Originally Posted by rangers
Am I right to assume that not all smart TV's can surf the web? How do I know which TV's can surf the web like a computer?
I would appreciate a quick education on smart TV's from the knowledgable members out there.
Most "Smart" display's have app's that use the net, not really designed to "surf" per say..There are a few that do, one's like Sony's Goggle TV...Here's a quick tid-bit from CNET, article is a tad out of date as far as specific app's per manufacturer...But it gives you the general idea..
Google TV (Sony): Although in many ways it feels like a beta service rather than something fully baked, Google TV is our new favorite among Internet-connected TV platforms. It easily outclasses the entrants below with its variety of Internet content (via a built-in Chrome browser); delivers the slickest control interface (namely Sony's QWERTY remote) and built-in Wi-Fi; promises nearly unlimited app expansion via the Android marketplace; and actually integrates your cable TV (or satellite or over-the-air) sources with Internet video via search and direct control. One big downside is that major video Web sites like Hulu, CBS, and NBC are currently being blocked, but if anybody can work out an agreement with these content providers, it's Google. Even with its bugs and issues, Google TV is a man among boys on this list, and if built-in Internet connectivity is your main priority in a new TV, it has no real competition.
Vizio Interactive Apps: Among the non-Google contenders, Vizio's VIA service takes the cake. VIA is based on the Yahoo Widgets design, with all apps arranged in a Windows-like taskbar along the bottom of the screen overlaying the picture. It beats the basic Yahoo Widgets experience we reviewed last year in two crucial areas, however: integration of streaming content and snappy response times. In addition to the full array of streaming video (except for YouTube), the VIA taskbar offers Rhapsody--an exclusive for now--plus Facebook, Pandora, and others. Recent additions include a Wikipedia search and a Web TV portal that has much of the same niche content as Sony (see below). Vizio also integrates a "widget" for TV settings control; allows you to run apps over streaming services (no other maker aside from Google does); can connect via built-in Wi-Fi; and incorporates a Bluetooth remote with a QWERTY keyboard (albeit a worse one than Sony's). It does lack streaming via USB or DLNA, but nonetheless still beats Samsung and Sony by a nose.
Samsung Apps: The world's biggest TV maker also calls its service "Samsung@TV," a legacy from last year, but we prefer its "Apps" name since the 2010 overhaul was so extensive. Samsung also uses Yahoo Widgets for utility content like weather and stocks--and response time is much faster than it was last year--but a dedicated, iPhone-esque screen of tiles is the main gateway for all content. That's where the problem lies: between Apps and widgets, Samsung offers two completely separate interfaces, which can become confusing, especially when some Apps/widgets, like Facebook and Twitter, are available in both places. On the other hand Samsung offers the broadest array of content outside the browser, including Hulu Plus for (Vizio will likely get the service sometime this fall) and Napster--a worthy counter to Vizio's Rhapsody. On the hardware side most of Samsung's Apps-packing TVs lack built-in Wi-Fi and an included Internet-friendly remote.
Sony Bravia Internet Video: With its Google-free Bravia Internet Video-equipped TVs, like the NX800 series below, Sony seeks to differentiate itself from the pack with more video services than the other guys. In addition to stalwarts like Netflix, Amazon VOD, and now Hulu Plus, it has a new "Qriocity" on-demand video service and offers niche video names not found on other makers, like Minisode Network, Blip.tv, Style.com, Howcast.com, and numerous video podcasts (which is also available on its Google TV). On the downside, its iteration of Yahoo Widgets--available only on select Sonys--is both slow and bereft of content options, although you can move widgets around on the screen. We also appreciate the built-in Wi-Fi on select models.
Panasonic VieraCast: The company redesigned its interface for 2010 slightly, adding the ability to rearrange and add/delete services among any of three pages. It still lags behind the others in terms of content offerings, however, lacking Vudu, audio beyond Pandora, and Facebook, to name a few (although it finally added Netflix, propelling it ahead of LG in our book). Skype is a new option, though, as it is with Samsung, and we like the ability to use a USB keyboard and the full-screen apps for weather and Bloomberg business information. Too bad the only News widget is in German.
LG Netcast: LG was the only maker to offer built-in Netflix streaming for most of 2009. Unfortunately it hasn't done much to improve its content offerings, or its design, for 2010, and as a result has less content than any other maker. No streaming-audio options are provided, and though Yahoo's widget selection is better than Sony's, widget response times are still relatively slow, and like Samsung, you'll need to buy an $80 dongle to enable Wi-Fi. But the local weather and time-of-day background on the home page is pretty cool.