This is a featured article from the content team at Fueled.com the premier mobile app development agency.
Since it first switched on in 1927, television has held our collective consciousness for decades. From the small black and white screens to the massive vibrant flats of today, the TV set certainly has kept up with technology. One of the newer iterations of televisions is the Smart TV. Smart TVs are televisions that make the most of the Internet by connecting to your Wi-Fi. From there, your TV can use specific entertainment apps, browse the web, or stream video directly through services such as Netflix or Roku.
While that certainly seems like a handy for TVs to have, is it really worth the extra money? Before you get your heart set on a Smart TV set, we’ll try to answer the question if purchasing one is really a smart idea.
You’ll need to research the different brands to see what their sets offer. With Smart TVs, there’s no set standard, and every manufacturer includes different features, some with an amazingly large amount of applications, and then some with barely any offerings at all. For example, LG’s user interface has nothing to do with apps but instead uses networking and SmartShare software to display any photo, video or MP3 file stored on a networked PC, USB Drive, HDD or NAS drive on the homescreen. Samsung, on the other hand, uses five separate screens within their home screen to display TV, on-demand films, social media, Samsung Apps, and your personal digital media. There two systems offer the user completely different experiences so it’s important to know what it is you’re looking for from your Smart TV. If you’re an avid Netflix or YouTube viewer, you’ll need to review and see if your TV will include those services.
The main thing your Smart TV is going to need, aside from electricity, is a good Wi-Fi connection. If you happen to be in a location where your connectivity tends to get poor at times, then the features on your TV occasionally won’t be helpful. It is imperative that you have a reliable wireless connection in order to get the most from your Smart TV. A poor connection, means a poor experience.
Like on a computer, the features on your Smart TV need updating from time to time. Hopefully your manufacturer will continue to provide these feature updates so your TV apps will work as they should. But there’s always a risk that as your Smart TV ages, the technology inside your device might not be able to keep up, especially after a few years.
While the idea of the Smart TV was to do away with the need for set top boxes and additional connections to your TV, those other devices aren’t going away quietly. In fact, they can be a tempting alternative to purchasing a Smart TV. Roku’s Streaming Stick, Google’s Chromecast, and Apple TV can connect to the HDMI ports of a regular TV, letting you do things a Smart TV does, and in some cases even more. Media Streamers have Amazon Instant Video (or iTunes), as well as a lot of other content such as HBO GO, and Apple TV has the added ability to stream music from your computer. Streamers are also much easier to keep up to date in terms of software and apps. Most Smart TVs become dated quickly due to a lack of regular updates which decline with time. Streamers, however, are constantly undergoing updates to improve available apps and to keep the user interface current.
Another option is connecting a recent PlayStation or an Xbox game system, which offers many services through their own wireless connections to the Internet. Plus, the PlayStation 3 and 4 and the Xbox One allows you to play Blu-Ray discs, for you movie buffs out there.
Worthy or Worthless?
Ultimately, the decision to buy a Smart TV rests with you. But just understand the risks involved with Smart TVs versus regular TVs, and also know that you have other options that can far exceed the capabilities of some Smart TVs. Don’t let a beautiful showroom display lead you to make an ugly decision. Instead, think about what kind of wifi connectivity you have, think about how important it is to you to link up the devices in your home and think about regular updates to your software. Right now, the uptake on Smart TV’s has been much less than what was originally anticipated. The further development of streamers may widen that gap even further, making Smart TV’s a thing of the past before they’ve seen the future.