Most modern television devices are so called smart televisions. They are also known as Smart TV, Connected TV or Hybrid TV. What it basically means is that they have internet capabilities. It doesn’t sound like much but has a huge advantage. These televisions can run applications that for example link to a video on demand service or “specialised on telly” service providers.
These smart TV’s allow you to interact with your device with your remote. By installing various applications you can for example add interactive media content, watch movie previews and buy them at once – assuming you like it –, you can use a so called catch up service or book a broadcast from a sports event. A Smart TV can connect not only to traditional digital content but also IPTV which can come in handy where an IPTV is cheaper than the regular digital package.
A pretty obvious possibility is surfing the web, watch online videos, pictures and even store them on a hard drive. You can also connect your other devices in your network like your computer or an external hard drive. The possibilities are endless although the market itself is relatively new. If it kicks off more and more providers will pop up and deliver specialised content and apps.
So where is the catch?
Well there is none. The beauty is that pretty much ALL new televisions are “smart”. And even if yours isn’t; you can upgrade your old TV by getting a set-top box. If you lately switched to a digital package or you most likely have one already. There are no drawbacks only benefits. That’s good is it?
What device is best?
There is no easy answer here. The latest generation of televisions comes with a number of applications. Pioneers in the field are Philips in cooperation with Sharp, LG and Loewe. Samsung started their own version. They come with a variety of apps and their very own app store. Best is
to go to a shop and try what suits you best. The race has only just begun.
A distinct advantage of the Philips group is that apps written for their interface work on four manufacturers. Tha doesn’t make Samsung Smart TV any worse but developers might be more inclined to develop for the system with the wider audience. It is similar with the Smart Phone apps that traditionally are developed for iPhone first. With the success of Android this will probably change though.
Well know manufacturers of set-top boxes are Boxee, MeeGo and of course the guys at Google are having plans of their own. Especially in the US Googles plans have been met with resistance from the networks though.