Smart TV

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A smart TV

A smart TV, sometimes referred to as connected TV or hybrid TV, is a television set or set-top box with integrated Internet and Web 2.0 features, and is an example of technological convergence between computers and television sets and set-top boxes. Besides the traditional functions of television sets and set-top boxes provided through traditional broadcasting media, these devices can also provide Internet TV, online interactive media, over-the-top content, as well as on-demand streaming media, and home networking access.[1][2][3][4]

Smart TV should not to be confused with Internet TV, IPTV or with Web TV. Internet TV refers to the receiving television content over internet instead of traditional systems (terrestrial, cable and satellite) (although internet itself is received by these methods). Internet Protocol television (IPTV) is one of the emerging Internet television technology standards for use by television broadcasters. Web television is a term used for programs created by a wide variety of companies and individuals for broadcast on Internet TV.

In smart TVs, the operating system is preloaded or is available through set-top box. The software applications or apps can be preloaded into the device, or updated or installed on demand via an app store or app marketplace, in a similar manner to how the apps are integrated in modern smartphones.[5][6][7][8][9]

The technology that enables smart TVs is also incorporated in external devices such as set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, game consoles, digital media players, hotel television systems and phones and other network connected interactive devices that utilize television type display outputs.[10][11][12] These devices allow viewers to search, find and play videos, movies, photos and other content from the Web, on a cable TV channel, on a satellite TV channel, or on a local storage drive.[12]


A first patent was published in 1994[13] (and extended the following year)[14] for an "intelligent" television system, linked with data processing systems, by means of a digital or analog network. Apart from being linked to data networks, one key point is its ability to automatically download necessary software routines, according to a user's demand, and process their needs.

The mass acceptance of digital television in late 2000s and early 2010s greatly improved smart TVs. Major TV manufacturers have announced production of smart TVs only, for their middle-end to high-end TVs in 2015.[15][16][17] Smart TVs are expected to become dominant form of television by late 2010s.


Smart TVs on display

A smart TV device is either a television set with integrated Internet capabilities or a set-top box for television that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary basic television set. Smart TVs may be thought of as an information appliance or the computer system from a handheld computer integrated within a television set unit, as such smart TV often allows the user to install and run more advanced applications or plugins/addons based on a specific platform. Smart TVs run complete operating system or mobile operating system software providing a platform for application developers.[1][18][19][20][21][22][23]

Smart TV platforms or middleware have a public Software development kit (SDK) and/or Native development kit (NDK) for apps so that third-party developers can develop applications for it, and an app store so that the end-users can install and uninstall apps themselves. The public SDK enables third-party companies and other interactive application developers to “write” applications once and see them run successfully on any device that supports the smart TV platform or middleware architecture which it was written for, no matter who the hardware manufacturer is.

Smart TVs deliver content (such as photos, movies and music) from other computers or network attached storage devices on a network using either a Digital Living Network Alliance / Universal Plug and Play media server or similar service program like Windows Media Player or Network-attached storage (NAS), or via iTunes. It also provides access to Internet-based services including traditional broadcast TV channels, catch-up services, video-on-demand (VOD), electronic program guide, interactive advertising, personalisation, voting, games, social networking, and other multimedia applications.[24][25][26]


Smart TV devices also provide access to user-generated content (either stored on an external hard drive or in cloud storage) and to interactive services and Internet applications, such as YouTube, many using HTTP Live Streaming (also known as HLS) adaptive streaming.[27]

Smart TV devices facilitate the curation of traditional content by combining information from the Internet with content from TV Providers. Services offer users a means to track and receive reminders about shows[28] or sporting events,[29] as well as the ability to change channels for immediate viewing.

Some devices feature additional interactive organic user interface / natural user interface technologies for navigation controls and other human interaction with a Smart TV, with such as second screen companion devices,[30][31] spatial gestures input like with Xbox Kinect,[32][33][34] and even for speech recognition for natural language user interface.[35]



Smart TV technology and software is still evolving, with both proprietary and open source software frameworks already available. These can run applications (sometimes available via an 'app store' digital distribution platform), interactive on-demand media, personalized communications, and have social networking features.[36][37][38][39][40]

Programmatic marketing analytics, data management and media activation companies such as DataXu are pioneering the industry foray into real-time bidding on connected TV, addressable TV and programmatic TV. Linear impression-by-impression level advertising buying is finally possible on a household, 1:1 consumer basis. In November 2015, dish partnered with DataXu on the first-ever programmatically traded TV inventory.[41]

Social networking[edit]

Some smart TV platforms come prepackaged, or can be optionally extended, with social networking technology capabilities. The addition of social networking synchronization to smart TV and HTPC platforms may provide an interaction with both on-screen content and other viewers than is currently available to most televisions, while simultaneously providing a much more cinematic experience of the content than is currently available with most computers.[42]


Some smart TV platforms also support interactive advertising, addressable advertising with local advertising insertion and targeted advertising,[43] and other advanced advertising features such as ad telescoping[44] using VOD and DVR, enhanced TV for consumer call-to-action and audience measurement solutions for ad campaign effectiveness.[45][46] The marketing and trading possibilities offered by Smart TVs are sometimes summarized by the term t-commerce.

Taken together, this bidirectional data flow means that smart TVs can be and are used for clandestine observation of the owners.[47] Even in sets that are not configured off-the-shelf to do so, default security measures are often weak and will allow hackers to easily break into the TV.[48]

Security and Privacy[edit]

There is evidence that a smart TV is vulnerable to attacks. Some serious security bugs have been discovered, and some successful attempts to run malicious code to get unauthorized access were documented on video. There is evidence that it is possible to gain root access to the device, install malicious software, access and modify configuration information for a remote control, remotely access and modify files on TV and attached USB drives, access camera and microphone.[49] Anticipating growing demand for an antivirus for a smart TV, some security software companies are already working with partners in digital TV field on the solution. At this moment it seems like there is only one antivirus for smart TVs available. Ocean Blue Software partnered with Sophos and developed first cloud based antimalware system “Neptune”. Also antivirus company Avira has joined forces with digital TV testing company Labwise to work on the software that would protect against potential attacks.[50]

The privacy policy for Samsung's Smart TVs has been called Orwellian, and compared to Telescreens because of eavesdropping concerns.[51][52]

Restriction of access[edit]

Internet websites can block smart TV access to content at will, or tailor the content that will be received by each platform.[53]

Google TV-enabled devices were blocked by NBC, ABC, CBS, and Hulu from accessing their Web content since the launch of Google TV in October 2010.[53] Google TV devices were also blocked from accessing any programs offered by Viacom’s subsidiaries.[54]

Market share[edit]

According to a report from the researcher NPD In-Stat, only about 12 million U.S. households have their Web-capable TVs connected to the Internet, although In-Stat estimates about 25 million U.S. TV households own a set with the built-in network capability. Also, In-Stat predicts that 100 million homes in North America and western Europe will own television sets that blend traditional programs with internet content by 2016.[55]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ Carmi Levy Special to the Star (October 15, 2010). "Future of television is online and on-demand". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ Jeremy Toeman 41 (October 20, 2010). "Why Connected TVs Will Be About the Content, Not the Apps". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  4. ^ Sunday, October 24, 2010 (October 24, 2010). "Internet TV and The Death of Cable TV, really". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
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  9. ^ Katzmaier, David (September 8, 2010). "Poll: Smart TV or dumb monitor?". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
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  11. ^ Intel and Smart TV. Retrieved on November 11, 2010.
  12. ^ a b "Roku 2: Same Old (But Still Good), Same Old". August 4, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  13. ^ "espacenet – Original document". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  14. ^ "espacenet – Bibliographic data". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  15. ^ Dieter Bohn. "All of Sony's new smart TVs run on Android TV". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  16. ^ "CES 2015: New Samsung Smart TVs Will Be Powered by Tizen OS". Tech Times. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  17. ^ "LG to show off webOS 2.0 smart TV at CES 2015". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Samsung D9500 is 75-inches of Smart TV". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  19. ^ Previous post Next post (September 7, 2010). "Android Holds the Key to Samsung’s Smart TV Plans". Wired. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
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  21. ^ Morris, Natali (May 19, 2010). "Google TV is Smart TV". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  22. ^ Randewich, Noel (September 14, 2010). "Intel launches Atom chips for smart TV and cars". Reuters. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  23. ^ (December 7, 2010). "What Smart TVs Need to Succeed". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
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  29. ^ "Thuuz Android App for Google TV Gives DISH Customers Instant Alerts of Most Exciting Moments in Sports". Bloomberg. January 8, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  30. ^ Microsoft Introduces Second-Screen Feature, Xbox SmartGlass
  31. ^ Xbox SmartGlass Brings the Second Screen to Games and Videos
  32. ^ "Netflix and Hulu Plus with Kinect coming this spring to Xbox 360". Engadget. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  33. ^ Robinson, Blake (2010-11-04). " Gesture Controls for Xbox Kinect". Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  34. ^ Narcisse, Evan (2011-12-08). "Wave Hello: Microsoft’s Requiring Kinect Functionality for All Future Apps Built for Xbox 360". Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  35. ^ 2013 smart TVs dismissed as 'not that smart,' leaving opportunity for Apple
  36. ^ Devindra Hardawar (December 8, 2010). "Why your TV is the new app battleground". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  37. ^ BBC News – Google launches smart TV service. (2010-05-20). Retrieved on November 11, 2010.
  38. ^ Stan Schroeder 230 (May 17, 2010). "Google, Intel and Sony to Introduce Smart TV". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Opinion: Will Google’s Smart TV Finally Bring Apps and Web Browsing To The Living Room?". May 17, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
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  41. ^ "Dish Launches Programmatic Strategy to Lure Digital Advertisers to TV". AdWeek. Retrieved 2015-11-17. 
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  43. ^ Daniel Cooper. "Sky's AdSmart brings targeted advertising to your TV". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  44. ^ "Ad Telescoping". Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  45. ^ "Nagra and Sigma partnered on advanced advertising" October 3, 2011 - Cheseaux, Switzerland, and Toronto, Canada
  46. ^ "NAGRA-OpenTV and Time Warner Cable Media Extend Advanced Advertising Partnership" March 5, 2012 - Cheseaux, Switzerland
  47. ^ "Is your TV spying on YOU?". 
  48. ^ "Your Smart TV Could Be Hacked to Spy On You". 
  49. ^ Niemietz; et al. "Not so Smart: On Smart TV Apps" (PDF). International Workshop on Secure Internet of Things. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  51. ^ "Samsung smart TV policy allows company to listen in on users". The Independent. Feb 9, 2015. Retrieved Feb 9, 2015. 
  52. ^ Not in front of the telly: Warning over 'listening' TV BBC News, 2015
  53. ^ a b "Big Networks Block Web Shows From Google TV". New York Times. October 21, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  54. ^ "Comedy Central, MTV now blocking Google TV". November 22, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  55. ^ "100 Million TVs will have internet connections by 2016". 

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