What is a Smart TV?
Posted 21/04/2014 by BrightHouse Team
This week on the blog we’re taking a look at smart TVs; what they are, what they do, and what you should consider when buying one.
If you still think a TV remote control is a pretty neat idea, or you just don’t know what you’re looking for, then we can help bring you up to speed with this fantastic technology.
What makes something smart?
Most of us will be familiar with smartphones, and a smart TV works in a similar way. A smartphone is still a phone but actually behaves more like a computer, using the internet to power a whole host of extra services and features. Likewise, a smart TV is still a telly but it features a desktop with applications and services offering extra content through the internet.
What are these extras?
A smart TV can connect you to video streaming services such as YouTube and Netflix so you can enjoy a wide selection of extra ‘on demand’ content. For a monthly subscription, a service like Netflix or Amazon Instant Video can give you instant access to hundreds of films and television programmes to watch at any time. You’ll also find applications like BBC iPlayer and 4oD so you can catch up on recent TV when you want.
You’ll have access to social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and with the addition of a webcam (usually sold separately) you can make use of Skype to video call friends and family over the internet.
Some smart TVs offer other features too, such as voice commands or gestures, or multimedia sharing between your TV, computer, and smartphone over your wireless network.
How to choose a smart TV
When it comes to choosing a smart TV it’s important to take note of which major services (such as Netflix and Skype) it supports to make sure it has all the features you want. You also need to decide what size will be best for your room. Smart TVs are always flatscreen so don’t require much space behind them, but they range in screen size from around 40” up to 60” and more. Some also have the choice of being placed on a TV stand or hung on the wall, so always check the specifications if you want to have this option.
Most smart TVs use LED screens for their superior picture quality and brightness, as well as 3D viewing with a compatible Blu-ray player.
An important thing to remember: Just like with a smartphone, it’s important to make sure that you have a sufficient download allowance when you use a smart TV. Most internet providers offer unlimited downloads as part of their packages, but they may also impose a monthly limit. It’s advisable to have an unlimited allowance when using a smart TV, otherwise you may end up going over your limit and getting charged more. For video streaming services such as Netflix, you’ll also need a reasonably fast broadband connection for smooth playback.
You can take a look at the range of smart TVs available at BrightHouse here: Televisions