Smart TV: Do You Need One
For the past decades, television or TV is probably among the most popular icon of mass culture. You can see it almost everywhere in the past, present, and most likely still that way in the future. Even with the invention of Internet, PC, and most recently smarpthone and tablets, TV remains huge existence for everyone. However, it does changes or evolves to be exact. They become smart and smarter than ever. But how smart it is and what can I do with it? In its basic evolution, it actually integrates Internet capabilities. Then as time goes, it also offer social networking integration and apps as in smartphones or tablets. Now you no longer have to go between devices to access different contents. You can watch TV. You can stream videos. You can browse through webs. You can make status updates. Everything under one roof with Smart TV. While you may find it convenient to have all sort of entertainment in the same place, come the big question of all: do you need one? There are things you need to know about Smart TV. Unlike conventional TV, you cannot just go plug in the power and turn it on to get it up and running. You will need Internet connection, be it wired or wireless. If it is wireless, depending on your TV specification, you may need to buy additional wireless dongle. And most importantly, note that some of the services, apps, or contents are based on subscription systems with monthly or yearly charges. That aside, you may have to learn the ropes about how to navigate around because it has a somewhat different user interface, which has both TV and mobile devices taste on it.
The concept of Smart TV itself is not necessarily new. In fact, Smart TV is now in its fourth iteration. Initially, it is introduced in 2010 by Google which collaborate with Sony, Intel, and Logitech. But at that time, they called it as Google TV and often referred it as Internet TV, rather than Smart TV, simply because its extended functionality comes from Internet. The extra functionalities includes browsing capability and live streaming as well as paid subscription services. Then early 2011, Samsung went and introduce their first Smart TV which features not only Internet capability but also other smart features and thus the moniker Smart TV. The highlighted smart features include social networking integration, video on-demand, and TV apps, which are all controlled under Samsung Hub. Another interesting aspect about Samsung Smart TV is that it offers seamless integration to their mobile devices via DLNA-based Allshare feature. As if it is not smart enough, the recent models of Samsung Smart TV actually allows you to control the Smart TV via gestures and voice control while also boasting facial recognition feature. Yup, we cannot deny how many possibilities in there for a Smart TV. But again, do you really need one? In any case, you may already had the conventional TV set, a PC or notebook, a smarpthone or tablets. All the devices do their job well and you could not possibly get rid of them only because you will buy a Smart TV which can do all things. Certainly, there are a lot of cool things about Smart TV but if you did not really use it often, what do you buy it for? Regardless of any challenge it poses, there are things you need to know about Smart TV before spending a fortune for it.
1. How Smart It Is?
If you compare it to traditional TV, PC, or smartphone and tablets, Smart TV is of course smarter than them since it basically integrates all functionalities. In terms of content, there are limitless of possibilities from where you can get content from. Internally, you can access and play all the contents including pictures, music, or videos stored on the networked computing or multimedia devices. Then, you can also turn to Internet for web browsing, video streaming, video on demand, or subscription services. To enrich you Smart TV experience, Samsung actually design apps for TV. Yes, you heard it right. For the first time in history, your mobile apps goes into big screen thanks to Samsung Apps. You can easily download various kind of apps and games as you did in mobile devices, and play it right on your Smart TV. And yes we mean those apps like Angry Birds. But hey you played it already on the phone and do you need one more? There are also social networking apps in Smart TV for those into the social scenes. Or, simply connect to people everywhere around the world with the Skype and the built-in camera. You are totally mistaken if you think there is all to it since Samsung Smart TV is also about a new way of interacting with your TV. The recent models of Samsung Smart TV offers content sharing and streaming from popular mobile devices such as smartphone and tablets via DLNA features. So with all the flexibility it offers, do you need one?
2. How it Works?
Essentially an Internet-connected TV by concept, Smart TV usually will require you to have a working Internet connection. Some models comes with both wired and wireless options while others only support wired connectivity. With wired connection, you only need to connect the Ethernet cable to the slot provided, usually at the back of TV. But if you wish to go wireless, you might need to buy wireless dongle to setup the wireless network. The process is generally the same as how do you connect a notebook to a wireless access point. Most Internet-based apps and services in Smart TV will not work unless you have a working Internet connection so consider to subscribe to your broadband service providers if you really want to enjoy the Smart TV to the most.
Next thing you definitely to know about Smart TV is that there are many different ways of navigating it. Forget the old boring remote control. While it has a whole lot more different buttons on it, fret not because you can actually control and go around with voices or gestures. Samsung Smart TV, for instance, allows you to switch channels by only waving your hands. Or try to turn the TV on by saying hello to it. But really, do you need one like that?
3. Is it Future-Proof/Worth investment?
If you asked us, Smart TV is obviously the next big thing in television scene after 3D TV which does not really takes off until now. The key factor here is that it leverages on cloud computing and integration across devices. The abundance of apps and interactivity may also come to play for higher adoption of Smart TV in the future. It is because you get to choose what content you'd like to watch, from anywhere, anytime. Lastly, scalability is what makes Smart TV a better option than conventional TV. Like computing devices, it can also has upgrade in terms of hardware and software. Back in 2012, Samsung introduces Samsung Evolution Kit which practically enables you to upgrade your TV by integrating components without having to replace the TV set. Do you need one? You certainly do if you wish to use the TV for few years ahead.
Should I Buy One?
To many people including us, Smart TV does look very appealing with all that smart features such as Internet capability or voice or gestures-based control. However, note that it costs you quite a fortune even if you compare it to the total prices of every other devices doing the same function. But if you are only looking for a new TV and already got other devices, then really there is no need to go that further with Smart TV despite all the benefits. So instead of getting all excited if you should buy one, better consider do you need one?