As we are constantly bombarded with new technologies in the world of home entertainment, it’s no surprise to many of us that there’s a great deal of talk about Internet-enabled TVs. These days, the Internet plays a central part in home entertainment for a lot of us, so it seems inevitable that the computer screen will merge with the television screen. However, while television cards have been available as upgrades for computers for quite some time, televisions with Internet capability are a relatively new thing. If you are thinking of buying an Internet-enabled TV, there are some important things to consider.
What is it?
The first thing to consider is that Internet-enabled TVs are not meant to be computer replacements. They are designed for bringing the most popular news and entertainment features from the Internet to your living room. They are not suitable for heavy web surfing, using certain Internet-based applications or typing out long emails. For the most part, an Internet TVs are designed to display streaming online media from sites such as Netflix or YouTube as well as play online radio and video broadcasts. Most such TVs are suitable for basic social networking as well, although the extent of this largely depends on the manufacturer and specification of the TV. In conclusion, consider TVs with Internet as providing you with web-based news and entertainment and not with the same kind of Internet functionality that your desktop or laptop computer provides.
Internet TVs are still fairly new on the market, although they are likely to become more popular. Prices tend to still be relatively high because of this. Before you go out and buy a new TV, consider which features you want. Most Internet TVs provide a set of built-in apps for easily connecting to certain websites and other online services. For example, some manufacturers may provide a version of Skype, allowing you to communicate with friends via text, audio and video, just as you would on a computer. Others include apps for quickly and easily updating your Facebook or Twitter status.
How to choose one
When buying an Internet TV, it’s essential to make sure that it is suitable for the online services which you use. While most Internet TVs are capable of streaming YouTube videos, some are not compatible with the popular Amazon Video on Demand, for example. There are some TVs which can stream content from Netflix while there are others which can’t. Because of this, it is very important to carefully choose a TV that suits your requirements.
One of the most important things to consider is your Internet connection. You will need a broadband connection and the TV will need to be located in a place where you can connect it to the broadband router by Ethernet cable. Some Internet TVs allow you to connect wirelessly, although such functionality does come at a price. You should ideally have a fairly fast connection of at least 2Mbps if you want to be able to view high quality streaming media.
If you aren’t too sure about Internet-enabled TVs, you may want to consider other devices. If full Internet functionality is your main requirement, then you will probably be best off with something like a Windows Media Center PC. These computers are geared towards home entertainment and, while they are expensive, they can do everything that a computer can do in addition to providing you with a Blu-ray player, TV functionality and a remote control. They’re also designed in such a way that they look comfortable in your living room unlike a traditional computer tower system.