A key point that is missing from the Buying Guide but which comes through very clearly from customers here is …
Apps (Netflix, Stan, ABC iView etc.) can be downloaded to your smart TV, so you can watch online content
but apps stop working.
The service provider will make an incompatible change to the service (or discontinue it altogether) and between the service provider and the manufacturer, no updated app is ever released - so the service is no longer usable.
Part of the problem is that if the manufacturer is a bit niche, the service provider may have negligible interest in providing an updated app for that platform - while perhaps the manufacturer does not have sufficient information to provide an updated app. Hence scale (critical mass) becomes important, but we know from the desktop world how that story goes. (Occasionally it may be that an updated app is simply not possible because upgraded hardware is needed.)
In my view this situation isn’t good enough and either the ACCC needs to step in or, if the ACCC has insufficient power, the parliament needs to step in. Mind you, the ABC - ostensibly government-controlled - is an offender in this regard.
There should be a legal requirement with Smart TVs that a service is available for X years after the TV is sold. That implies that the manufacturer should sign contracts with the service provider to pass on that obligation.
I am not suggesting that all of the above discussion is appropriate for the Buying Guide - but some kind of warning should be present.
The other side of this coin though is the expansion of the Big Tech monetisation model to TVs. Google has released a TV platform, which is likely to be popular and well-supported by service providers, but you would then be selling yourself when you watch TV just as you do when you use any number of other Google services.