If you’ve bought a TV in the last few years or are looking into getting one now, you probably already know that most of the models available today are smart TVs.
What exactly makes a TV “smart”? What are the advantages of a smart TV? And can you turn a regular TV into a smart one?
In this article, the experts at Fillion present everything you need to know about smart TVs.
Smart TV definition
A smart TV has electronic components and an operating system that allow you to access software and multimedia content (video, audio, photos, etc.) online and on your home network without needing to connect to any other devices.
Example of an OLED smart TV (Sony A90J series)
That being said, not all smart TVs have the same features and connectivity options. Ways to browse the menu and manage applications vary depending on the manufacturer and model. Many brands (Samsung and Sony, for example) even have their own operating system.
Generally, some apps come preinstalled, and you can download others and add them to your TV. When you click on an app’s icon, you’ll be able to access its content.
How do smart TVs connect to the internet?
Smart TVs access online content by connecting to the same broadband router and Ethernet or WiFi network you use to browse the web on your computer. You can opt for a wired or wireless connection.
Once you turn on the smart TV, you’ll be prompted to enter the required login information, usually a username and password. Then, a menu similar to the home page on a smartphone or computer will appear.
The advantages of smart TVs
Smart TVs have many advantages. Here is an overview of the main ones.
Direct access to a wide range of audio and video content
With a smart TV, you can browse an immense selection of content. Even without a cable subscription, you can access a massive number of videos and songs that are available for free on the internet.
There is even a YouTube app designed specifically for TVs that works in much the same way as the website and smartphone app of the same name.
And if you subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Spotify, you can easily link your account to your TV for direct access to the movies and shows you want to watch.
Fun, useful apps
Just like your smartphone or tablet, there are a wide variety of apps you can download to your smart TV. From games and tools to social media, instant messaging and videoconferencing, a world of options awaits you.
Before buying your smart TV, it’s a good idea to do some research and figure out which types of applications you plan to use so that you can choose a TV model that can handle them.
Most smart TVs have the screen mirroring feature, which allows you to display your mobile device’s screen on your TV. This feature makes it much easier to share pictures and videos with people at gatherings, because you can put them up on the big screen rather than crowding around a phone.
Some manufacturers take screen mirroring even further. For example, when you tap a Samsung QN900A series TV with a compatible Galaxy phone, the TV detects the device and automatically mirrors the screen. This makes it easy to switch from your phone to your TV and continue enjoying your favourite content without interruption.
A Samsung QN900A series NEO QLED 8K smart TV
One of the latest trends in smart TVs is the addition of voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. The TV works the same way as a smart speaker thanks to a microphone built into the remote or the TV itself that picks up sounds from around the room.
That means that you can ask your preferred assistant to find content you want to watch or make personalized recommendations. Answers will appear on the screen and you can play them directly.
Total control of your smart home
A smart TV can also act as the central control panel for the smart devices in your home, from video doorbells to remote-control thermostats and smart lighting.
Sony X95J series TVs even offer voice control capabilities for your smart home devices.
A Sony X95J series 4K Smart TV
Alternatives to smart TVs
Many people wonder whether regular TVs can be turned into smart ones. The answer is yes, but it usually requires an additional device that connects to the regular TV.
For example, you can connect an Apple TV or Roku device to your TV to access the same types of features offered by most smart TVs: streaming platforms, apps, etc.
Many video game consoles and Blu-Ray players also have the ability to connect to the internet and provide access to online content and apps. Connecting these kinds of devices to your standard TV can make it “smart” to a certain extent.
Ask our experts about smart TVs
Smart TVs can connect to the internet, giving you access to a wide variety of video and audio content and useful apps.
If you want to find out more about smart TVs in general or inquire about the features of a particular model, don’t hesitate to ask our experts. Our skilled team is available to answer all of your questions online or in store!