Connected TV Platforms: List of Top CTV Providers (2024)

Last Updated: June 11, 20247.2 min readCategories: Connected TV (CTV), Marketing

Connected TV platforms have revolutionized how we consume media, offering a dynamic and interactive viewing experience. As digital marketers seek new ways to engage audiences, understanding the benefits and capabilities of various CTV providers becomes essential.

This article explores the top connected TV platforms, comparing their features and advantages to help you make informed decisions for your marketing strategies.

What Is a Connected TV Platform?

Connected TV platforms refer to any device that allows users to stream video content via the internet directly to their television sets.

These platforms include smart TVs, streaming media players, gaming consoles, and other internet-enabled devices. By integrating traditional television with digital streaming capabilities, connected TV platforms offer a seamless and versatile viewing experience.

Connected TV vs Over-The-Top (OTT)

Over-the-top (OTT) refers to the delivery of video content directly over the Internet, regardless of the device, bypassing traditional cable or satellite providers.

The primary difference is that while OTT can be accessed on various devices including mobile phones and computers, connected TV specifically refers to streaming on television sets.

With that said, this article will also cover some of the popular OTT devices and platforms that can be used for video-on-demand (SVOD, AVOD, TVOD).

Connected TV vs Linear TV

Linear TV is the traditional broadcast television model where content is delivered in scheduled programming slots.

In contrast, connected TV platforms offer on-demand viewing, allowing users to watch content whenever they choose.

Benefits of Connected TV Platforms

Connected TV platforms offer a range of benefits that enhance the viewing experience and provide more personalized and interactive content options. Some of its advantages are:

Enhanced Viewing Experience

Connected TV platforms deliver high-quality video and audio, offering an immersive experience that surpasses traditional television. With features like 4K resolution and HDR, viewers enjoy crystal-clear visuals and vibrant colors.

Targeted Content Delivery

These platforms enable precise content targeting based on user preferences and viewing habits. This personalized approach ensures that audiences receive relevant content, enhancing engagement and satisfaction.

Seamless Integration with Smart Devices

Connected TV platforms easily integrate with other smart devices in the home, creating a unified entertainment ecosystem. Users can control their TV, stream content, and interact with other devices through a single interface.

Access to a Wide Range of Streaming Services

Connected TVs provide access to numerous streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more. This extensive library of content ensures that viewers have endless entertainment options at their fingertips.

Advanced Interactive Features

Connected TV platforms offer interactive features such as voice control, personalized recommendations, and real-time social media integration. These features enhance user engagement and make the viewing experience more interactive and enjoyable.

Now, let’s move on to our list of connected TV platforms and providers.

1. Smart TVs

Smart TVs are televisions with built-in internet connectivity and integrated apps, allowing users to stream content directly without needing additional devices. They often come with advanced features such as voice control, personalized recommendations, and access to a wide range of preinstalled streaming services.

  • Samsung: Known for their high-quality displays and robust Smart Hub interface, Samsung smart TVs offer seamless integration with a variety of apps and devices.
  • LG: LG’s smart TVs are powered by the webOS platform, providing a user-friendly interface and compatibility with major streaming services.
  • Sony: Sony smart TVs utilize the Android TV platform, delivering a comprehensive entertainment experience with access to Google Play and built-in Google Assistant.
  • Vizio: Vizio’s SmartCast platform offers a range of streaming options and supports both Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay for versatile connectivity.

2. Streaming Media Players

Streaming media players are standalone devices that connect to televisions via HDMI, enabling users to stream content from the internet. These devices often come with dedicated remote controls and support various streaming services, making them a flexible option for upgrading non-smart TVs.

  • Roku: Roku devices are known for their user-friendly interface and access to a vast library of streaming channels, including free ad-supported streaming and subscription-based services.
  • Amazon Fire TV: Amazon Fire TV offers robust integration with Alexa, allowing for voice-controlled searches and seamless access to Amazon Prime Video and other popular apps.
  • Apple TV: Apple TV, and now its 4K successor, is renowned for its sleek design and integration with the Apple ecosystem, providing access to Apple TV+, iTunes, and the App Store.
  • Google Chromecast: Chromecast allows users to cast content from their smartphones or tablets directly to their TVs, offering a simple and versatile streaming solution.
  • NVIDIA Shield: NVIDIA Shield is a powerful streaming player with advanced gaming capabilities, support for 4K HDR content, and access to Google Play.

3. Gaming Consoles

Gaming consoles are multifunctional devices primarily designed for playing video games but also support streaming media through various apps and services. They provide high-performance hardware, making them capable of delivering high-quality streaming content in addition to immersive gaming experiences.

  • PlayStation: Sony’s PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 offer 4K streaming capabilities, a robust game library, and access to popular streaming apps like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu.
  • Xbox: Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Xbox One deliver superior performance for both gaming and streaming, with support for 4K resolution and access to a wide range of media apps.
  • Nintendo: The Nintendo Switch provides versatile handheld and docked gaming modes, along with streaming apps like Hulu for on-the-go or at-home entertainment.

4. Computers and Laptops

Computers and laptops serve as versatile connected TV platforms, allowing users to stream content through web browsers and dedicated apps. They offer high-resolution displays and powerful processors, making them ideal for both work and entertainment.

  • Apple: MacBooks and iMacs provide high-quality displays and seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem, supporting a wide range of streaming services through Safari and dedicated apps.
  • Dell: Dell laptops and desktops are known for their reliability and performance, offering users a solid platform for streaming media via popular browsers and apps.
  • HP: HP’s range of laptops and PCs deliver robust performance and high-resolution screens, making them excellent for streaming content from various online platforms.
  • Lenovo: Lenovo devices, including the ThinkPad and Yoga series, combine versatility and power, providing an optimal experience for streaming and multitasking.
  • Acer: Acer laptops and desktops offer affordable options with good performance, suitable for streaming high-definition content and browsing the internet.

5. Smartphones and Tablets

Smartphones and tablets are highly portable connected TV platforms, enabling users to stream content on-the-go through dedicated apps and mobile browsers. They offer high-resolution screens and touch interfaces, making them convenient for both personal viewing and casting content to larger displays.

  • Apple: iPhones and iPads provide a seamless streaming experience with high-resolution Retina displays and access to a wide range of apps through the App Store.
  • Samsung: Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets feature vibrant Super AMOLED displays and robust performance, supporting all major streaming services.
  • Google: Pixel phones and Pixel Slate tablets offer a pure Android experience with quick access to streaming apps and Google services.
  • Huawei: Huawei smartphones and tablets, such as the Mate series and MediaPad, combine sleek designs with powerful hardware for smooth streaming.
  • Amazon: Kindle Fire tablets are affordable options with access to Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services through the Amazon Appstore.

6. Set-Top Boxes

Set-top boxes are often provided by cable or telecom companies, combining traditional TV services with internet-based streaming to offer a hybrid viewing experience. These devices enable users to access live television, on-demand content, and various streaming services through a single interface.

How CTV Platforms Affect Advertisers

The growth of CTV platforms is significantly reshaping the landscape of TV advertising. As more viewers shift from traditional television to streaming TV services, advertisers are increasingly investing in streaming TV advertising to reach these audiences.

Connected TV growth provides marketers with advanced targeting capabilities, allowing for more personalized and effective ad campaigns. This shift also enables advertisers to gather detailed analytics on viewer behavior, enhancing the precision and impact of their TV advertising efforts.

The interactive nature of CTV platforms also opens up new opportunities for engaging viewers in innovative ways, making television advertising more dynamic and measurable than ever before. These platforms help lower TV advertising costs making it more accessible to small businesses.

CTV Platforms: Final Thoughts

Connected TV platforms have transformed the way we consume media, offering a blend of traditional television and modern streaming services. By understanding the various options available, from smart TVs and streaming media players to gaming consoles, computers, smartphones, and set-top boxes, marketers can better tailor their strategies to reach diverse audiences through connected TV advertising platforms.

Did you find this article helpful? Give it a share!

News Via Inbox

Get our monthly report on all the latest and greatest trends in digital marketing.