The presence of additional functions in modern TV is already a given. Even budget devices like TCL 32ES560 have at least a few features on board. We analyze what Smart TV means on TV, the features of the approach of different brands, the pros and cons of such systems.
How Smart TV technology appeared
To understand what Smart TV is on TV, just remember the phone. As it evolved from a dialer to a mini-PC, so the boxes got more features over the years. Even 10-15 years ago, people had to buy a set-top box on which they could watch films and record TV series.
In the early 10s, the first televisions appeared that did this without outside help, playing and recording content on a USB flash drive. This was the beginning of Smart TV technology. Over time, more and more features appeared in them: from a web browser to support for applications and video calling.
Today’s smart TVs are actually a tablet with a huge diagonal. On this device, you can watch any streaming content (from TV to subscription services), chat via instant messengers, and also play racing and action games!
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How to check for Smart TV functionality on your TV
The easiest way is to look at the instructions. The features of using the device are spelled out there, including the use of “smart” functions. If it is not at hand, you need to look at the back of the TV and write down the model number. Then it is enough to enter it into a search engine. Information from the manufacturer’s website will tell you about the availability of smart functions.
There are 2 more ways to understand if a TV set supports a “smart life”:
- look at the remote control – if there are buttons for calling streaming services or entering the main smart menu (hidden under the Home or Smart button)
- see if the OS boot screen lights up when the TV is turned on – which system is on board depends on the manufacturer.
Smart TV capabilities
If you think about what Smart TV means, it becomes clear that there is an entertainment and even an educational station in front of your eyes.
From the TV, you can watch any movies, sit at Zoom conferences and even write down thoughts in online notebooks. Despite the differences from different manufacturers, all smart boxes have 4 functions, described below in the text.
All smart TVs can connect to the global network. Thanks to this, the user gets almost all online content on the screen: from weather forecasts and news to streaming services of any size. Information is provided in 2 ways:
If the TV has a built-in Wi-Fi modem, the user can connect the TV “over the air” to the router .
- Via Ethernet Cable
Ensures maximum data transfer rate as it is not constrained by the overhead costs. To do this, you need to start up the patch cord from the router to the TV. In this case, the router will not cut the traffic speed.
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You can communicate through televisions. It will be easier for those who are used to voice and video chats.
It is enough for such users to check the presence of the following TV features:
|What to check||What should be done|
|Find out if the TV supports the app you want||If it is not on the list, you will have to look for other messengers|
|Test the built-in microphone||It is present by default on TVs with voice dialing. Others will have to plug in a USB microphone.|
|Check webcam operation||If it is not there, but you want to communicate via video communication, you will have to buy a third-party one. Alternatively – Genius ECam 8000 Full HD – an excellent choice for TV, connects via USB port|
But lovers of the text will have to get out. There is practically no touch interface in the TV, so there are 3 outputs:
- Long – enter information using the on-screen keyboard (via the remote control).
- The optimal one is to connect a keyboard (you can use a regular or wireless one) with a mouse and write like on a PC.
- Advanced – find out if the manufacturer has a mobile application and enter all the information from a smartphone.
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Control without remote control
For “pumped-over” TVs, mobile applications are provided. You can find out if there are any in the selected device after reading the instructions. In this case, it is enough to follow these steps:
- download the app to your phone,
- synchronize your TV and mobile phone,
- control TV via smartphone.
If there is no such application, a computer mouse will come to the rescue . It can be used to find your favorite shows or to work with streaming services. The keyboard will further simplify your TV experience.
Smart TVs can record TV shows. This way you can watch a specific episode of the series without overpaying to streaming services. To find out about the presence of this feature, you should study the instructions for the device.
Disadvantages of Smart TV
Alas, any barrel of honey has its own fly in the ointment. Smart TVs also did not escape this fate:
- In the lion’s share of devices, the OS becomes obsolete after 2-3 years from the beginning of operation.
And if it is insensitive in phones, then TVs are usually purchased for 5-10 years.
- Truncated versions of applications
Not every smart TV can match the quality of hardware with a tablet, so the functions of programs are often cut here.
- Tracking the user’s web history
Without authorization, some of the smart functions are inaccessible here, and with it, the TV collects the user’s preferences for displaying advertisements.
- High price
A good smart-TV costs more than the usual “box”.
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The difference between Smart TV on different TVs
Depending on the brand, the devices differ in “content” and interface. And this is normal – the same process occurs with Android mobile phones, where, despite the same “base”, different devices make the manufacturer’s add-ons. Therefore, the choice of the manufacturer is one of the most important choices, after the diagonal and the maximum screen resolution.
They work on the basis of webOS . This web interface allows you to use basic services without having to go to your browser. Therefore, LG TVs have a huge number of streaming services (from YouTube to Spotify and Netflix) and few games.
The SmartShare feature will appeal to those who like to share content on the big screen. With its help, it will be possible to display almost any content from other devices on the screen: from photos from a phone to a presentation on a laptop.
Features of LG TVs:
- Magic Motion Remote
The pointer of the remote control repeats the movements of the hand – just like an air mouse does.
- Split Screen Mode
Multi-window operation mode – your favorite program is shown in one window, and you can read an article from the other half of the screen.
TVs of this brand run on a separate OS – Tizen . It is updated several years after the release of the TV. Here the user will receive a system that will work quickly even after 4-5 years from the date of purchase.
Tizen OS is easily customizable – the user can customize the appearance and size of the icons to their liking. Tizen saves time searching for applications, since the system automatically divides the screen into 2 blocks:
- Recently used – 3-5 programs that the user opened.
- Popular – apps in which the user often sits.
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Sony, Philips, Panasonic
These devices run on the familiar Android TV , some Sony devices run on a separate Sony Smart TV OS. At the same time, the system is optimized so that on the TV you can easily play “gluttonous” games and watch content in resolution up to 8K. Among the main advantages of the basic Android TV stand out:
- Huge selection of games
It is easier for developers to adapt the game to new controls than to write it from scratch for third-party operating systems.
- In some models, you can turn the remote control into a gamepad
This feature is available for those TVs that have the TV SideView application on board.
- Voice control
The assistant will help you find any information on the Internet.
How to set up Smart TV
The first step is to connect your device to the Internet. In offline mode, he loses the lion’s share of smart functions. The connection to the network is as follows:
- Go to the TV menu.
- Find the “Network” section.
- Select the required connection type – Wi-Fi or wired.
- Enter the router password.
Then you can use all the online functions: from preinstalled programs to downloading services from the application store.
Nowadays, Smart TV is no longer just a TV, but an entertainment center that will provide everything you need to relax. And given the pace of their development, in 5-10 years they can replace the computer for most users.