When Did Smart TVs Come Out?

Are you wondering when did Smart TVs come out? Do you want to learn some interesting facts about the first Smart TVs?

With how widespread Smart TVs are, it’s hard to imagine a world where they didn’t exist. It might not seem like that long ago when you were sitting in front of a box-like CRT TV playing Super Nintendo.

Today I’ll we’ll be taking a walk down memory lane and the history of Smart TVs.

When Did Smart TVs Come Out?

The first patent for a Smart TV was registered in 1994 by Fast France Advanced Systems. Smart TVs didn’t catch on until the late 2000s with the expansion of the internet, and when prices lowered to a more affordable range.

In 2007, HP was one of the first companies to mass-produce a Smart TV, Mediasmart SL760. However, Samsung released the  PAVV Bordeaux 750 TV in 2008 which was more popular and had more online features than the HP. It wasn’t until the LCD technology became more affordable that interest in Smart TVs started to pick up.

LG also released Smart TVs in 2007, with a feature called “NetCast Entertainment Access” which was a bundle of online streaming apps such as YouTube and Netflix. In 2011, LG rebranded Netcast Entertainment Access to simply “Smart TV”.

It’s unclear who invented the very first Smart TV because there were many different companies and inventors experimenting with the technology at the time. We only know of the Smart TVs that have been a commercial success. Even if a TV had internet access at that time, chances are it was far too expensive for the average consumer.

Between 2009 to 2011, the most popular electronics companies; LG, Samsung, and Sony, all released their own smart TVs.

The First Smart TVs:

As mentioned earlier, the first Smart TVs were released in the late 2000s. HP Mediasmart SL760 was released in 2007, and Samsung’s PAVV Bordeaux 750 was released in 2008.

Only a year later, Samsung released another model, called the PAVV LED TV, which included widget services such as an internet browser, a wireless media sharing technology, and much more. The PAVV series also included social media sharing features, which did not catch on.

While LG and Samsung were the first companies to launch Smart TVs, Sony joined the party in 2010 with their Sony Bravia lineup which used Google TV as the operating system.

Google TV is based on the Android operating system and allows you to install a wide range of entertainment apps. The first Samsung with Google TV lineup was the 24-inch NSX-24GT1, released in 2010.

It wasn’t until 2011 that Smart TVs really started to shine. Samsung released the Smart TV D8000 which could access social media accounts and many other video-on-demand services and apps.

What Makes a Smart TV Smart?

A Smart TV is a TV that has the ability to connect to the internet to perform certain actions, such as downloading apps and installing updates.

Not every TV on the market today is considered a Smart TV, but most of them are.

Here’s the thing:

How to Tell if You Have a Smart TV:

If your TV can connect to the internet and install apps, it’s most likely a Smart TV. On that note, some Smart TVs can connect to the internet but only for software updates and other less user-important features. On Sony models, if your TV’s operating system is Android, it’s most likely a Smart TV.

As with most things in the TV industry, a lot of terms are loosely defined. It’s even more confusing because some companies, such as LG, rarely use the term “Smart TV” on their products.

In fact, the internet capabilities of the TV are often hidden in manuals and specification sheets. Nowadays most TV manufacturers have stopped marketing their TVs as smart.

It’s worse with Sony. Sony advertises two internet features on their TVs: Wireless LAN-ready and Wireless LAN-built-in. Wireless LAN-Ready simply means the TV supports an external USB Wifi adapter. Wireless LAN built-in is the feature you want, it means the TV has built-in Wifi and can connect to the internet without extra adapters.

How Do You Update a Dumb TV?

If your TV can’t connect to the internet to update its software, you will need to download the firmware update onto a USB flash disk and use that to update the TV’s firmware.

Do You Need a Smart TV?

No. You don’t necessarily need a Smart TV because you can connect an external device to your TV for media consumption. For example, a set-top box, or a media streaming device like a Console, Blu-ray player, Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, or Apple TV. Just connect one of those devices to the TV via an HDMI cable and now it’s a Smart TV.

When it comes to buying a TV, whether it’s smart or not, is not that important. The other features such as colors, contrast, resolution, HDR, brightness, and others, are much more important. Nevertheless, almost all TVs designed in the last decade have some online features.

Smart TV vs Flat Screen TV:

A Smart TV is not the same as a flat-screen TV. While there are many flat-screen TVs that look futuristic, with a  wide range of features, if they cannot connect to the internet, then they’re not considered smart TVs.

When Did HD TVs Come Out?

The most common definition for HD TV is a display or TV channel that has a 720P resolution, depending on the aspect ratios. These TVs are also called HD-Ready. Nowadays, 1080P is known as Full HD, and 4K is called Ultra HD.

An interesting fact is HD TVs have been around a lot longer than you might have guessed. In 1989 in Japan, HD TV was officially broadcast using an analog system at 1080i/1125 lines. Nowadays, most cable TV channels are still being broadcasted in HD format, which is 720P.

Today, 1080P or Full HD is still the most common resolution for displays.


To summarize, technology has advanced by crazy leaps in the last couple of decades, it’s hard to keep up with the changes. But now you know a little bit more about the history of Smart TVs and where they first started. I hope you found this article informative.


Sony History Timeline

LG Corp About History

Samsung History of Smart TV

Smart TV Wikipedia Page

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About Tim Gagnon

Timothy Gagnon is a tech blogger and writer. When he's not dissembling computers, he's researching the latest tech gadgets and trends.

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