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TV or Live Streaming

What are the future trends?

Photograph: Pexels

Text: Mariano Anthony Davies

Latest figures show that in the US, more than 34.8 per cent of total television consumption is live streaming, whereas 34.4 per cent of viewers watch traditionally broadcasted television channels. This trend towards more flexible access to digital entertainment can be seen worldwide with the increase of 4G and 5G internet availability.

Approximately 78% of all American households now use streaming services – either live streaming or streaming on demand. This makes the US the country where most households use streaming services, followed by Canada and the Nordic countries. Therefore, on average, Americans watch more television than any other nation – estimated at roughly 270 minutes per day.

According to the most recent data, the average time spent watching television across all European countries came to 220 minutes per day in 2021, with vast numbers of Romanian and Greek TV viewers spending up to five hours in front of their television daily.

The three most used streaming services globally are Netflix (233 million subscribers). Their nearest rivals are Amazon Prime, with 200 million and Disney, with 158 million.

Smart TV

Today, you can easily use an external streaming device to turn your regular TV into a smart TV. This is accomplished using small dongles or boxes with internet connectivity supporting video and music streaming services. Some well-known streaming devices include Google TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Google.

A smart TV will work fine without an internet connection. You can watch TV channels with a cable box or an antenna or connect Blu-ray/DVD players and hook up speakers like a regular TV. You will not, however, be able to use any of the video streaming apps that come with it.

Present technology does have some limitations for smart TVs. These include software crashes when updating is needed, freezing or crashing apps with insufficient processing power, input lag when pressing buttons, not always getting updates or software patches and limited app features.

You don't need a streaming device if you already have a smart TV. However, a streaming device could be a better choice if you have extra needs or an older smart TV. Streaming devices provide more content, such as endless options for entertainment.

"Approximately 78% of all American households now use streaming services – either live streaming or streaming on demand."

Differences between DTV and Digital TV

DTV refers to the traditional broadcast television transmissions used for decades, whereas digital TV refers to over-the-air broadcasts using digital signals. However, DTV uses analogue signals and is easy to set up.

Due to a range of additional features, smart TVs are generally more expensive than regular TVs. They also provide more flexibility and convenience in terms of content accessibility. This is because, on a smart TV, we can use streaming services.

Digital television typically provides a better viewing experience with sharper colours and a crisp picture. Furthermore, they do not require an antenna or cable service subscription to be used.

Can a digital TV be converted to a smart TV?

If you are thinking of getting rid of your digital non-smart TV so that you can buy a smart TV, there is an alternative solution worth considering. You can easily convert your digital TV into a smart TV and enjoy watching various online streaming services such as Netflix.

While digital TVs have built-in set-top boxes and can access free-to-air channels through terrestrial antennas, smart TVs have built-in smart features and can access the internet via Wi-Fi.

There is no failsafe way to convert a digital TV into a smart TV. However, it is possible to connect smart functionality to a separate device such as a smart TV box, stick or dongle. This will enable the digital TV to access the internet and use smart apps.

All the popular television networks now offer their own proprietary mobile app that enables you to stream current or recent TV show episodes and watch them, free of charge, on your mobile device's screen. The number of recent episodes for any specific TV series varies, and viewing typically includes commercials.

Smart digital entertainment has become the new normal and technology has embraced the opportunity that multiple devices offer service providers.

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