My Samsung 52 inch Plasma TV has been ‘working’ hard for my wife, my two kids and I for the past 6 years. As my wife is a home minister and my kids are home, so I think our use is slightly higher than the average family. Our 6 years may have been 8 years for another family. Anyway, the warranty for TVs are usually just 1 year and even if you purchase extended warranty, then you get another year maybe. My Samsung TV bid farewell during the recent MCO. I asked my kids if they REALLY need a new TV.
My daughter asked…’ will the new TV be able to watch Youtube?’ What kind of question is this?? With just this one question, the choices of the TV has suddenly increased in price by RM500. It’s just like choosing a property. At first you thought you can just buy a decent sized condo. Then your partner asked, ‘will the new condo be next to a mall?’ Haha. The price of your condo has suddenly increased as well. 😛 Anyway, let me share learnings to everyone needs to buy a SMART TV as well.
Specification: (My new 4K Ultra HD (UHD) LED Smart TV)
Price. Depends on brand but generally the typical Japanese brands (Sharp, Panasonic, Sony etc… are priced higher than the Chinese brands (TCL, Skyworth and HiSense). Korean brands are in between but in Malaysia I think we usually have just Samsung. Top 8 largest TV manufacturers in the world are these: Samsung, LG, Sony, HiSense, TCL, Skyworth, Panasonic and Vizio. (2 from South Korea, 2 from Japan, 3 from China and 1 from the U.S.) Here’s that report. Please do not ask me about accuracy of the report. I have no idea.
Size of screen. 50 inch I think is already that middle ground nowadays. If we like to manage the price which we want to pay, then anything below 50 inch will be a lot of savings versus a 50 inch set. Sizes above 50 inch sets are usually much higher priced too. So, I think 50 inch would be a very popular middle ground; not that expensive and yet big enough for enjoyment. These days, 32 inch really do look a tad too small.
4K Ultra HD LED Panel. Ultra HD means you get sharper images when compared to Full HD (FHD). You want the technical specs? FHD has 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels high. (usually known as 1080p) Looks pretty okay but UHD has 3840×2160 pixels (usually known as 4K as well). Usually, 32 inch LED TVs may be just HD Ready (HDR) and they have have 720p. The latest of the latest LED TVs have 8K panels.
Dolby Vision. This is what Dolby says about Dolby Vision. “Open your eyes to remarkable picture quality. Let yourself be fully transported into the story, experiencing colors you’ve never seen on a screen, along with brighter brights and darker darks.” So, if you like a certain standard, Dolby Vision is one of it. (here’s Dolby’s site)
Micro Dimming. (Many brands have this, not just Philips) This is a technology which enhances picture quality through contrast, colors and details. So, better make sure the LED TV you are about to buy has it or ask what is the equivalent.
User Interaction Philips has this “SimplyShare” and Wi-Fi Miracast certified* Briefly, this means your smartphone can interact with your smart TV. 🙂 I could control my TV using my smartphone; OPPO R9S (nearly 4 year phone). I could also cast what I am seeing on my smartphone to the TV too. Besides Miracast, there is also Chromecast. Both works via their own ways. Here’s that technical comparison article I found online.
Extra knowledge – I could just press for Google Assistant on my phone, say “play me Aaron Kwok’s best songs” and when the result shows on my phone, I just click the ‘cast’ button and it will show on my Smart TV. NOT something I do often but yeah, something to show off to friends without SMART TV. Haha.
SmartTV apps: Most brands would have their very own apps as well. Plus the usual one which all SmartTVs have would be YouTube. My son said this to his grandma the other day. “Our new TV, when I need to go to toilet, I would PAUSE it.” Haha. Grandma asked, “Can I change my TV with your TV?” His reply, “Don’t want…” Some LED TVs (also known as Android TVs) allow integration to Google PlayStore too. This particular Philips model does not have it.
Processor. Anything smart would need a processor. This Philips TV comes with a Quad-Core processor. So, yes, Quad-Core will be faster than a Dual-Core. I researched a bit, I think most newer Smart TV sets have Quad-Core processors. Slightly older ones will not have this.
Connectivity. Usually, HDMI connections are 2 for Smart TVs. My Philips TV has 3. I have used 2 currently. One for Astro, one for my kids’ video game. So, left 1 vacant slot.
I have 2 USB connections but I have not used any of them. This means you can use the USB slots to play movies, songs etc but this is only if you could not find them online.
Wireless connections is compulsory yeah. Perhaps difference is just whether your WIFI points are strong or weak. Remember yeah, if your Smart TV is too far away, they may also not be able to use your WIFI hotspot… Yes, there is also the LAN connector too if needed. I have been using my WIFI thus far, it’s TIME so it’s been very fast. YouTube shows the highest possible resolution on the 50 inch TV every time. So, it’s been super clear.
Sound: This Philips TV has a output power of 20W with sound enhancement. While the specs says a lot of things such as A.I. sound, but I think all TV brands have their own terms. What’s most important to me is that it has Dolby Atmos and Dolby Volume Leveller. This is what Dolby says about Atmos, “Sound has never sounded this good. Feel a deeper connection to the stories and music you love with sound that moves all around you with breathtaking realism.” Read in full here.
There are a lot of other nitty-gritty specs such as what format of videos which the Smart TV could play. Thus far I think most Smart TV models could play most if not all the usual formats. If somehow we could still buy a TV brand which could not play a MP4 format for example, then we are really the minority… Then again, just read the specs sheet and ask yeah. Format examples: AVI, MKV, Containers: AVI, MKV, MPEG-4, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, HEVC (H.265) etc.
My Astro remote control is no longer usable after my Philips TV came. Now, my Philips TV remote control is also controlling my Astro Decoder too. I researched online and found out that this is because the Astro decoder is also Philips brand.
Hope this article gives you a good overview if you are buying your Smart TV in the near future. Yes, my Philips Smart TV has been working for my home for the last 1 month. So far, so good. Before this Philips TV, the only Philips branded electrical goods I have ever used was a Philips steam iron.
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