In my opinion, of the 5 top Smart TV’s out there only the Samsung and LG have a browser worth discussing. Of those two, Samsung seems to have a better browser-based on the fact that the LG browser doesn’t support Flash 10 or HTML5. At the time of this post, if you’re planning on surfing the net using your Smart TV then Samsung is going to be your best choice with LG coming in second.
However, in June 2012 a new group,The Smart TV Alliance,was formed to promote cross vendor standardization of Smart TV Apps. With their ‘build once, run everywhere’ mission statement they are looking to standardize the platform so vendors can write apps for all TV’s. So look to see improvements next year in Smart TV technology as standards are implemented.
2013 and 2012* Samsung Smart TV’s can use this nifty wireless keyboard and track pad. The Samsung VG-KBD2000 Wireless Keyboardallows you to enter text and move the cursor around much easier. No more using the arrow keys to choose one letter at time or moving the arrow around the screen.
There are web camera you can add to your Samsung TV to give you the ability to Skype with your family and friends anywhere in the world for free. It’s a great way to get the whole family in a phone conversation. This is the web camera for the 2012 models
LG and Panasonic Smart TV’s
While LG and Panasonic don’t make a wireless keyboard for their TV’s, Logitech and Microsoft produce compatible devices. Some may think that the LG Magic Remote is a great tool and it is! But it still doesn’t compare to what a dedicated Keyboard and Track Pad can do for you while using the Web on your Smart TV.
Skype has a several web camera models depending on the age of your TV. The model shown here is the AN-VC300. For 2010 Netcast TV models you will need to use the AN-VC200. 2011 Smart TVs require either the AN-VC200 or the AN-VC300. 2012 Smart TVs require the AN-VC400, which the Skype site doesn’t seem to have. Some LG owners of 2012 TV models have reported that their TV does work with the AN-VC300. Here is a link to a Skype page where you find out exactly which camera will work on your TV with Skype.
Then there is the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 which is a little more than half the cost of the LG camera. The Logitech device has better optics and built-in stereo mics and it works with Samsung, LG and Panasonic TV’s.
Installation on all of the above devices is minimal. Most are plug-and-play, the Samsung keyboard is a Bluetooth device so it only needs to be paired. Page 209 of the Samsung manual explains the steps.
*The following Samsung Models are compatible: LED ES6500 series and above, (Plasma)PDP E550 series and above.
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