Televisions are more than just the display for your home entertainment system, video game consoles and streaming media boxes. TVs these days are getting plenty of love on the technology front. In some cases they almost completely eliminate the need for picking up certain add-on gadgets, like the Roku Streaming Player for your Netflix streaming. Wired reports only 15 percent of Smart TV users actually use their televisions for activities that don’t involve watching television, but that is evolving over time as technology improves.
Smart TVs have Internet connectivity and applications that turn them into powerful media centers. Each manufacturer includes its own set of smart TV apps with its products, so you aren’t going to have access to every cool program out there. Here is a list of smart TV apps to keep an eye out for:
1. Netflix — You would be hard-pressed not to find Netflix available in a smart TV app selection. Many cord cutters are turning away from standard cable packages, as the $29.99 per month (up to $200) for cable is significantly more expensive than the $8 per month Netflix streaming package.
2. Hulu Plus — This is another standard app available on most smart TVs. Hulu Plus augments the Netflix content package, with exclusives of its own, along with a user-friendly interface that makes it attractive to use. Like Netflix, you do need an active paid subscription. Hulu’s non-paid membership does not support viewing on the television screen, notes Business Insider.
3. HBO Go — You won’t be able to join the cord cutters if you want to get HBO Go in your app library, as HBO requires you have an active cable subscription to use this service. However, the app is great for watching HBO’s show lineup on demand. You can watch any of their programming when you want to, so if you weren’t able to catch “Game of Thrones” during its weekly viewing, you can tune in and see why everyone on the Internet is angry about the last episode.
4. Pandora — The Pandora service allows you to create your own radio stations, generating lists that recommend music based on your preferences and the music styles of your favorite bands. If you’re someone who gets frustrated with the music stations on cable television because they don’t fit your preferences, using Pandora to generate your own custom radio stations gives you a way to bring music to the living room. Pandora’s smart TV app works similarly to the web application, making it one of the easiest apps to use for your TV, IT World reports.
5. AccuWeather — Don’t bother tuning in to the news and waiting forever for the weather forecast. Instead, use an app to get the weather when you need it. AccuWeather gives you local weather reports, including hourly forecasts and radar.
Do you have any favorite apps on your smart TV? Comment, and tell about about them in the comments.