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American consumers are increasingly comfortable with the term “smart” when it’s associated with technology. From smartphones to smart cars and even smart clothing, they’ve embraced the idea of devices that are “intelligent” and responsive to their changing needs. Even though smart TVs have been around for almost five years, many consumers still don’t have all the facts.
“A new consumer survey found that 52 percent of U.S. consumers already know what a smart TV is,” says Matt Durgin, a smart TV expert at LG. ”And, out of those unfamiliar, when they learned more about smart TVs, more than half said they would consider buying one.”
Understanding the smart TV concept is easier than one would think. Smart TVs are Internet-connected TVs that work kind of like a cable or satellite provider’s on-demand system, allowing users to tailor what they watch and when – a buffet of TV shows and movies. The difference is that smart TVs offer much more content from multiple providers and deliver it via your home’s Internet connection. LG’s smart TVs, for example, offer access to online content such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and more, as well as Internet browsing capabilities. Some even include downloadable apps to provide interesting information and games.
Durgin and the TV pros at LG share the truth about smart TVs:
* Smart TV are still TVs – It’s still the same “lean back” entertainment experience people love, with all the same features people are familiar with using. You still have a cable or satellite provider and can hook up Blu-ray players and other devices, but you get the added benefit of more content options via the TV itself, on your schedule.
* Smart TVs are easy to set up – Most are Wi-Fi enabled and connect to a home’s existing wireless network just like a PC, tablet or smartphone. You don’t need a tangle of extra wires to access online content from your smart TV.
* Smart TVs are affordable – Smart TV capabilities are increasingly common at all price points. In fact, more than 70 percent of LG’s 2013 TVs have smart TV capability starting as low as $ 500. As with garden-variety flatscreens, how much you pay for a smart TV is more often determined by factors like size and brand, and even where you purchase it.
* Streaming content is getting faster – While how fast content loads and streams is partially influenced by the speed of your Wi-Fi network, a household with a broadband connection should have plenty of bandwidth to enjoy uninterrupted viewing in up to 1080p quality (depending on the content provider).
* You don’t need to be a techie – Smart TVs are as intuitive as using a smartphone. For example, LG’s Magic Remote mimics a computer mouse, including point-and-click functionality and a scroll wheel. You can even search and change channels with voice commands.
* Smart TVs offer easy ways to share content – You may already be used to sharing photos, music or movies between your home PC, tablet, laptop or smartphone. Content sharing with a smart TV is just as easy. Most smart TVs have inputs for phones and other devices (e.g. USB and HDMI ports) for content sharing and some allow you to do it via a Wi-Fi connection.
“As with any new technology, consumers need to learn about smart TVs before they can really feel confident incorporating one into their lives,” Durgin says. “Fortunately, it’s easy to learn about this exciting technology. From reading online reviews to watching the technology in action in an electronics showroom, Americans have plenty of options to learn about smart TVs.”