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Things to Know Before You Buy: HD Source

Get info on three different ways to connect your TV to the Internet.

3 Things to Know before buying a Smart TV

Learn about the amazing variety of entertainment you can access with a smart TV.

Linking Smart TV to the Net Linking Smart TV to the Net

Not just for TV anymore Not Just for TV Anymore

Smart TV & Devices FAQs

Why should I buy a smart TV or smart device?

Instant Entertainment

Smart AppsAlong with an Internet connection, almost all smart products can deliver a wide range of instant entertainment to your HDTV (through specialized apps). Stream movies, videos and music, access social networking sites, get the latest news, weather and financial data, or even study fantasy football information.

Web Browser

Smart WebA select list of smart products provide a Web browser that allows you to directly access the Internet without the use of apps. Search for and type in content online using your HDTV, just as you do with your computer.

Multimedia Search

Smart SearchA select list of smart products can combine your TV channels, compatible DVR, apps, the Internet and your home network into one searchable experience (capabilities vary by device). For example, you can type in the name of a TV program, movie or subject, hit search, and quickly see the time and channel it's on, plus any related video content that's available on the Internet.

Learn more in our video Play Video"Not Just for TV Anymore."

So can I surf the Internet, like I do on my computer?

For smart products that only offer instant entertainment, your experience will be different than surfing the Web. On your HDTV, you'll see a variety of icons (apps) that represent movie-streaming services, music-streaming services and so on. The way the apps are presented on your screen will differ from product to product, but the basic interaction is the same. Select the app that interests you and follow the instructions for getting instant entertainment.

For those select smart products that provide a Web browser, you can surf the Internet just like you do with your computer. You can use a keyboard to type into the browser that displays on your HDTV screen, search for content, etc.

What kind of products are smart?

You will only need one smart product to get instant entertainment, although having multiple products may give you a wider range of services to choose from.

What kind of instant entertainment will I be able to watch (or listen to)?

The services that are available differ from product to product, but a few of the possibilities include:

  • Streaming movies from Netflix (subscription required) and CinemaNow
  • Streaming music from Pandora and SiriusXM
  • Watching videos from YouTube
  • Accessing Facebook and Twitter
  • Studying your fantasy sports info
  • Reading news, weather and sports

Be aware that ABC, CBS, NBC and Hulu are currently blocking Google TV devices from streaming full episodes from their respective websites. Their broadcast channels can still, of course, be viewed with no problem. Other select smart devices may possibly block streaming episodes from network TV websites in a similar fashion.

How do I connect my product to the Internet?

  1. You'll need a high-speed Internet connection. While 10Mbps is a minimum recommendation to properly stream HD video, we recommend 20Mbps for advanced capabilities.
  2. We recommend a wireless-N router or wireless-N plus router for the best network performance.
  3. You'll need to establish a wired or wireless connection between your router and your smart product.
Wired Connection
Wired Connection:

Use an Ethernet cable to connect your product to your router. This will provide the fastest, easiest and most reliable connection.

Shop wired connections >

Wireless Connection
Wireless Connection:

Some products, like select Blu-ray players, have built-in Wi-Fi or come packaged with a wireless adapter that plugs into the product's USB port. You can also purchase compatible wireless adapters for many smart products.

Shop wireless connections >

Powerline Adapters
Powerline Adapters:

These clever devices turn your electrical outlets and wiring into a home network. Don't plug them into surge protectors, however, as your flow of data can be greatly reduced or blocked entirely.

Shop powerline adapters >

Read more about connecting smart products.

Read about how Geek Squad® can get your wireless system up and running.

Will my current router and Internet connection work with these products?

  1. Make sure you have a high-speed Internet connection. While 10Mbps is a minimum recommendation to properly stream HD video, we recommend 20Mbps for advanced capabilities. Without the proper speed, your HD movies will likely keep stopping and starting due to buffering.

    Use this Geek Squad® tool to test your current speed.

  2. We recommend a wireless-N router or wireless-N plus router for the best network performance.

Have other questions? Get them answered here.


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