Best affordable Smart LED TVs to buy this Diwali

The Smart TV moniker doesn?EUR(TM)t mean anymore that you need to give up an arm and a leg to get apps and web connectivity on your new TV. We list some Smart TV options, that you could consider buying this Diwali.

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Best affordable Smart LED TVs to buy this Diwali

You may have often looked at those television adverts, showing off how you can possibly browse the Internet on your TV, or reply to a Facebook message, right then and there without having to pick up the phone or the tablet. Yes, that is what is affectionately known as Smart TV, a name given to those flat panel beauties that are internet enabled. Additionally, you can use these capabilities to enhance the experience by streaming content from a PC or a smartphone to the TV, or even playing games on the big screen.

Before we tell you which Smart TVs are the best ones that you can buy, we have some tips that you need to keep in mind before buying a Smart TV.

Connectivity: This is the very basic point of it all - how does the TV connect to the glorious world of the Internet? The answer is simple - either via the built-in Wi-Fi, via the ethernet port on the TV, or via the optional Wi-Fi adapter. Depending on how close or far you plan on keeping the TV from the modem/router, you will need to decide accordingly. Usually, the higher the price of the Smart TV, the better the chances of built-in Wi-Fi.

Social Networking: Most Smart TVs that we have tested offer both Facebook and Twitter access, right on the device. Basically, you have one more screen to get access to the SN feeds, and also, one less screen to bother with in case you need to post something or reply to a message.

Video chats: Before falling for this, you should note that not all TVs offer this out of the box. Many times the compatible camera needed for video chatting is an optional accessory that you must buy. You need to check for that beforehand, rather than have the dream shattered later.

Games: Most TV manufacturers now have their own TV based “app stores”, which offer compatible applications and games. You probably could have seen those games already on the Android Play Store, it's just that they have been modified for this platform. Angry Birds time!

Now that we have sorted that out, here are some TVs that we believe you should consider this Diwali. This listing is on the basis of the price in ascending order, and not necessarily any preference or bias!

The AFFORDABLEs!
Possibly the most critical segment, as far as the price is concerned. A lot of first time buyers may be interested in getting a chance to experience the Smart features. Also, some of you may be willing to upgrade your existing TV for one of this variety, but space or budget limitations ensure you will not go beyond the 32-inch screen size, and for the sake of making it easier to understand, the virtual price ceiling we are considering is Rs. 40,000. Here are the models that you can consider.

Samsung UA32EH5330R
Approx Market price: Rs. 37,500

Panel Size: 32-inches
Panel Type: LED backlit LCD
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
HDMI Input: 3
USB input: 2
Ethernet: Yes
WiFi: No

This is one of those mythical affordable Smart TVs, perfect for those who are buying within a budget but would like to not feel as if they are missing out on much. You will get the basic Smart TV experience, with the apps, web browsing and streaming. The 1080p resolution makes this ideal for most use cases, particularly for watching HD movies or Blu-rays. With 3 HDMI inputs, you wouldn’t have to bother about unplugging and reconnecting a new source - Cable or DTH set top box, PC, Blu-Ray player etc. However, for this price, do not expect all the snazzy stuff - gesture control, Skype calling etc.

LG 32LN571B
Approx Market price: Rs. 37,500

Panel Size: 32-inches
Panel Type: IPS LED
Resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
HDMI Input: 3
USB input: 3
Ethernet: Yes
WiFi: Yes

At the same price as the Samsung 5330R, we have the LG 32LN571B, which is aimed at a rather different demographic. First, unlike the Samsung TV, this has a lower resolution, but the IPS panel makes colours look a lot better along with improved viewing angles. There is the built-in Wi-Fi as well, additionally. While the feature set is impressive, we believe the 32LN571B is essentially meant for the homes where the primary source of HD content would be the DTH HD set top box, or worse still, the local cable. But for anyone who wishes to watch proper HD stuff, you would still be better off with the Samsung UA32EH530R.

Sony KDL-32W600A
Approx Market price: Rs. 38,500

Panel Size: 32-inches
Panel Type: LED backlit LCD
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
HDMI Input: 2
USB input: 1
Ethernet: Yes
WiFi: Optional

For a price sensitive market, a price difference of even Rs. 1,000 makes all the difference. Sony’s new Bravia range ticks all the right boxes, with the Full HD panel, the redesigned frame and all the Smart TV features like Facebook, Twitter and also Skype with the optional camera. This is perhaps the best looking TV of the three but also offers the features you would pretty much expect.

The SMARTer deals
Building on the previous category, we take a step further, and be more relevant to the buyer who is looking for a bigger screen size, and is willing to spend a bit more. Eventually, along the way, there might be some extra features that may make a surprise visit! For this section, we are considering 40/42-inch panels, up to a price of Rs 70000.

LG 42LN5710
Approx Market price: Rs. 52,500

Panel Size: 42-inches
Panel Type: IPS LED
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
3D: Yes
HDMI Input: 3
USB input: 3
Ethernet: Yes
WiFi: Yes

LG has packed in some neat features into this TV, with the primary one being the Time Machine feature. Connect an external HDD to the 42LN5710, and what you can access is the time-shift feature that lets you pause and record Live TV straight on to the storage, with no need for a DVR type set top box. The feature list doesn’t stop here, because this TV is also NFC ready and Intel WiDi capable. Need we even mention that this is a Full HD IPS panel, which we are huge fans of? Buy this, because what it offers,makes it totally worth the money.

Samsung 40F5500
Approx Market price: Rs. 55,900

Panel Size: 40-inches
Panel Type: LED LCD
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
HDMI Input: 3
USB input: 3
Ethernet: Yes
WiFi: Yes

Not to be outdone by  LG, Samsung has the 40F5500 that pretty much competes with the 42LN5710 on the spec sheet. This Full HD panel also gets you the complete gamut of features - 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB input ports, built-in Wi-Fi, All Share with Samsung smartphones and tablets for screen and content as well as Wi-Fi Direct letting you share media content from compatible smartphones and tablets. If you already have a Samsung tablet or smartphone, this could be a rather neat setup to have at home.

Toshiba 40VL20
Approx Market price: Rs. 57,500

Panel Size: 40-inches
Panel Type: LED LCD
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
HDMI Input: 4
USB input: 2
Ethernet: Yes
WiFi: Optional

Toshiba is a rather un-fancied brand in the world of Samsungs and Sonys and LGs, but the VL20 is a neat offering nonetheless. You get 2D -> 3D conversion, and the full gamut of connectivity and Smart TV options you would expect at this price. We quite like the matte screen finish, which reduced reflections to quite a large extent. Consider this, if you are not a sucker for brand names.

Sony KDL-42W650A
Approx Market price: Rs. 65,990

Panel Size: 40-inches
Panel Type: LED LCD
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
HDMI Input: 2
USB input: 1
Ethernet: Yes
WiFi: Optional

There are the fans of Sony’s Bravia televisions, and it is clear they are attracted to what they believe is the picture reproduction which they believe is the best for them. We would not doubt that, but as far the feature set is concerned, Sony does disappoint in terms of what it offers - optional Wi-Fi, just 2 HDMI inputs and the only additional feature of note is the Media High-Definition link that allows you to connect the smartphone with the TV, again via an optional cable. The bass-reflex speakers are a tad better than most rivals, but then again, only the hardcore Sony fans would demand this over the feature set and the IPS goodness of the LG TV.

Panasonic TH-L42ET50D
Approx Market price: Rs. 67,500

Panel Size: 42-inches
Panel Type: IPS LED
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
HDMI Input: 4
USB input: 3
Ethernet: Yes
WiFi: Optional

Now, this is another crazy TV with some rather interesting specs. First up is the IPS panel, which we would recommend if you really want accurate colours. Another feature that would enthuse the movie buffs, and also can be shown off to friends - the real time 2D -> 3D conversion, for any content source. Incidentally, Panasonic’s Blu-ray players were also the first to bring in such a feature into the market. It also has an SD card slot, to play back media from - something most other TVs don’t offer. A TV that you must consider, if this falls within your budget.



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