The Connected TV network offers people the opportunity to consume a variety media according to their own individual desires and needs, such as streaming their favorite Netflix series or catching up on last night's episode of The Amazing Race on Hulu. You can transform your television into a Connected TV through these hardware products: gaming consoles, smart televisions, and streaming devices. In this post, we'll look at each hardware option and its merits as an option to upgrade your home entertainment options.
Firstly, gaming consoles are the most popular option for people who are streaming content via the internet direct to their homes. The market is shared between the Microsoft Xbox, Sony Playstation and Nintendo Wii. These machines can be considered as powerful computers which are tailored to be complete entertainment solutions. They use a combination of computing power and high speed internet connections to provide extremely high quality gaming experiences, as well as being capable of streaming TV and movies on demand. A cool feature that was available on some services like Netflix was party mode, which allowed you to watch shows or movies with your friends who are connecting from their own consoles at home. Unfortunately, Netflix disabled this feature with the release of their own app for gaming consoles.
The second hardware option for Connected TV is the Smart TV. These are the second most popular option for streaming content from the Connected TV network. The main manufacturers are Samsung, Panasonic, LG and Vizio. These companies produce televisions with computers on board which provide access to app stores in order to provide a personalized media experience. This means that users can purchase the streaming service which fits their needs best from outlets such as Netflix, Pandora and Hulu.
This market is still developing and the interested manufacturers are still in a process of working out operating system (OS) standards, it's best to be aware of this when shopping for a Smart TV much in the same way as with a Smartphone. There is no dominant OS as yet and the market is shared between platforms such as iOS and Android besides manufacturers own options. Eventually one OS will prevail as with all revolutions in media platforms, it's best to do your homework if purchasing a Smart TV now which will serve you well in the years to come.
The third and final option to join the Connected TV era are streaming devices. These have the smallest amount of the Connected TV market share. Essentially these are external hardware options to make your TV into a Smart TV. Therefore they are subject to the same considerations around OS and application platforms. The market is dominated by internet companies such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku who provide a variety of solutions for viewing across all the screens (smartphone etc.) They all work on a TV with a HDMI port and can be the cheapest option for anyone seeking to embrace the options Connected TV makes available.
So those have been some of our solutions for staying connected to your television. Are you considering purchasing some of these things? Or maybe you already own a Chromecast or Smart TV? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!