While NolaBoomers.com is under construction, our articles can be found here on our sister site, Nola Family.
Learn how to keep up with technology as it gets faster and faster.
The television is a central part of American culture, but the technology behind it is advancing faster than most of us can keep up with. Smart TVs allow a smoother transition between streaming services like Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video, and others, but are they all the same?
Here are a few tips and TV models to help get the most out of smart TVs.
Bigger is Better
The larger the screen size, the easier it is to view the image. To best view your TV, sit a distance of about 1 ½ to 2 times the screen size away from the TV. If your TV is 50 inches, you should sit roughly 6–8 feet away to avoid straining your eyes. Plus, images will look clearer and less pixelated from a distance.
Smart TVs allow you to stream TV shows and movies through services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney +, and more. To do so, you need a good internet connection. Chris Butters of Richie Savoie’s New Orleans Audio Video suggests 25 megs of internet to effectively download and stream most videos. If you want to cut the cable cord and try out streaming services, make sure you have a good router modem and internet service plan first.
Higher resolution TV provide the clearest image. Further improve your viewing experience by changing a few settings. The best “Picture Mode” settings are Natural, Movie, or Cinema set to warm colors to avoid blue light straining the eyes. Also, set brightness at 50 percent, contrast at 80–100 percent, sharpness at zero percent, and backlight at 100 percent. Turn off eco or energy settings because they will alter your viewing preferences.
Don’t fret, Butters says to look for retailers that offer in-home smart TV classes. “It’s really easy to go in there and set it up for someone,” he says. “I put the remote in their hand, and put them through a 20-minute class so they can use it when I leave.”
Clear as a Bell
Unfortunately, most flatscreens come with poor speakers, but you can tweak a few settings to improve sound quality. To hear voices the best, choose a “News” or “Speech” audio setting, turn down the bass sound, and turn up the treble. If you have a few extra dollars, you may want to consider buying external speakers to hear the clearest, highest quality sound.
50-inch 4K Ultra HD LED TV
It has excellent picture quality with an outstanding contrast ratio. It can easily connect to Alexa, so you can control the TV with your voice instead of the remote. The built-in speakers have a pretty good sound quality, but you can easily connect an external sound bar or headphones. Price ranges from roughly $230–$300.
55-inch Ultra HD Full-Array LED Smart TV (D55u-D1)
No double or triple mashing buttons to get this TV to change channels. The tech in this screen works fast. Visio is a newer brand, so this TV will last. The built-in apps support streaming and more. Price starts at around $450.
48-inch Full HD 1080p Smart LED HDTV (UN48J6200 )
Samsung’s smart TV is another great option. It’s a smart TV with connectivity to most major streaming services, a big, beautiful picture, and more. It refreshes quickly for smoother motion and Samsung’s well-known technology for a clean picture in full HD. Price starts at around $330.
42-inch 3D 1080p LED LCD TV (42LN5700)
The LG smart TV comes with an interactive remote that lets you pick and choose what you want to watch. You simply point and speak and the unique voice mate will recognize a command and will change to the desired channel without the need to push a button. Price starts at around $225.
Thyme Hawkins is an editorial intern with Nola Boomers and our sister publication, Nola Family. She is a student at Loyola University, class of 2021.