Sometimes referred to as a connected TV, a smart TV has several integrated features that allow users to perform multiple functions. Unlike a traditional television set, a “smart TV” allows for the interaction and manipulation of images and icons on the screen. For instance, if you were viewing a website on a smart TV, you would be able to use that site’s navigation features to click to different pages. Here’s a closer look at how a smart TV works and how you can use one.
One of the most appealing features of a smart TV is the ability to connect online. Specific capabilities will vary by brand, but many of the popular brands allow you to tap into your social networks so you can tweet about your favorite show as you watch it or see what new messages you’re getting on Facebook. Some smart TVs also offer access to:
- Instant messaging
- Webcams or the ability to set one up
- Full-screen video calling
Accessing Streaming / Video on Demand Services
One of the most appealing features and probably one of the most-used capabilities among smart TV users is the ability to access VOD (video on demand) services. Popular VOD sources include YouTube and Hulu. And, of course, Netflix has become a go-to source for streaming. With a smart TV, you’ll be able to watch such content from a larger screen while also catching up on your favorite shows, watching episodes you’ve missed, or enjoying the growing amount of original programming choices from places like Amazon and Netflix.
Apps and Accessories
It’s really all the possible accessories that make smart TVs especially appealing. It’s no surprise that some smart TV manufacturers are taking their cue from Apple and other leading smartphone brands to provide an assortment of apps and other software applications. When the option is available, you’ll be able to download apps directly to your TV the same way you do with a smartphone. Some of the available apps allow access to:
- News and lifestyle content
- Games like chess and Hangman
- Health and fitness tips
- Music and video content
A Gamer’s Paradise
All of the popular gaming systems can be connected to a smart TV. For avid gamers, it means access to an interactive screen and the ability to multitask by video chatting with buddies to work on strategies or send quick messages while in the game. Sony’s PlayStation 4 is especially supportive of VOD services, a perfect match for a smart TV. The Xbox One even allows you to use your voice to control your TV — now that’s smart!
Fun Gadgets and Accessories
There’s no limit to the possibilities with smart TVs because of the fact that they are designed to easily adapt to different features and accessories. Some of the more innovative options include a “touch pen” you can use to write directly on your smart TV. If you’re looking to watch your weight while you explore your smart TV, there’s even a WiFi-connected body mass system that will let you track your fitness data from your TV. Some services also allow you to license software for a reasonable monthly fee that you can use on your smart TV.
The use of smart TVs is on the rise, so much so that industry experts predict it will soon be the preferred choice among consumers. A big part of the appeal of such devices is the ability to conveniently perform multiple tasks from a single source while also being able to access an assortment of viewing options. Companies like EnPlug have embraced this technology and present additional options to make it even more useful.