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7 Top Apps To Must Have On Your Smart TV

The introduction of smart TVs has opened up a whole world of entertainment, information, and connectivity right from our living rooms. With built-in WiFi and access to hundreds of apps, smart TVs allow you to stream shows, play games, listen to music, stay fit, and more all on the big screen. But it can be a challenge navigating the sheer number of apps available to find ones worth downloading.

In this in-depth blog post, we’ll explore the top 7 essential apps to install on your smart TV. These apps exemplify what the smart TV experience is all about – leveraging the big, high-def screen and internet connectivity to deliver unmatched functionality and viewing experiences.

For each app, we’ll discuss key features, content libraries, special functions, and pricing options. We’ll also evaluate how they compare to competitors in their category and highlight any limitations. And we’ll sprinkle in relevant statistics and expert opinions around these game-changing smart TV apps.

So read on to learn about the must-have apps to upgrade your smart TV and get the most out of your at-home entertainment.

1. Plex – The Ultimate Personal Media Library

First up on our list of smart TV essentials is Plex, hands down one of the most versatile and robust media center apps available today. If you‘re looking for a way to conveniently access all your personal media content in one place, Plex is the answer.

Plex essentially functions as your own personal Netflix or Hulu, allowing you to aggregate all your owned video, audio, and photo files into sleek, organized libraries. According to Plex, their software is currently being used by over 25 million households worldwide as their go-to media server solution.

Once you connect Plex to your media storage locations, it automatically downloads relevant metadata like descriptions, posters, actor and director info, genre tags, and more. This makes browsing your libraries feel like scrolling through a streaming service. Plex remembers where you left off watching a video, so resuming is as easy as clicking play.

One of Plex‘s standout features is its industry-leading mobile streaming and syncing capabilities. You can start a movie on your smart TV, pause it, then continue watching right where you left off later on your phone or tablet. This pick-up-and-go viewing experience makes Plex incredibly convenient. Plex also supports casting from mobile to TV so you can fling videos, music, and photos to the big screen.

According to Plex, their smart TV app saw a 19% increase in usage in 2022 compared to 2021, showing it‘s an increasingly popular way to view personal media libraries. While you can try Plex‘s smart TV app for free, to enjoy premium features like trailers, lyrics, mobile syncing, and parental controls, you‘ll need to subscribe to Plex Pass for $4.99/month. Overall, Plex is a must-have smart TV app for conveniently streaming your own media.

2. BBC iPlayer – Britain‘s Treasure Trove of TV

For anglophiles and British TV fans alike, the BBC iPlayer smart TV app grants you unlimited access to Britain‘s finest programming. As the venerable British Broadcasting Corporation‘s flagship video service, BBC iPlayer offers acclaimed original shows, groundbreaking documentaries, historical dramas, hilarious comedies, fascinating nature programs, and more.

According to the BBC‘s 2021/2022 report, BBC iPlayer enjoyed over 10.5 billion streaming requests that year, making it one of Britain‘s most popular streaming services. The app interface makes finding your favorite shows a breeze with personalized recommendations and the ability to bookmark programs. Live streams of BBC One, BBC Two, BBC News, BBC Parliament, and other BBC channels are at your fingertips.

One of the best aspects of BBC iPlayer is the sheer depth of content available. While live streams give you access to what‘s on now, the service also unlocks thousands of hours of shows and episodes on-demand. This means you can always catch up on anything you missed or take an extended binge through program archives.

However, one limitation of BBC iPlayer is that it‘s primarily limited to UK residents. But with the right VPN service, you can easily bypass geo-restrictions and tune into BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world. Top-rated VPNs for unlocking BBC iPlayer include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost.

So in summary, for the best of British TV spanning iconic comedy, drama, news, and documentaries, make BBC iPlayer a fixture on your smart TV. Just pair it with a VPN for global access to a wealth of phenomenal entertainment and enriching programs.

3. AccuWeather – Staying Informed on Local Weather

Switching gears now to more practical smart TV apps, AccuWeather is an essential download for keeping an eye on weather forecasts and radar. With people constantly checking forecasts and radar maps on their phones, having this info displayed right on your TV provides unmatched convenience.

As one of the world‘s leading weather providers, AccuWeather delivers hyperlocal, minute-by-minute weather data with superior accuracy. AccuWeather receives over 1.5 billion queries every day via their online services and mobile app, making them one of the most widely used weather apps globally.

The AccuWeather smart TV app presents weather data in stunning detail optimized for the big screen. You can view interactive radar maps overlayed on satellite imagery to see precisely where storms are moving. The app also includes video segments from meteorologists explaining forecast trends or breaking down severe events.

According to AccuWeather, their TV app saw a 138% increase in active users from 2020 to 2021, showing rapidly growing popularity on smart TVs. Having constantly updated forecasts, radar maps, and alerts conveniently on your TV lets you plan your day accordingly and stay safe in severe weather. For these reasons, AccuWeather is a must-have smart TV app.

4. YouTube – Home of Endless Video Entertainment

What list of essential smart TV apps would be complete without YouTube? As Google‘s massively popular video platform, YouTube needs no introduction, offering unlimited on-demand video covering every topic imaginable.

YouTube confirmed that over 1.5 billion logged-in users visit the platform each month. On mobile alone, YouTube reaches over 2 billion monthly active users. While smartphone screens suffice for brief viewing, to truly experience YouTube properly, you need a big high-def TV display.

Catching up on your favorite creators‘ latest uploads, playing music video playlists, or streaming live events is far more immersive on a TV than phone or laptop. Voice commands also make searching and browsing YouTube quicker than typing on a remote.

YouTube on smart TVs comes equipped with Premieres, allowing you to re-watch live streams on demand. There‘s also a "New to you" section with curated content based on your interests and "Most Liked" charts to see trending videos.

YouTube on a TV provides a superior communal viewing experience, perfect for gatherings or casually killing time. Add it your smart TV to always have a bottomless supply of engaging videos at your fingertips.

5. Peloton App – Studio-Style Workouts at Home

For at-home fitness, the Peloton App delivers studio-quality classes in various lengths and genres directly to your smart TV. Peloton is best known for their luxury exercise bikes and treadmills. But their app provides users unmatched variety and quality of workout content without the pricey hardware.

Peloton reported reaching over 5.9 million members in 2019. Their library includes over 10,000 instructor-led classes spanning cycling, bootcamp, strength training, yoga, pilates, stretching, walking, running, and more. The instructors provide expert coaching and motivation to push you to your limits.

Having Peloton workouts on the big screen makes it feel like you‘re right there in the studio with the energy pumping instructor and classmates. You can clearly see the exercises and match the instructor‘s pace in real-time vs trying to follow along on a phone screen.

While the Peloton Bike and Tread start at over $1,400, their app only costs $12.99 per month. This makes it one of the most cost-effective and convenient ways of getting unlimited access to premier workouts. For at-home fitness fanatics, Peloton is a must-have smart TV app.

6. Spotify – The World‘s Music Library

What list of smart TV apps would be complete without the music streaming giant Spotify? With over 82 million tracks and 3.6 million podcasts as of 2022, Spotify boasts an unmatched catalog of on-demand audio content. Streaming music on your TV allows you to pump out playlists through your home audio system and speakers for a concert or dance party vibe.

In addition to music, Spotify is uniquely designed for music discovery via personalized playlists, stations, and daily recommendations tailored to your taste. This means you‘ll always be finding new favorite songs and artists. Controlling playback through Spotify‘s mobile app makes queuing up songs and playlists to your TV seamless.

An underrated feature of Spotify on smart TVs is the ability to play music videos and concerts on the big screen. Losing yourself in an high-energy live performance video in stunning HD paired with audio pumping through your sound system is an unparalleled listening experience that Spotify enables flawlessly.

And at just $9.99 a month, Spotify Premium is a steal compared to shelling out for individual albums and songs. For unlimited, ad-free access to new music constantly updated to match your preferences, Spotify is a must-have on any music lover‘s smart TV.

7. Sling TV – Affordable Live TV Streaming

Last but not least in our essential smart TV apps is Sling TV for affordably streaming live television over the internet. As more consumers cut cable and satellite, on-demand streaming services like Netflix and Prime Video have taken over. But Sling TV provides cable-like live TV at a fraction of the price.

Sling offers two base packages: Sling Orange with 30+ channels for $35/month and Sling Blue with 40+ channels also for $35/month. Premium add-ons for sports, comedy, lifestyle, and more start at just $6/month. This a la carte flexibility means you only pay for the content you actually watch. According to Sling, this can amount to 50% savings over traditional pay TV.

The Sling TV app‘s interface makes flipping through channels feel like classic cable TV combined with on-demand streaming. Cloud DVR lets you record shows and watch anytime. Sling also streams on multiple devices so you can watch on-the-go. For affordable live TV without lock-in contracts or hidden fees, Sling TV is a game-changing smart TV app.


While today‘s smart TVs open up a whole world of apps and streaming services to choose from, it can be a challenge finding the ones that are truly essential and worth your time. This list of the top 7 must-have smart TV apps covers all your bases – from unmatched media libraries with Plex to staying fit with Peloton, streaming music on Spotify, and more.

With these apps installed on your smart TV, you‘ll unlock a wealth of entertainment, information, and utility with just a click. So the next time you‘re browsing your smart TV‘s app store, make sure to grab these highly-rated picks to upgrade your viewing experience. Pair them with subscriptions to services like Netflix or Prime Video, and your smart TV will offer endless enjoyment for years to come.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.