Have you heard the term, Connected TV, or CTV, or connected television, and wondered what it meant? Perhaps you wondered if it was a new kind of television set that you might need to consider upgrading to?
Relax. It isn’t a new type of television in the market. It might even turn out that you already have one, or that you have a better type of television set already. Let me break it down to you.
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What is a Connected TV?
A connected TV is a television that is connected to the internet and can access online content, such as streaming video and music services, social media, and web browsing.
A connected TV can benefit you in the following ways:
- Access to online content: With a connected TV, you can access a wide range of online content, including streaming video and music services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Spotify, as well as social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
- Convenience: A connected TV can be more convenient than using other devices to access online content, such as a laptop or tablet. You can access all of your favorite content directly from your TV, without needing to switch between devices.
- Improved viewing experience: Many connected TVs offer high-quality display technology, such as 4K Ultra HD resolution, HDR, and advanced color processing, which can provide a more immersive viewing experience.
- Customization: With a connected TV, you can customize your viewing experience by choosing the apps and services that you want to use, and by creating personalized profiles for different members of your household.
- Smart home integration: Some connected TVs can also integrate with other smart home devices, such as voice assistants and smart lighting, to provide a more seamless and integrated experience.
Connected TV vs Smart TV: Are they the same?
This is a question that you are already asking; right? It is a logical one, as it sounds like a connected TV is the same thing as a smart TV. But they are not exactly the same thing, though they are similar in results.
A connected TV is a television that has been connected to the Internet for access to online content, such as streaming video and music services, social media, and web browsing, using an external device. A smart TV, on the other hand, is a television that has internet connectivity and an operating system (OS) built in, just like smartphones and laptop personal computers. This allows a smart TV to provide a more advanced and seamless experience, with features like voice control, app stores, and more.
You read that right: smart TVs have an operating system. Did you know that? If you own one, it likely runs one of the following operating systems:
- Android TV: This is Google’s operating system for smart TVs, which is based on the Android operating system used in smartphones and tablets.
- Tizen: This is Samsung’s operating system for smart TVs. Tizen OS was originally designed for smartphones and Samsung released a few models years ago, but Tizen smartphones never took off. The OS is doing well as a smart TV operating system today. You might be interested in reading about the first Tizen OS phone.
- WebOS: This is LG’s operating system for smart TVs. WebOS used to be an operating system for smartphones. I own a Palm Pre smartphone running an early version of WebOS before the HP acquisition. I also owned an HP TouchPad tablet that ran WebOS. LG was to later acquirr the platform and devote it to smart TVs.
- Roku TV: This is Roku’s operating system for smart TVs.
- Fire TV: This is Amazon’s operating system for smart TVs, which is designed to integrate with Amazon’s other products and services, like Alexa and Prime Video.
- SmartCast: This is Vizio’s operating system for smart TVs.
- MyHomeScreen: This is Panasonic’s operating system for smart TVs. If you are not familiar with Panasonic, they are a Japanese brand.
Remember: a connected TV relies on external devices (an adapter or dongle) for software, internet connectivity, and additional features, while a smart TV has these capabilities built into the television box itself. That’s the summary.
How to turn your existing television into a connected TV
If you have a regular TV with an HDMI port, you can switch it up with a Chromecast, Fire Stick, or Roku dongle and it becomes a connected TV. That is more pocket-friendly than replacing your older TV with a new smart TV. It will do almost everything that a smart TV does; the smart TV would only do them better and more seamlessly.