A smart TV, also known as a connected TV (CTV), is a traditional television set with integrated Internet and interactive Web 2.0 features, which allows users to stream music and videos, browse the internet, and view photos. Smart TVs are a technological convergence of computers, televisions, and digital media players. Besides the traditional functions of television sets provided through traditional broadcasting media, these devices can provide access to over-the-top media services such as streaming television and internet radio, along with home networking access.
Smart TV should not be confused with Internet TV, IPTV, or streaming television. Internet TV refers to receiving television content over the Internet instead of traditional systems such as terrestrial, cable, and satellite, regardless of how the Internet is delivered. IPTV is one of the Internet television technology standards for use by television broadcasters. Streaming 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 into the television set's firmware, which provides access to apps and other digital content. In contrast, traditional televisions primarily act as displays and are limited to vendor-specific customization. The software applications can be preloaded into the device or updated or installed on demand via an application store or marketplace, in a similar manner to how applications are integrated into modern smartphones.
The technology that enables smart TVs is also incorporated in external devices such as set-top boxes and some Blu-ray players, game consoles, digital media players, hotel television systems, smartphones, and other network-connected interactive devices that utilize television-type display outputs. These devices allow viewers to find and play videos, movies, TV shows, photos, and other content from the Web, cable or satellite TV channels, or a local storage device.