Smart TVs' buying guide

Increasingly, TVs aren't just built with HDMI ports for getting sound and video to a screen, they also come with ethernet ports for connecting to the internet.

Internet enabled TVs have lots of extra features, depending on the manufacturer, which range from special menu options to view YouTube shorts to full browsers and online movie rental services built-in.

Many internet enabled TVs will plug into your home network using either Wi Fi or an ethernet cable, and they're often not much more expensive than a set without this technology.

Once connected, they can access the internet via your home router, just like your PC, laptop or phone and because of the way you use a TV - with a remote control rather than a keyboard or mouse - you'll usually find that accessing internet services is slightly different.

An internet enabled TV may come with a built-in browser and will usually have an on-screen menu with custom entries for email, BBC iPlayer, 4 on Demand and movie rental services. So it works more like a set-top box than a desktop PC.

Many internet-enabled TVs can do almost as much online as any of your other devices, plus you'll often find customised content like YouTube channels and clever ways to look at Facebook or Flicker using your TV - depending on the exact model and brand.

Streaming media

The obvious application for hooking your TV up to the internet is to watch movies or TV shows on-demand using sites like BBC iPlayer or LoveFilm.

This also means that it's simple to watch video files or listen to music from your home PC via a networked TV and you can stream HD content directly from a hard drive anywhere in your home without getting bogged down in complex software issues.