Help me choose a Smart TV

We don't have cable. Haven't watched it for about 5 years now.

What we do have is streaming services.

Any suggestions for mid-range Smart TVs?

I am in Canada. I know this is important because the OS on some models is different from Europe to North America.

The big "How do I choose an HDTV?" thread.

But also the LG brand C1/C2/C3 (OLED model, new releases over a few years) is fantastic.

Need to know:

Size
budget
primary use cases, if any besides streaming
ambient light levels
care/don't care about burn-in risk

mudbunny wrote:

We don't have cable. Haven't watched it for about 5 years now.

What we do have is streaming services.

Any suggestions for mid-range Smart TVs?

I am in Canada. I know this is important because the OS on some models is different from Europe to North America.

Whichever “smart” tv you buy, get an AppleTV or Roku and use their apps instead.

Also, don’t add the tv to your home wifi. Hook it up to ethernet for firmware update ONLY and yank the plug when not in use.

Size - 40-50 inches

budget - no more than about $600

primary use cases - STreaminig, with the occasional hooking up of a laptop or XBox

ambient light levels - Basement, with light coming through blinds off to the side

I would rather not worry about burn-in

PaladinTom wrote:

Also, don’t add the tv to your home wifi. Hook it up to ethernet for firmware update ONLY and yank the plug when not in use.

Why?

You might want to consider going with 55", as features even on a mid budget tv trend to drop off below that.

My suggestion is to look at TCL and Hisense, which give a lot more value in that price range. Take a look at what a TCL 6 series or Hisense U6 or U7 cost at 55", I think either would work great in your situation.

Unless you are trying to go high end with an OLED, I would just look at whatever models have Roku UI built in these days. It used to be TCL, not sure about now.

If you don't want those brands, get whatever brand you do want and instead of using their built in junk, get a Roku to plug in.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Unless you are trying to go high end with an OLED, I would just look at whatever models have Roku UI built in these days. It used to be TCL, not sure about now.

If you don't want those brands, get whatever brand you do want and instead of using their built in junk, get a Roku to plug in.

2nd the built in Roku or stand alone roku. So much easier to use than the tv apps.

mudbunny wrote:
PaladinTom wrote:

Also, don’t add the tv to your home wifi. Hook it up to ethernet for firmware update ONLY and yank the plug when not in use.

Why?

1) Multiple instances of TV's being wildly insecure devices
2) Several instances of them just straight up containing spyware by default
3) Many of them have built in microphones for voice commands and some even have built in cameras of one variety or another. Those things combined with their relative lack of security is more than enough for me to keep my TV's offline except for firmware updates.

On top of that the built in apps are almost always worse in noticeable ways than if you just get a dedicated streaming box of your choice. And that's if they have access to all of them to start with. There's still times when certain TV manufacturers just choose not to pay whatever the price is to include certain apps on a given lineup of their TV's and you just can't use the built in interface for one specific service. If you just get a box you generally dodge this.

I vastly prefer the Shield TV options, but the current top end Apple TV is genuinely good if you like the Apple ecosystem.

Roku has a lot of fans as well, obviously. Last time I used one Roku did not have native apps for at least two things I was using regularly, but if they do have apps for all the services you want they have good devices.

I think the HiSense U7H and TCL S series should both be available at the 55 inch size right around or even below your $600 budget. In that range I think those are probably the two I'd look at hardest.

I second the other votes for TCL and/or Roku. I have four TCL's with Roku built in. They are all still working fine, no issues. I also have a Samsung whose smart apps were slow from day 1 and didn't have everything supported, so it got a Roku added. I also have an LG C1 with the same issue - not all smart apps I use are supported. The LG is far and away the best quality picture, but out of your budget unless you get a previous year's model. Samsung's picture is fine, just budget in $100 for a Roku (the sticks are meh, I had one overheat and eventually die, but the Ultra has been great). The TCL's won't win any awards for picture, but they're totally fine unless you're picky about that, and the built-in Roku has been rock solid, plus having only one remote is fantastic.

I recently had a TCL with built in roku fail after about a year and half. Backlight LED's failed. Read that this is a common failure point with the TCL. Trying an Hisense with roku now and is working fine. Super inexpensive tv but the screen looks good. Watch it only from direct center so not sure how it is for angle viewing.

tundra wrote:

I recently had a TCL with built in roku fail after about a year and half. Backlight LED's failed. Read that this is a common failure point with the TCL.

My TCL in my office has what I think is failure of the top row of backlight LEDs. I bought what I think are the right ones to replace them, but I haven't lugged the TV onto my workbench to crack open yet.

But consider this a +1 to "TCL LED backlight failure" stories.

Very disappointing, seeing as I have a couple Vizio TVs from like 2008 who are still working almost flawlessly.

*Legion* wrote:
tundra wrote:

I recently had a TCL with built in roku fail after about a year and half. Backlight LED's failed. Read that this is a common failure point with the TCL.

My TCL in my office has what I think is failure of the top row of backlight LEDs. I bought what I think are the right ones to replace them, but I haven't lugged the TV onto my workbench to crack open yet.

But consider this a +1 to "TCL LED backlight failure" stories.

Very disappointing, seeing as I have a couple Vizio TVs from like 2008 who are still working almost flawlessly.

From what I read, it could be a couple failure points on the TCL's. The backlight led strip or the micro board they attach to fails, usually due to overheating. Backlights are a fairly inexpensive fix, board is another issue. Good luck on your fix.

I was also looking for a good Smart TV without cable. I went with a Samsung one, and it's been fantastic for streaming in Canada. It is easy to use, and the picture quality is excellent.

Also, I found this streaming service, beste iptv kopen, that's been perfect for me. It's only 15 euros monthly, or you can pay 99 euros for the whole year. You get tons of channels and movies in super clear quality. It works great with my Samsung TV and even on my phone. They also have this neat deal where you can collect points and get some months for free.