What is Smart TV



What is a Smart TV

A Smart TV device is either a television set with integrated internet capabilities or a set-top box for television that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary basic television set.  Smart TVs may be thought of as an information appliance or the computer system from a handheld computer integrated within a television set unit, as such Smart TV often allows the user to install and run more advanced applications or plugins/add-ons based on a specific platform.  Smart TVs run complete operating system or mobile operating system software providing a platform for application developers.

The two main services of "Smart TV" are:  To deliver content from other computers or network attached storage devices on your network like photos, movies and music using either a DLNA service program like Windows Media Player on your pc or NAS, or via iTunes.  To provide access to internet based services including traditional broadcast TV channels, catch-up services, video-on-demand, EPG, interactive advertising, personalization, voting, games, social networking, and other multimedia applications.

Smart TV devices enables consumers to view all of these advanced services on their flat screen TV, via a single device.  In addition to a broader range of content from TV providers – ranging from traditional broadcast TV, video on-demand and catch-up TV services, like BBC i-Player – Smart TV also provides consumers with access to user-generated content [either stored on an external hard drive, or cloud storage, and to a range of advanced interactive services and Internet applications, such as YouTube.

Smart TV set-top boxes are increasingly commonplace amongst pay-TV operators, as they look to meet the changing media consumption trends for more video content, advanced interactivity and internet applications, like social networking.

Interface Design:  Designing and developing a Smart TV interface is a complex challenge, and not simply a matter of integrating the different input sources.  The consumer experience must be optimized so that all media sources are integrated seamlessly and accessible through a single Electronic Program Guide, something which requires very advanced software programming.

Social networking:  A number of Smart TV platforms come prepackaged, or can be optionally extended, with social networking technology capabilities with which users can both gather updates from, and post their own updates to, existing social networking services (like for example Boxee's social networking features which other than their own interfaces with Facebook and Twitter, among other similar services), including posts related to the content currently being played.  The addition of social networking synchronization to Smart TV and HTPC platforms may provide an interaction with both on-screen content and other viewers than is currently available to most televisions, while simultaneously providing a much more cinematic experience of the content than is currently available with most computers.

Difference between Smart TV and Internet

In the home theater world, there are now many options for getting Internet content onto your HDTV. This is an exciting development, but it means the world of TV is getting more complicated.

Smart TV and Internet Connectable products both allow you to view content from the Internet on your HDTV through specialized apps (Netflix*, Napster, Facebook, etc.).  Usually, you will access them through a menu page of icons.  These apps are designed to work specifically and very smoothly with the television experience.  Each product has its own specialized list of available apps.  While some may offer access to Facebook, for example, others may not.

Smart TV:  In most cases, this will probably be the biggest difference between the two categories.  Smart TV products like Google TV include a web browser and keyboard, so you can browse, search and type in content online using your HDTV, just as you do with your computer.  They also feature significant processing power, which allows them to perform integrated searches across both Web and TV. 

Internet Connectable:  Most of these products do not come with a Web browser, so you cannot search the Internet.  Instead, online content is accessed via a set of apps that are included with the product.  In the near future, a small number of Internet Connectable products will include a Web browser with limited functionality.

How do I connect product to the Internet

You'll need an Internet connection with a minimum speed of 5Mbps–10Mbps (or higher for optimal performance).  In addition, recommend a wireless-N router.

For convenient, wireless connection to the Internet, many Smart TV and Internet Connectable products have built-in Wi-Fi or allow for a Wi-Fi adapter to be connected (Google TV, for example, can make its own wireless network connection with router).

In general, the simplest and most reliable connection between your product and router will be with an Ethernet cable.  Other networking accessories like Powerline adapters are also available.