The Difference Between a Digital TV and a Smart TV

The Difference Between a Digital TV and a Smart TV

Things are changing, Take this, for example, the last time you went looking for a TV, what specifications were you looking for? A flat-screen? A digital TV? SIZE? Etc.

With the widespread of internet connection in many parts of the country Smart TV has become relatively popular and most buyers will ask a retail seller, what is the difference between a digital TV and a smart TV? What answers do you get?

Well, check out these key differences between the two.

A Smart TV can access the internet via Wi-Fi, whereas a digital TV cannot. A Smart TV may also have the facility to run apps that come built into the TV.

A TV is a device that allows one to watch an image with sound. While the purpose of all the televisions is the same, the manner in which they work differently.  Their components may also differ. For example, LCD televisions and LED televisions vary in their screens and in the way which the picture is displayed on the screen

The main difference between a Smart TV and digital TV is that Smart TV smarts than a digital TV. It is termed as being smart because it can do more. Primarily, it can access the internet via Wi-Fi, a functionality that has become a must in today’s technology and the internet-driven world.

Smart TVs can also have an app built in which allow it to access the information on the internet. These apps also allow the TV to stream content without the need of any additional equipment, as long as it has access to the internet. It also ideally comes with a built-in web browser, which allows one to access content on the internet.

Additionally, a Smart TV may also provide Internet TV, i.e. TV shows and videos that are distributed on the internet, over-the-top content (OTT), i.e. audio, video, and other media over the Internet, as well as on-demand streaming media, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, and other TV shows and movies that can be streamed over the internet. A Smart TV may also have home networking access, which allows it to become the media center of the home.

A Smart TV may also feature online interactive media, where the users can interact with the television either through a remote or another device, or directly by touching the screen if the device has a touch screen.

It can be said that a Smart TV is something of a hybrid between a TV and a computer, as it serves the basic functionality of a TV, while also having technology and services that are typically associated with a computer.

However, it should be noted that while all these features are common in a Smart TV, each Smart TV is different. Depending on the version of the TV, the manufacture, and the various technologies, the actual features of Smart TV may differ in reality. Some may not have all these features, whereas others may have additional features. Hence, it is best to check the features on each individual Smart TV.

In comparison a digital TV does not have all of these features. It is just basically a free to air TV that most people are used to. However, there are many other devices on the market that provide some of this functionality to a digital TV, such as Chromecast, Roku TCL, etc. These devices aim at turning a digital TV into a Smart TV.

Comparison between Smart TV and Digital TV:

Smart TVDigital TV
DescriptionA television that has access to the internet, hence is ‘smarter’ than a digital TV.A basic television that allows one to view images and listen to sounds, i.e. watch videos.
FunctionalityHybrid between TV and computerBasic TV
InternetAccess the internetCannot access the internet
Web BrowserOften has a web browserUsually does not have an inbuilt web browser
Wi-FiNeeds Wi-Fi for its featuresDoes not need Wi-Fi
Built in AppsHad built in appsDoes not have built in apps
StreamingCan stream contentNeeds additional equipment to stream content
TouchscreenMay have a touchscreenTypically does not have a touch screen

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Eric Baru is a digital marketing Specialist who enjoys selling with words and stories, connect with him on Facebook and on LinkedIn


    • The smart tv is also a digital tv. All you need is your antenna as it has an inbuilt decoder for local channels. You can connect to the internet using your smart tv if you have WiFi in your vicinity. Hope that helps.
  1. Hi Christine. Thanks for the very useful information. Please mention some of the best Smart TV brands in Kenya and where to get them. I need one asap. Thanks. Faith Wanjiru, Nairobi.
    • There is Syinix which is a very good brand as it runs on Android OS which is compatible with most apps. You can check out Syinix 43 Ksh 33,499 https://www.jazacart.com/syinix-43-inch-smart-tv/ and other Sizes here on our website

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