Making your dumb TV super smart
That's largely because people tend to hang onto their TVs for a long time: nine years on average, compared to three years for computers and 18 months for smartphones. A TV made nine years ago doesn't know about iPlayer, because iPlayer is only eight.
If you have a TV you can't bear to part with but you wish was much smarter - maybe you want to stream to the shed, or let the kids watch Netflix on an old set, or maybe you've got a superb-sounding Sony you don't want to replace with the weedy speakers of so many LED TVs - then there are plenty of ways to smarten up even the simplest sets.
It's easier and cheaper than you might think, and of course it's good for the environment too. Here are 10 ways to make your TV set smarter.
Give it some stick
If your TV has a spare HDMI socket, a TV stick such as Amazon's Fire TV Stick is one of the simplest ways to make your TV smart.
The device costs £35 (£45 if you want the Voice Remote, which you can shout at) and it provides access to iPlayer, Demand 5, BBC News and sport, STV, YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix and Amazon's own video service. We like it a lot. As with all TV streamers, some services such as Netflix also require a separate subscription.
Box it up
Set-top boxes can be really cheap - the Now TV box, which gives you Freeview plus three months of subscription channels, is currently £10 on Amazon - or they can be really clever, such as the £77 Roku 2 streamer or the new £129 Apple TV.
There are some notable omissions among the apps - BBC's iPlayer is conspicuous by its absence from the Apple TV, and Amazon Instant Video doesn't support Roku - but they're particularly good for Netflix and other streaming services.
Connect a console
The Xbox 360 and PS3 both offer decent TV services (the Wii wasn't quite so good due to its lower spec, although it does do iPlayer if you've got one lying around), and it isn't hard to find decent used examples for less than £100.
Their successors, the Xbox One and PS4, are better still - although if your TV isn't huge you're probably better off with the old ones unless you also desperately want to play next-gen titles such as Halo 5.
Use something ancient
Remember XBMC, the open source software that turned original Xboxes into media centres? It's called Kodi these days and runs on all kinds of everything: there are versions for OS X, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android.
With Kodi installed you can watch content stored on the device or on a local network, and it's a great way to turn an obsolete computer or mobile device into a useful part of your home entertainment system. You can use it to play games, too.
Unearth that old iPod
iPods have been able to output video for years, so you can easily copy iTunes purchases or home movies to your iPod and watch them on TV.
If you have an iPod touch, iPod classic, 5th-gen iPod or 3rd-gen iPod nano, the Apple Universal Dock - about £29 on eBay - enables you to control it with an Apple Remote and connect to a TV using either the Apple Composite AV Cable or Apple Component AV Cable.
Apple has produced a comprehensive guide to what works with what on the Apple support website.
Add some Android
We mentioned TV streaming sticks earlier, and if you're an Android user the new and improved Chromecast streamer is a great option for HDMI-enabled TVs (and a handy thing to travel with, as it can turn hotel TVs into Chromecast TVs).
But that's not the only Android option. There's Nvidia's excellent Shield, which is great for gamers as well as a superb TV streamer, while for tighter budgets there are stacks of cheap and cheerful Android-powered TV boxes for around £50, usually running Kodi.
Link your laptop
It's not the most elegant option unless you hide your computer behind the TV, but running a cable from your PC or Mac into the back of your TV adds a whole world of entertainment to your television: if you can get it on your laptop, you can watch it on your TV.
If you've got a smartphone, an app such as Unified Remote enables you to control the laptop or PC without having to get off the sofa.
Blu-Ray players aren't just about higher resolution movies. Smart Blu-Ray players also have internet connectivity, so you can add them to wired or wireless networks and then take advantage of online streaming.
They're not as pricey as you might expect, either: for example a Samsung Blu-Ray player with the ubiquitous iPlayer and Netflix is just £49. If your TV doesn't support Blu-Ray's higher resolution (1080p), you don't need to pay for pricier Blu-Ray movie discs: the players are backwards compatible with DVD.
Make it a node on your network
If the video you want to watch is stored on a local machine - a Mac, say, or a Windows PC - then there are several ways to get it onto your TV. Windows PCs really like streaming to Xbox hardware, while Apple devices like to share with the Apple TV and Android phones like Chromecast.
There's another option, too: DLNA, which is a standard for streaming media across home networks. Windows, OS X and Linux can all stream DLNA, which you can then send to a £20 DLNA receiver, or a box such as a Roku box.
Sign up for Sky
The set-top boxes offered by Sky and Virgin are much smarter than the ones of just a few years ago: not only do they offer must-have features such as pausing and rewinding live TV, series linking programmes and so on, but they offer lots of video on demand options too.
If you're a parent, don't underestimate the power of on-demand Peppa Pig and Mr Tumble; if you're a grown-up, automatically downloading every new Orphan Black is pretty amazing too.