In the same way that smartphones revolutionised the mobile market, Smart TVs are set to turn the traditional television into a dinosaur.
To put it in a nutshell, Smart TVs integrate Internet possibilities to open up a whole new horizon of interactive viewing and customised content. From downloading useful apps and streaming online videos to keeping up with your social network contacts, the modern telly is poised to include the same computing powers as your PC.
The following guide will outline the key facts about Smart TVs so you can make the right choice as they increasingly flood the marketplace.
DLNA Certified Streaming
As more and more ‘smart’ devices become available, they would become increasingly unmanageable if they could not be synchronised to work as a team – after all, the point of all these snappy gadgets is to give you access to the services and content you want, no matter where you are.
The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) is the organisation that created the standard for sharing media among multiple devices on your home network. You’re advised to choose a Smart TV that is DLNA certified so that you can play movies, display photos and listen to music, whether using your PC, smartphone, Xbox or any other device that is connect to your wireless network.
Access to the web is what makes the new generation TV ‘smart’, since this is what will allow you to connect and tailor the content you specifically want from online sources as opposed to the traditional broadcasting approach. To this end, there are two main emerging technologies for TV Internet access:
Just as with smartphones, one of the most exciting features about Smart TVs is that they’re app based – meaning you can download useful applications to directly access web-based services with ease. This activity is managed using hubs, where you can choose from an ever growing list of options from your TV home screen.
The first Smart TV models simply offered basic apps for sites like YouTube and Flickr since the app market was still in its infancy. However, due to this being is a rapidly growing market, you’ll now have a wide range of fun and useful apps to choose from.
The weak link in TV apps however is that manufacturers are releasing an increasingly diverse amount of Smart TV platforms – this results in companies having to develop individual apps for each of them, and for you then having to suffer the limitations and quirks specific to the platform you happen to own.
TV Optimised Websites
The difference and advantage of a website designed for your TV over downloading apps is that it will give your telly Internet access to their services regardless of your Smart TV platform.
In short, a TV optimised website will give you direct access to the company’s content services in the same way as you received viewing material from a traditional broadcaster.
The current issue with access to streaming content via a TV optimised website is that not all Smart TVs provide a web browser. If it turns out that this feature does not become the standard in all future television models, a TV optimised site can easily be turned into a TV app however.
A further factor affecting the TV optimised medium is HTML5 – this latest web standard accounts for about 54% of all Web video at the present, which suggests it will soon become the norm for future TV optimised sites. This will streamline their service delivery significantly – as the capabilities of Smart TV browsers increase, and optimised sites begin to take advantage of enhanced HTML5 features, they will have the potential to rival the capabilities of TV apps.
Without a doubt, the Smart TV is due to become the next standard in home entertainment. Rather than merely sitting back and having shows broadcast to your living room, these new generation telly’s will allow you to stream content online when you want as well as interact and tailor your media in the same way as you would from a PC or other such device. While this technology is still new to the marketplace, by the looks of things it will rapidly become the latest smart must-have.