Taking cue from the smartphone, almost every electronic device is “smart” these days – even the lowly wrist watch. The television, which is the centerpiece in most living rooms all over the world, is not going to be left behind either. Most big manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Philips, etc. have “Smart TVs” now which offer more functionality and features than old, boring television sets.
Basically, a smart TV is a television set that comes with in-built internet capabilities which augment your viewing experience. Apart from watching traditional broadcast channels, they also allow you to access Internet TV, stream videos, play games and connect to your social networking profile. As with all other “smart” devices, these TVs also support various apps.
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How do these apps work?
Along with internet integration (usually via Wi-Fi), manufacturers also include Web 2.0 features to Smart TVs – which is what makes them “smart”. Features like HTML5 and Flash allow the TV to run a variety of different apps across different categories like Education, Games, Lifestyle, Communication, etc. Some Smart TVs also have full-fledged mobile operating systems like iOS or Android inbuilt which make them powerful computing devices.
What sort of apps does my TV support?
Since every television manufacturer has their own interface, the apps on offer keep changing from one model to the next. Almost all Smart TVs support popular apps like Netflix and Facebook. Generally, it is the higher-priced models which have a wider app range and could support everything from Pandora to Angry Birds. If the TV has a mainstream OS, like Android, it may be able to handle an even wider variety of apps. In high-end sets, video calling is possible via services like Skype through a built-in video camera.
Before buying a Smart TV, it is recommended that you flip through its offerings to make sure that you are comfortable. If it doesn’t support apps that you commonly use, consider other models/manufacturers.
Will my apps be updated to add new features?
It largely depends on the model and manufacturer you choose. Most major manufacturers are constantly working on improving their Smart TVs and fixing any bugs which may be present. Some tend to be faster at releasing updates than others. But, if a competing brand has added support for a popular app like Twitter or Skype, you can rest assured that your TV will get updated sooner than later.
Do Smart TV apps hang/crash like they do in my phone or tablet?
Unfortunately, Smart TVs are not immune to apps crashing or hanging. There have been numerous cases of TVs not responding when opening certain apps or when performing certain functions within an app. But, resolving these issues is remarkably easy – all you have to do is turn the set off and then on again. If the crash is caused by a major app-related bug, the manufacturer may release a fix for it too.