One of the common electronic in most households is a TV, choosing the right one can be a hustle, we are going to look at common terms you will find when looking for a smart TV, features to consider and at the bottom, mention some top smart TVs brands in Kenya and the OS they use., we strongly recommend you to go through the article before you decide on the type of Tv to buy.
What is a Tv?
A Television, abbreviated as TV is an electronic device that receives signals and changes them into images and sounds. This signals could be from broadcasting stations or from an input device connected either by a wireless connection or cables to the TV, for example, a DVD player.
So for the device to be a TV, it must have the ability of receiving signals, displaying images, commonly done through a screen and also transmit sound either through an inbuilt sound system or an external sound system connected to it.
Also see:Top subwoofer brands in Kenya
Common terms used by TV manufacturers you should understand
TVs manufacturers will use different terminologies to explain the Tv capability and type, below we will look at them.
1. Full HD, 4K (Ultra HD) and 8K (Full Ultra HD).
The term HD in this case stands for High definition.
All of the above classifications are used to show which video quality a TV is capable of showing. Common video qualities include: 480p. 720p, 1080p etc
Ful HD is usually a classification of TVs capable of showing videos of up to 1080p quality.
4K also referred to as ultra HD is capable of showing videos with up to 2160p quality.
8K also known as Full Ultra HD is the newest technology in the market, it is capable of displaying videos with a quality of up to 4320p. However, videos with this quality are not yet a lot, this is because before the 8K, there was no technology to display videos with this quality hence weren’t produced, with time, content of 4320p will be available.
If you want a high quality displaying TV, the 4K type will not be a bad choice, for those who want to be prepared for the next quality of videos in the market, a 8K type will be good for you.
2. LCD, LED, QLED and OLED.
This terms can be really confusing, we are going to look at what they stand for and how you should consider them when buying a TV.
LCD,LED and QLED belong to the same family, they use a backlight to pass images to the screen, we are going to look at them together then see their advantage and disadvantage.
LCD stands for Liquid crystal display, a TV with this type of technology uses a fluorescent light to pass images to the screen, this technology was replaced by LED.
LED (Light emitting diodes) is type of a LCD technology but in this case, instead of a fluorescent, the backlight is provided by the light emitting diodes. This diodes have the capability of lighting up and dimming specific parts of the screen.
QLED (Quantum Light emitting Diode) is commonly used by Samsung. This type of technology uses Light emitting diodes but before the light reaches the screen, it is passed into a layer of quantum dots, when hit by the light, the quantum emits a light with different colors.
The advantage of the above types of TVs is that they have enough brightness and can viewed even in a room with a lot of light. The have a disadvantage of only being viewable when directly facing them, as you move side ways, you will not be able to see the images.
OLED which stands for Organic Light emitting diodes is very different from the above 3. It dose not have a backlight, this is because pixels are self illuminating, i.e, when an electronic current passes through the organic material it will emit light that will be sent to the screen to display images.
The advantage is that you can view them no matter what angle you are to the screen, the disadvantage being they are not clear on light up places.
3. Refreshing rate
This is the amount of time an image is refreshed on the screen per second. The standard refresh rate is 60HZ meaning that an image is refreshed 60 times ever second. A slow refresh rate will cause blurry images, to prevent this especially where there are fast scenes, the manufacturers may design a higher refresh rate, for example 240Hz. At times they may use a technology that is able to refresh both at low and high speeds according to the particular scene.
Note: If you see effective refresh rate in the features list, this means half the shown figure. For example , 240HZ effective refresh rate means 120Hz.
This is an abbreviation for High Dynamic Range, this feature gives the ability to display more colors, brightness and contrast. Videos have their HDR format, if your TV is not compatible with the particular video HDR format it may not play it, sometimes the quality is affected.
Dolby vision is most recommended HDR feature and have widely video content, also, Its worth to notice that HDR10 content is widely available since it is supported by any device with HDR capabilities.
The above are some confusing terms that you might have encountered, we believe that now, there are no longer confusing.
What is a Smart TV? What is its difference with others?
Before smart TVs, the ones that existed had only the capability to show programs from TV stations or videos from input devices commonly connected to them through cables.
Note: You can still change a ‘dumb TV’ into a smart TV through a digital box, if however you are buying a new TV, just go for the smart one since they are largely available and affordable.
A smart TV has all the above mentioned capabilities of a dump TV and above that will allow you to: install apps, access the internet including social media, voice recognition, connection with home programs and streaming videos from popular providers such as Netflix.
This means that a smart TV comes with an installed operating system.
How do I tell what Operating system a smart TV brand uses?
Unlike in smartphones where you can tell the specific OS that a brand uses, for example, all Oppo phones uses android os, in TVs, it is not easy since the manufacturer might be using different operating systems for different models. This means you should check for the Os when buying your Tv and make sure it supports apps that you may require to use.
Common operating systems for the smart TVs include, Android Tv, Amazon Fire, Roku Tv etc
Android Tv is preferred since it have many apps, Roku TV is used by many manufacturers because it has an easy to use interface and many streaming channels.
The downside of smart TVs is that they come with personal data security risks with probability of spies.
Features to consider when choosing a smart TV
When searching for the best TV, you will have to consider the above explained features plus the following here:
This is an obvious feature to look for, the size of the TV screen will determine the size of your display, this depends with your room size and personal preference, most households prefer 55 inch to 65 inch screens.
A TV will rarely work alone, the following are some of the ports you should check on and their uses;
a. HDMI (High definition Multimedia Interface)- this port is used to transfer high quality video and sound. You should consider the number of ports a TV have according to your intended use.
b. VGA (Video graphic array). This port is important if you want to connect your computer with the TV screen. The port will assist you connect the CPU to the screen through a VGA cable.
c. USB port is important is you want to play any content on your flashdisk, SD card with the help on an SD card reader, connect your phone to the TV through a USB cable or even recording TV programs to an external storage.
Sometimes you may find a TV program that you want to record and view later, a TV with this feature is important in such cases, commonly the recording is done to an external storage device through the USB port.
Instead of a flat screen, your preference might be a curved type, hence select ones with this feature.
The amount of power output from the TV is important, in most cases the sound might be poor especially in very thin screens, in such occurrence, you might consider a soundbar and if your budget is wider, a subwoofer will be a good solution. Check Top subwoofers here
Below is an image of a TV soundbar
Best smart TVs in Kenya
The above guide will help you choose the best model in the list below, of course Price also determines the kind you choose, check for TV prices or order from sellers in Kenya from The Brands app, the app protects you from cons through Lipa na escrow, See details here.
Samsung a major global producer of electronics uses it’s own Tizen OS on its smart TVs, it’s reputation is widely known, from use of it’s own QLED technology as mentioned above to it’s own operating system that its Smart TVs ( also smartwatches) runs on. The smart TVs also have high tech features, the only limiting factor might be only high cost in some models from this manufacturer.
Just like Samsung, L.G is popular known for it’s quality electronics, especially sound systems and TVs. The manufacturer uses webOS Operating system on their Smart TVs.
TCL is very popular brand in the Kenyan market and you can consider picking one of their models. TCL uses Android TV OS for their Smart TVs.
Hisense is also as popular as the above brands, they TVs are largely available in the Kenyan market. This manufacturer uses Vidaa operating system on it’s Smart TVs.
In terms of comparison. Sony popularity can be compared to L.G or Samsung globally. Just like the two, this manufacturer produces high quality smart TVs that run on Android TV operating system.
6. Vision plus
Very popular in the Kenyan market, Vision plus has different models with robust features that you can pick from, this brand uses Android TV OS for its’ smart TVs.
This are just but among the top brands in Kenya, of course you will still find more brands out there.