Smart TV: How Smart Will You Choose?
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With the recent release of Google’s new Chrome device, Chromecast, we wanted to take a look at smart TV and all of the options out there.
Let’s start at the beginning: what is smart TV, you may ask? Smart TV is a technology that allows you access to streaming video services, like Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, and Hulu on your TV. A smart TV device is either a television set with integrated internet capability or a set-top box for television that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary basic television set. Smart TV relies on internet connectivity to allows its users access to a variety of platforms. From Skyping with family members to streaming their favorite movies and TV shows to browsing the internet, smart TV has endless options.
But with so many options out there, what should factor into a consumer’s decision-making process? First off, before buying a smart TV device, consider which type of gadgets you already have in your home. For example, if you own a Windows-operated phone, it probably makes more sense to purchase a Windows-operated Xbox One than an Apple TV.
Now, let’s take a look at the players and what each has to offer. First up, Google’s Chromecast. The device is controlled through your smartphone or tablet via apps that are enabled to send to the Chromecast device. Chromecast is a tough competitor, as it is the smallest of the devices, approximately the size of a thumb, and also the cheapest, priced at $35.
Next up is Apple TV. Apple TV connects to your TV via HDMI cable and is powered through wifi or ethernet. The actual device is about the size of a hand and is controlled through a small remote. Apple TV costs about $100 but also features AirPlay, the ability for you to stream content on your iPhone, iPad or Mac to your TV.
The third device, Roku, is similar to Apple TV. Roku too, is about the size of a hand and connects to your TV via HDMI. How does it work? Select channels you want to have on the device, and various content providers will stream their material through it. The device comes in 3 different models, each a step up from the previous. The most expensive model, coming it at $100, also allows users to play games.
Last, but not least, is Windows Xbox One. Coming in at about $500, Xbox One is the most expensive smart TV devices. The reason for the high price tag is that it has the ability to stream all of the same content as the other devices but can also operate as an independent gaming console.
With each device having its own pros and cons, it’s up to the consumer to try them out and see which they prefer. For a comprehensive overview, check out the chart below.
With all of this information, it’s time to decide. Which device will you choose, and how smart will your decision be?
Kira Byczek is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Communications and English at Rollins College.
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