What you should know about smart TVs

Streaming movies and television shows is simple with a smart TV, and more recent models come with voice control and smart home connectivity. Although smart TVs have been around for a while, they are now far smarter than it might have seemed feasible when they first came out. 

TVs have changed as well, adding technologies like voice control and streaming services, which have altered how we watch movies and television. While the majority of TVs on the market today can be categorized as smart TVs, not all of them are. If smart TVs are produced by different companies, they will not only run different smart platforms, but also differ in terms of how quickly they operate, how many streaming services they can access, and how many problems they have.

So, is the finest streaming gadget actually better than a smart TV? What about worries regarding privacy? Which is the smartest? We’ve created this helpful guide because the details will change depending on the brand or model. 

How do I define a smart TV?

The outdated “dumb TVs,” which could only show content through a cable, HDTV antenna, or other A/V source, are all but gone. The linked world of today demands a little bit more sophistication. The current TV is more like a smartphone or tablet than the tube TV of the past thanks to strong CPUs, internet connectivity, and user-friendly software.

For changing channels and looking for programs, an increasing number of devices now come with voice recognition technology like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. One of your top smart speakers will operate with the majority of smart TVs, and many come with part or all of that functionality already built in.

Is local television available on smart TVs? 

Local station reception on a TV is unaffected by smart TV services and features. You will continue to receive the same stations if you have cable or satellite service. If you don’t have any of those services, you will still require an internet connection of some kind for the smart services, as well as one of our top TV antennas to receive free local over-the-air broadcasts. Most television stations have not yet followed radio stations’ example of streaming their live programs online, at least not yet.

Exactly how do smart TVs access the internet? 

A smart TV connects to your home network to stream videos and other services to your TV. It can do this using wired Ethernet or built-in Wi-Fi. The majority of modern TVs are 802.11ac Wi-Fi compatible, although earlier cars may still be using the less modern 802.11n standard.

There are a few solutions available if the wireless signal your smart TV receives isn’t strong enough. Any model on our list of the best Wi-Fi routers will work if you need to upgrade, including the more affordable models.

How do smart TVs differ from one another in terms of the services they provide? 

Regardless of the TV brand you select, today’s smart TVs provide a wide variety of streaming and entertainment options, including services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, or HBO Max. However, there are also an expanding number of free streaming services that are supported by commercials, such as PlutoTV, Tubi, and Crackle.

Well-known video sharing websites like YouTube offer basic browsing that is suited for viewing on a TV and navigating with a remote control in addition to having their own smart TV apps. Thanks to internet radio services like Spotify and Pandora, streaming music is another another amazing feature of smart TVs.

Will the manufacturer of my smart TV often release new features to the software?

Generally speaking, yes. Like any other operating system, all of the main TV manufacturers regularly release updates for their smart TV software that include new capabilities, improve upon existing ones, and fix bugs and security flaws. Some of these updates bring completely new capabilities to the TV, such as enhanced support for high dynamic range (HDR) formats like Dolby Vision, while others only make minor firmware adjustments (often downloaded automatically late at night).

Can a virus or a hacker infect my smart TV?

The answer is yes in theory. By demonstrating how to get into a smart TV that is connected to the internet and perform actions like stealing passwords and changing channels, so-called white-hat hackers have drawn attention to the problem.

Can a smart TV freeze or crash like a computer?

Yes is the clear-cut response. There is a chance of hanging or even crashing as smart TVs take on more of the responsibilities previously reserved for laptops and smartphones. Smart TVs have evolved into computers in the same way that phones have. Today, we anticipate that our TVs will access material from the internet, manage other connected devices, run sophisticated apps, and even support voice interaction. Despite this, because we are accustomed to thinking of smart TVs as little more than simple displays, problems with them frequently catch us off guard.

The good news is that while crashes and sluggish performance were an issue in the past, they happen considerably less frequently now. Despite this, issues could still arise, particularly with low-end smart TVs that might not have the most recent hardware and well-maintained software. Powering the TV off and back on will usually fix the issue if you experience a frozen screen or a hanging process.

Can you use a smart TV to browse the internet?

The majority of smart TVs have an internet connection and come with preinstalled programs that include a web browser. These browsers may not seem precisely like the desktop web browsers you’re used to, but they can convert and display websites correctly on a large screen and are compatible with all HTML standards used by websites.

Do smart TVs offer advantages besides apps?

Smart TVs do have additional potential benefits. Popular voice assistants have been incorporated into the most recent sets. You can now use voice search to find material on streaming services and live TV, as well as to look up everything from the weather and stock prices to the most recent celebrity rumors. With the speech integration, you may use additional services from the comfort of your couch, such as ordering pizza or calling an Uber. Additionally, you can typically couple the TV with the smart speaker of your choosing if you dislike the voice assistant built into the TV.

Is the picture or sound quality on a smart TV better?

No, not always. A CPU for decompressing videos and built-in Wi-Fi have no direct impact on the quality of the images. Customers will discover that certain smart TVs have greater picture quality than cheaper versions without the smarts because manufacturers initially integrated smart TV functions to more expensive, higher-end (and better-performing) HDTVs.