There are 2 types of TVs: regular and smart.
But really, what makes a TV smart, and how do you know if it is 1?
Honestly, I’ve been getting these questions a lot lately.
So I’ve decided to list everything you need to know about Smart TVs.
Continue reading to find out:
- 7 things you must know about Smart TVs.
- 3 easy ways to tell if your TV is smart or not.
- 3 types of devices that you can use to make your regular TV smart.
- And much, much more…
Are all Smart TVs smart?
All Smart TVs are smart. That’s because they can access the Internet and support online apps. Plus, Smart TVs are superior to regular TVs because they can do everything that normal TVs can. And still have more features on top of that.
7 things you need to know about Smart TVs
#1: All Smart TVs can access the Internet
The feature that separates Smart TVs from regular ones is…
Their ability to connect to the Internet.
With that, if a TV can’t connect to a network, it’s not a smart TV.
Now, it’s worth noting that there are 2 ways to connect smart TVs to your Internet.
And that’s through:
- An Ethernet cable.
And you can choose between these 2 types of connections on any smart TV.
However, just like any other device…
Smart TVs also slow down if you have a weak Internet connection.
That’s why having a stable Wifi network is crucial when you have a Smart TV.
#2: All smart TVs can access streaming services
Regardless of the brand or model of your Smart TV…
You’ll be able to access the different streaming services or platforms on your device, such as:
- HBO Max.
- Disney Plus.
- Amazon Prime Video.
However, the number of streaming apps available in Smart TVs differs for each model.
That’s because some are only compatible with newer Smart TVs. And some streaming platforms don’t have partnerships with certain TV brands.
For example, Amazon Prime Video isn’t compatible with Samsung TVs released in 2012.
And likewise, Discovery Plus only runs on Smart TVs from 2017 and later.
With that said, even if you have a Smart TV…
It’s not guaranteed that you’ll be able to watch on every streaming platform.
#3: You can use smart TVs like regular TVs
Smart TVs can access streaming apps and use the Internet, unlike regular TVs.
And on top of that, they also have all the features of basic ones.
See, most regular TVs display their content from these inputs:
- A cable provider.
- An HDTV antenna.
- External A/V sources.
And fortunately, you can still connect all of these to your Smart TVs.
With that said…
You can think of a Smart TV as an upgrade to regular TVs.
Because you won’t be missing out on anything from the basic TVs…
If you were to get a Smart TV instead.
#4: Many Smart TVs have voice assistants
You can only control regular TVs with the remote or TV buttons.
But on the other hand, you can navigate on your Smart TV using voice assistants.
I’m talking about Artificial Intelligence (AIs) like:
- Google Assistant.
See, if your Smart TV has these AIs…
You can control it using voice commands.
For example, while pressing your remote’s mic button, you can say something like:
- “Alexa, search for horror movies on Netflix.”
- “Hey Google, play funny videos on Youtube.”
Now, some Smart TVs only have 1 AI in their system.
However, other Smart TVs, like those from Samsung, let you choose from different AIs.
That’s because there are pros and cons to every voice assistant you can choose.
For example, Google Assistant is known for being able to follow multiple commands at once.
So you can say something like:
“Set the volume to 10 and open my Netflix.”
And it’ll automatically do both actions simultaneously.
See, Alexa can’t follow commands like this. Because you’d need to put your commands in separate sentences.
With that, you’d need to say:
“Alexa, set the volume to 10.”
And after she does so, say the 2nd command:
“Alexa, open my Netflix.”
However, of course, Alexa also has her advantages over Google Assistant.
And to expand more on that, continue to the next section.
#5: You can control your smart home devices using your TV
With the help of voice assistants…
You can also control your smart home devices with your Smart TV. And this includes:
For example, if your TV is using Alexa, you can say something like:
“Alexa, dim the lights in the living room.”
And she’ll gladly do so, as long as she has access to the mentioned lights.
Interested in knowing what this would look like in actual practice? Watch this video:
Now, of course, this feature isn’t only limited to Alexa.
Because you can also do this with other AIs like Google Assistant.
But it’s worth noting that since Alexa can control more devices than other AIs can…
Alexa-powered Smart TVs are the better choice if you want to control your smart home.
#6: Smart TVs have different Operating Systems
First off, let me explain what they are.
See, Operating Systems (OS) act as the “brain” of technological devices like:
- Smart TVs.
- Mobile devices.
Now, you’re most likely familiar with the terms iOS and Android.
See, those are the Operating Systems of Apple products and Android gadgets.
As you know, the user interfaces of these devices are different. Or put simply, their systems work and look separate from each other.
With that said…
Like mobile devices, Smart TVs also have different Operating Systems.
That’s why some are easier to use than others.
And certain Smart TVs are better at personalizing your home screen than the rest.
With that said, it’s worth considering which Operating System best suits your needs…
If you ever plan to buy a new Smart TV.
#7: You can surf the web and play games on smart TVs
Streaming your favorite shows and movies aren’t the only activities you can do on Smart TVs.
See, you can also play games and surf the web on TVs with OS like:
- Fire TV.
- Roku TV.
- Apple TV.
So if you ever want to entertain yourself with activities other than streaming on your TV…
You’ll have hundreds of games to choose from with Smart TVs.
How do I know if my TV is a Smart TV?
There are different ways to know if your TV is a Smart TV.
And to help you quickly do so, here are…
3 easy ways to find out if your TV is Smart or not
Look for app shortcuts on your remote
Some smart remotes have buttons that automatically launch streaming apps like:
- Amazon Prime Video.
So to find out if your TV is smart, check for these keys on your remote.
Don’t see shortcuts like these?
Then, open your TV and click the Home/Menu button on your remote control.
And once you’re on the home screen, look for any streaming platforms on your TV.
With that said, if you see any streaming apps, then your TV is smart.
But if not, then you have a regular TV.
However, to be sure, I recommend that you also…
Look for an ethernet port on your TV
As mentioned earlier, you can connect your TV to the router using an ethernet cable.
With that said, Smart TVs usually have an ethernet port in their unit.
So if you’re still unsure if your TV is smart or not…
Look at the back of your TV and check if there’s a port labeled “Ethernet.”
However, bear in mind that some ethernet ports aren’t labeled.
So if you’re not familiar with what they look like…
I suggest searching for ethernet port images on your browser.
And compare them to the ports on your TV.
With that, if your TV has 1, then your TV is smart.
But you have a regular TV if you don’t see any.
Ask your TV’s customer support
You may also ask your TV’s customer support to know if you have a smart TV or not.
To do so, just follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Take note of your TV’s model number.
You can usually find this at the back of your device. Or your TV settings.
Step 2: Call your TV’s customer support.
Don’t know their number?
Then head to the official website of your TV brand. And go to their Support or Contact Us page.
Step 3: Ask if your TV is a smart TV.
Give the model number of your TV to the customer support representative.
And they’ll be able to inform you if you have a smart TV or not.
You might also want to know: 7 Best Smart TV Brands (According To An Expert)
Differences between a Smart TV and a non-smart TV
The difference between a Smart TV and a non-smart TV is that…
You can access these features in Smart TVs:
- Surf the web.
- Play online games.
- Connect to the Internet.
- Install and launch apps.
- Control your TV with AIs.
- Connect with other smart devices.
And these aren’t available on non-smart TVs.
Also, Smart TVs have ethernet ports on their unit. And the regular ones don’t.
How can I make my normal TV smart?
You can make your normal TV smart by connecting external devices to your TV.
And if you’re wondering what these are, I’ve listed…
3 different types of devices you can connect to your TV to make it smart
If you want to spend the least amount of money…
Then you can connect your PC or cellphone to your TV.
This way, the features of your computer or phone will also be available on your TV screen. Thus upgrading your regular TV into a smart 1.
External streaming devices
You can buy external streaming devices to turn regular TVs into smart TVs.
And some examples of these are:
Pro tip: If you’re on a budget, I recommend getting Roku Express. Because it only costs $25, but it’s a high-quality streaming device.
Once you have a streaming device on hand…
All you need to do is connect it to the HDMI port of your regular TV. And you’ll automatically have a Smart TV.
If you have a PlayStation or an Xbox console…
Then you can turn your regular TV into a Smart TV.
Don’t have these yet?
Then you might as well get 1 if you’re interested in games but also want to turn your TV smart.
That’s because these gaming consoles will let your TV access:
- The Internet.
- Online games.
- Streaming apps.
And really, what more can you ask for from a technological device?
Further reading: 9 Easy Ways To Turn Your TV Into A Smart TV
Are Smart TVs worth it?
Smart TVs are worth it. And as a tech junky…
I highly recommend getting 1 if you love streaming on your TV.
See, with Smart TVs, not only will you get access to thousands of movies and shows…
But you can also use hundreds of gaming apps with ease.
So if you’re thinking of getting 1…
You might as well go for it.
Because among everyone I’ve recommended Smart TVs to…
I’ve never heard someone complain that they weren’t worth it.