What is a “SMART TV” and do I need one?
What is a smart TV?
What is a Smart-TV? (AKA a “Connected TV“) All newer TV’s (no more than 10 years old) are usually classified as Smart-TV‘s. A Smart TV is a television that has built-in Internet access, either by a direct, wired Ethernet connection or built-in Wi-Fi and can:
- Stream media from your computer to your TV over your home network.
- Connect wirelessly using Wi-Fi Direct, where the device makes a one-to-one network connection so you can watch whatever is playing on your smartphone while it remains in your pocket.
- Use apps like Netflix, Stan, ABC iView etc to download to your smart TV, so you can watch online content without purchasing an additional device such as Apple TV, a games console or Blu-ray player. If you’re a Netflix watcher, check to see if there’s a dedicated Netflix button on the remote as this will allow you to jump straight to your saved shows.
- Automatically apply security and system updates to improve the TV’s features and performance.
A dumb-TV, has none of the above but can often be turned into a Smart-TV by adding an external device (set-top box) such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku streaming Stick, Telstra TV, Fetch TV, Foxtel Now Box, Amazon Fire Stick or gaming consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation.
What is a Smart-TV App?
In addition to viewing Free to Air Programs on a Smart-TV, they also come with built in “Apps” or “Programs” that allow access to streaming and on-demand services as detailed above.
Popular Apps such as “Netflix” and Amazon “Prime-TV” may also have their own dedicated buttons on the TV remote control but by going through the “Apps” section of your TV you will also find Apps for ABC iView, SBS On-demand, Stan, Apple TV, Telstra movies etc.
Because your Smart TV is connected to the Internet, it should be constantly “upgrading” itself with the latest Apps, so over time you may see the available Apps increase as new services (such as Disney Plus) are introduced.
How do I connect my TV to the Internet?
A smart-TV depends on an Internet Connection. Most Smart-TV’s and Set-Top Boxes can connect via a “wired” (Ethernet cable) or wire-less (Wi-Fi) connection.
A wired connection is always going to be the ultimate option as it delivers the fastest internet connection. However, this would mean having a hard-wired connection into the back of the TV from a nearby Ethernet connection on the wall.
Connecting a TV to the Internet via Wi-Fi provides a much more flexible option, allowing you to situate your TV anywhere in the home. However, this means that the Wi-Fi signal at the TV’s location must be fast enough as to not cause “lagging” of the picture. If the WI Fi signal at your TV is causing you problems, The IT Guys can assist in troubleshooting and fixing the problem (see below)
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