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THINKING OF NEW CURTAINS
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SMART TECHNOLOGY: The Samsung UA46D700 Smar t T V is one of many on the mar-
ket that allows internet access.
By CLAIRE ROGERS
■ You’ve probably seen the flashy ads
promoting internet-connected TVs but
what are they and what can you do on
Internet TVs can connect to the
internet via an ethernet cable or a wi-fi
network. Some TVs will have built-in
wi-fi functionality while others will require
you to plug in a wi-fi dongle (USB
connection). You will of course need an
internet connection to your home to use
the TV’s internet features. Dick Smith
recommends a connection speed of at
least 1.5 megabits per second.
The TVs can be controlled with a
remote, wireless keyboard (usually sold
separately) and an Android or iPhone
- once you download. While internet
TVs, with high-definition screens,
are potentially browsing the web and
video chatting, there is still ver y little
programming for them in New Zealand.
Remember that any internet content
you access through the TVs will be
counted in your monthly data allowance.
SAMSUNG SMART TVs
Samsung’s Smart TVs include a web
browser and access to Samsung Apps
including YouTube, Google Maps and
the weather app Accuweather. You can
also Skype family and friends (you’ll need
to buy a camera separately though) and
use a social TV feature that lets you
use social networking services such as
Twitter and Facebook to chat with friends
while watching TV. Samsung’s AllShare
feature means its Smart TVs can stream
content such as movies, photos and
music from compatible devices such as
mobile phones and computers.
Not all Samsung Smart TVs have full
web-browsing and Skype functionality.
Two models that do (and are also 3-D)
are the “premium” D7000 and mid-range
The prices range from $1600 up to
$5999 for the 55-inch version.
Sony’s range of Bravia internet TVs let
you access your Twitter and Facebook
accounts and chat with contacts while
watching TV, and Skype friends and
family (again you’ll need to buy the Sony
camera separately). You can also surf
the web, watch more than 20 internet
channels including YouTube, food
channel Epicurious and golf channel
Golflink, and listen to songs on Sony’s
paid music download service Qriocity.
Sony also lets you stream content
wirelessly over your home network from
compatible devices such as computers
and the PlayStation3. Sony has a
pay-per-view video on demand service
but that is not yet available to New
Sony’s Bravia TVs begin at $899 for
the entry-level 32-inch CX520 and ramp
up to $6999 for the 55-inch 3-D HX925.
PANASONIC VIERA CONNECT
The Viera Connect series includes
access to the likes of Facebook and
Twitter, and of course YouTube. The TVs
support Skype (camera sold separately),
and you can get world news and weather
reports, and listen to radio through
Shoutcast internet radio. You can also
upload, sort and edit your digital photos
through a Google Picasa application.
The TVs do not have a web browser but
support content streaming from other
compatible devices over your home
network. Viera Connect plasma models
include the 42-inch, 3-D TH-P42VT30Z
($3300) and the 46-inch, 3-D TH -
LG’s Smart TV range lets you
browse the web and access a range
of “premium” content such as Twitter,
Google Maps, Accuweather, Facebook
and YouTube. LG’s SmartShare function
lets you wirelessly access and enjoy
content on compatible devices such as
smartphones and PCs though your TV.
You can also Skype and access LG’s
own range of lifestyle applications and
games. LG has five ranges of Smart TVs.
The 32-inch LV3730 is the cheapest
($1299). At the other end of the scale is
the 3-D 60 -inch PZ950 ($4799). LG has
also developed the SmartBox ($499) -
a device that turns any high-definition
HDMI capable TV into a web-enabled
world on your TV
3D was the new big thing in televisions last year
This year it’s all about bringing the
web to your flat-screen
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