This article is sponsored by Samsung Smart TV.
The popularity of app stores is bleeding over from the smartphone and tablet market and into the living room.Many new TVs come pre-loaded with popular apps to deliver on-demand streaming video, music, and news.
There are even a few app stores with free and cheap add ons to download directly to you TV.
If you’re looking for an upgrade, check out our picks for the apps your TV should have.
Over the last year Netflix has gone from being a company known for sending DVDs by mail, to one of the best online video libraries available. Netflix made a smart move making their platform available on as many devices as possible, including smart TVs. All Netflix plans offer unlimited streaming, and there's a new streaming-only plan that only costs $7.99 per month. No TV should go without it.
Hulu finally made it to the living room. The bad news is you have to pay for it, even the free content you can view on your computer. Hulu Plus gives you access to entire seasons of network (and some cable) television shows. The service is available on many Blu-Ray players and smart TVs, with more to come next year. The price is reasonable too: just $7.99 per month.
The Amazon Video On Demand library boasts over 75,000 movies and TV shows for download or streaming. There's no subscription necessary. Most new movies will cost you $3.99 to rent and TV show episodes cost $1.99 to buy. Since you can't access iTunes on non-Apple devices, Amazon Video On Demand is a great alternative.
Here's one of the reasons HBO shows still aren't available for streaming on Netflix. The premium cable channel is going solo with its HBO Go service. HBO Go is extremely limited for now. Only Comcast, Verizon FiOS, and AT&T U-Verse TV subscribers are allowed to use it. But if you do qualify, an HBO Go app will let you stream your favourite HBO series and movies to your TV in HD.
Most smart TVs come with a YouTube app built in. Use it to search for your favourite viral videos and share them on the big screen.
A Pandora app on your TV will bring your customised internet radio stations to your living room. You can also create new radio stations by entering a favourite song, artist, or album and letting pandora put together a streaming playlist of similar tunes.
MLB.tv is an essential app for baseball fanatics. It lets you stream any game in HD, even if it isn't available in your area on network TV or cable. You can also keep track of news updates and real-time scores from around the league. But all this great content comes at a price. A season-long subscription to MLB.tv starts at $99.95. During the off-season you can view any game played over the previous season for $24.95.
NBA Game Time gives you live scores of all NBA games in progress. You can also view HD clips and recaps from previous games and read news about what's going on in the league. The app has been a huge success on smartphones, and is now working its way onto Smart TVs.
CNBC's smart TV app gives you live stock updates, news, alerts, and video reports. It's not available for all smart TVs yet, but expect to see it on more devices soon. Perfect for any business news junkie.
Don't wait for your local news station to give you the day's forecast. Accu Weather's app (and other weather apps like it) will give you live weather information. Unfortunately, there's no video. Hopefully The Weather Channel is working on an app based on its successful iPhone and iPad apps.
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