A Smart TV is an internet-connected television that offers a range of online features, such as on-demand content from apps like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4. It has access to streaming video services like Amazon Prime and Netflix, and the ability to connect to other wireless devices like smartphones. These internet-connected Smart features help you get much more out of your television. Many Smart TVs also let you go to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and several support casual games as well. A growing number of Smart TVs have full web browsers that let you go almost anywhere on the internet. Penetration of Smart TVs will achieve relative parity with streaming media players as platforms delivering apps to TVs. Many Smart TVs come with point-and-click remote controls that can manage onscreen interactions using hand motions or by responding to your voice commands.
Smart TV Features that you should consider before buying one:
Processor, RAM and ROM of a Smart TV
A Smart TV should have a high-speed processor so that it can run online videos smoothly on the screen while maintaining the resolution. The TV should also be equipped with relevant apps and adequate connectivity options along with HDMI and LAN ports. Ensure that the Smart TV has wi-fi support or an Ethernet port so that it can be connected to the internet. As already mentioned, more than one port would be an advantage. Look for pre-installed browsers and applications. A Smart TV having at least 1GB random-access memory (RAM) and 4GB read-only memory (ROM) will give you seamless performance.
You’ll need an internet connection to get your Smart TV online. Most Smart TVs are now wi-fi-enabled, meaning you can wirelessly connect them to your internet router and other devices like smartphones. Some older models require a brand-specific wi-fi adaptor, which usually slots into one of the USB ports. You can also connect your TV using an Ethernet cable, but if it's not close to your router then you’ll need a long lead or a power line adapter. Of course a decent broadband speed is essential if you want to stream video, and a super-fast speed is preferable. For example, if you want to stream 4K ultra HD content on Netflix, you’ll need at least 25Mbps to get the best experience. Also, go for an unlimited broadband package so you can avoid any extra changes for exceeding your data limit while streaming.
What Are the Security Risks of a Smart TV?
This is where the pros and cons of keeping a Smart TV connected become a little harder to answer. Once a device goes online, it’s vulnerable – and your TV is no exception. However, you need to consider whether or not nefarious types would even be interested in cracking into your TV. Things have improved over the years. Some brands make a point of highlighting security features in their TVs, for example. As of now, protections like third-party anti-virus software that you can get for your PC isn’t really available for Smart TVs.
So, yes, TVs can be compromised, and they are full of personal information that may be tempting to cyber-criminals. Whether they’ll actually want to bother, however, is another story. At the other end, what we as consumers can do is practice constant vigilance and stay updated.
You can also refer to the TV Buying Guide to know what other features of Smart TV are important to consider before buying one.
Consumer VOICE compared 20 models of 8 brands of 32 inch Smart TV to help you find the one that suits your requirement.