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New YouTube channels come to the latest Smart TVs

The way we are watching TV is changing from Smart TVs from the likes of Panasonic, Sony and Samsung to Catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer and tuning in via tablets including the iPad or Google Nexus 7 and smartphones including the iPhone or Android handsets.

We’re also just about to see the UK go fully digital with the country’s final analogue TV signals in Northern Ireland switched off.

But it’s not just traditional terrestrial or even satellite channel programming that we are enjoying now from the main broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV and Sky.

For instance, YouTube is getting in on the act with a host of its own channels.

Hungry for more content?

Last week YouTube announced more than 60 new original channels would be launched on the video platform featuring programmes on food, health, parenting, sports, music, comedy, animation and news – and you can watch them on any device that has YouTube… which is pretty much anything.

Not all 60 will be available in the UK but those that will include everything from football to cars and prank shows plus a channel from Guinness World Records, an official Jamie Oliver Food Channel, one from Netmums and a science show presented by Top Gear’s James May.

And if you own a Smart TV, the best thing is, you can watch all these YouTube channels on it from the comfort of your own sofa. It’ll just be like channel-hopping through your usual guide.

Smart TVs connect up to the internet using either a wired Ethernet connection plugged direct into your router or a wireless Wi-Fi signal.

Once logged in, you can watch a range of catch-up telly through apps on the screen, play games, surf the internet or social networks Facebook and Twitter and interact with a host of content providers that aren’t available on regular TV.

You can find out more about Buying a Smart TV in our Buying Guide to 2012′s best TVs. Right now there are some great models to choose from too, like these five below.

» Panasonic TX-P42UT50B42 Plasma 3D Smart TV

With two free pairs of 3D glasses on offer when you buy this telly, this 42inch screen is packed with technology.

It’s a Plasma display rather than LED but that makes it great for fast moving action in movies and sport. It also has built-in Freeview HD as well as apps for social networks.

» Samsung UE50ES6300UXXU50 3D LED TV

This massive 50inch set is full 1080 HD and features the latest LED screen technology for the sharpest pictures.

Alongside that there’s 3D and a range of built-in apps allowing you to access YouTube, Google Maps and LOVEFiLM. You can also plug in a digital camera to the USB port to show off your snaps and with built-in Wi-Fi you won’t have any trailing wires. What’s more, it’s rated A+ for energy efficiency.

» Panasonic TX-L37ET5B37 Smart 3D Viera LED TV

TVs may be getting bigger and bigger but 37 inches is enough for anyone. And so this Panasonic telly with 3D and LED picture tech covers all the bases for sitting back and relaxing with your favourite shows. It’s full HD with built-in Wi-Fi and includes four pairs of 3D glasses.

There’s also a basic web browser and Panasonic’s VIERA Connect software with plenty of apps and content on offer.

» Samsung UE46ES800046 Smart 3D LED TV

Quite possibly one of the most techno-packed TVs on the market today, this is the newest model in Samsung’s range.

The Series 8 LED is ultra-thin with just a 5mm frame and there’s a dual-core processor like would be found in a computer to make it fast when surfing on the full web browser and accessing content such as apps and social networks.

But the real fun to be had is with the gesture and voice controls that can change channels and turn up the volume just by waving a hand or asking it to do so.

» Samsung UE55ES800055 Smart 3D LED TV

The bigger brother to the 46inch version above, this 55inch beast can’t really fit anything else inside.

It does all the same as the slightly smaller version, is just as thin, and it has compatibility for Freeview HD and Freesat HD. You get two pairs of Active 3D glasses included and you can even buy a separate webcam to plug in to have video calls with friends and family using Skype. There’s also all the usual apps plus those innovative voice and gesture controls.

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