Is Smart TV Essential?

Do you really need an Internet-connected TV?

A "smart TV" or "connected TV" is a television set which integrates Internet connectivity and Web 2.0 features into standard TV operations. This facilitates a wide range of additional capabilities, including interfaces between the television and devices such as personal computers, external hard drives and video game consoles. While the terms "smart TV" and "Internet TV" are often used interchangeably, they are not actually the exact same thing. A smart TV refers to an actual television set with WiFi or hardwired Internet connectivity, while Internet TV refers to television programming and content which is distributed online.

Smart TV Features

The features of smart TVs are heavily geared towards providing users with access to on-demand and OTT ("over the top") content. You can also access streaming media on an on-demand basis, and use smart TVs to view user-generated content which exists on personal computers, external hard drives and other computers.

Smart TVs also allow users to view content stored on the Internet, local channels, satellite TV channels, and other remote locations. They also have enhanced user navigation controls, and are commonly used to facilitate wireless communication between the television and Internet-connected video game consoles; thus, they are popular with avid gamers seeking a streamlined user experience.

Do You Need a Smart TV?

While smart TV technology is expected to become increasingly widespread in the years ahead, it is still in its relative infancy. Generally speaking, you only need a smart TV if you want enhanced integration between your television and your video game console, or if you want to access user-generated or online content. For example, you can use a smart TV to instantly access services like Netflix, Hulu, and other digital media content distribution platforms which would otherwise only be accessible through your computer or an Internet-connected tablet device or smartphone.

Though smart TVs excel at delivering on-demand services, cable companies have made major strides in recent years in making on-demand content more easily accessible. However, most cable companies still levy charges for on-demand content on a per-use basis; the same programming might be available free of charge over the Internet, which would make a smart TV a wise investment.

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