend on putting the television in and consider if the space would lend itself to a soundbar or a sound system.

Otherwise there is a company selling a TV with sound good enough to not need a standalone system. That company is Sony.

 

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