Browsing the Internet with a "Smart" TV

 

Getting Internet through a TV instead of a computer has been a popular idea for years. However, from WebTV "way back" even up through Google TV in 2014, these "thin client" packages often have become dead-end solutions. It's not that the idea's bad, but perhaps because competition has been so fierce and innovation so rapid.

 

Android TV however is now emerging as a preferred method for a lot of people who want Internet access and entertainment, but now find conventional computers to be more stressful than relaxing.

 

Enjoying Internet websites and media via TV basically involves configuring (1) a good high definition flat screen TV with (2) an Android TV box (or equivalent WiFi-capable device).

 

You can rely on the remote control device that comes with your hardware, or you can get a compatible wireless keyboard-mouse device designed for use with (1) and (2). Getting a keyboard type remote can make navigating a whole lot easier than trying "arrow around the place" with a typical remote control.

 

YouTube has some good overview videos - simply search terms like "Android, TV, smart, Internet, box, 2016, 2017" and you'll find a good mix of visual presentations and recommendations.

 

You'll find a lot of competing reviews and recommendations on hardward choice. As a practical matter, most consumers are going to find it easiest to see what's available and affordable throuh a major electronic chain store.

 

Regarding hardware, I suggest sticking with solid manufacturers - the likes of Sony, Samsung, Philips, or Logitech for example - when you're looking at components for your setup.

 

I highly recommend leaving ample open space around and behind your equipment. Getting everything connected or reconfiguring things later is going to be a problem if it requires much lifting, moving or stretching.

 

When you purchase an Android box or remote controller, make sure you get the necessary cables as part of the package or separate purchase. Consider getting cable extenders - extra slack can be twist-tied, but you can't stretch a short cable longer.

 

If you go through a store like Best Buy you can get affordable Geek Squad support as an add-on with your purchase.

 

Getting set up at home is going to consist mainly of (1) placing and connecting a few devices, (2) establishing the WiFi connection with your existing Internet service, (3) tweeking a few default settings, and then (4) navigating to a few websites or online services to set-up or sign-in.

 

Even though your TV and box and remote are not typical computers, occasionally there are likely to be updates in "firmware" or the like than load and install just like a PC or tablet or smart phone. However, this will be a much less frequent and much less disruptive experience than we associate with computer updates.

 

Hope this information is helpful!

Arthur K. Burditt III

(352) 875-7878

akburditt@gmail.com