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If you crave catch-up TV or need to stream the latest boxset, a home internet connection is just as important as a regular aerial connection for any new TV.
Every flatscreen worth its salt is smart now, in one way or another. But while competing models appear to be much of a muchness, there are actually big differences between the various smart TV offerings, both in what they offer and how easy they are to use.
So what’s the best smart TV for you? I’ve been comparing the most popular platforms, so you don’t have to. Time to go to Smart TV school...
Best smart TV systems reviewed and rated.
Samsung Tizen: Smart School rating A+
The class swot, Samsung’s Tizen smart TV system, combines a huge selection of catch-up TV apps and pay streaming services, with Samsung’s own TV channel collection. Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and more are all accessed via a simple to navigate series of launcher bars. Easy does it.
What really gives Tizen the edge though are its Ambient mode extras. When you’re not glued to the box, you can set it to display works of art, family photos or news and weather info. Now that’s clever.
There’s also voice control with Bixby, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Top marks and a gold star for this model.
Our Tizen smart TV to look out for: Samsung UE50TU8507UXXU 50" 4K TV
Buy it: Samsung UE50TU8507UXXU 50" 4K TV | £549 from Currys
Panasonic My Home Screen: Smart school rating A
Panasonic keeps things simple with its own stripped back smart TV system. The least intimidating connected offering out there, it’s also one of the most customisable.
The home screen launches with just three shortcut buttons (for Live TV, Apps and Devices), but you can pin more as required. Typically these might be your most used streaming services. Panasonic 50-inch TX-50HX800 is the perfect smart TV platform for those that don’t actually fancy the idea of a smart TV platform..
The Panasonic smart TV to look for: Panasonic 50-inch TX-50HX800
Buy it: Panasonic TX-50HX800B 50" 4K TV | £649 from Currys
Android TV: Smart school rating B+
The nerdy TV cousin of your Android smartphone, Android TV is a feature heavy smart system that combines catch-up apps and streaming services with built-in Google Assistant and Chromecasting, the latter allows you to easily stream content from your smartphone to the TV. It certainly puts in the effort.
Navigation is via a full-screen home page, which can take a bit of getting used to though.
The Android smart TV to look for is: Sony 55-inch KD55XH8096 for £649
Buy it: Sony Bravia KD55XH8096BU 55" 4K TV | £649 from Currys
LG webOS: Smart school rating B
LG’s webOS, like Samsung’s Tizen, is a launcher bar based smart TV system, packed with niceties.
The webOS smart TV to look for is: LG 50-inch UN74006
Buy it: LG 50UN74006LB 50" 4K TV | £399 from Currys
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