If we look back at the technology available to us twenty years ago, it’s almost unrecognizable now. Look closely at the internet, the televisions, the cell phones, and even kitchen appliances. There is a refrigerator on the market now that can stream music and tell you about the weather. Cell phones are small enough to fit in our pockets easily, and kids today will look at you like you have three heads if you talk about pagers. Cable features hundreds of channels, and there are several different varieties of HBO channels. Technology has kept moving over the years, and every time you turn around, there is something new on the market to wow us with its advancements.
Remember the TV of your youth? They offered a range of thirteen channels with a switch box on the top if you were one of the families lucky enough to have premium channels. We didn’t know what an HDMI input was, and we sure weren’t rocking seventy-inch televisions in our home. Looking back, it’s pretty astounding how far technology has come in terms of the TV. Nearly every family in America has a flat panel television, either LCD, LED, or Plasma. While these televisions were a wish list for many years, as the price point was out of reach for most people on a budget. However, with Black Friday specials and tax time deals, these televisions are part of many American households.
When the Plasma TV hit the scene in 1997, they were not affordable at all, and only the richest families could afford them. In 2007, the plasma technology was quickly overtaken by LCD displays. Plasmas were plagued by a number of problems, the worst of which was the burn-in issue. If a screen was allowed to remain on the screen for a long period of time, the image had the potential to burn into the screen, thus making a ghost of the image that could be seen during regular television viewing. These days, it seems as though even the LCD is a thing of the past, as many people now favor the brighter and crisper LED display. More recently, however, an even newer technology has thrown its hat in the television ring; the smart TV.
A smart television uses your home internet connection to access all of the streaming programs that are now on the market. Using a simple setup process, the user connects the TV to their WiFi, and immediately they are able to access all of the major streaming profiles for which they have accounts. This kind of TV eliminates the need for external streaming devices, like Roku or Apple TV, thus also eliminating the use of a precious HDMI port on the TV. On many TVs, the HDMI ports are at a premium as we use them to hook up DVD players, gaming systems, and the cable box for those who have chosen to keep their cable service.
One of the reasons many people are moving toward the smart TV is because of the astronomical price of cable television. While cable offers hundreds of channels, there is seldom anything worth watching on the lineup, or reality programming dominates the airwaves. A lackluster selection of worthy viewing, seemingly ridiculous prices, and access to many popular shows via streaming has led a standard cable connection to be considered obsolete. Many families have disconnected from the traditional hookup in favor of just their internet connection because it is the only thing streaming requires. With more channels cropping up with their own particular way to stream their shows, smart TVs are becoming the way people watch TV.
Who knows what the future holds in terms of technology, but rest assured the next best thing is out there. For now, we will deal with giant television screens that offer built-in access to streaming. Whether you’ve cut the cord with your cable company, your Roku or Apple TV isn’t cutting it anymore, or you just need a new one, a smart TV is probably the best way to go. With simple and easy access to nearly everything you want to watch, you can’t really go wrong, and most of them are priced pretty reasonably. While we await the wave of the future for TVs, we might as well be smart about it.