A smart TV device is either a television set with integrated Internet capabilities or a set-top box for television that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary basic television set. Smart TVs may be thought of as an information appliance or the computer system from a handheld computer integrated within a television set unit, as such smart TV often allows the user to install and run more advanced applications or plugins/addons based on a specific platform.
Smart TVs deliver content (such as photos, movies and music) from other computers or network attached storage devices on a network using either a Digital Living Network Alliance / Universal Plug and Play media server or similar service program like Windows Media Player or Network-attached storage (NAS), or via iTunes.
It also provides access to Internet-based services including traditional broadcast TV channels, catch-up services, video-on-demand (VOD), electronic program guide, interactive advertising, personalisation, voting, games, social networking, and other multimedia applications.
Smart TV devices also provide access to user-generated content (either stored on an external hard drive or in cloud storage) and to interactive services and Internet applications, such as YouTube, many using HTTP Live Streaming (also known as HLS) adaptive streaming.
Smart TV devices facilitate the curation of traditional content by combining information from the Internet with content from TV Providers. Services offer users a means to track and receive reminders about shows or sporting events, as well as the ability to change channels for immediate viewing.
Some devices feature additional interactive organic user interface / natural user interface technologies for navigation controls and other human interaction with a Smart TV, with such as second screen companion devices, spatial gestures input like with Xbox Kinect and even for speech recognition for natural language user interface.
Smart TV technology and software is still evolving, with both proprietary and open source software frameworks already available. These can run applications (sometimes available via an ‘app store’ digital distribution platform), interactive on-demand media, personalized communications, and have social networking features.
Adverts are automatic but…
Some smart TV platforms also support interactive advertising, addressable advertising with local advertising insertion and targeted advertising, and other advanced advertising features such as ad telescoping using VOD and DVR, enhanced TV for consumer call-to-action and audience measurement solutions for ad campaign eff ectiveness. Taken together, this bidirectional data flow means that smart TVs can be and are used for clandestine observation of the owners. Even in sets that are not configured off-the-shelf to do so, default security measures are often weak and will allow hackers to easily break into the TV.
They can be hacked
There is evidence that a smart TV is vulnerable to attacks. Some serious security bugs have been discovered, and some successful attempts to run malicious code to get unauthorized access were documented on video. There is evidence that it is possible to gain root access to the device, install malicious software, access and modify configuration information for a remote control, remotely access and modify files on TV and attached USB drives, access camera and microphone. Anticipating growing demand for an antivirus for a smart TV, some security software companies are already working with partners in digital TV field on the solution. At this moment it seems like there is only one antivirus for smart TVs available. Ocean Blue Software partnered with Sophos and developed first cloud based antimalware system “Neptune”. Also antivirus company Avira has joined forces with digital TV testing company Labwise to work on the software that would protect against poten tial attacks.
And you can be blocked
Internet websites can block smart TV access to content at will, or tailor the content that will be received by each platform.
Google TV-enabled devices were blocked by NBC, ABC, CBS, and Hulu from accessing their Web content since the launch of Google TV in October 2010.Google TV devices were also blocked from accessing any programs offered by Viacom’s subsidiaries.