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Best TVs - review


#1

CHOICE has reviewed TVs across a range of different brands and sizes, including LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and more. Read our TV buying guide to help select the right type of television for your home, and then find the best television with our comparative review (member content).

Have a question about televisions? Ask us in the comments below.


#2

Your review includes a reference to Smart TVs - I was an early adopter of this technology and have three of different ages. Samsung, LG and Sony. I have a rather jaundiced view of Smart TVs based on my experiences - To date, my Samsung has removed the Netflix ap, and the LG has removed the You Tube ap. The Sony as my most recent purchase is still intact. The manufacturers failure to provide long term support for the aps is a problem that no one would be aware of when purchasing a Smart TV. I don’t know about the price premium for a Smart vs Dumb TV but I would recommend that a better solution would be to purchase a separate box such as an Apple or Telstra TV. I have a Telstra TV which came free and is constantly being upgraded. At the end of October it had a major upgrade and it now provides a search function across all its streaming aps. You can search a TV program or movie and it will tell you which of its aps to use to watch it. None of my Smart TVs can match it.


#3

We’ve updated our TV review (member content) with the latest models and testing results.


#4

We often get asked about product reliability, and recently we surveyed 6800 CHOICE members about their TV performance to help answer that question. See which TV brands performed the best (member content).


#5

I would like to echo older comments that with smart TVs a common source of problems is not hardware but software. I have problems regularly, probably every couple of weeks on average, with a streaming service refusing to work properly. The symptoms can be a crash or freeze or buffering and poor quality. I am fairly sure it is not the data feed as no other device on my network has such problems and the download speed is consistently several times that required for a HD stream. The problem happens with both Stan and Netflix, I cannot say if it is the apps or the OS or some combination. The usual fix is a cold boot from the powerpoint.


#6

This sounds incredibly frustrating, and it could be argued, I think, that the TV is not fit-for-purpose. If you purchase a smart TV to enable the viewing of streamed services, then the TV should be able to perform this task in an acceptable manner.

I am fairly confident that you will answer ‘yes’, but have you checked that the TV has the latest firmware and app updates ? In the lab, we can see that some manufacturers roll out updates very frequently. When we are at our busiest, we can turn around a test batch in around three weeks, and we often see firmware for some brands changing between batches.


#7

Yes, part of the fun has been forcing updates to take place even though ‘auto update’ option is turned on. The problem used to be much worse and I did pursue it then but now it is at the point where it is tolerable. I haven’t been keeping a log of what happened and when recently and to me it isn’t worth the trouble of taking it further now. Spending hours on the phone or swapping emails is no fun unless you have no choice, so I just reboot and the streaming service takes us back to where it died and we go on.

With no keyboard or mouse the interface is particularly slow and klunky for debugging and keeping track of things so that you can work through all the combinations of hardware, local network, internet, server, OS and app it is all too painful.

Your point that the combination of hardware and software must be fit for purpose is well taken. In the past whenever a support person has been tempted to claim its someone elses problem I beat them over the head with that and we continue.