Find your perfect Smart TV with our guide to LG, Sony and Samsung



Smart TVs are a super-easy way to get Netflix and iPlayer on your telly – but which manufacturer best suits your lifestyle? From gamers to Android lovers and box-set addicts to technophobes, we take a look…

If you’re buying a new TV this summer it may well be ‘Smart’. 

Whether 4K UHD, Full HD or even OLED, most high-end TVs from Samsung, Sony and LG are nowadays Smart.

This means your TV can connect to the internet to watch online content such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and stream games and download movies.

Samsung, Sony and LG use different software to help you get around their TVs. So, which one is right for you?

See a breakdown of all the top content and apps by brand with our guide to what you can watch on your smart TV.

Watching TV

LG

In a nutshell: Game-changing Smart TV software that’s incredibly easy to set up and use and has Freeview Play.

LG Smart TVs run on the webOS operating system. It’s known for being incredibly easy to use. When you first switch on your TV, an animated character called Bean Bird walks you through set up.

When it first launched, WebOS transformed the way Smart TV worked, by treating everything like an app that could be found on a single launcher bar. Just hit the Home button and you’ll see Netflix and iPlayer alongside BBC1 and ITV – everything’s at easy reach.

The launcher bar sits along the bottom of the screen whatever you’re watching – it doesn’t take you to another page. Switching between apps is fast too, and you don’t need to close one down as you move to another. It’s just like changing TV channel.

This year’s LG TVs run webOS 3.0, the newest version with built-in Freeview Play. This pulls your live TV channels and catch-up services like BBC iPlayer into a single episode guide. So not only is it easy to switch from app to channel, it’s also easy to go from programme to programme.

What’s more, the 2016 TVs will work other LG gadgets around your home. If you have an LG smart fridge or washing machine, you’ll be able to control it through your TV.

 

LG Smart TVs are perfect if you want…

  • something that’s incredibly easy to set up and use
  • and lets you switch between apps without interrupting what you’re watching
  • to watch Sky Movies and Sky Sports through NOW TV (without a Sky subscription)
  • built-in Freeview HD for BBC4, ITV 3, Dave and Home and HD channels and…
  • … Freeview Play to switch between BBC1 and ITV and iPlayer ITV On Demand from the same episode guide
  • streaming apps like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video 

Find your perfect LG Smart TV 

 Smart TV

Samsung

In a nutshell: The easiest way of switching between Netflix and live TV and Blu-rays and games consoles

Samsung Smart TVs run the Tizen Smart Hub operating system. It’s really easy to use - all your favourite apps sit along the bottom of the screen in a bar.

The bar is laid over the TV picture like LG’s webOS, and it shows the apps you’ve opened most recently, and you can pin favourites there too. Samsung has made some big improvements to its Smart Hub for 2016.

The big development is that you can switch between live TV, streaming apps, Blu-ray player and PlayStation from within the Smart Hub with a single remote control.

The Smart Control remote can be used with anything connected to your TV – no need for separate remotes for Blu-ray players and set top-boxes.

You can also connect your Samsung TV to other smart devices around your home with Samsung SmartThings. Dip the lights for a movie, or see who’s at the front door – all from your TV. Samsung Smart TVs and SmartThings explained.

The really brilliant bit? The smart devices don’t have to be made by Samsung – the system works with select tech made by other people.

 

Samsung Smart TVs are perfect if you want…

  • to seamlessly switch between TV, Blu-ray player and games console
  • to use just one remote for your TV, set-top box and Blu-ray player
  • streaming apps like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video
  • built-in Freeview HD for BBC4, ITV 3, Dave and Home and HD channels
  • to stream PlayStation games through your TV with PlayStation Now 
  • use your TV as a remote for your smart home

Find your perfect Samsung Smart TV 

Netflix

Credit: Netflix

Sony

In a nutshell: Familiar Android design with built-in PlayStation streaming and option to use your phone as a remote

Sony Smart TVs run Google’s Android TV platform. If you’ve ever used an Android phone or tablet, you’ll find getting up and running with this a piece of cake.

As well as your usual Netflix and iPlayer, you also get Google Play Store for downloading or renting movies, boxsets and music.

Another big advantage is built-in Google Cast. This lets you use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control for your TV. Simply load your movie or TV show on your mobile device then hit the ‘Cast’ icon in the app to send it from your phone to your telly.

You can also stream PlayStation games to your TV. While when looking for something to watch, just ask with built-in voice search.

 

Sony Smart TVs are perfect if you want… 

  • a familiar Android phone/tablet experience
  • to download movies, TV shows and games from Google Play store
  • to stream PlayStation games through your TV with PlayStation Now
  • streaming apps like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video and iPlayer, All 4, ITV Player and Demand 5 for catch-up TV
  • built-in Freeview HD for BBC4, ITV 3, Dave and Home
  • your phone or tablet to be a second TV remote 
  • to search using your voice – ‘show me Matt Damon films’ etc…

Find your perfect Sony Smart TV

Want to see more? Explore our full range of Smart TVs