What is a Smart TV?

Last Updated on October 2, 2021 by Sean Donlevy

Today, almost every TV is “smart”, but what does it mean? What is the difference between Smart TV, Cable TV, TV, etc=

We don’t have all the answers, but in this article, we talk about what Smart TV can do for you.

What does “smart” mean?

There is no common definition, but a smart TV is almost always connected to the Internet in order to show TV tabs for your channels, the local weather, YouTube, pictures from your digital camera, and in many cases movies and TV series from online services such as Netflix.

Connected TV

Although different manufacturers offer different looks and features, all smart TVs have one thing in common: They connect to the Internet. Some of them do it to check out simpler things like what programs are on which channels and when watch YouTube or send pictures from your phone to the TV.

One of the first features called Smart TV was a browser and the ability to browse web pages with the TV. It sounds like a good idea until you think about the differences between a TV and a computer, differences in how you sit, how far away you are, and that the computer has a mouse and keyboard for pointing and typing.

In order to get around the problems of surfing on TV, different manufacturers have different solutions. Some have a touchpad built into the remote control, others let you wave the remote as if it were a magic wand and others just have a joystick or a small joystick to move the mouse pointer. Unfortunately, many of the solutions work poorly and once you succeed in surfing the web, you realize that the text is too small to read on the TV.


To avoid hassle with keyboards and strange remote controls, most Smart TVs have apps. Apps are just like on the phone and tablet applications designed to do a specific thing, like watching movies or TV shows. When you launch the app, you get to log in and approve the agreement, then you can easily browse between programs and movies and play what you want to watch. The apps are designed to look good on the TV and to minimize writing and pointing which can be difficult with the remote control.

Smart TVs can usually download new apps as well, thus expanding the possibilities of the TV, or updating to newer versions should something change. Some Smart TVs even use Android, the same system found on phones and tablets, so many apps from phones can be used on the TV.