Smart TVs are becoming a popular choice of television for many consumers. But with so many options available, it can be challenging to understand the differences. Also, one of the most common questions is, are all smart TVs HD?

Most, but not all, smart TVs are HD. About 85% of televisions today are HD capable, so most smart TVs will be high definition ready or full high definition. The TV size may also affect the HD pixel ratio. So, if HD is a key quality you want, pay close attention when buying your television.

In this article, we’re going to look at the features of a smart TV as well as what makes a television HD.

What Are Smart TVs?

Smart TVs are televisions that establish an internet connection to operate apps. Your smart TV may connect to the internet via built-in Wi-Fi, or you need to use an external Wi-Fi USB device.

And some models let you wirelessly stream content from your computer or phone to your television using Miracast or DLNA, so you don’t have to hook up a bunch of wires.

These televisions allow you to do a wide range of activities, without the need for additional equipment. As long as your television has enough memory, you can have multiple apps installed on the TV.

They work due to a preloaded operating system (OS) that works like smartphone operating systems. These OS systems include TizenOS, Android, WebOS, Roku, and Amazon TV.

With smart TVs, you get better entertainment options, including streaming videos, accessing social media, listening to music, and playing games.

To qualify as a smart TV, your device should have the ability to connect to the Internet and allow you to download or access apps or websites. This feature is the most common reason a person chooses a smart TV.

Built-In Apps

All smart TVs, regardless of brand, will have built-in apps streaming services, so you have less need for streaming devices such as Roku or Amazon Fire Sticks.

But streaming devices such as Apple, Amazon, and Roku also produce smart TVs so you can get access to your library and store without using up your limited HDMI ports.

Each model will have a different app store to download extra apps you may want that aren’t already installed. Check with the manufacturer to see what channel lineup they offer.

Some apps are free to download but require a subscription to use, such as Netflix or Hulu. And then there might be apps that require a one-time fee to purchase, such as games.


Downloading apps to watch movies and binge television series for hours on end is the biggest benefit of a smart TV.

Which apps you want access to will help you determine which brand of television you should purchase. How you access the program should also play a factor. Some brands direct you to a website to access content instead of apps.

Some common apps are for paid services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Vudu. But newer versions are starting to include services that offer ad-based free content, including Crackle, Tubi, and PlutoTV.

However, the available apps will vary by smart TV model. If you want to access Amazon Prime Video, you may have to buy a Fire TV or a brand that’s Amazon friendly. Using a Roku TV gives you access to the Roku channel, which isn’t available with a Fire or Apple TV.

You can also download your favorite cable apps, like HBO, Starz, Food Network, HGTV, ESPN, and National Geographic. There are also local channels like ABC or FOX. Many of these require a cable subscription to use.


Smart TVs are the easiest way to have a full entertainment system. They aren’t just for watching your favorite shows.

Connect your smart TV to a sound system and enjoy streaming music right from your television. Depending on your television model, you can download music streaming apps directly from the library, including Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, or Napster.

Social Media

With the vast popularity of social media, it’s no surprise that you can now link and browse your social media sites right from your television.

Stream videos from YouTube or Tik Tok. Connect with your friends and fam using your social media apps on your television, including Twitter and Facebook.

With some smart TVs, you can browse the web using a web browser or host video calls using a built-in or wire connected camera.

Voice Assistant

Some smart TVs come equipped with a voice control feature that lets you control your TV using voice commands.

Your TV may come with a remote that has a microphone built-in so you can talk to the remote to change channels, pause or resume your show, or work the volume. Other TVs might have a microphone built into the device that listens to the room to read voice commands.

You can even use your television as a hub for your other smart devices, such as sound systems, lights, doorbells, thermostats, and more. However, you may need extra gear to get your television connected with the rest of your technology.

What Are HDTVs?

High definition televisions have a higher pixel ratio than standard televisions. It provides a higher resolution for more precise images, brighter colors, finer details, and sharp, realistic images.

An HDTV provides digital video rather than analog formats. Digital broadcasting uses less bandwidth, so you get less buffering and lag videos.

HDTVs are measured by pixels, which produce the picture. The higher the pixels, the better the image. The ratio is described as the number of horizontal pixels times the number of vertical pixels. The ratios are:

  • 720p (HD Ready) – 1280 x 720
  • 1080p/1080i (Full HD) – 1920 x 1080
  • Ultra-high definition (UHD) – 4K (3840 x 2160)
  • UHD- 8K (7680 x 4320)

You may see the pixel ratio written as 720p or 1080p, which means the horizontal pixels aren’t listed but implied. If the balance is 720p, you know the vertical pixels are 1280.

Most HDTVs today are labeled Full HD or FHD, which is 1080 x 1920, which equals almost two million pixels total or two megapixels.

Nearly 85% of all televisions produced today are HD capable, meaning that most smart TVs will be high definition ready or full high definition.

But the TV’s size may result in a lower HD pixel ratio of 720p, such as a 32″ display.

What Does HDTV Do?

Most channels and apps offer 720p or 1080i formats, so if you have a Full HDTV, your show will automatically convert to the proper format for the best viewing. 1080p formats are typically reserved for video on demand or pay-per-view purchases.

When you have a television that’s HD ready, your device will attempt to display HD channels. Still, they do so at a lower resolution of 720p, which might cause noticeable differences in the picture quality on larger televisions. You may not notice as much difference on a smaller TV.

If you attempt to view or purchase UHD content, say from Vudu for example, you will not get the option to stream the content if you don’t have a 4K or above television.

For your HDTV to work, it needs to connect to something that will send a signal. Smart TVs already have programs set up to send a signal. But if you don’t have a Smart TV, you’ll need an external device such as a satellite receiver or antenna, a gaming console, a media player, or a streaming device.

In Closing

Smart TVs have become quite popular, and there’s plenty of reasons why. These devices allow you to use apps, browse the web, use social media, and get fantastic picture quality. Most TVs made today are Full HD or UHD rather than HD Ready.

High def gives you a more immersive experience watching movies or playing games. If you’re going to get a smart TV, it will likely be an HD.