Along with 3D technology, Smart TVs represent the way forward for that living room centrepiece, the television. With a logical use of the terminology that described the evolution of the mobile phone, the term Smart TVs basically describes devices that connect straight to the internet, and typically come with the kind of integrated software that you might expect – apps, the ability to download more apps, browsing software, access to home network files etc. To get a look at the range of Smart TVs currently on the market you can persuse the selection at Currys online.
While many of these features are already available for display through your living room TV if you have a separate device such as a PC, laptop or games console connected, Smart TVs bring that extra level of accessibility to the process of accessing the internet. Without the need to start up two devices – and use multiple controllers – Smart TVs cut out that small but significant time and effort that can often act as an invisible barrier to events like sharing web photo albums on the family TV.
Smart TVs are particularly handy for using web streaming services to rent films and other content such as Netflix or LOVEFiLM if you live in the UK (to compare the two and make an informed decision before choosing, check out Netflix vs LOVEFiLM). Skype video conferencing through the big screen of the living room TV is also a standout capability that can allow the whole family to group together and get face-to-face contact with relatives on the other side of the world.
Connection to the internet is achieved in the standard way. The Smart TV is linked to the router through either a wired ethernet connection, or by Wi-Fi. Some Smart TVs have built in Wi-Fi, while others are described as Wi-Fi ready. Wi Fi ready usually means that the purchase of a separate Wi-Fi dongle – which plugs into the smart TV – is required to make the wireless connection. While Smart TVs with built in Wi-Fi tend to be a bit more expensive, it should be noted that the wireless dongles required for Wi Fi ready smart tvs can cost around £50.
A broadband internet connection is required for optimum use of smart TVs. A minimum speed of 2Mbps (mega bits per second) is recommended if you want to enjoy full quality sound and vision when streaming films. For more information on buying a smart TV, look at the ever dependable Which? website.