Columbia ISA
Audio – Video


SMART TV Introduction and Basics

SMART TV Buying Guide


A Smart TV is a television with Internet capability. A smart TV adds computing power to a TV and internet connectivity for video and audio content.

A Smart TV contains a built-in user interface for accessing streaming video and audio content. These TV models allow you to navigate to some of your favorite internet-accessible content. Direct internet access is a somewhat standard feature on newer models of TVs. Accessing the internet directly can enable you to stream movies and TV shows, or even surf the web directly on your TV screen.

                              SAMSUNG Smart TV

Every Smart TV manufacturer uses their own standard operating system and they sometimes change their operating systems when new models are designed. Therefore it is an ever changing landscape. Incompatibilities abound. Not all websites are supported by Smart TVs and not all software is supported by Smart TVs. Some Smart TVs cannot browse the web like a laptop or tablet. Still, using the big screen TV instead of a smart phone, tablet or laptop gives an exciting new look to internet and personal content.

Internet connection: Smart TVs use either a hard-wired ethernet cable connection or a wireless Wi-Fi hookup to your broadband internet service. Most Smart TVs have Wireless built-in but if yours doesn't, you can add an adapter.

Streaming Devices vs Smart TV

Any TV can become a Smart TV by using a Streaming Device. These devices are sold by Amazon (Fire TV Stick), Apple, ROKU and others. Your older TV will need an inexpensive HDMI adapter and possibly an RF Modulator in addition to the streaming device but it does work and you have internet content on your older TV. This really raises the question, why do I need a smart TV?

It is not that you specifically need a smart TV but that you may want a modern TV with 4K video resolution and surround sound in addition to the flat, big screen design. Otherwise all you need is a streaming device. In fact, the streaming devices may be the better option.

Once you get the TV you want, you can just upgrade with streaming devices. As time goes by, the technology will advance and when it does, your smart TV will become outdated and may not even work anymore to access internet content from specific content providers. Technology advances means upgrades to your devices. It is far cheaper to buy a new streaming device than it is to buy a new TV.

Your Smart TV may offer access to hundreds of apps, many of which you really want, however some apps may not be available on your TV and they may be apps you want. So what do you do now, buy another TV with those apps? Obviously not, that would be expensive and what happens when the technology changes. It would be better to buy a streaming device with access to those apps and plug it into your TV. For example if you have a Samsung TV but can only access an app from a ROKU TV stick then buy a ROKU stick or a Fire TV stick and plug into your Samsung TV. In this case, the TV is only being used as a display. The internet access and processing is being done by the streaming device and it may be faster than your TV processor.

Smart TV Price:

65 inch TV screens are the new norm. Among all 60 - 69 inch Smart TVs, the average price is $2,500. You can get some Smart TVs for much less with smaller screen sizes, some around $200.

The price per inch is calculated in order to try to standardize the relative value of TVs across a wide range of sizes. It is not a measure of quality, but rather the amount of money you pay per inch of the TV's diagonal size. The average price per inch of all 60 - 69 inch, 4K Ultra HD TVs is $56.

4K Ultra HD resolution is one of the highest resolutions available on TVs today. 4K describes the number of pixels wide the display is, though in reality it is actually 3,840 pixels wide. It is also 2,160 pixels tall, meaning that 4K Ultra HD TVs have 4 times more pixels than 1080p HDTVs.

Vertical Resolution

4K Ultra HD Screen Technology:
LCD Backlighting LED - Local Dimming
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Resolution Dimensions 3840 x 2160 pixels  

Optimal Viewing Distance 8.7 feet
Minimum Viewing Distance 78 inches
Maximum Viewing Distance 162.5 inches

How Far Away Should You Sit?

The recommended distance for viewing a 65 inch screen is 8' 8". The minimum and maximum viewing distances are provided to give you an idea of how far away you should be sitting from your TV while watching it. The minimum viewing distance of 6' 6" is estimated by THX, a high-fidelity visual reproduction standard company. The maximum viewing distance of 13' 7" is cited by many television manufacturers and retailers.

Features to look for in a Smart TV:

• Built in Wi-Fi
• DLNA-Compatible
• Bluetooth
• Multiple Languages
• Parental Control with V-Chip
• Sleep Timer
• Voice control
• Stand Included
• VESA Compliant
• Volume Leveler
• Screen mirroring with smartphone

Other Features
• Closed Caption Capability
• Local Dimming
• Internet Compatibility with Netflix, Skype, Web Browser, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter


Connection Types
Video Connectivity
Component video
Composite video
DLNA Compatible
HDMI 2.1
RF Port for Antenna
USB 2.0

Network Connectivity

• Ethernet / LAN
• WiFi

Audio Connectivity

• Digital Optical
• Headphones for private listening

Which Connections Do I Need for a Smart TV?

HDMI ports are today's standard method for connecting devices to your TV, but if there are older devices  that you'd still like to use with your Smart TV, check to make sure what type of connection it uses and that the connection type is available on the Smart TV.

HDMI Ports: Most larger Smart TVs have 4 HDMI ports, which is today's standard for transferring video and digital audio data from one device to another. 

USB Ports: USB ports are very versatile ports, capable of connecting a multitude of devices to your TV. If you want to connect things like your phone or digital camera, a USB port is a must have connection.

Component Inputs: Component inputs refer to the three colored cables (red, green, blue) that all plug into a TV to transmit video signal. These are an older video-transmitting technology compared to HDMI, but if you have a device that uses these, you'll want a TV that can connect to component inputs.

Composite Inputs: The white, red, and yellow cable combination is what's known as a composite input. This input is very old and not really in use by today's new devices, but older devices like a VCR for example, use it to transfer audio and video. If you want to connect an old device, you'll probably want to have at least one of these inputs.

Digital Audio Ports (Optical): Digital audio, or an optical audio cable, is simply a type of cable that is used for transmitting high-quality audio signal. If you're planning on connecting a high-quality sound system to your Smart TV, this type of connection will be used.

Physical Specs

The average weight of a 60 - 69 inch TV is 61 lbs.
You will want to take into account the weight if:

The TV will be wall-mounted or
The TV will be difficult for you to transport, move and set up.

The depth of a TV is almost entirely dependent on its screen technology, or the method of lighting up the TV's display. This is due to differences in the space necessary between the light source and the TV's screen for operation. LED-LCD TVs use light emitting diodes to backlight the LCD screen, which makes them one of the thinnest and lightest display types around today.

Among all LED-LCD TVs, the average depth is just under 3 inches.
Height 33 inches
Width 57 inches

Accessing internet sources

Typically you need to create an account on the providers side and then download the client side application. Some of the more popular apps are preloaded into the Smart TV. You sign-in to your account and then access content, either paid or free.

Smart TV brands

The top brands are Samsung, LG, and Sony.
Second tier brands are Hisense, TCL, Insignia, Vizio, Sharp and Philips.

Smart TV FAQ

Q: Will a Smart TV replace my cable TV programming?
A: No. You will be able to get some but certainly not all of the programming available.

Q: Can I get local broadcast TV channels on a Smart TV?
A: Yes. Smart TVs have digital tuners to receive local TV shows over the air.

Q: Can I still use my satellite TV provider on a Smart TV?
A: Yes. Smart TVs have HDMI inputs to accept cable/satellite TV boxes.

Q: Will my ROKU work on a Smart TV?
A: Yes, and ROKU may provide content not available from the Smart TV.

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