so what's a smart TV? - September 2014

Alice Buchanan September 17, 2014 : 0

Smart TVs are quite the topic in New Zealand at the moment, especially with competition heating up between the rival TV networks to deliver online content. TVNZ and TV3 have both developed apps specifically for TVs and mobile devices which offer virtually their entire line up.  They even offer advance television programme screenings and sometimes whole seasons online in one go. Quickflix is the NZ version of Netflix and offers substantial content for one monthly price or a pay as you go model.

For those of us wishing to be able to have a little more choice in when we watch TV and what's on offer, the online content market is ideal.  You can choose the show and the ads are usually fairly minimal (if it's a paid service there's usually no ads).  The apps the main networks run are all free to download and will work on any mobile device or through your Smart TV.  

A Smart TV is basically any TV that can be connected to the internet to access streaming services and can run entertainment apps which tend to vary between the different makes.  LG for example have their own suite of apps which differ from Samsung.  It pays to check which apps you would like to use to ensure you buy a brand to match what you're after.  The basics usually include YouTube, an Internet Browser, Facebook, Skype and usually a news and weather app.

You can browse the internet exactly like you do on your computer, though we recommend purchasing yourself a wireless keyboard if you plan on doing a lot of this. The TV remote may not be the easiest to navigate a website with.

You will need to connect your Smart TV to the internet just like a computer so either ensure you can plug in your ethernet cable to the TV or make sure you have a good wifi network set up.  Some of the Smart TVs have built in wifi and others require a plug in to ensure they can connect.  Make sure you check this out before taking it home.

Another thing to check is your internet package.  You need to make sure you have adequate broadband speeds to handle streaming. The local network apps all have options so you can select lower qualities to reduce the amount of data used but you'll have to check that as standard settings may be higher than you expect.  Make sure you have a decent data allowance otherwise you may get bill shock after a month of browsing!

Make sure you pop back to our blog, as a training clip showing some of the basics of Smart TV use and also how to access those streaming services is in the process.  

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