Video and Audio Center Blog



Monday, December 16, 2013

WHAT MAKES A “SMART TV?”

Everybody is always talking about "Smart TVs" like TVs were dumb before. Okay, that's not quite fair - all a TV in the past had to do was light up with a broadcast picture when turned on, and show other channels when you used the remote. TVs now can do a lot more than that - provided they have a way of connecting to the Internet. That's why there's a connection on the back similar to that on a computer so it can be plugged into a home network. Of course it makes more sense for that connection to be wireless since TVs are the centerpiece of a living room or in a bedroom, not on a computer desk. So what's "Smart TV" all about? It's about features that do similar things to what your iPhone/iPad/Android phone-tablet can do - but on a much BIGGER screen. And surprisingly, the "Smart TV" doesn't have to be on the TV itself.









This Sony has "Internet" in the name because "Smart TV" features are built right on top of a high resolution picture with the kind of color that makes you think you've been looking at TVs through dirty glasses until now. Want to make video calls with Skype, go ahead. How about "throwing" what's on your phone to the big screen? Sure. Plus you can view 3D content from online, or access social media like Facebook or streaming video like vimeo or vudu. The Sony Entertainment Network adds apps and games and music to where you'll never want to turn the TV off.

Come into one of the Super Stores (Santa Monica, South Bay, Agoura Hills) to see for yourself how "Image is Everything" and enter the V&AC-Sony exclusive PICTURE Yourself in BRAZIL contest: take a selfie with a Sony product to win an amazing trip to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Samsung, meanwhile, makes watching even easier because its 60" Smart TV model responds to voice commands as well as hand gestures when navigating through "Smart TV" content features in the innovative Smart Hub that brings content and games and apps and more all together. Plus the Smart Evolution Kit can update the technology inside later on — something other TVs can't do.
Everyone knows that a Blu-ray player spins high definition discs that become high-resolution pictures on a HDTV. And this player's no slouch when it comes to watching a movie - not when the optical drive's sealed to keep out interfering dust, and the Quick Start/Load feature keeps you from having to wait for that Full HD 1080p image to appear. But get a "Smart TV" BD player like this one, and you can start watching Netflix or YouTube or Hulu Plus even though the TV itself isn't smart. The Sony Entertainment Network's there too — that means apps to run like on a smartphone or tablet, and movies to buy or rent. Wireless connectivity, sure
Football or Soccer, doesn't matter — sports sounds best when the TV plays loud. That's why an AV receiver connected to multiple speakers makes sense: 100 watts per channel x 7 means surround sound that gives you more of a stadium "feel" when watching at home. And sure there's Bluetooth and Airplay and all kinds of audio enhancement tech to work with — 8 HD video inputs in all and that includes handling native 4K resolution. But because there's built-in Wi-Fi, not only can you stream music from the Internet or your home network, but you can also access audio from Pandora, Music Unlimited, Slacker and tuner directly from the receiver. An HDMI plug is easy to insert, partially because there's no lock on it, just insert and give a push till it stops. But the number of wires being used by the plug can change, providing that the powers-that-be agree as to how many are needed to do what. Which they did when they added 3D to the mix: a TV has to have v1.4 to do 3D. That leaves out using an amplifier as a switcher for routing video if its HDMI is only 1.3 or even less. So if you have a Blu-ray player that can do 3D, that means its HDMI is onboard too.

And if your night table needs dressing up, come into the store and take a look at the new TIVOLI AUDIO MSY2BLK Music System Two: gorgeous in black ash/silver, sure, but this all in one system has stereo driven by separate amplifiers, custom drivers and an adjustable bottom-firing subwoofer. Digital backlit display, AM/FM clock with battery backup and dual independent alarms so no fighting over when to get up.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the article Marshal. For those who live outside US like me, you can access Netflix, Hulu and similar media stations on your samsung Smart TV by using UnoTelly or similar tools.

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