A smart TV is a digital television that is, essentially, an Internet-connected, storage-aware computer specialized for entertainment. Smart TVs are available as stand-alone products but regular televisions can also be made “smart” through set-top boxes that enable advanced functions.
Smart TVs are becoming the “in thing” but also questions keep lingering in the minds of the users. We compiled 10 most common questions and answered them from our daily experiences while using them.
Will a Smart TV work without an internet connection?
The answer is YES. You can use it as a normal television and you can also use any apps installed on it that do not require the internet. For example, you can use it to play games that do not require the internet and also watch movies that have already been downloaded.
Can my TV spy on me? Can Smart TVs be hacked?
Also here, the answer is YES. The TV manufacturer might be getting your information and using it for targeted advertising. Reports have suggested that smart TVs can be hacked, thanks to their security flaws.
If you want to avoid this, go deep through your TV’s list of commands and turn off anything that indicates it’s listening to you or sending data back to its home company, for example, Smart Interactivity.
Do Smart TVs need antivirus?
A smart TV is technically a computer and, yes, it can be infected by a virus. However, from a practical standpoint, you’ll find that there are not going to be any anti-virus systems that run on the TV. You will have to hack the TV yourself and install your own OS, probably Linux in order to load software that isn’t written by the TV’s manufacturer.
Also, the type of apps that are in the TV are pre-installed when the TV is purchased, or installed via authorized updates from the TV manufacturer, therefore, these would have already been checked to ensure no malicious coding is in the apps. For a virus to infect something it doesn’t just need a web browser, it needs some form of OS platform to execute its commands on and an ability to access certain bits to fool the end user, such as creating windows that look like web browsers, or keylogging.
Related Article: How to connect your TV to the internet
Is it worth buying a smart TV?
The answer to this question boils down to what you intend to use the TV for. Smart TVs are great because of the apps and games, ability to record shows, gesture and voice controls, social networking like Skype, web browsing and smartphone connectivity.
However, there are certain risks associated with a smart TV and you need to know them before making a decision to own one. As discussed earlier, the security risks are many although ways to combat them are still limited, smart TVs do not necessarily have smart interfaces, the TV apps, for example, the games are outdated and unreliable, among others.
How do I choose a smart TV?
When selecting a smart TV, here are some features you need to consider.
- Screen resolution
- High Dynamic Range
- Refresh rate
- HDMI and connections
- Contrast ratio
What is the difference between smart TV and regular TV?
The main difference is that a smart TV can access WiFi and run apps just like a smartphone whereas a regular TV cant. A smart TV can access the internet which is the main source of media content like we see on YouTube.
You can convert a regular TV to smart TV by using devices like Chromecast. These devices are the size of a small flash drive that plugs into a TV’s HDMI port. This can be connected to your home WiFi and smartphone and allows you to screen your content from your mobile phone to TV. It is like your smartphone got a big display, and this has some advantages over smart TV.
- It is very easy to install and use.
- These devices will not get outdated over a short period.
- It is cheap compared to the price of smart TV.
Can a smart TV crush like a PC?
The answer is YES. Smart TVs require computer chips to juggle video processing, upscaling, multiple screens and an internet connection. They also use memory to buffer streaming video and music and need additional processing power to deal with graphics. Simply turning the smart TV off and then on usually resolves the issues of crushing.
Can you surf the web on a smart TV?
Most smart TVs let you go online, and will include a web browser among the pre-installed apps that come with the TV. These browsers may not be exactly like desktop web browsers but they are compatible with all the HTML standards that websites use and able to convert and display those sites properly on a big screen. You will, however, need a wireless keyboard as using a remote control is a bit hectic.
Can smart TVs access local channels?
Smart TV services and features don’t affect a TV’s ability to get local stations. If you have cable or satellite service, you will continue to receive the same stations.
Do smart TVs have a better picture and sound quality?
Not necessarily. However, since manufacturers initially added smart TV features to more expensive, higher-end TVs, you will find that the picture and sound quality on some smart TVs beat that of lower-priced models that lack the smarts.