Smart TV (also known as connected TV or internet-enabled TV) is coming of age just in time for a summer of sport that begs you to upgrade the goggle box. Bringing down the wall between your living room and the internet, it can serve up a dazzling array of social media, on-demand video and apps, as well as dishing out premium grade HD telly. Here are some of the best smart TV options out there. We've included general pricing as a guide: you should be able to find each model below the quoted RRP.
Don’t by be fooled by its supermodel looks – the ES8000 (as it’s known to its friends) also has face recognition, cutting-edge voice and motion control and a cluster of apps that includes social media titans Twitter and Facebook. This 3D-ready 55in Samsung has brains to match the beauty of its razor-thin bezel and shiny frame, and the price tag reflects the eye-opening detail of the steady picture.
The 3D-enabled, internet-loving HX850 is 55in of indulgence for your eyeballs and while it’s happy bringing YouTube to your living room, it’s happiest when fed the hi-def treats that really help it show off its glossy coat. Access to the Sony Entertainment Network means accessing those from the video shop in the sky couldn’t be easier.
Traditionally speaking, internet on TVs and consoles has been hobbled by horrible browsers, so it’s nice to see LG’s 55in LM9600 has a decent window to the web. Like the Samsung ES8000, it has gesture and voice control (via the remote) and while expensive, its stunning design and flawless visual performance make it a worthy adversary to the Samsung.
Turn on Panny’s smart plasma and it doesn’t muck about, inviting you to head straight for Viera Connect (Panasonic’s hub for all things internet). Admittedly, that can be a pain when you’re in a rush to watch something on old-fashioned broadcast TV, but it’s a reminder that Panasonic’s not pulling any connected punches. And the picture? It’s stellar in 2D or 3D, as you’d expect.
You might be wide-eyed at the frankly astonishing price tag on Tosh’s 55in telly, but you’re paying for more than just access to Toshiba Places (the home of all things internet on a Tosh TV). The 55ZL2 is the world’s first commercially available glasses-free 3D TV, plus it’s packing serious pixels with Quad HD resolution that promises to make your 1080p set hang its HDMI cable in shame. [Note: The 55ZL2 has yet to make it to Australia, so don't bin those 3D shades just yet.]