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Modern televisions are no longer just receivers and reproducers of the terrestrial signal, as their “CRT” ancestors were. The functionality of almost any, even the most inexpensive TV, includes additional features, in particular, technologies for integrating network content into the software shell of the device. Widespread technology Smart TV (Smart TV) allows you to watch TV shows, movies, any other content using only an Internet connection.

The Expertology editors have prepared for you a brief overview of the best Smart TV applications that will significantly expand the capabilities of a modern TV as a provider of entertainment and educational content.

Rating of the best applications for smart TV

Nomination place Application rating

Film and television

one

Megogo

5.0

2

IVI

4.9

3

Okko

4.8

Streamers and vloggers

one

YouTube

5.0

Useful and interesting

one

365 body workout

5.0

2

LG Culinary Academy

4.9

3

Travels

4.8

four

Bookshelf

4.7

Tools

one

VLC

5.0

2

TV Bro

4.9

3

LeanKey KeyBoard

4.8

Film and television

In the first selection of the review, we will get acquainted with applications for Smart TV, the main task of which is to provide the user with access to film libraries, TV recordings, broadcasts of on-air, satellite and cable channels.

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Megogo

Rating: 5.0

Megogo

Let’s start with the application and service, which are as close as possible to using the TV for its intended purpose – to watch full-fledged TV channels. Megogo also provides the ability to watch individual TV shows, feature films and series. Actually, it is on the cinema in the service that a noticeable emphasis is made. Now it is the most popular, convenient and content-rich online cinema in the CIS in 12 countries. The audience is in the tens of millions.

If we analyze the entire Megogo media resource, we get the following: about 5 thousand feature films and series, 45 thousand TV shows (TV shows, concerts, clips), 20 thousand news programs, 1.5 thousand cartoons. And all this is not counting the basic functionality – access to broadcasts of television channels, and there are more than 250 of them in the Megogo pool, and several dozen more of their own in HD quality.

Most of the TV channels in the Megogo environment support pausing and rewinding the broadcast. Almost daily, the application offers the user individual thematic collections of content. In the section with premieres, you can buy a one-time or permanent viewing of any available new product. The viewing history with the latest timings is available in your personal account – the series viewed the day before will start from the very place where viewing was paused.

The service provides part of the content for free, offers a trial subscription for a nominal fee (conditional one ruble). When buying any subscription, ads are automatically disabled when viewing. You can “rent” for a one-time viewing, however, not all new items.

Megogo deserves special praise for social initiatives to increase the accessibility of broadcasting for people with disabilities – its own sign language translation studio and a whole section with content for the hearing impaired.

Against the backdrop of a lot of advantages, it is worth noting that some users had problems with automatic paid subscriptions, which allegedly were not agreed upon. To avoid this, it is advisable to carefully monitor the terms of trial subscriptions, promotions and other promotional tools.

Advantages

  • a huge resource of content;

  • prompt publication of premieres;

  • ease of use;

  • flexible and affordable pricing policy;

  • friendliness to people with disabilities;

  • multiplatform;

  • big community.

Flaws

  • complaints about paid subscriptions inconsistent with the user.

IVI

Rating: 4.9

IVI

The second number in the review of the best applications for Smart TV in 2019 according to Expertology is another super popular online cinema in the Russian-speaking segment. This is precisely a cinema, since the content is focused on film production, although there is also access to a number of television channels.

The IVI Smart TV application gives you access to all the resources and features of the service. The service itself works according to this scheme, when a significant part of the content is provided completely free of charge and even without registration, but at the same time you have to put up with ad breaks. Any subscription automatically gets rid of ads and expands the horizons of entertainment.

Connecting a subscription gives you access to more than 80,000 content items (movies and TV shows), gives you the ability to view collectively on five devices simultaneously, and allows you to download more than 10,000 TV shows and feature films locally on your device. Finally, perhaps most importantly, the subscription opens up the possibility of viewing in FullHD, as well as ultra-high definition 4K, with support for HDR and five-channel audio. Of course, all this is possible for those content units that initially have such properties.

IVI works directly with leading Hollywood majors as well as with hundreds of independent studios around the world. Especially for younger audiences, the service provides a separate children’s version of IVI with appropriate adaptation.

Like the previous service, the audience of IVI service viewers is estimated at tens of millions, and their lion’s share is accounted for by Smart TV users. According to experts, including experts from Expertology, IVI occupies about a quarter of the smart TV consumer market.

The application works on Smart TV systems of Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, LG, Philips TVs, as well as on other platforms – Apple TV, Android systems, etc.

The pricing policy of the service is quite loyal. The first weeks of the subscription can be provided at a symbolic price, after which the subscription will be automatically renewed at the declared rate. Auto-renewal can be easily turned off in the settings.

Advantages

  • a large amount of content, including ultra-high quality;

  • user-friendly interface;

  • intuitive sorting by genre;

  • separate version for children;

  • multiplatform;

  • loyal pricing policy;

  • big community.

Flaws

  • some users sometimes experience “crashes” of the application.

Okko

Rating: 4.8

Okko

At the end of the selection of the best Smart TV applications in the segment of films and series, Expertology experts suggest paying attention to one more service with a special approach to organizing access to content categories.

It’s worth starting with the fact that the service is completely paid – these are almost the only drawbacks of Okko. But this is a completely conscious approach, since Okko positions itself as a premium service. Actually, there is still limited free access, but “on the rights” of a free period as part of a paid subscription.

But the subscription options themselves offer a whole range of 12 options – here are world cinema, and Russian films with TV series, content for the smallest, separate subscriptions to Doisney and ABC studios, thousands of scientific and educational films, auteur cinema, the best cartoons and much more other. In addition to all of the above, a separate item offers a subscription to sports events.

For the most demanding consumers, the service offers two subscription packages. “Optimum” – 9 subscriptions and “Premium” – all 13 Okko subscriptions at a price three times lower than if all these subscriptions were issued separately. The collection includes films and programs in 4K quality with multi-channel sound.

The Okko application is available on all TVs that support Smart TV, and some of its versions have been developed for other popular platforms.

Advantages

  • a large amount of available content in high quality;

  • flexible organization of subscriptions;

  • user-friendly application interface;

  • selection of content in 4K with multi-channel audio.

Flaws

  • there is almost no completely free content.

Streamers and vloggers

The modern home television entertainment industry is not limited to films, television and similar content. With the advent and development of video hosting, whole new genres have appeared – video blogging, gaming and conversational streaming, as well as a host of various derivatives. The undisputed world leaders in this segment in terms of the number of active content consumers are YouTube video hosting and the Twitch live streaming service. The latter, unfortunately, does not have its own application for Smart TV, only unofficial ones, which are not welcomed by the company’s policy. Therefore, we will only look at the YouTube app, where streamers often parallel stream with Twitch.

YouTube

Rating: 5.0

YouTube

YouTube itself as a video hosting does not need any special introduction. In the modern world, a close acquaintance with him for many occurs almost from infancy. However, in the context of watching YouTube content on Smart TVs, some clarification is needed.

At the very beginning, YouTube consisted almost exclusively of amateur content. In the future, after the removal of a hard limit on the duration of the video, there was an explosive growth in the content of the service. Professional studios “settled” on this site, and then entire television and radio companies with film studios. The focus of all of the above YouTube is today. The content is mostly free, and the viewer “pays” for the use by viewing ads.

The YouTube app for Smart TV gives you access to video hosting to watch content. To do this, you need to activate your Google account in the application. From now on, as you watch videos, the service will learn to understand the tastes and preferences of the user, compiling individual thematic selections and compiling autoplay lists.

Separately, it is worth mentioning the growing popularity of live broadcasts (streams) on YouTube, which are the basic content of the Twitch platform, and this is not only about game streams. Despite the lack of specific functionality, restreaming on YouTube is so far the only compromise for consumers of legal content on Smart TV.

Popular brands of Smart TVs released in 2013 and later, and some models in 2012, have the YouTube app installed by default. There are also separate versions for the Apple TV and Android TV platforms.

On TVs older than 2012, the native YouTube app may have been there initially, but may (and has) disappeared over time as the gap between modern video hosting capabilities and the potential of older TVs widens. There are not so many options for solving the problem: buying a new TV, buying a separate set-top box, installing third-party applications at your own peril and risk.

Advantages

  • access to the most popular video hosting in the world;

  • live broadcasts;

  • mostly free content;

  • wide distribution in TVs by default;

  • for the most part intuitive and user-friendly interface;

  • adaptive intelligent adjustment to the tastes of the user.

Flaws

  • almost inevitable commercial breaks.

Useful and interesting

The presence of the Smart TV function on the TV opens access not only to entertainment content, but also to many other types of it – educational, applied, and even scientific. The most versatile in this regard is the above-described YouTube, but this versatility has a downside – the difficulty of finding really high-quality material. At the same time, quite a few special applications have been released for Smart TV viewers for self-education, broadening their horizons, and developing practical skills in various areas.

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365 body workout

Rating: 5.0

365 body workout

First of all, let’s draw your attention to the solution, which is especially relevant right now, when a healthy lifestyle is in trend. This is a smart TV app designed to help everyone keep fit.

The application provides the user with access to an extensive library of exercises, recommendations and practical examples of effective maintenance of tone and health. Entire home workout schools will help you at least tune in in the morning for an active working day, and with a more in-depth approach, achieve weight loss, improve background well-being, get rid of body problems caused by physical inactivity and, as a general result, improve the quality of life.

Videos with exercises are provided with additional visual explanations in the form of three-dimensional animated images. Optionally, you can enable voice comments and prompts. Separately, you can familiarize yourself with the recommendations of specialists on the regime of the day, healthy eating and, in general, on healthy lifestyles.

For those who want to achieve more impressive results, the 365 Body Workout Smart TV app will give recommendations on muscle gain, cutting, the effectiveness of various nutritional supplements and other issues relevant to the athlete.

Most of the content of the application is provided for free, and for the mass user, this is more than enough. More highly specialized, extended and in-depth materials can be connected for an additional fee.

The only drawback of 365 Body Workout for a Russian-speaking user is only the English language of the interface and content. But as of 2019, this application is noticeably better, more complete and more professional than its Russian-language counterparts.

Advantages

  • user-friendly interface;

  • effective and affordable methods;

  • visual three-dimensional animation;

  • voice prompts;

  • enough free content.

Flaws

  • only English.

LG Culinary Academy

Rating: 4.9

LG Culinary Academy

Now we will smoothly move from a healthy lifestyle to a topic that is largely related to it. Recently, LG has released a special culinary-themed Smart TV app.

The LG Culinary Academy is a comprehensive multimedia library that guides you through cooking a variety of dishes at home. The catalog contains thousands of recipes with detailed instructions, detailed descriptions of the composition, practical recommendations, general useful tips.

The functionality of the application allows you not only to quickly find the desired recipe, but also to find out what can be prepared from the products already in the house. To do this, you can use convenient and visual filters by ingredients. Filter keys can also be other criteria – for example, cooking time, conditional labor intensity, necessary tools.

To select recipes that are appropriate for a particular event, the application offers to use the “Situation” function. Here you can choose dishes for celebrating the New Year, for a party or a romantic dinner.

Especially for beginners, recipes are provided with detailed step-by-step algorithms, accompanied by useful tips. Among other things, the application will advise the best equipment for cooking – specific models of microwave ovens, ovens, stoves, individual hobs.

All content of the LG Culinary Academy is created with the assistance and under the supervision of professionals. The creators guarantee the correctness of the given recipes. An indirect confirmation of the high professional level is the presence of video tutorials by the famous Russian restaurateur and culinary critic Alexei Zimin.

Advantages

  • a large catalog of recipes;

  • detailed step by step instructions;

  • useful tips and tricks for beginners;

  • flexible keyword filters;

  • high professional level in general.

Flaws

  • not marked.

Travels

Rating: 4.8

Travels

Another Smart TV app is the perfect solution for those who like to travel from the comfort of their couch. Actually, for real travelers there is plenty of useful information in it. The application harmoniously combines entertainment and educational aspects to broaden your horizons and picture of the world.

The main source of content for the application is the Teletravel channel of the First TVCh television company. This company, in fact, created the application. Recordings of programs are diverse and rich in useful information, funny facts, impressive stories about various parts of the world.

For those who are interested in the stories of famous travelers, the program “Traveling Together!” is suitable. Famous personalities will tell and show all the interesting things that they themselves have encountered on numerous trips, share invaluable experience, give practical advice, and warn against potential troubles.

“Vacation without problems” is a program focused specifically on the successful implementation of a long-awaited vacation. This means not only passive, but also active rest. It tells in detail which country, which place and at what time of the year it makes sense to go on vacation.

For those who prefer the expanses of our homeland – a very patriotic program “Walk Russia!” Here you will find a lot of interesting things about the natural beauties of Russia, colorful peoples and their customs, national holidays and much more. Those who are more interested in nationalities can supplement their knowledge from the National Round Dance program.

The list of thematic programs in the application is regularly updated, the topics themselves are expanding.

Advantages

  • variety of thematic content;

  • a lot of exclusive information;

  • professional level of transfers;

  • high educational component combined with entertainment;

  • regular replenishment and expansion of content.

Flaws

  • not marked.

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Bookshelf

Rating: 4.7

Bookshelf

And another popular and useful application for Smart TV with the “talking” name is Bookshelf. It is obvious that here we are talking about the electronic library. Formally, it belongs to the category of educational applications, but its function is not limited to only one training. Recommended for both adults and young users aged four and over.

The essence and main “trick” of the application is to combine ordinary e-books with audio versions voiced by professional voice actors. The application allows you to simply read a book from the screen, and at any time when you need to move away or give a break to your eyes, switch to the audio version directly from the current place of reading. Switching is carried out by one button. In this case, the text scrolls automatically, and if you don’t hear something, you can always take a quick look at the text to clarify a word or phrase.

Many of the books in the Bookshelf Library also contain translations into various languages. The application makes it possible to read books in a bilingual mode, when the same text is shown simultaneously on two pages of the “spread”. This is especially convenient and useful for those who actively study foreign languages.

Advantages

  • extensive library;

  • easy switching to the audio version and back;

  • professional voice acting;

  • translations into different languages ​​(depending on the specific book);

  • convenient for learning foreign languages ​​bilingual mode.

Flaws

  • not marked.

Tools

The final mini-selection of the best Smart TV apps in 2019, according to Expertology, presents popular solutions that serve as auxiliary tools for the convenience of using Smart TV itself on a TV in principle, regardless of content consumption.

VLC

Rating: 5.0

VLC

Let’s start with an application that can solve if not all the difficulties with video playback on your TV, then almost all. This is a super-popular player, which has found an appreciative audience almost from the very release, back in the days when Smart TV itself was available only to a limited circle of people.

VLC player was originally developed for desktop computers and then scaled up to wearables and other devices, including smart TVs. The main advantage of VLC at the time of its creation was the ability to play streaming video, as well as video files with incomplete downloads or “broken” sections. Most of the popular players could not cope with such tasks.

Now VLC is very popular for all of the above, plus the ability to play videos in exotic encoding. This is facilitated by a large number of built-in codecs and regular online updates.

In addition to its main advantages, VLC has all the necessary tools for customization: working with a playlist, switching audio tracks and subtitles, adjusting image properties, adjusting performance, an equalizer, and more.

Advantages

  • plays videos of non-standard formats;

  • reproduces (with reservations) under-downloaded and damaged files;

  • stable work;

  • flexible settings;

  • performance adjustment.

Flaws

  • Not everyone likes a minimalistic interface.

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TV Bro

Rating: 4.9

TV Bro

Now let’s take a look at the simple, easy-to-use and friendly TV Bro app in every way. It is a universal web browser for Android Smart TV systems. It is easy to install directly from the Google Play Store.

When first launched, TV Bro prompts the user to select an appropriate default search engine. First on the list will be, quite expectedly, Google. Other engines available are Bing, Yahoo!, Yandex, and even the “conspiratorial” DuckDuckGo. It is also possible to specify any other by selecting Custom.

The application has a Russified interface. In the menu, you can easily configure keyboard shortcuts for the most convenient use from the remote control. Soft navigation buttons and open tabs are displayed in a widget that appears on the left side of the screen when you press the back button on the remote (can be reconfigured).

Web surfing in TV Bro is not fundamentally different from any other browser on a computer, smartphone or tablet. Sites are displayed in full versions, pages are rendered correctly and, importantly, quickly. Frequently visited sites can be added to “Favorites”, as in any browser.

Advantages

  • convenient Russified interface;

  • flexible settings;

  • fast work;

  • correct display of pages;

  • voice search.

Flaws

  • only for Android TV.

LeanKey KeyBoard

Rating: 4.8

LeanKey KeyBoard

And the review of the best apps for Smart TV in 2019, according to the findings of the expert group of Expertology magazine, is completed by the simplest application that, despite its simplicity, can make life much easier for many owners of smart TVs with Android TV. This is a convenient and popular virtual keyboard, which is preferred by many users instead of the standard one.

The application allows you to install many language packs by simply downloading from the official Google store. Languages ​​are switched by holding the Spacebar. The current language is written on the key itself, that is, on its visual representation.

The keyboard can be fully controlled by the TV or set-top box remote control. The application also supports additional remote buttons, such as “Menu”. With it, you can significantly speed up the input in special fields, set up many buttons on the remote control for quick access to certain functions, link them to menu items.

Advantages

  • ease of use;

  • easy installation of language packs;

  • setting up quick access to the remote control buttons.

Flaws

  • only for Android TV.