Smart TVs are in simple terms, Televisions that can connect to the internet. Other industry experts may use the term internet ready TV while others may describe it as a TV 2.0.
Smart TVs are catching up but not quickly like one vendor in Nairobi told me recently. “The few customers that can afford Smart Televisions expect heavenly features from a cloud level situation” The vendor said, “Smart TVs are very innovative pieces of technology with great features but some misconceptions make the customer expectations too high.”
I have come across some very wired myths about Smart TVs that I will share today. Hope these Smart TV misconceptions help you understand Smart TVs better. But lets first get this myth out of the way. “Not all Smart TVs are 3D TVs”
Misconception #1: Smart Televisions have a Touch screen
Smart TVs do not have a touch screen like Smartphones have. Would you want to stand up and go all the way to your TV just to increase the volume or change channels? Of course not, at first it will be fun touching your TV and tweeting on a 42 Inch Touch screen TV, but with time it will get boring. Have you ever lost your remote control and had to wake up from the sofa to the TV just to browse channels? Its the same thing.
This is not to say that Touchscreen Smart Televisions don’t exist, they do exist and you have probably seen them on BBC Outside source or on the Trend with Larry Madowo. These are usually pre-ordered Televisions. You cant go into any shop and buy one.
Misconception #2: Smart TVs come with free Internet or WiFi
Even though a lot of people own smartphones, not all people are smart. This is one of the craziest misconception about Smart Televisions. The guy I talked about earlier had a customer return a brand new TV because it “didn’t provide free internet”.
Smart TVs don’t provide free internet, they actually rely on an internet connection for them to function. So if you are willing to buy a Smart TV and enjoy all its features, make sure you have fast and stable internet in your house. Normal internet bundles from a mobile ISP will work but be warned, TV streaming is a data guzzling affair.
Misconception #3: Smart TVs don’t need an antenna
Do Smart TVs need an antenna or aerial? The Answer is Yes and No. No because they connect to the internet and stream TV channels. But why would you want to stream a local channel while if its freely available on the digital platform? So Yes, Smart TVs do need an antenna.
Before the digital migration in Kenya started, we had smart TVs without digital tuners or Smart analogue TVs. But today all Smart TVs being sold come with a digital tuner for local channels. LG electronics has a Smart TV that is also a digital terrestrial as well as digital satellite TV. This is the TV you will see here
Misconception #4: Smart TVs can use a USB modem for internet connection
No you cant use a USB modem on a Smart TV for the internet connection. For the internet connection you need either WiFi or a wired connection. The USB ports on any smart TV (which are usually more than a traditional TV) are usually for either
- External Hard disk for PVR
- Bluetooth module for example LG magic motion remote. (if the TV doesn’t not have an inbuilt Bluetooth module).
- USB sticks for music and TVs
Misconception #5: Smart TVs are expensive and only for the rich
Expensive is a relative term, but know this for a fact, LED Smart Televisions are becoming cheaper as time goes by. That’s probably because OLED Curved TVs are the hot expensive thing right now.