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Learn about Smart TV technology with Amazon's comprehensive guide
 

Smart TV Upgraders: Convenience And TV Connectivity At Lower Cost



Smart TV Upgraders are new devices that can expand your Internet connectivity, giving access to Smart TV features on traditional HD TV sets. It is not uncommon to see the Internet being used everywhere with all the new Wifi hotspots popping up and broadband access speeds on a continual increase. The proliferation of devices for accessing the web is growing all the time, and Smart TVs are now getting in on the act.

From YouTube to Hulu and social TV to interactive TV, the vast amount of entertainment options being opened by the Smart revolution will blow your mind.  However, if you only have a desktop computer tower, or you only have a small laptop computer, then you might be missing out.  Itís time for an upgrade, but what are the options?

One answer is to take advantage of a range of Smart TV Upgraders. They offer a lower cost alternative to buying a full blown Smart TV.


What Does A Smart TV Upgrader Do?



Smart TV Upgraders will take any TV and turn it into an home entertainment command center. No pouring over endless Smart TV reviews to work out which model is right for you. You no longer have to worry about watching online Netflix movies on that tiny laptop for your date night; you can access your Netflix account through the push of a button on your remote. 

A good quality upgrader will give access to all of the features you can get from a Smart TV model. You can surf streaming TV services such as Netflix and Hulu, use the high quality video sharing options at YouTube, or stream movies from Amazon VOD.



What Types Of Smart TV Upgraders Are There?

There are a number of different options for upgrading your HD TV to give Smart features. Some of these are in early stages of development or improvement, some have been around for a while now and give known results.


Smart TV Boxes



One of the better known options is to use a Smart TV box. This essentially is an add on device that sits between your TV and internet connection. There's a page devoted to internet TV boxes here on SmartTV101.com that covers these in more detail.

An example of a set top box is the Roku. Roku boxes are devices that can handle receiving content from hundreds of channels including HBO, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu and Pandora. You can get one for around $50.

Other good examples of internet boxes include those offered by Boxee, Veebeam, and Speedup.


LG ST600 Smart TV Upgrader



This device from LG can be connected to any make of TV, in the process delivering the full suite of LG's Smart services.


Smart Blu Ray Players



Blu Ray players have become immensely popular over recent years. Buying a Blu Ray is a vastly reduced cost option over buying a brand new TV. There are ranges of Smart Blu Rays which will offer Smart transformation for existing TVs, they're available from many of the major manufacturers including Sony, Toshiba, samsung, and Panasonic.


Games Consoles



It might be surprising to learn that games consoles also are able to offer a number of Smart TV features. In fact they've developed into technically sophisticated devices, and if you're an avid gamer you'll have known this for years. Each of the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii can give internet access for playing multiplayer games, getting emails, watching streamed TV etc.

Streaming quality is improving all the time, though can still be an issue at times especially on slower internet connections.


Smart TV Dongles

Recent developments by companies such as Roku and Always Innovating have focussed on development of dongles that remove the need to but streaming boxes. In effect they're portable versions of those set top internet TV boxes. These dongles are similar to USB flash drives and provide an easy to use solution to getting Smart capability on a standard HD TV.

Roku's target for their new streaming stick is to be able to compete with the new Smart TV models of 2012. The stick is a small dongle that plugs in to the HDMI port of any MHL compatible TV giving it Smart capability. It'll probably become available towards the end of the year.

Always Innovating also have a dongle that they promise can turn any HD TV into a Smart TV. It can enable access to all the normal smart features such as streaming internet video, movies, and games.  Operation is by a special remote control that can also work on voice activation. Distribution is intended to be via licensing agreements.


TV Set Top Cameras

The set top camera solution is a brand new one from Samsung. Announced at the CES show in early 2012, it's known as the Samsung inTouch. Samsung have devised a solution that combines a Wi-Fi camera with your TV to deliver 720p high HD video along with internet apps such as Youtube and Skype, all mixed up with a built in web browser. The camera is due to be released in March 2012 at a cost of around $200.

Samsung promise the camera will provide a fun to use interactive feature set giving Smart capability to older HD Tvs that don't have networking capability.

The inTouch camera can be mounted on top of an HD TV set, shelf or table, and tilted at up to 30 degrees to get any viewer in shot. Connection to a wireless broadband network is straightforward, with connection madfe to the TV via a standard HDMI cable.

By connecting to Skype and using a mic and speakers, Samsung's inTouch camera gives you the ability to connect with family and friends around the world in an HD video confrrence right from the comfort of your own living room.



How Do Smart Upgraders Work?




So far, the only necessary component required for connecting a Smart TV Upgrader to your standard HD TV is an HDMI port, which should come included with any TV that was manufactured fairly recently.  HDMI is a connectivity method which lets you connect many other devices too. Games consoles are a good example. So if your TV does lack an HDMI input then it's probably time to be considering buying a new TV anyway.

The HDMI port on your TV accepts the connection of the upgrader, which then connects to your broadband supply either by wireless or ethernet cable.



Future Developments In Smart TV Upgrading



One of the most interesting developments in under way in Samsung TV model ranges. This is not an upgrade development from a perspective of giving a standard TV some Smart capability, but in future Samsung Smart TV models having the potential to receive upgrades to add new features.

In fact, Samsung announced at the early 2012 CES show that they'd be looking to introduce this capability into all of their new Smart TVs during 2013.

Samsung have already announced plans to release a 55 inch OLED display Smart 3D TV in 2012. With smart voice recognition capability and some form of gesture control interface thrown in, the TV has potential to become one of the leaders of the new 2012 model ranges. This particular model promises to be the first to
be able to use slots in the back to accept cards which will upgrade the sets with any new smart features or improvements to speed and performance.


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