The Top Apps for Getting More From Your Smart TV

VIA QuadCore @ Computex 2011-VIA and TCL Smart TV

A smart TV is a relatively recent innovation which basically means you have a usual television but with the same kind of additional functionality that you get from a smart phone normally. In other words the smart TV runs an operating system, and in almost all circumstances this means Android which is the same operating system used for things like the Galaxy phones and lots of tablets like the Asus Transformer.

That at the same time gives you access to all of the usual apps that you could download form the Google Play store – but with a huge TV screen to enjoy them on. Of course some of the apps will benefit from this and from a new input method, but others will be hampered by it. Here we will look at some of these apps and which ones you should look into getting for your TV.

Streaming Apps: There are plenty of great streaming apps you can get for your Smart TV that will allow you to watch films and programs that you miss on normal TV. These include things like BBC iPlayer which is great if you enjoy the programs the BBC makes such as Doctor Who or Sherlock Holmes (who doesn’t?). Netflicks of course is also brilliant if you want to watch old TV and you’re okay paying a monthly fee.

OnLive:

I got a new toy #onlive

OnLive is an incredible experience that provides you with ‘cloud gaming’ on any device. In other words this means playing games via internet connection rather than having them actually installed on your device and what that means is that you can play something as graphically impressive as Batman Arkham City without even needing to plug a games console in. Of course you aren’t going to want to use touchscreen control though so this makes buying a gamepad a necessity.

Quick Office Pro:

Microsoft Word 12Microsoft Excel 12 (2)

Quick Office Pro is an office suite for making documents and spreadsheets and is feature rich and highly useful if you have a wireless keyboard and mouse meaning that you can work from the comfort of your couch with no additional software or hardware needed. The only downside is that the word processor has no word count and it’s touch to multitask, but the word processor only ‘Panel Writer’ can make up for these shortcomings.

VLC Player:

VIA QuadCore @ Computex 2011-Smart TV Video on Demand

Using VLC player will enable you to enjoy a range of films and programs that you’ve downloaded either on the internal memory or on SD card. This is much more convenient than watching on a laptop even if you plug in using a HD cable, and VLC is the player that supports the most different formats.

Chrome:

Google Chrome Logo

For the best browsing experience on your TV Google Chrome provides you with almost everything you’d get on your desktop from tabbed browsing to an incognito mode meaning that you needn’t leave the couch to check your Facebook – even in order to retrieve your laptop.

Spotify:

VIA QuadCore @ Computex 2011-Smart TV Solutions

Playing music through your TV is incredibly convenient, particularly if you have a great surround sound system which you almost certainly do if you have a smart TV. Using Spotify gives you access to every song you could want pretty much and even lets you download them for listening online (which owning a smart TV means you will never need to do…).

Skype: Imagine Skyping on your sofa and chatting to friends without having to stop what you’re doing on the computer. It’s highly intuitive and perhaps the most Jetsons-esque way of communicating yet.

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Mr. Richard Bacon is a renowned entertainment and technology blogger. He specializes in writing articles on smartphones and smart TVs. One such post of his describes the smart TV installation process.

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