How do I know if I have a Smart TV?

Smart TVs run on an operating system that allows users to connect to the internet and stream content.

Furthermore, the OS facilitates the management of programs like playing games and watching funny videos. But what is a Smart TV, and how do you know you have one?

Technically, a Smart TV is like a computer. The difference, however, is that it does not have word processing and email functions.

Smart TVs are far much better than standard television sets. They come equipped with superior technology and high-quality image processing ability.

Perhaps the most significant advantage of a Smart TV is accessing hundreds of programs through the internet.

How to know you have a Smart TV?

You will know you have a Smart TV if your TV has the following features:

1. Operating System

An Operating System is the software that runs a Smart TV. If your TV has Android, WebOS, tvOS, or Tizen, it is a Smart TV.

2. Apps

Most Smart TVs come with preinstalled apps. Therefore, you will know you have a Smart TV if it comes with apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Spotify, and more.

A web browser is part of a preinstalled app in modern TVs. Therefore, if the television does not have Netflix but has a web browser icon, it is Smart.

3. Application Store

Vizio Smart TV
Photo: Vizio

Perhaps the best way of determining whether you have a Smart TV is to check whether it has an application store.

An app store is a digital distribution platform. It is where you get all the apps that will run on your TV.

So, for example, if the TV does not come with a preinstalled app like Netflix, you can use the application store to download the app and stream movies and TV shows.

4. Ethernet Port

A Smart TV must have an Ethernet port somewhere at the back.

It is in the port where you connect an Ethernet cable to establish an internet connection or connect your TV to a local network.

If it has an Ethernet port, it also has a Wi-Fi adapter to allow it to connect to a wireless network.

5. Camera (optional)

Many modern Smart TVs come with a built-in camera, but many do not have it.

The camera offers many functions, including facial recognition and video chat.

6. Check the remote

The remote is one of the easiest to check to determine whether you have a Smart TV.

Ideally, most modern remotes have buttons that display streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Hulu, and more.

Furthermore, some remotes have a voice recognition function to make it easier to search for services using your voice.

Can I turn my television into a Smart TV?

You can turn your TV into a Smart TV by using a digital media player or streaming device.

The best streaming devices worth considering are Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Apple TV 4K, Roku Streaming Stick, and any Android-based streaming player.

You will have to buy the streaming player separately. Simply connect it to your TV’s HDMI input, and you can access all Smart features like web browsing.

What’s the difference between a Smart and a regular TV?

A Smart TV allows you to stream videos and music, browse the internet, get instant updates, and communicate via video chat.

A regular TV, on the other hand, lacks these features because it does not have any processing power.

When did Smart TVs come out?

Samsung Smart TV
Image: Samsung

The first time people heard of Smart TVs was in the 1980s. However, manufacturers referred to them as intelligent television receivers.

Initially, the devices had a large-scale integration (LSI) chip with memory and a character generator.

The hardware allowed users to receive programming information and could automatically download necessary software routines.

But in the early 2000s and 2010s, intelligent TVs improved and became Smart TVs.

TV manufacturers then started producing Smart TVs with most features found in computers. By 2015, massive adoption of Smart TVs began.

How do I know if my TV has Wi-Fi?

You can know your TV has Wi-Fi by first checking whether the packaging has a Wi-Fi alliance logo.

Alternatively, inspect the TV to determine if it has an Ethernet port at the back. Most Smart TVs with an Ethernet port have a built-in Wi-Fi adapter. 

Are all flat-screen TVs Smart TVs?

Not all flat-screen TVs are Smart TVs. Some flat-screen TVs are digital and require an antenna to get channels.

Furthermore, flat-screen TVs cannot connect to the internet unless you use a streaming player.    

Can I watch Netflix on a regular TV?

You can watch Netflix on a regular TV using a streaming or media player. The best examples are Fire Stick, Roku Streaming Stick 4K, and Apple TV 4K.

Once you have the player, download Netflix, sign in to your account, choose a video, and start watching Netflix videos.

Do you need a streaming device with a Smart TV?

A streaming device is not necessary if your television isn’t Smart.

In this case, you only have to download an app like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, and YouTube to start streaming.

Can you connect a non-Smart TV to the internet?

You can connect a non-Smart TV to the internet using a streaming device and HDMI cable.

Another option is to connect using the Blu-Ray player and gaming console (PlayStation 4, 5, and Xbox). You can also cast using Chromecast or AirPlay.

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