Smart TVs are the next logical step in television technology, as they incorporate a computer and Internet access with high-quality screens. They allow viewers to check YouTube*, Facebook*, and other popular websites while watching TV.
In essence, smart TVs bring the Internet into the living room. As the technology improves, many of these sets are becoming as capable as standard computers when it comes to web browsing and even Internet video.
Video Quality. It should be noted that the term "smart TV" has no bearing on the actual quality of a television's picture. There are HDTVs and 3D TVs which can be called smart TVsthey simply need Internet connectivity, and ideally a good CPU that's capable of running a full-featured browser and the many apps that are available on modern smart TV systems. They connect to a home's Internet via WiFi, usually allowing for very quick browsing and even video viewing.
As processors get smaller and more powerful, smart TVs have gained dozens of features and have gradually become more affordable.
Apps And Browsers. Modern smart TVs from companies like Panasonic* and Sony* have two major advantages over DVRs and set-top boxes. Many newer sets actually have full browsers, which means that content isn't restricted.
As video streaming websites like Netflix* and Hulu* become more and more popular, full Internet capability on a television can be more valuable than cable or a satellite dish. There's a wealth of legal video content available online and smart TVs are quickly becoming a great way to access that content.
Most newer smart TVs also come with app stores, similar in design to the app store that Apple* introduced for the iPhone*. Apps add functionality to a smart TV with video games, sports updates, specialized channels and much more. These apps are cheap or free and have already been used in exciting ways to make television viewing more interactive.
The Right Controls. When smart TVs first came out, their controls left a lot to be desired. It's hard to type a web address on a standard remote control, after all.
The best new smart TVs have remotes that are designed for modern computer users. Some have touch screens which make typing easier and also allow for better gaming and browsing. Others have standard keyboards, which are still better than numerical remotes. As new smart TVs are introduced through the next few years, their Internet browsing features will become more powerful. Prices have also dropped considerably and will continue to drop as the technology becomes more common. Given the enormous amount of new content available on smart TVs, they can be a solid buy and a great addition to any home's living room.