Almost all new TVs come equipped with a smart platform. Some manufacturers choose to use their own smart platforms whereas others choose to integrate smart platforms like Android or Roku (see our recommendations for the best Roku TVs). No matter the case, the plethora of apps is great and most common apps are available on almost all platforms.
Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the end of the year and especially after Black Friday.
The LG B8 is the best smart TV we’ve tested so far. It runs LG's smart platform webOS, which is packed with apps available for download. It is highly unlikely that you will not find the right app to cover your viewing needs. The picture quality of the B8 is remarkable and equally good as the more expensive LG C8. The B8 displays perfect blacks and this makes dark room performance outstanding. It has a wide color gamut with vivid colors and bright highlights that look great when watching HDR. Viewing angles are very good, and this makes the TV suitable for a room with a wide seating arrangement. Finally, it has excellent motion handling and a very low input lag which make it a good choice for playing games or using it as a PC monitor.
Just like all OLEDs, the B8 runs the risk of temporary image retention and the risk of burn-in if you display static images over a prolonged period of time. However, in normal varied use, we don't expect people to experience this.
Overall, the LG B8 is the best TV for streaming and it has an outstanding performance in most usages.
If you are concerned about the risk of burn-in of the LG B8, we recommend getting the Samsung Q9FN (or the Q8FN model, which is almost as good). The viewing angles aren't as wide as the OLED's and you won’t get the same instant response time. On the upside, most people will be more than satisfied with the very high brightness of the TV that delivers a great picture quality. The Samsung Q9FN is a very good TV that runs Smart Hub, Samsung’s Tizen OS, which is easy to use.
If the LG B8 is too expensive, the best internet TV we've tested in the mid-range category is the Sony X900F. It does not have the wide viewing angles of the LG B8 nor will you get the perfect blacks of the OLEDs.
The Sony X900F has an impressive picture quality, with better dark room performance than more expensive models like the Samsung Q7FN, due to better local dimming that produces deeper blacks. HDR content playback is excellent as it can produce bright and vivid highlights with very accurate colors. Motion handling is excellent as the TV has a fast response time and the ability to flicker the backlight to make motion crisper.
Overall, the Sony X900F is a TV that can handle most usages very well. It runs Sony's version of the Android TV interface and will keep most people happy with its features and performance.
If you have a room with a wide seating arrangement and you want a TV with better viewing angles than the Sony X900F, get the LG SK9000. Blacks on the LG do not look as deep as on the Sony due to the IPS panel. However, the picture quality is good and the TV will perform well in most usages. It runs the latest version of WebOS, LG's smart operating system. On LG's app store, you will find a large variety of apps for download to suit any taste.
If you are looking for a gaming alternative to the Sony X900F with lower input lag, then get the Samsung NU8000. The NU8000 does not have as good a local dimming as the Sony and the picture quality is not as great. However, it has an excellent low input lag and supports variable refresh rate that will be appreciated by gamers. It is a very good TV that runs Samsung's 2018 Tizen smart platform, also known as Smart Hub with a great number of available apps. This TV will perform well in almost any usage.
If the Sony X900F is out of your budget, the best budget smart TV we’ve tested is the TCL 6 Series R617. Unfortunately, you aren't getting the outstanding reflection handling of the X900F, nor the amazing response time.
On the upside, the R617 runs Roku, which is a user-friendly smart platform. The excellent native contrast of this TV will help produce deep blacks, even in a dark room. Add that to its decent local dimming and you get a very good picture quality. It reaches great brightness in SDR and HDR and will perform well in a bright room. Colors are very good and highlights pop. Most gamers will be happy with the great motion handling and the amazing low input lag, which is unmatched by more expensive models like the Sony X850F.
Overall, the TCL 6 Series is the best budget TV for streaming.
If you find the TCL R617 expensive but want a smart TV that is cheaper and performs well, get the TCL S Series 4k 2017 S405/S425. If you cannot find it, get the similar TCL 5 Series S517. The S405 cannot get as bright nor does it have local dimming or motion interpolation features so the picture quality and the motion handling are not as good as the TCL R617. However, it runs the same Roku TV smart platform and has a very low input lag that makes the TV very responsive to gaming and its picture quality is decent with great contrast and deep blacks.
The S405 is being gradually replaced by the S425. They are the exact same internally, but there are some slight cosmetic changes.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best internet TVs for streaming currently available with smart features. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
In their most basic form, a smart TV is a television that is connected to the internet and provides web-related features. It can be a web browser, but their appeal usually comes from their ability to use online services such as Netflix, Youtube, and Spotify. If you've ever used something like an Apple TV, a Roku or a Chromecast, then you are already quite familiar with their capabilities as they are quite similar.
Unfortunately though, while they offer the same features, they tend to be a bit slower and less stable. This has become less of an issue in recent years, but most TVs still don't quite match the speed and reliability of something like a Roku set-top box.
Not only does almost every TV include smart features today, most of them are pretty good. LG's WebOS and TCL's Roku definitely stand out for their quality, but most shoppers should be pleased by the features of any of them. If you're shopping for a TV, don't fret too much on their smart features since little of your time is going to be spent using them. Instead, focus on the picture quality or other features that complement your usage. You'll get much closer to finding your perfect TV that way.