The Best Smart TV Of 2013

Written by Tony Ibrahim     08/01/2013 | 00:00 | Category: DISPLAY

Televisions have always been a portal to a new world we could escape to, but over the past year that world has rapidly evolved. Smart TVs deliver effortless access to content and applications, and offer interactive ways to use them, while the launch of Ultra High Definition television displays this world in unprecedented, reach-out-and-grab-it clarity.

The Best Smart TV Of 2013

Over 75 Inches LG 84LM9600 | $15,999 | lg.com/au


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This television is a pioneer for a myriad of reasons, the most obvious of which is its compatibility with Ultra High Definition (UHD) content. UHD television offers four times the clarity of a Full HD television by doubling the number of horizontal and vertical pixels on a screen. 

Let it sink in: it's four times clearer than a Blu-ray movie watched on a 1080p television. 

As a result, minute details that would otherwise be lost are rendered in unparalleled clarity, to the extent where it's difficult discerning the individual pixels gluing the image together, even if you were standing a mere foot away from the screen. 

Throw in a content upscaler, extraordinary 3D skills including dual play gaming, an internet savvy persona, a reputable application portal, a remote akin to a magician's wand and enough intelligence to transcribe vocal instructions and you begin to understand why this television reigns in this category and has been awarded SmartHouse's Product of the Year. 

Highly Recommended Sony KD84X9000


65 to 75 inches Samsung ES9000 | $9,499 | samsung.com/au


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Samsung's ES9000 is a triple threat television as it models the largest panel Samsung has ever introduced in Australia, features a powerful dual core processor and sets the benchmark in image quality for a Full HD television. 

With this set, image quality is paramount and Samsung has gone all in with a suite of software designed to improve black levels, colour vibrance and 3D technologies. Combined with their uber bright LED panel, the ES9000 dominates televisions 75 inches and below on the picture quality front. 

Potent processing innards helps the ES9000 breeze operations, whether it be a quick look at the application store or taking advantage of its gesture controls. In addition to it responding to your hands is its receptiveness to voice instructions.

Highly Recommended Sharp LC70LE735X


55 to 65 inches Panasonic TH-P65VT50A | $5,999| Panasonic.com.au


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Although it's been years, Panasonic's plasma panels continue to produce "black levels that have been consistently recognised as among the best in the industry." Like a fine wine, Panasonic's revered picture quality has matured as it is now has a 100,000 hour lifespan, and is free of mercury and lead. 

Its environmentally friendly bravado hasn't come at the expense of performance. It has a leading 6,000,000:1 contrast ratio, a 2,500Hz focussed field drive and 24,576 equivalent steps of gradation. Together, these technologies produce incredibly coloured pictures that maintain focus during hurried scenes, such as sporting events or car chases. The 65 inch screen still acts as a gateway to Panasonic's VIErA connect internet platform which now features cloud-based architecture for "an infinite number of apps." 

Highly Recommended Samsung UA65ES8000


Smart Awards Over 32 Inches Winner Hisense XT770 | $1,999 | hisense.com.au


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Right out of the box, Hisense's XT770 looks absolutely stellar. The LED edge lit LCD panel aids in keeping this 55 incher impressively thin, and its fine transparent border only adds to its minimalist charm. Then you press the 'On' button. 

Doing so populates the screen with vibrant, fluent colours, perfectly capable of handling 3D movies or anything else broadcast in Full HD. It has a 4,000:1 contrast ratio, a 100Hz refresh rate and a 6.5ms response time. 

As you'd expect from a smart TV, the XT770 is application savvy. It comes preinstalled with SBS' video-on-demand application, and its remote wears dedicated buttons for YouTube and a tailored Opera browser (bonus points for the later), while also offering access to Facebook, Twitter, arty HD movies with the Vimeo App and a number of other applications. 

Wireless technologies enable access to these applications and other devices. Users have the option of jumping onto a WiFi network or plugging an Ethernet cable in, while DLNA technology enables the XT770 to display your pictures, movies and eBooks from compatible DLNA smartphones and tablets.

Plug a hard drive into one of its USB ports and the XT770 functions as a proficient Personal Video Recorder (PVR). An on-board electronic program guide aids in scheduling the shows you want recorded in Full HD or HD resolution, and we're particularly fond of its economical ability to record programs from standby.

Highly Recommended Toshiba 55VL900A



Smart Awards Projector Winners 

Projectors Intro For that genuine cinematic feel you cannot go past a home theatre projector. Dim the lights, grab some popcorn and experience movies the way the director intended. 

Best Home Theatre Projector Panasonic AE8000

The latest projector to lead Panasonic's home cinema range is the AE8000 and it has the goods to do so admirably. This includes a 220W Red Rich Lamp capable of producing 2,400 lumens of brightness and a rich contrast ratio of 500,000:1. The high-brightness and vast-contrast duo results in popping colours against gradual shades of black. 

The AE8000 projects images that are 20 percent brighter than its predecessor and yet ensures there's less crosstalk in 3D viewing, (this is a particularly impressive feat as brighter images tend to show more signs of crosstalk). It also features a suite of 3D software; one of which automatically corrects unnatural 3D movements. 

Highly Recommended BenQ W7000+


Best Projector Screen Carson Screens Selina Pro

Carson Screen Selina Pro (140 inches) | $3,800 | digitalcinema.com.au

With visual content being injected with more vivid colour, higher resolution and extra dimensions, viewers are pushing their home theatres for a more immersive experience. A big chunk of that experience comes from the size of the screen, with larger offerings authentically replicating the movie spectacle. In our opinion no other projector screen facilitates an experience as convincing as Carson Screen's Selina Pro. 

The Selina Pro line-up offers one of the simplest installations in the fixed screen arena and can be customised up to 400 inches. The build quality is exceptional with premium US materials like the four-layer silicone matte white backing and the Asian-built bevelled frames. These extra-thick 120mm frames keep the tension while making an aesthetic statement. Hidden behind the frame are 40 mounting points that hold the backdrop material in place for longer, avoiding sag that pulls away picture quality and ejects you from the experience.

Highly Recommended Stewart CineCurve