What is a Smart TV?

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What is Smart TV

How You Can Replace Cable with Smart TV

There are many ways to access your favorite television shows and movies without paying over $100 a month for cable. The Internet has a wide variety of platforms for obtaining content, including streaming sites, network sites, pay services that offer on-demand video and content stores such as iTunes where you can buy video to keep in a digital library. You can also watch content by hooking up your laptop or game console to your television and channeling online content. There are also mail-in video services. Another platform, the Smart TV, offers a hybrid viewing experience that combines the functionality of your television set with the accessibility of your Web connection. Here’s what you need to know about how you can use Smart TV to replace your cable bill once and for all:

What Is Smart TV?

Smart TV, which is also referred to as Connected TV or Hybrid TV, comes in two platforms: A television set that includes Internet connection capabilities, or a set-top box with an Internet connection that can channel content through your television. These devices allow you to watch online videos through your television and to access other online content. For example, with many Smart TVs, you can also access e-mail, surf the Web, play games, and download apps. You are essentially turning your television screen into a giant computer monitor. In short, Smart TV allows you to access limitless content, thousands of movies, customizable apps, videos and the best of the web all organized in a simple to use interface.

 Smart TV Demo

Who Offers Smart TV?

As the idea of watching video online has become more popular, more companies have started to introduce Smart TV technology. Apple made a big splash when it introduced its set-top box as industry experts expected it to transform the industry the same way that the iPod transformed the music industry. However, the technology failed to make the impact that was expected. Google has introduced its own set-top box, which experts are also watching closely to see if it will succeed where Apple didn’t. Other players include the LG Smart TV, Samsung Smart TV, Sony Google TV(integrated TVs, not a boxes), Roku and Boxee (set-top boxes).

Video Streaming Device Reviews


How Do You Access Online Video Content?

There are multiple (legal) options for accessing the content that you would get from cable through online sources. Many free streaming sites are available, including network websites like, Comedy Central, and ESPN. Some pay sites like Hulu also offer free content.

Video-on-demand services are offered through Hulu, Netflix, Blockbuster and Amazon Instant Video. These services include a large catalog of movies and television shows. Plans vary depending on the amount and type of content you would like to access, but basic plans can be accessed for as little as $9 a month.  Read Online TV Channels to learn about all the different sites you need to know about when watching Internet TV.

Finally, you can purchase many movies and video shows for permanent storage in your digital library through content stores like iTunes and Amazon. Again, prices will vary.


What are the Drawbacks?

Because Smart TV relies heavily on an Internet connection, you may have trouble accessing content because of a slow connection speed. Many cable providers have responded to the reduction in cable subscription and the transition to Internet TV by offering tiered broadband packages that intentionally limit how much content can be accessed at any given time. If you want to experience high speeds, you will have to pay more for the service.

The type of content provider you choose will also significantly impact the type of experience you have. For example, if you like to watch current episodes of your favorite television series when they air, you would not be able to do so if you were a subscriber of Netflix, which doesn’t get most television shows until after the season is over. However, Hulu offers current episodes of many popular television shows. Also, if you find that you are combining multiple services — such as subscribing to Hulu and buying movies from iTunes — to get all the content that you would have with cable and DVR, then you may find that you are paying the same amount or more for Internet providers as you were for cable. Make sure you evaluate the content and the pricing plans of several providers before you commit to anyone.

Have you ditched your cable for Smart TV? Tell us about the hardware you chose, how you are able to access content, and what your experiences have been like!

Guest Post by Amanda Tradwick is a grant researcher and writer for She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, and has recently finished research on college grants for high school students and student grants in New Hampshire.

As always, comments are welcome and encouraged. Cheers!

p.s. If you really enjoyed this post, please consider helping me out and spreading the word below! Thanks!

11 replies on “What is a Smart TV?”

if you have an Antenna you can pick up major network channels in HD for free. beyond that you can subscribe to OTT services like Hulu, Netflix and more. So in short, you can get a lot of the same content, but just through different, yet cheaper mediums.

Hi Jack, I believe that you should be completely fine.Sounds like they are charging you for HD channels. But when you cancel and get Hulu you will have the ability to stream in HD as long as you have a fast enough internet speed. Same with Amazon and Netflix. Good luck and let me know how things go.

I just bought a 65" Vizio K series. I have already cancelled all the movie channels from my cable provider by getting Amazon. I am looking at getting Hulu and canceling cable all together but I see that my cable provider is charging me to get "HD". Will I lose HD if I drop them or will I still get HD with the Smart TV? Can anyone help me?

hmm Smart TV, why not? i get to control my viewing time and i can skip the ads, thanks for the info.

If you are tired of recording your favorite TV shows because every time the show is on, it is either you are out of town, in work or spending quality time with the family or just simply busy and do not have the time to record the TV show or maybe forgot about it, then why don’t you consider having a Smart TV. This article tells us of how Smart TV can ultimately change our TV viewing habit according to our time and independent of the networks’ pre-programmed schedule. Now I will no longer have to remind myself to record episodes of The Office.

As a kid, I have always been an NBC fan and it grew even more when I went to college and eventually married. Their shows are just simply awesome. When I realized that they have penetrated the Smart TV market, I quickly browsed online for suggestions on what specific brand and model to look for. I got me a Samsung Smart TV and I could not get any happier. Now I can watch my favorite NBC shows without the worry of missing episodes since I can watch it whenever I can including previous episodes. Thanks you NBC and of course, thanks you Kill the Cable Bill for explaining the Smart TV further.

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