Breakthroughs in technology are creating opportunities for consumers to expand the capabilities of their television-viewing experiences. One notable technological development is the introduction of internet-capable TVs. To connect the Internet to a TV, owners need to have an Internet-ready TV, Internet access, an Ethernet or wireless connection, and a remote device that can initialize the Internet menus on the televisions. A number of other devices and services are valuable to enhance a user's experience, but these items are not mandatory for operating an Internet-ready TV. Buyers can find the tools they need to access the Internet through their TVs at local big-box stores, mass retail and department stores, and electronic shops. For buyers that favor the convenience and variety of online shopping, eBay is a great option that carries Internet-ready TVs and accessories from a wide range of manufacturers.
Connecting a TV Directly to the Internet
A distinction must be made when discussing connecting a TV directly to the Internet versus connecting a computer or laptop to a TV. Direct Internet access supplies users with more options that are uniquely tailored to the TV-viewing experience. In contrast, a computer or laptop can be connected to a TV, which turns the television into a type of projector. Doing this provides users with limited functions and might compromise the integrity of the TV's picture resolution.
People who opt to use their standard TVs as projectors will typically employ computers or laptops that have an HDMI output that can be connected to an HDMI input on the back of their TVs. The connection is made using an HDMI cable. Once the connection is established, users might need to press the Function key plus any key marked "CRT/LCD" on their computer or laptop for the desktop to be shown on the TV screen. Users should remember to experiment with their computer screen's resolution after it is shown on the TV to get the best picture. Although this is a quick way to show a computer's screen on a TV, it is not a proper substitution for a specially developed, Internet-capable TV.
1. A Smart TV
Smart TVs are television models that allow users to have direct Internet access through their television sets. This added feature provides a means for viewers to share digital data with others, stream video, and employ TV-specific apps that are similar to the apps users enjoy on their mobile phones. Often called Internet TVs or Net TVs, Smart TVs are frequently coupled with other advanced TV capacities like high - definition (HD) or 3D. Buyers should not assume, however, that all HD or 3D models are necessarily Internet-ready. When shopping, buyers should look for specific information related to a TV's Internet capabilities to be certain the TV can access the Internet.
2. Internet Access
It might be obvious that Internet access is needed to connect a TV to the Internet, but Internet-capable TV owners should be aware that the type of Internet access they have will directly impact their Smart TV's performance. Dial-up Internet access might not be fast enough to handle the transmission of certain types of data, particularly HD video, without having problems. Broadband access is preferable, but broadband speeds lower than 6Mbps still might have problems transmitting large files. To stream online HD video without intermittent buffering, a broadband speed of 10Mbps is recommended.
3. The Right Connection Type
Internet-ready TVs will typically have two options available to connect with the Internet: an Ethernet port connection and a wireless connection. Both types of connections have a number of pros and cons, so Smart TV users should carefully weigh their options before deciding which type of connection to choose.
Ethernet Port Connection
An Ethernet port connection is maintained by hooking a Smart TV up to an Internet router through an Ethernet cable. To do this, users must look on the back or sides of their TVs to locate the Ethernet port, which could also be called a LAN port. The Ethernet cable is inserted into the port and then connected to a user's Internet router.
There are both benefits and drawbacks to using an Ethernet port connection. An Ethernet port connection provides more reliable connectivity than a wireless connection, but also limits where an Internet router can be placed in relation to a TV. Often, buyers can use a long Ethernet cable to establish connectivity, but this solution might cause problems if the wire needs to clear a doorway or cover open spaces between rooms.
Many Smart TVs come equipped to access an Internet router's wireless capacities if wireless connections are supported by a user's Internet package. If a buyer purchases a Smart TV that does not feature wireless connections, an external TV wireless adapter can be added to the TV to support wireless connectivity. Wireless connections are beneficial because they free users from the spatial constraints often associated with connections maintained via Ethernet cables. There might be problems, however, with streaming HD video through a wireless connection without video stutters occurring.
4. Remote Device for Initiating Internet Access
When buyers purchase an Internet-ready TV, a proprietary remote control will be included as part of the TV package. These remote controls typically feature a button that launches the Smart TV's Internet menus. Each Smart TV manufacturer has a different user interface for accessing the Internet. Some employ a system of windows that allow users to choose options, while others utilize a dashboard or vertical menu scheme.
Other Remote Options
A Smart TV's Internet menus can be highly personalized to each owner. To make managing the menus easier, some Internet TV manufacturers offer users options to supplement operating the TV via remote control.
Remote Devices That Can Be Used on Smart TVs
Control a Smart TV's menu options from a mobile phone that has been updated with a manufacturer's software
Control a Smart TV's menu options by establishing both the tablet and the Smart TV on a home network or by installing manufacturer's software on the tablet
Smartphones and tablets supply users with a QWERTY keyboard that comes in handy when naming saved preferences or typing in searches on a Smart TV's menu. It also provides users with a backup to operate their Smart TVs in case their remote controls are lost or need new batteries.
5. Other Options to Improve a Smart TV's Use
Users of Internet-capable TVs can employ a number of other products and services that can enhance their TV-viewing experience. These options are not required to operate an Internet TV, but can extend its functionality and features.
Some Smart TV owners might want to be able to share and stream data or access voice-over-Internet protocol services while using their TVs. To do this, owners can use the digital data-sharing platform that is known as the Digital Living Alliance Network (DLNA) to link their TVs to their computers. The DLNA is a set of standards that allows interoperability between electronic devices like TVs, digital cameras, cell phones, printers, and other devices. When setting up a Smart TV, owners should add it to a home-based network that also includes their computer, so the two devices can work together. Buyers interested in this type of configuration should make sure that any Smart TV they purchase has the DLNA designator included in an overview of its specifications.
Smart TV Apps
Smart TV apps are supplemental benefits that Internet-ready TV owners can use to customize their personal viewing experiences. These apps are typically centered on different interests, like sports, games, video, or lifestyle-related categories. Each separate Smart TV manufacturer offers different apps for their users, so buyers should do some research before choosing a Smart TV to find which manufacturer supplies the apps the buyers would deem most valuable.
Buying Internet-ready TVs and Accessories on eBay
Buyers can utilize eBay's vast supply of Smart TVs and related products to customize their home entertainment system setups. eBay's Television category can supply buyers with TVs that include features like downloadable apps, video calling, Internet browsing, and home network streaming. Buyers can also find accessories like video cables and remote controls in eBay's Consumer Electronics category.
Getting Started on eBay
To take advantage of everything eBay has to offer, buyers should first register to create their own account. Once an account is established, buyers can use a number of the eBay tools found on My eBay to help manage their purchasing activity and communicate with sellers. Buyers should also take advantage of the detailed descriptions sellers provide with each product listing. These descriptions can help determine if Internet-ready TVs and accessories have the right specifications to fulfill a buyer's plans.
Internet-capable TVs allow users to expand the functionality of traditional TVs by providing a means to directly access data from the Internet. Before purchasing a Smart TV, buyers should take some time to understand the processes and logistics involved in setting up an Internet-ready TV connection so they can enjoy their Smart TVs as soon as possible. Five basic products and services, some of which buyers may already have in their homes, are needed to establish and maintain an Internet connection. Buyers can also benefit from a number of other features that improve a Smart TV's functionality when thinking about personalizing their system. When it's time to shop for the perfect model, buyers can find Smart TVs and accessories in a number of local stores and online at marketplaces like eBay, which provides access to a broad assortment of Internet-ready TVs and accessories.