An Internet-enabled TV set that supports movie streaming from content providers such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Also called a "connected TV," a smart TV may contain a browser for general Web surfing and also be able to execute built-in or downloaded applications. A QWERTY keyboard may be built into the remote control; however, some smart TVs have tablet apps that, working simultaneously with the TV, display the program guide, control the set and offer additional information.
If the user wants cable TV, and the TV does not support CableCARDs, a cable set-top box is still required. However, a smart TV eliminates the set-top box for the streaming services that are built into the TV.
The Convergence Everyone Has Talked About
For years, people have touted the convergence of computers and entertainment. With the smart TV, it has finally arrived. However, there is no universal platform, and extra set-top boxes may still be required if a new content provider enters the market or a new feature is invented.
Currently, the greatest convergence occurs when a tablet and the TV work together. The tablet is the most convenient way to enter data, and the more people browse the Web and search for content on their TV sets, the more frustrating it is on tiny remotes. Wireless keyboards are better but are still not ideal when you have to keep looking up at the screen and down at the keyboard balanced on your lap. See Android TV
, Fire TV
, Apple TV
, digital media hub
, HDMI ARC
Samsung Said It Succintly
The ad for this Samsung Blu-ray player makes it very clear that the functions of a smart TV can be housed in an external player that also acts as a set-top box.