Smart TV Apps
So @CB & I are moving with Theresa to a new apartment and we are buying new TVs. I have my eye on two reasonably priced smart TVs one from Telefunken & one from Toshiba. Does anyone know of a way to see what Apps are available for each of them before we buy them? My initial Googling has not turned up a tidy list of apps to browse ;)
We are particularly heavy users of:
- YouTube (YouTube was on the box of both of them so I guess that's covered)
Is there any chance that the available Apps are regional dependent (bc Germany/EU)? Its not the end of the world if we have to continue to use a Fire Stick, but it seems silly to have a Fire Stick plugged into a Smart TV :P
It is very possible that apps could be region dependent. I also didn't find an easy list from quick search, which is likely because any list they put out will become dated pretty quickly. Can you see them in person and just look at their app stores?
You might have some luck looking for those apps -> things that support them, e.g. this link for Sling, Netflix is on all major manufacturer's TVs, PLEX here (note the point that any Android powered smart TV will run their PLEX app), etc.
Personally, I've liked looking for a TV to be a TV and letting the external device handle apps because they were more frequently updated and are possible to upgrade w/o buying a new TV if the hardware becomes dated. That being said, I've almost stopped using my Chromecast because the apps on the TV are sufficient 🙅.
I also felt like it was silly to get a TV with apps, but now the devices that run these apps are so cheap and tiny, I feel like they break or get overheated and need to be replaced so often (We've gone through three FireTV sticks that just stopped working well.) Maybe it's okay to just let the TV handle it now. And if I need to I can always still get an HDMI device to plug into it, and bypass the TV's software.
Also, when we were at the appliance store the other day, I don't think I even saw any TVs that did not have apps already installed, so... I think this is just where the tech has gone.
I have an LG TV that runs on WebOS. Does all the major streaming apps except HBO. Works as well as my Apple TV or FireTV.
Can you even buy a dumb TV that has modern resolution and display these days?
I have a ton of experience with current consumer electronics.
Smart TV is always interesting because the platforms and device integration are constantly evolving. If you don't care about strong voice integration, I'd say just get a Roku Premiere and plug it into an HDMI port, its the platform with the most available apps and they are not driving a specific ecosystem agenda so it tends to work with every app fine. Amazon, Apple and Google devices live to take you where they want you to go.
As far as Smart TV platforms go, Sony uses an android TV platform that is 100% hot rotten garbage, avoid at all costs. LG WebOS TV's are pretty good, and frankly I'm partial to their IPS panels for picture quality on a budget but that's just my eyes. Toshiba uses Fire TV in the states, it's Alexa integration is really good if you are deep in the Amazon jungle already, if you use a fire TV stick it will be immediately familiar. Samsung is a bit of a wild card, they have a few operating systems depending on what model you buy, their better TV's are commendable but their more budget conscious models perform really poorly as smart TV's, with Samsung what you spend matters. Vizio has a unique approach, they only include a few core apps in the TV, it's very limited, but what they do is build in Chromecast and Airplay 2 integration so you can throw content up on the screen from other devices. We have a Vizio TV and love it, but we do augment it with a Roku for when we want a really weird app, for example when a family member is playing a Division 2 college game and I want that regional sports channel to see it, I just find it on the Roku when I must.
I guess what I'm saying, is whatever you get, having a little $35 streaming device on hand is still alright, it's not like your cheating on your smart TV manufacturer or anything.
Yes, I bought one recently. Already have Chromecast so none of the apps appeal to me. Price wise was about around $100 cheaper than the equivalent "smart" TV.
To me, all I really want is: 4K display with support for 4K streaming (that's often the forgotten part). for example, if you have a 4K tv, are you sure your stick has 4K streaming support for Netflix or Amazon or whatever? A lot of people forget that part.
We have a sony android TV here at ICHQ. Your "hot rotten garbage avoid at all costs" is pretty dramatic. It's not great, but it's not THAT bad 🙄
I'm a passionate guy, and Sony Android Televisions are the devil. Mind you, they design very good looking panels, they really pop with great color on their higher end stuff, but that OS... OMG that OS.... It's bloated and clunky and it causes users more trouble than it's worth. Did I mention that I hate the Sony implementation of the Android TV OS?
I think at the level of a large modern 4k display, no one cares about the OS on the TV. We're using gaming consoles and Apple TVs for content and the TV is just a display.
I thought I'd throw my two cents in on here. Lots of great feedback and opinions from the community!
My family's primary TV is a Vizio M series. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it handles Netflix and Plex natively. It does have a hiccup now and then. We have other older Vizio TVs which handled Netflix okay, but kept running into buffering issues on Plex.
For our other room (which is an older Vizio), we use an Nvidia Shield TV. That thing handles everything we throw at it.
We have a Roku Streaming Stick, which works well most of the time. However, we mostly use it as our travel device.
The Nvidia Shield TV has been, by far, the most rock solid performer.
*cough* Nvidia Shield TV *cough*
(if you do consider the Shield, might want to consider waiting for its next version that will support wider HDR and Google Stadia)