The 8 Best Smart TVs to Buy in 2017

It's time to upgrade to a TV that can do it all

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The introduction of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu have re-shaped the media consumption landscape, as the days of scheduled programming are long behind us. The advent of “smart TVs” is now the next wave of Internet-ready entertainment beyond the smartphone and tablet. Whether it’s live, on-demand, browsing the Web or looking at family photos, the smart TV can do it all. If you're shopping for a smart TV, take a look at the list we’ve compiled below to help you find the right one for your living room.

One of the best reviewed and best-performing TVs available today, the LG OLED55B6P is an excellent addition to any home and sure to please the whole family. Featuring a 55-inch display and weighing 43 pounds, the 4K Ultra HD LG is an all-star value. Offering some of the best black levels, wide viewing angles and bright picture quality, the LG excels with the inclusion of their simplified and highly user-friendly Web OS 3.0 platform as the highlight of its smart televisions. You’ll find a slew of apps pre-installed, including regulars such as Netflix and Amazon, plus CBS All Access, PBS, PBS Kids and Watch ESPN.

Add in a crystal-clear sound delivered from Harmon Kardon and audiophiles will rave about the audio quality even without external speakers. There’s voice search for easily discovering new content as well connectivity viewing DLNA-capable and Bluetooth devices for additional options.

The TCL 40S305 40-inch 1080p LED TV offers a superb smart TV interface courtesy of Roku. Its budget price does mean some budget-like options, including a native 60Hz refresh rate and a 1080p Full HD picture. Fortunately, its Roku interface offers access to more than 3,000 streaming channels, cable TV, gaming consoles and other third-party devices. The days of flipping through complicated menus are long gone as Roku makes it easy with a powerful search by title, actor or director, plus voice search and a mobile app available on both iOS and Android that does it all.

Add in streaming options from your smartphone and cast movies and Web videos via the Netflix and YouTube mobile apps for even more media options. The easy-to-use Roku remote is one of the best around and has a simplified set of just 20 buttons for quick navigation.

LG’s flagship signature television, the OLED65G7P, is handily one of the best 4K Smart TV options. The base of the OLED display houses all the hardware and input connections and doubles as a 4.2-channel, 60-watt soundbar. Beyond the base of the TV, LG’s included WebOS 3.0 interface offers a redesigned Magic Motion remote, as well as Magic Zoom, which zooms into any part of the screen for a closer picture. The Magic Motion remote offers numerical keys and dedicated control buttons for a DVR resulting in a simplified and more enjoyable remote version over years past. The Magic Mobile connection allows for connectivity to any Android smartphone on the same WiFi network, so you have direct access to apps, photos, videos and music right on your TV.

Featuring state-of-the-art performance, the LG Electronics OLED55E7P 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV is an excellent combination of contrast, viewing angles and brightness. Featuring high-dynamic range (HDR) content and one of the best smart interfaces around with WebOS 3.0, it’s only 2.2-inches wide at its thickest point. The built-in soundbar offers outstanding native sound while still housing four HDMI ports, Ethernet and three USB ports. Offering the same feature set as other LG's pricier smart TVs, the WebOS 3.0 interface offers Magic Remote, Magic Mobile Connection and Magic Zoom. While the latter may be the least exciting of the group, the Magic Remote is among the best available today with a simplified user-interface that gets the job done without a confusing plethora of buttons or options. Unfortunately, there are no HBO, Showtime or PBS apps available, but Netflix, Amazon Video, and Vudu are all here.

Featuring a 50-inch 1080 Full HD display, the TCL 50FS3800 is one of the best smart TV options on the market at a price tag that’s pleasing to everyone. The native refresh rate of 60Hz won’t be the most ideal for sports viewing, but that’s not why you buy a television like the TCL. Instead, it’s the built-in Roku support that makes this TV stand out from its peers with nearly 3,000 streaming channels and content available through a personalized home screen. The home screen itself lacks complicated and confusing menus, instead offering everything you want right at your fingertips. And the minimalist and super-simple 20-button remote that offers everything you want without any bloat.

While it lacks in 4K picture quality, the Full HD 1080p display offers a premium experience that’s priced just right. The inclusion of three HDMI and one USB input will help support the addition of third-party offerings such as Google’s Chromecast or gaming consoles such as the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Additionally, the Roku television can be controlled via a downloadable smartphone app available for both Android and iOS, which offers new channel options as well as voice search. 

While numerous TVs offer a solid gaming experience, it’s the Samsung UN55KS8000 that really makes for a best-in-class experience. Games are sure to love the special features such as “quantum dot” technology for enhanced color and 4K/UHD resolution that promises incredible brightness, color and sharpness.

Overall, the smart interface is easy to navigate and full of features that paired with a super-simplified remote control. The menu itself places emphasis on the display, listing available options and “channels” near the bottom in a scrollable pattern that’s user-friendly. The usual suspects are here, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and YouTube, all of which support 4K/HDR footage.

Featuring the largest display on this list, the Sony XBR75X940D and its 75-inch 4K Ultra HD smart TV display makes for truly a beautiful television experience. It has a 120Hz refresh rate for excellent motion capture with MotionFlow XR 960, plus HDR-compatibility that has more detail, color and contrast than your previous television.

Beyond its incredible picture, the Sony really shines with the inclusion of Android TV. Supporting 4K and HDR-capable Netflix and Amazon programs and movies, Android TV also offers connectivity to crowd-favorites such as HBO, Hulu, YouTube and Google Play Movies. Sony also included Google’s Cast for streaming movies and music from a smartphone, which allows for one of the most feature-rich catalogs of movies available through both your own library and Google’s Play movie selection. In addition, Sony’s PlayStation Now on-demand game streaming service is also available.

And for added convenience, there’s voice searching in 42 different languages, which eliminates the need for text entry on the television remote.

The 4K HDR-ready Sony XBR55X930D has helped set the bar for what a viewing experience can be with the latest technology available. Featuring near lifelike color accuracy, the Sony XBR55X930D also has Android TV, so you can pair with your Android smartphone or tablet for casting music, movies and photos through the built-in Chromecast support. In addition, you’ll find a plethora of smart features, including a beautifully organized menu system with a well built-in search. Plus, the addition of continuously updated apps offers a future-proofed experience that’s not as easily guaranteed on other smart branding options

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