Smart TVs are often mistaken or confused with Internet TVs which refer to recieving television content over the internet rather than a traditional cable provider. Smart TVs are totally different however. A Smart TV is essentially an ordinary flat screen television set that has an added networking feature that also allows connection to The Internet.
Smart Televisions bring together the beautiful picture quality of modern flat screens and the wonderful Internet and application capabilities available now. In a smart TV, the operating system is usually preloaded or readily available through the television itself. The software applications can also be preoloaded onto the TV or installed on demand by purchase or free download within the operating system's "app store".
The same technology that enables smart TVs to work is the same technologies that we have been exposed to within our smartphones, gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, and other external devices that have or utilize a television-like display.
Smart Televisions are fairly new to Americans however the concept of smart TVs have been around since the 1980s in Japan. They started off as "intelligent televisions" with reciever technology that allowed Japanese viewers to recieve a mix of programming and information through their television signal.
It wasn't until 1994 that a patent was published by two French inventors by the name of Jean Marie Gatto and Domonique Bertrand for an "intelligent television" system linked with data processing systems by digital or analog network. Other than being linked to data networks, the television system also allowed software downloads and routine maintanance. Once digital TVs began to become widely accepted in the early 2000's, it greatly increased the market for smart TVs. The market also has a promising future ahead with the ability to allow customers to have more control of what they watch on their TV screens.