By Branko Miletic
With the London Olympics about to get the starter’s pistol in just over a week, and you’re in the market for a new smart television, we thought it might be an opportune moment to give you a run down on what is available at your local consumer electronic retailer.
We listed below some pretty good televisions that come with an array of features that will suit most budgets.
Toshiba 40TL900A – 40-inch TV with 3D - $1099
This 40-inch (100 cm) Full HD, LED TV ships with active 3D glasses also has 2D-3D Conversion as a standard feature. Like all TVs today, it is packed with extra channels in this case, Toshiba Places which includes BBC iPlayer, Cartoon Network and Facebook. With DLNA & the Toshiba Remote App on iOS & Android, this LED TV is compatible with both PCs and Macs.
This TV uses Toshiba’s Advanced Motion & Resolution (AMR) 200 technology that is designed to deliver ultra-rapid refresh rates to ensure fast-paced scenes, sports and action are smoothly reproduced making it a great choice for families who enjoy watching fast paced sports or action movies.
It has a good array of ports at the back including 4 x HDMI, Optical Digital out, Headphone, 2 x USB Port & a USB Extended PVR port. It comes with an 8 Day EPG & On / Sleep Timer & a very useful Parental Control setting, 3D colour management & Game Mode & for the environmentally aware, a 7 Star MEPS rating. A 2 year warranty is also standard and 1 pair of Active 3D Glasses are also included with this stylish and well-made Toshiba flatscreen.
Panasonic TH-P50ST50A - $1,599
This sleek flatscreen comes with Smart VIERA networking- Panasonic’s own built-in wifi and DLNA technology means it’s great for linking to all your other Panasonic devices, including compatible Panasonic digital cameras.
This feature also allows you to operate this TV with smartphones or tablets via the VIERA Remote App and being a Plasma means you’ll get active Full-HD 3D, and a deep and rich picture. This TV also comes with VIERA Connect; a cloud-based TV service which provides content like Bigpond Movies, Quickflix, Yahoo 7 and ABC iView, YouTube, Skype, Facebook, and Twitter right there on your 50” screen.
Samsung - UA55ES6800, $3099
Samsung’s latest range of Smart TVs includes this 55-inch unit that comes with Smart Hub content and apps powered by a fast Dual Core processor. On top of that, with the new Smart Hub ships with a new range of services – Fitness, Kids and Family Story – meaning you can exercise, keep your children entertained and educated, and also share precious memories all on the one screen.
Using the Micro Dimming feature provides for good contrast and thanks to its AllShare Play2 supported via its built-in wifi, you can share all your multimedia on this great looking unit.
Standard features include three USB ports and with its Skype capabilities, you can use this stylish Samsung flatscreen for all your Skype chats right in your living room.
One big standout for the Samsung range is the ultra-thin bezels, making this new Samsung range not only technically brilliant- but also aesthetically attractive as well. It also comes with 3 x HDMI inputs & 2 x 3D Glasses and sound output of 10W x 2 speakers.
LG 55-inch LM8600 - $3,799
The 55-inch LM8600 is an edge-lit LED HDTV that employs LG’s exclusive LED Plus technology, which provides local dimming to improve contrast and Edge lighting allowing this TV to have a super slim & stylish frame & a 4mm bezel. With its TruMotion 240Hz processor, this LG flatscreen allows viewers to enjoy all the TV action- from documentaries and sport in full-bodied depth & colour.
Another feature is its floating stand, which can swivel up to 30 degrees, making this TV perfect for any room of your house. With its 3D capabilities, LG has opted to use passive 3D technology meaning no more heavy glasses are needed- now users can wear lightweight glasses, which are not only considerably lighter than the standard 3D eye wear, but also much cheaper to buy too.
One standout feature of this TV (which we reviewed on Cybershack just a couple of weeks ago) is the really cool Magic Remote - a motion controlled pointer allowing users to navigate through the TVs setting with a cursor. The Magic Remote also has a microphone so users can dictate web searches and messages instead of having to type them.
Lastly, by downloading the LG TV Apple and Android free app, users can mirror their TV screen on their mobile device- meaning your flatscreen is now also portable!
Sony Bravia KDL46HX750- $2499
This 46-inch (117 cm) TV is one of Sony’s latest offerings and one of the best to come out of the Sony factory. With X-Reality Picture Engine Dynamic Edge LED with Frame Dimming and High Speed 3D Panel with Wi-Fi, this Bravia is a top performer.
It comes standard with Sony’s Entertainment Network that provides Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Apps and easy set-up. Sound in this Sony is also a standout feature with this Flatscreen pumping out 20W of Dolby surround sound together with simulated stereo. Other connectivity includes 4 x HDMI & 2 x USB inputs are standard meaning the KDL46HX750 has the most ports of all the TVs currently available.
Sony 55 inch HX850 $3,699
This 55 inch is one of the biggest in the Sony Bravia HX range and perhaps also the best Bravia model of them all.
This full HD 3D TV produces vibrant and life-like pictures with Sony's X-Reality PRO video processing technology. Enjoy a range of entertainment with simple connectivity to other devices and new eco-friendly features packed into a sleek, frameless design. Coming standard with Sony’s X-Reality PRO Picture Engine, 3D Super-Resolution, Motionflow technology which is great for watching sport, this TV also gives you the option to use Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and a variety of other apps on the big screen.
This Sony flatscreen is Skype ready and uses what is known as Corning Gorilla Glass- a stunning screen technology that is not only beautiful to watch but tough as the proverbial nails.
LG 32-inch LM6410 $899
For those requiring a smaller screen, LG has the perfect answer with the LM6410. So if you are already compromising on size, then with this 32” LG TV, you won’t need to compromise on quality. With its DLNA compatible features, such as a PC, you can also watch any content from your phone or Tablet device.
Coming standard with 4 x HDMI inputs and 3 x USB 2.0 ports, you can add a number of extra multimedia devices to boost your home entertainment. This small yet full HDTV gives you maximum control over the level of 3D effect thanks to its 3D Depth Control function.
The 3D Sound Zooming complements the 3D images presented on your screen, meaning everything you watch in 3D will be more realistic and more immersive.
Panasonic TH-P60ST50A $2,599
Have you been looking for almost the biggest TV in the range at almost the lowest price? If so, then this 60” (150 cm) flatscreen from Panasonic is what you have been looking for Like all of Panasonic’s latest offering, this unit boasts the Smart VIERA functionality, giving you the ability to connect to your friends and family abroad, or a place to store and view your photos, videos and movies.
Coming standard with built-in Wi-Fi and DLNA networking technologies means this TV to communicate with compatible Panasonic devices like digital cameras & DVD players. With the ability to translate 2D images to active Full-HD 3D, super-sharp fast motion, high contrasts, deepest blacks & on-screen access to Telstra Bigpond Movies, Quickflix, Yahoo!7 and ABC iVIEW, in addition to global giants like YouTube, Skype, Facebook, and Twitter, when it comes to value for money, this TV from Panasonic wins hands down.
LG 55-inch LM7600 - $2,099
Although some have called this a mid-range TV, at a healthy 55” (or 140 cm if you like), it offers Cinema 3D, a single-core powered Smart TV with the Magic Remote, and built-in Wi-Fi. And that's just for starters. In terms of aesthetics, this is as minimalistic as it gets in Flatscreen land- but when it comes to features, there is nothing minimalistic about this LG device.
Like all new LG TV's, it uses the DLNA-powered SmartShare features means users can access video, pictures and music from PCs, Macs, laptops, smartphones, tablets etc. – via its DLNA technology. It also reads content from other devices such as a USB sticks, hard drives or just about anything else that can be plugged in to the back of this behemoth.
As for its 3D functionality, it uses the same passive 3D engine as most other LG screens which means that not only you can use lightweight and inexpensive 3D glasses, but also that this TV won’t cost you an arm and a leg. LG has done its homework and when it comes to its latest range- the price point, picture quality and ease of use should make their TVs very worthwhile contenders for your next flatscreen purchase.