- Smart TV Overview
- Functions and benefits
- Why do I need to have a Smart TV
- How to connect my Smart TV to internet and use DLNA
The term "Smart TV" comes from some major companies as Samsung, LG, Sony, JVC, Philips and so on. Not all of the IT companies are using the "Smart TV" term for their products, so sometimes is referred to as "Connected TV" or "Hybrid TV". Nowadays these terms denote any television (or set-top box) that provide ability for Internet connection to access streaming media services, can run entertainment apps and provide Web browser.
The Smart TV can be used for television set as well as for a set-top box for television, which provide advanced connectivity and computation abilities than traditional basic television set. The Smart TV devices are much more sophisticated and can be considered as a computer system with advanced television functionality. These systems run complete operating system and allow software updates and additional software applications to be developed for them. Third-party application developers can use the public so called Software Development Kit (SDK) in order to create new apps for particular Smart TV brand and allow end-users to install them.
Smart TVs may deliver multimedia content such as video, audio, photos from other devices like personal computers, network attached storage (NAS), mobile phones and other devices attached to same network using DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) / UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) or similar technique. This feature of Smart TVs is one of the most popular and convenient to users, since it allows the TV to be used as a remote screen for watching favorite media.
Obviously there are a lot of benefits to posses a Smart TV device and recently on the market these kind of televisions are more than the traditional ones. One of the main functionalities are:
- Internet connectivity
- Dedicated Web Browser
- Third-party applications such as YouTube, Netflix and VBox
- Speech recognition or other natural user interface
- DLNA / UPnP media support
- Improved remote control system
As mentioned above, these kind of devices similar to smart phones can provide different kinds of internet connectivity services, provide additional different applications, games, multimedia streaming and web browsing. These kind of devices provide an important service called Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) - receive multimedia content directly through the device internet connection without the need of a rooftop antenna, satellite dish or similar.
Along with enhanced software and internet connectivity features, most of the Smart TV manufactures put significant effort to improve the TV remote control functionality. These devices are pretty close to smart phones and may provide similar applications and user experience but in contrast the users are not able to control them using screen touches since normally they are several meters away. So most of these modern devices come with improved control system which is close to wireless mouse control. Some devices even allow to attach wireless mouse and use it to control some of the TV functionality. One of the best enhanced remote controls is this of LG smart tv - Magic Remote. It has pretty close user experience to those of Nintendo Wii and allows you to point over the screen items and select them with a click.
The Smart TV devices provide a huge set of functionalities. One of the most popular one is the DLNA services. Using DLNA services, users are able to cast content from their devices such as Smart phones, laptop, personal computers, tablets, etc directly to their television set using Wi-Fi connection. This means that you are able to share media content to your TV without the need of USB sticks, HDMI cables or other hardware. To do this comes in help the DeviceOnline applications, which allows you to bind and share any media content you have directly to your TV with just a click. You can read more about the device online apps from here.
Every modern Smart TV device possess an Ethernet cable connector at behind in order to be used for connection with the home network. The process is very similar to connecting a PC to a home network. Some tv devices has an additional embedded Wi-Fi adapter within themselves and it gives the capability to create wireless connection with your television set. If your device doesn't come with embedded Wi-Fi adapter, for most of them it is possible to plug and external one. Although Wi-Fi connection seems more convenient, most technicians recommend using wired connection since it is more secure and stable connection.
Some of the major steps required for TV network setup are:
- Go to your Smart TV's Network Settings, Network or Settings menu.
- Select the WiFi or Wireless option and wait for the device to scan for available wireless networks
- Select desired WiFi Network Name from the list of available networks.
- If your network doesn't appear you may need to choose the Search or Add a Wireless Network option
- When prompted, enter the Password using the keypad (from remote control or screen).
Network Settings example (LG Smart TV)
After the TV Network is configured, the DLNA functionality of your TV is almost done. One of the things an user should do is to download the device online application on his PC and use it to share and control the media stream. In order to find more detailed information on How to use DeviceOnline apps read here.