So from smart TV to 3D, here's a run-down of the best of this year's TV tech and how you can put it to good use during the bumper summer of sporting excitement.
We'll start with what is fast becoming the standard - High Definition (HD). You'll be hard pressed to find a new television that isn't HD-ready, which is just as well because the BBC plans to include 24 live HD channels in its Olympic Games coverage.
The 24 new channels will be available to Sky's 5million HD customers from July 24, broadcast in 1080i resolution. Standard definition versions of each channel will be available for non-HD customers.
Virgin Media customers will also get the new channels and Freeview HD customers will get extra HD coverage for a limited period via the red button. The BBC has full details on its Olympics coverage
If you want 'true' HD, you'll need a TV capable of displaying at 1080p. The 'p' stands for progressive and refers to how the images are refreshed. When a 1080i (interlaced) display refreshes, it refreshes a line of pixels at a time. The 'odd' lines get refreshed first, followed by the 'even' ones, within 1/30th of a second.
Progressive displays refresh every pixel in one sweep, theoretically creating a smoother viewing experience.
The thing is, at 1/30th of a second you're probably not going to notice the 1080i refresh, so you won't notice the difference between 1080i and p. Besides, most HD broadcasts are in 1080i anyway. It's something to bear in mind when considering your purchase options.
At the start of the year it seemed like 2012 was going to be the year of 3D, but it's not really taken off as we were told it would.
That said, many new TVs are including the technology as standard, so if you're in the market for a new telly and you can have 3D at no extra cost anyway, you might as well get involved - particularly if you're tuning in to the Olympics.
The BBC will be broadcasting the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games in 3D as well as nightly highlights. The only full sporting event being broadcast in 3D will be the men's 100 metre finals on August 5.
The 3D broadcasts will be on the BBC HD channel, but you'll need a
3D-enabled TV and 3D glasses to enjoy it.
While the boffins try to work out 3D tech which doesn't require 3D glasses, you're going to have to decide between active and passive 3D technology.
Active 3D requires more expensive 3D glasses because their lenses are actually miniature LCD screens which alternately 'dim' the right and left lenses, creating the 3D illusion. With a passive display, you wear a much simpler pair of glasses with polarised lenses - just like the ones at the cinema.
Active glasses require batteries and cost a lot more than passive glasses. They can also be a bit heavy and cumbersome to wear in comparison, but you should get a sharper image than with a passive display.
Passive displays are cheaper as the glasses are simple. They're also more comfortable to wear, but are said to produce a slightly 'softer' image than their active counterparts.
If you're buying a 3D telly for the sport this summer, it's important to weigh up the difference between the two when making your choice.
Web-connected TVs have actually started taking off this year, allowing you to surf the web, video chat with friends and update your social networks via your TV.
So, you can tweet along with the Euros in June, look up some of the athletes competing in the Olympics or even use picture-in-picture to watch the match with a friend without them being in the room (or even, the country) with you.
If you miss any of the Games' events, you'll be able to watch them via the BBC's catch-up service iPlayer through your TV, rather than digging out the laptop and hooking it up to the TV.
The latest Samsung Smart TV (pictured) even lets you control it with your hands and voice, using gestures and voice commands to control apps and explore content, meaning you'll never have to go rooting down the back of the sofa for a missing remote again.
Perhaps by the time the UK next hosts the Olympics we'll all be watching them on glasses-free 4K resolution 3D television sets.
4K resolution is roughly four times the resolution of current HD televisions and could be on sale as soon as next year, but sceptics say it's actually a step too far for home viewing.
Our current HD televisions were born out of necessity: as TVs got bigger, standard definition began to look more and more pixelated, and so HD became necessary.
Take that theory to its logical conclusion and it means TVs are going to have to get a lot bigger to use 4K resolution properly. For example, LG has announced an 'ultra-definition' set with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels - and it measures in at 84 inches!
Whatever the latest television trend, you can compare them all on our
Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.
Rate This Article
Click on a star to rate this article.