Television sets will never be the same again. After mobile phones started to get smarter and smarter to the point of evolving into a subclass of “smart” phones, it’s now time for TVs to follow suit.
A couple of years ago, some of the manufacturers (Samsung, LG, Sony, etc.) started adding Internet features to their top models of TV sets.
You could connect your TV box to your local network andsee some web content on your screen.
Later, a WiFi function was added. And now the TVs are getting really smart as they acquire features of a typical PC from a browser to being able to install software.
I had a chance to test a Samsung 7 series TV with a so-called Smart TV function. Here is what I found out:
The picture quality is typical for Samsung, which means the best on the market.
A 3D function is also nothing new, as it has been added last year. And yes, the new TVs can play 3D content – if you can find it, of course.
That’s the problem with 3D: There are only a dozen or so movies to choose from. Other features of the Samsung Series 7 are great, but not new.
It can play movies from your external hard or flash drive connected through a USB port. It can play movies stored on other computers through your local network.
What makes smart TV unique is Internet. You can easily connect your TV to the Internet with the help of a WiFi adapter (it takes only a few seconds to set up the connection).
Then you press a “smart” button on your remote…and hold your breath. Because what you are about to see is overwhelming.
In the menu, you can find Facebook, Twitter, Skype, YouTube, browsersand other things that are not typical for a TV set.
The browser can upload any website, including those with flash technology. It can even play online videos from the popular ex.ua website.
The YouTube application is very convenient and allows you to watch videos in high definition quality right on your big screen.
The Skype application is useful, of course, but only if you buy a camera.
The idea of having Facebook and Twitter on your TV might sound funny. But only until you try it.
For example, if you are watching a movie and want to share your comments with your friends on Facebook, you can do it instantly.
You don’t have to pause the movie and run to your PC or a laptop.
All you have to do is press the button: The movie will continue playing in a small window in the corner while you are posting away on social networks.
There is a Samsung applications online store, so you can alwaysdownload newfunctions. The smart TV can radically change the role of television in your home.
Everything is better on a big screen, be it watching videos or browsing the web. You might throw away your regular PC after you buy the smart TV.
So there are lots of pros and a few cons. The second biggest problem is the remote control, with which Samsung decided not to fuss about.
Useful to flick through the channels, it’s awful when it comes to typing. There is an optional remote control device with a keyboard, but its battery dies pretty quickly.
The only decent solution is using a smart phone as a remote control with the help of special software on your Android smart phone or iPhone.
But none of the applications I tried were truly comfortable and user-friendly. If you already own a big TV set, there is no urgent need to upgrade it since the technology is still a bitraw.
But if you were planning to get a new plasma anyways, the smart TV is a good option.
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