Imagine having a television that can respond to your voice, give suggestions on shows you might like and can be operated mostly hands-free—it’s the stuff of the future! All of this sounds amazing and can be achieved through an external device. This means that the TV itself doesn’t have to do that. There are many popular brands of smart TV such as Samsung The Frame TV, but before you jump in on the trend and get yourself one, let’s find out what a smart TV does and what it actually is.
A smart TV is best described as a connected TV. Basically, it is a TV that can be connected to the internet and supports a variety of different applications. Some smart TVs also have their own interface that lets users gain access to Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and other streaming services. In some cases, smart TVs also have games and access to social media platforms.
Smart TVs give users access to services they would usually need a secondary device for, like a game console or a Chromecast.
Smart TVs, like Samsung The Frame TV, do not have any standardized lineup or interface yet. Built-in services for smart TVs can vary from company to company, but there are a few mainstays that you can expect to show up regardless of the kind of smart TV you have. Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix are such powerhouses that they are normally included as a default. But there are also a couple of other streaming services that have also started to make a name for themselves.
One particularly popular service that offers a list of free channels that has started to make a way in smart TVs is PlutoTV. Some manufacturers are even pushing out updates to include it in existing devices. But not all smart TVs receive updates like that. Even if your TV does support it, for now, it’s highly likely that companies may eventually drop it in the long run.
An example of this would be Netflix, when it announced toward the end of 2019 that it would no longer support Samsung Smart TVs from 2010 and 2011, Vizio smart TVs over four years old, and first-gen Roku devices.
But the newer smart TVs come with features that others don’t offer—like food apps! Imagine being able to order off of your TV, you don’t even have to get off your couch! Some TVs also come with a feature that lets you stream video feeds from your security cameras right to your TV. If your TV supports picture-in-picture, then you can check who’s at your door even without taking your eyes off what you’re watching.
Most TVs nowadays are labeled “Smart” that there is no longer a clear divide between regular and Smart TVs. The only thing that differentiates TVs into different price points is their size and manufacturer.
The brand name also carries a lot of power. For example, if you do a quick search of Best Buy, you’d see that a 50-inch Insignia Smart 4K UHD TV with HDR costs around $270, whereas a 49-inch Sony Smart 4K UHD TV with HDR costs around $450. This proves that you pay more for the brand, but screen resolution matters too.
If you look into larger smart TVs, especially the ones over 65 inches, that extra screen will cost you more. Other than that, you may see a $100 difference between a regular TV and smart TV, but that line is getting harder to define as time goes by.
Smart TVs originally offered services only available through only a few providers while smart TVs have essentially been around in one way or another since the late 90s, the official recorded release of the first modern smart TV was released in 2008.
Samsung’s Pavv Bordeaux TV 750, released in 2008, allowed people to watch YouTube videos, check stocks, check the weather, and more. This product was also released during the same period as the first streaming services did. However, at that time, it didn’t offer support for those. Technology has come on leaps and bounds over the years, and nowadays, Samsung offers new rotating models, where you can switch from the usual landscape mode to a vertical tv portrait mode!
Now that almost everyone can access streaming services easily on most devices, buying a smart TV may be hard to justify. If you already have a TV and do not want to spend a couple of hundred dollars more for a new TV, invest in a Chromecast, Roku, AppleTV, or an Amazon Fire Stick instead.
These devices can give you the same functions as most modern TVs do; as a matter of fact, Amazon smart TVs use the same interface as Amazon, while Roku TVs come with the same interface as the Roku stick. You can also access 4K streaming by paying a bit more on Roku Ultra LT or Chromecast Ultra.
But if you ARE really keen on getting a new TV, then a smart TV is absolutely worth the extra bucks. Consider getting a Samsung The Frame TV. With this, you’ll be able to access streaming services, better smart home control, and built-in smart assistants—what could be better than that? Being able to control your TV using an app means that you’ll never have to worry about misplacing the remote control ever again.
Most smart TVs have WiFi connectivity, but they also come with an Ethernet port. If you can, try to connect your TV through the Ethernet port and use Wi-Fi as a backup. Wi-Fi is usually slower than Ethernet connection, so if you’re streaming 4K videos and want to get the best quality possible, get an Ethernet connection.
Take time to learn and completely understand how your smart TV works, keeping in mind that every model has some slight differences. Once you have a grip on how to access all the TV’s features, you can customize and create your own picture settings afterward. Take time to set up your TV display’s colors properly, turn on HDR, and then sit back and enjoy watching movies the way they’re supposed to be enjoyed.
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