What Connections Do I Need To Watch 4k
Wed love to say an HDMI socket and leave it at that, but unfortunately its not that simple.
The issue here is that not all HDMI sockets are equal. There have been multiple versions/standards of HDMI since the digital connection first appeared, with the latest v2.0 HDMI specification being defined specifically with 4K feeds in mind.
The most significant advantage of HDMI 2.0 is that they support increased data bandwidth, and so enable playback of 4K feeds with full colour sampling at frame rates of up to 60fps. The previous HDMI 1.4 supports 4K feeds up to 30fps.
Most of the major 4K TV brands now carry HDMI 2.0 in their current TVs LG, Sony, Panasonic and Samsung are all onboard with it now, as is Philips.
Related: What is HDR TV?
What Services Do Smart TVs Offer And How Do They Differ From One Another
Regardless of which TV brand you choose, today’s smart TVs will offer a variety of streaming services and content choices, including services like Netflix, , Disney Plus or HBO Max. But it’s not all paid subscription services, with a growing number of ad supported free streaming services like PlutoTV, Tubi and Crackle.
Check out our guides to the best streaming content available:
- The best Hulu movies and shows
Popular video sharing sites, like YouTube, also have their own smart TV apps for easy browsing that’s tailored to viewing on a TV and navigating with a remote control. Smart TVs also offer a great way to enjoy streaming music, with internet radio services like Spotify and Pandora.
Most smart TVs have apps for social media, like Twitter and Facebook, but without adding a keyboard it may be harder to enjoy these sites the way you are used to.
The biggest trends in smart TVs is the inclusion of voice assistants, like and . These interactive tools provide the same functionality as most smart speakers, and can be used with either a microphone built into the remote or microphones built into the TV that listen to the room.
Finally, the smart TV has become a central hub in our connected homes, providing compatibility and control for a household full of connected devices, ranging from smart doorbells to smart thermostats. With many TVs offering smart home controlled dashboards, you can control a huge variety of devices from the comfort of your couch.
Important Note On Android TV And Google TV
In 2021, Google began rolling out a large update to the Android TV platform. This update included many changes, a new interface, and a new name Google TV. Google TV is designed to be more personalized than Android TV, with Googles A.I. capabilities working behind the scenes to find recommended content. The layout has also changed to become easier to quickly navigate and more versatile for a variety of activities. However, its no longer called Android TV.
Some older devices that were using Android TV can be updated to adopt some of the Google TV features and the new interface, along with the new name. If you recently updated your device and found that references to Android TV had vanished, this is probably why. Newer devices are adopting Google TV from the outset, so if you buy a new Sony TV and even some new TCL TVs today, it will come loaded with Google TV, not Android TV. Googles own Chromecast has also been updated to the new version, which is officially called the Chromecast with Google TV. Google has plans to by 2022.
Note that the capabilities and most of the actual platform remain the same as Android TV. Google TV just includes some new technology and a new look to make the most of the latest features. Your Google Account connection, etc., will function the same way.
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Check If Your TV Is Connected To The Internet
You can use the arrow controls on your remote to highlight one of the squares that you can now see on the screen. These squares are known as apps.
Highlight the YouTube app and press the OK button on your remote. If YouTube doesnt load, look for your TV settings, and follow the steps to connect the smart TV to your home Wi-Fi.
This can be a bit complicated, so you might like to ask a family member or friend for help.
How To Make Your Current TV Smart
If you dont want to splash out on a smart TV, there are more affordable ways to get internet services on your current television. These include:
Need help getting other devices connected to your TV. Use our free tool to see exactly which devices to wire in to which connection and further advice on hooking up everything from a sound bar to a smartphone.
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How Does Streaming On My TV Work
Connecting an external device to one of your TV ports, such as HDMI, makes your normal TV smarter. Adding this device gives you access to numerous channels and apps via your internet connection.
The faster your internet speed is, the smoother your viewing experience will be. Streaming downloads the content as you use it, so the quicker your speed is, the less likely you will be faced with irritating buffering symbols!
What do I need for streaming with a device?
A fast internet connection. That’s it! All streaming devices come with the cables they need to get set up. So all you need to do is plug it in, connect it to the WiFi, get comfy and enjoy!
What’s New With Android TV
Android TV has been around since 2014, but it’s regularly updated and new features are often added to bring it up to speed with the smart TV platform competition.
Here are a few of the most recent announcements and updates coming to the Android TV platform and smart TVs with it already built-in:
Android TVs are getting TikTok: Android smart TVs across UK and Europe now support the TikTok app the US might not be too far behind. The app launched on new Samsung TVs in late 2020, but it looks like TikTok’s plans for world domination are well underway as TVs with Google TV and Android TV operating systems now have the app too.
Android TV gets a slick makeover for 2021: Google has been rolling out a new user interface for Android TVs since January 2021. What’s the difference? The home screen will now have more content recommendations from the services you use the most, the Apps tab will collect all of your installed apps and the Discover tab will be easier to use too.
The Xiaomi Mi TV Q1 is a gorgeous, affordable 75-inch 4K TV: Xiaomi has lifted the lid on its new 75-inch Mi TV Q1. Its flagship TV supports 4K HDR and incorporates both Dolby Vision and HDR10+. It also packs Android 10. Its Xiaomis most premium TV to date and, the company told TechRadar in an interview that it could rival the Samsung Q80T in both specs and usability.
Recommended Reading: How To Add Apps To Philips Smart TV
What Are Freeview And Freeview Plus
Freeview is simply the brand behind free-to-air TV . It integrates the EPG , or onscreen program guide, which should be easy to navigate and read.
Most TVs also support Freeview Plus. This adds support for catch-up TV apps such as iView and 7plus, so you watch what you want when you want.
However, for all this to work you need your smart TV connected to the internet through your home network, as the catch-up TV is delivered to you via streaming video.
Can I Use My Smart TV With Amazon Alexa Or Google Home
The biggest trend in smart home technology is the smart speaker, a speaker with built in microphone and hardware to run a voice-enabled assistant. Amazon made the first big splash here with the and other Alexa-enabled devices, but Google’s own Google Assistant has made strides in products like the . And Apple’s HomePod puts Siri into a similar form factor.
The great news is that these devices will usually work with most smart TVs, and compatibility is improving all the time as new software updates add capability to existing smart TVs. As it stands, all of the major TV manufacturers have smart speaker compatibility with at least one of the three main smart assistant platforms . These options often require using an additional device, such as a smart speaker or mobile device, but it will give you a way to control your TV and smart devices with the convenience of simple speech.
Many of the smart TVs on the market now have these voice assistants built in. Google Assistant can be found in Android TVs from Sony and Hisense. Amazon Alexa is now offered Amazon Fire Edition TVs as well, and Sony has announced compatibility with a new Amazon Alexa app for Android TV. Even better, smart TVs from LG and Samsung now have both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built in.
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Android TV Vs Smart TV: Whats The Difference
The debate between Android TV and Smart TV has been going on for the past many years. For some, the simplicity of smart TV outweighs the features of Android TV and for the other lot, Android TV is the only way to consume online content on a larger screen thanks to all the cool things you can do with Android TV. So which TV platform is better: Android TV or Smart TV? Well, in this article we compare Android TV vs Smart TV side by side and learn about all the similarities and differences between the two platforms. So without further ado, lets go through the article.
Cost Of Service With Limited Content
Want to watch 4K content on Netflix? Youre going to pay extra. While the standard HD package costs $11 per month, 4K Premium streaming is $14 per month. If this cost included everything on Netflix, that would be fine. But 4K is primarily limited to Netflixs original programming and a few licensed titles.
thankfully does not charge a premium for 4K content. However, it only offers original series and Amazon produced movies for free to Prime subscribers. That wouldnt be such a big deal if Amazon made action movies, but its thoughtful and meditative indie movies dont always call for Ultra HD.
Read Also: Change Amazon Prime Profile On TV
Aside From Apps Do Smart TVs Have Other Benefits
Smart TVs do offer other potential advantages. The newest sets have added popular voice assistants to the mix. Voice search now lets you find content from live TV as well as streaming services, and adds search for everything from weather and stock prices to looking up the latest celebrity gossip. The voice integration lets you access other services from your couch, letting you order a pizza or summon an Uber in comfort. And if you don’t like the TV’s built-in voice assistant, you can usually pair it with the smart speaker of your choice.
These new features also let you control smart home devices like connected lights and thermostats, view feeds from your Nest camera or Ring doorbell, or control your robot vacuum. As voice assistants continue to evolve, you can expect to see the same improvements come to current smart TVs via software and firmware updates.
Because these TVs tend to have beefier processors than regular sets, as well as online connections, manufacturers can add other features, such as casual games, which are now quite common on smart sets. The games are nowhere near as sophisticated or as compelling as those available on a PlayStation or Xbox console, but they can be addictive.
A new trend in smart TVs is vastly improved built-in sound systems. LG and Sony are making particular advances in this area, offering Dolby Atmos sound on several models and hoping that the smart TV will also do duty as the home stereo system to stream music and online radio stations.
Android TV Special Features
Where Android TV separates itself from its peers with its app store, ability to cast video, and Google Assistant features. Androids Google Play app store is stocked with both apps and games, making Android TV a budget-priced gaming console. Users can use a third Bluetooth controller to play games, and some models come with their own controllers.
Beyond the official store, Android TV allows you to install third-party apps from unknown sources, opening up your device to a world of possibilities and dangers. Want your streaming device to also work as a SNES emulator? Android TV can do that provided of course youre prepared for the possibility of bricking your device if something goes wrong.
Official Android TV devices support Google Casting, allowing you to stream video and audio content from your phone onto your TV. This feature only works with certain apps, but most major streaming services support it. Casting might not immediately seem like a massive selling point, but especially around the holidays, its nice to be able to pull up photos for the whole family to see, directly from your phone.
Android TV offers the most options and customization of any of the conventional streaming systems available on the market. Its far more power than some people will want or need, but when you want to go further, Android TV can take you there.
Editors note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
What Does Smart Television Mean
Smart television is TV that provides interactive features similar to those involved in Internet or Web services. This includes the ability to search for video or interact with the television in other ways. This can be done through a set-top box or through internal technology in the television, such as an operating system that commands and controls these interactive features.
Smart TV is also called connected TV or hybrid TV.
Android TV Vs Smart TV: Differences
In the above section, we discussed the fundamental difference between an Android TV and a smart TV. Here, we are going to talk about the differences at the OS level and which one makes more sense to consumers.
Starting with App Library, Android TV enjoys a vast library of apps thanks to the Play Store support. You will find all sorts of apps that you generally use on your smartphone. From YouTube to Netflix to Hulu and Prime Video, everything is available on Android TV. The best part is that all of the apps are optimized for the TV platform and has intuitive controls for the bigger screen.
Coming to smart TVs that run Tizen OS or WebOS, you have limited app support. Except for some popular entertainment apps like YouTube, Prime Video, and Netflix, you wont find many apps in its app store. The next point is that updates are hard to come by on smart TVs in comparison to Android TVs. On the other hand, Android TV development is quite active and developers regularly push new updates to a variety of apps.
Another major difference between Android TV and smart TV is screencasting. While Android TV has a built-in and deeply integrated Chromecast feature that works seamlessly with Android smartphones, smart TVs have screen mirroring that needs pairing and is a hassle to use. Unlike Chromecast that works in full-screen mode with sound output and exceptional quality output, screen mirroring on smart TVs has high latency and reduced quality output.
Read Also: How To Watch Tiktok On TV
How We Test Smart TVs
The app store is our first port of call when testing the smart capabilities of a TV. We’re looking for a good range of apps, intuitively laid out with a good search function. Speed is important, since these menus can be slow making adding new apps to your TV a laborious exercise.
We look to see how easy it is to arrange the apps you’ve downloaded. Ideally it should be simple to add favourites to your smart homescreen for easier access later.
We check to see if pre-installed apps can be removed, check to see whether voice control is present and try a few sample commands, too.
How Does Streaming TV Work
Basically, when you connect a TV to the internet and it has the apps necessary to convert video content, thats when the magic happens. Oh, but you need a subscription to a streaming service too. Youll see a list of these shortly.
Youve probably seen the new remotes that come with a big Netflix button for your convenience. Thats what Im talking about.
So you already know how streaming works. As a video file is being downloaded, the software decompresses it, converting it into a TV video signal.
If your network speed is good, youll be able to enjoy uninterrupted streaming in high definition. So take care of that first!
But I see youre still scratching your head. Thats why Ill tell you step by step
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Cable TV Vs Stream TV
Cable vs streaming. Who will win?
The statistics speak for themselves:
90% of young people prefer accessing TV content online.
Meanwhile, the number of pay-TV subscribers falls each year by 28%.
Still not convinced?
Check out more amazing cord-cutting stats here.
Its clear more and more people switch to streaming TV. But why is that? And will cable TV soon become a thing of the past?
Well, not quite.
Its true that theres a boom of subscribers to streaming services. They offer flexibility, more freedom, and choice. That said, theyre not for everyone.
If you follow a lot of different channels, TV shows, and sports, it might be as or even more expensive to switch to streaming compared to cable.
Of course, you can try having the best of both worlds or at least until you see which one you prefer.
You can see all the pros and cons of cord-cutting here and make up your mind.