Nothing screams “future” like a TV that can respond to your voice, suggest shows you might like, and work with it mostly hands-free. Of course, all these functions can be implemented using an external device – the TV itself is not required to do this. With that in mind, what is a smart TV?
Smart TV could be better described as a connected TV. Smart TV is a TV that can connect to the Internet and support a wide variety of different applications. In most cases, smart TVs have their own interface that allows users to access Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and other streaming services. Some smart TVs also have games, social media and similar programs.
Basically, a smart TV gives users access to services for which they usually need an additional device, such as a game console or Chromecast
What services do Smart TVs provide?
There is no standardized line or interface for smart TVs yet. Built-in services vary from company to company, but you can expect multiple supports to appear no matter what kind of smart TV you have. Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video are hubs so powerful that every company will turn them on by default, but there are several other streaming services that have begun to solidify their position.
PlutoTV is a particularly popular service offering a line of free channels that have started appearing on many more smart TVs, with some manufacturers (like Vizio) releasing updates to include them on existing devices. However, not all smart TVs will receive these updates. Even if your TV is currently supported, chances are that companies will end up dropping support.
Netflix made headlines towards the end of 2019 when the streaming giant announced that it would no longer support 2010 and 2011 Samsung smart TVs, Vizio smart TVs over four years old, and first-generation Roku devices.
However, newer smart TVs have features that others don’t, like food apps. Imagine that you can order pizza without even leaving the couch. Some TVs also allow you to stream video from CCTV cameras directly to your TV. If your TV also supports picture-in-picture mode, then you can check who is behind the door without being distracted from what you are watching.
How much do Smart TVs cost?
Most modern TVs these days are labeled â€œsmartâ€. There is no longer a clear separation between conventional TVs and smart TVs. The main attribute that separates TVs into different price categories is size and manufacturer.
For example, a quick search at Best Buy reveals that a 50-inch Insignia Smart 4K UHD TV with HDR costs $ 270 and a 49-inch Sony Smart 4K UDH TV with HDR costs $ 450. The brand has tremendous power, as do the higher resolution screens.
If you are upscaling larger smart TVs, especially those over 65 inches, that extra screen real estate will cost you. Also, you can see the $ 100 difference between smart and non-smart TV, but over time, this trait becomes more difficult to notice.
Is Smart TV Worth It?
Initially, smart TVs offered a service that was only available from a select few providers. While technically smart TVs have been around in one form or another since the late 90s, the first modern smart TV was released in 2008.
Pavv Bordeaux TV 750 allows people to check promotions, watch YouTube videos, weather forecast and more. This came along with the first streaming services (Netflix started streaming in 2007) but did not offer support for them.
Now that streaming services are available on most devices, smart TVs can be a little harder to justify. If you already own a TV and don’t want to shell out a few hundred dollars on a new TV, it’s best to invest in Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, or Apple TV
These devices have the same functionality as most modern smart TVs; In fact, Amazon smart TVs have the same interface as the Amazon Fire Stick, while Roku TVs have the same interface as the Roku Stick. You can even get 4K streaming by spending a little more on a Chromecast Ultra or Roku Ultra LT.
However, if you are looking to purchase a new TV, the smart TV is well worth it. Between streaming services, broader smart home controls, and in some models, built-in smart assistants, a modern smart TV is worth the extra cost. The ability to control your TV from within the app means you no longer have to worry about losing your remote.
How do I get the most out of your Smart TV?
Most smart TVs connect via Wi-Fi, but they also have an Ethernet port. If possible, connect your TV via Ethernet and use Wi-Fi as a backup. Wi-Fi is almost always slower than an Ethernet connection; if you’re streaming 4K video you want the highest quality possible. Ethernet will give you that.
Take the time to learn the ins and outs of your particular smart TV, keeping in mind that each model is slightly different. Once you know how to access all of the TV’s features, create your own picture settings.
The default modes (usually Cinema, TV, Game, and a few others) are rarely calibrated to get the correct colors. Take time to tune your TV to display colors correctly, turn on HDR, then sit back and enjoy your movies just the way they were meant to be.
Do you have a Smart TV? If so, which one do you have and was it worth the extra money spent? Let us know in the comments.
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