What do we need to know about SMART TVs?

Everything about smart TVs and their features and benefits. How to set up your TV to watch movies remotely and listen music by DeviceOnline DLNA streaming.


Smart TV Overview

The term “Smart TV” comes from some major companies as Samsung, LG, Sony, JVC, Philips and so on. Some IT companies use “Connected TV” or “Hybrid TV” instead of the “smart TV” term.

Nowadays these terms denote any television (or set-top box) that provide ability for:

  • Internet connectivity
  • Streaming media services
  • Run entertainment apps
  • Has an internal Web browser

Smart TVs are much more sophisticated and are seen as a computer system with advanced television functionality. These systems work with a complete operating system and allow the development of software updates and add-on apps for them. Third-party application developers can use public Software Development Kit (SDK) to create new Smart TV applications. This allow end users to install them on their Smart TV device.

Smart TVs may deliver multimedia content such as video, audio and photos from other devices. Technologies such as DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) / UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) allow media casting form home network devices like: personal computers, network attached storage (NAS) and mobile phones.

This feature of Smart TV is one of the most popular, as it allows you to use the TV as a remote screen to watch your favorite media.

Why should I have a Smart TV?

The Smart TV devices provide a huge set of functionalities. One of the most popular are 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.

Functions and benefits

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. For example some of the most generic 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

Internet Connectivity

This type of device provides an important service called Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). This allows them to receive multimedia content directly through the device’s internet connection without the need for a rooftop antenna, satellite dish or the like.

Installing Apps

А general feature of these devices is that they allow installation of 3-rd party apps. Therefore, they can provide additional functionality such as: games, multimedia streaming and web browsing.

Improved Remote Control

Along with improved software features, most Smart TV manufacturers put significant efforts to improve the functionality of the remote control. These devices are pretty close to smart phones, 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 you to attach a wireless mouse and use it to control much of the TV’s functionality.

One of the best enhanced remote controls is that of the LG smart tv – Magic Remote. It has pretty close user experience to those of Nintendo Wii. This remote allows you to point over the screen items and select them with a click.

How to connect my Smart TV to the network and use DLNA?

Every modern Smart TV has an Ethernet cable connector on the back for a network connection. The process is very similar to connecting a PC to a home network. Some tv devices has an additional embedded Wi-Fi adapter for wireless connection. Most devices support an external WiFi adapter in case they don’t have an internal 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:

  1. Go to your Smart TV’s Network Settings, Network or Settings menu.
  2. Select the WiFi or Wireless option and wait for the device to scan for available wireless networks
  3. Select desired WiFi Network Name from the list of available networks.
  4. If your network doesn’t appear you may need to choose the Search or Add a Wireless Network option
  5. When prompted, enter the Password using the keypad (from remote control or screen).
Smart TV network settings example
Smart TV network settings example

Once the TV network is configured, the DLNA functionality of your TV is almost ready. Finally the user simply needs to download the device online app to their computer and use it to manage and stream media to the TV. In order to find more detailed information on How to use DeviceOnline apps read here