There are several options for linking up a smart TV or device (Blu-ray player, set-top box, home theater system or audio product) with your Internet signal:
- Ethernet cable
- Powerline Ethernet adapaters
- Wireless adapters
Get an overview of these in our video,
"Linking TV to the Net."
You will also need a high-speed Internet connection to avoid buffering interruptions to streaming video. While 10Mbps is the minimum recommendation to properly stream HD video, we recommend 20Mbps for advanced capabilities. We also recommend a wireless-N or wireless-N plus router for the best network performance.
Plugging in an Ethernet cable between your modem/router and your smart product will usually provide the fastest, most reliable and most secure connection. This is because you are using a direct link and don't need to worry about distance or potential interference, as with a wireless connection. It should also be your most reliable connection for streaming and downloading movies.
If, however, there is a great distance between your modem/router and your smart product, you'll need to figure out a way to conceal the cable or just live with it snaking through your room(s). Our Geek Squad® professionals can help you get connected. Call 1-888-BestBuy, or visit your local Best Buy store.
Powerline Ethernet Adapters
These Powerline adapters are a clever way to turn your electrical outlets and wiring into a home network. Your first adapter will plug into an outlet and connect to your modem/router via Ethernet cable. Your second adapter will plug into an outlet and connect to your smart product via Ethernet cable.
You will now have a working home network because your Internet connection moves through your electrical wiring and the Powerline adapters are conduits for the signal. This also means you can install multiple adapters throughout your house in order to share the signal (and connect multiple smart devices).
For streaming or downloading movies, Powerline adapters are probably a better option over wireless adapters. This is because you will most likely experience fewer disconnections. Powerline adapters are also a good option when you need to send your signal around a large house or when in-wall wiring is not possible or desirable. However, if you have very old wiring in your house, they may not be the best option.
Another important thing to remember is that Powerline adapters cannot be plugged into surge protectors, as that will interfere with the Internet connection. Instead, you'll need to plug them directly into a wall outlet. To avoid a potential vulnerability in your home theater setup, most of the Monster Power adapters in our assortment have surge protectors built right into them.
Finally, if you live in an apartment, condo or townhome, you may encounter problems using Powerline adapters. This will depend on complicated power supply issues that can exist in certain multi-unit buildings (and that aren't an issue in single-family homes). Our Geek Squad® professionals can help you get connected. Call 1-888-BestBuy, or visit your local Best Buy store.
You can now purchase smart products that are Wi-Fi ready or that have Wi-Fi built in for wireless connectivity with your Internet signal.
Smart products that are Wi-Fi ready require an additional product like a wireless adapter to make a connection. Smart products that are Wi-Fi built in have wireless capability built into them, or else will come packaged with a wireless adapter.
You'll need a Internet connection with a wireless router in order to communicate with a wireless adapter. Simply plug the adapter into your smart product (you may need to configure the adapter in your PC first), call up the appropriate on-screen menu over your HDTV, and type in the password you created when you first set up your wireless router.
One advantage of going wireless is that it cuts down the amount of wiring you'll need compared to using a direct Ethernet connection or Powerline adapters. However, if you have a large house with areas that will be hard to reach with a wireless signal, Powerline adapters might be your better option. Also, for those of you who will be streaming or downloading movies, keep in mind that occasional disconnections might occur using a wireless adapter.
When choosing a wireless adapter for your smart product, be aware that some adapters can be plugged in directly without any pre-configuration, while others may need to be configured in your PC first. And in some cases, certain wireless adapters may not work with your product.
For example, a Samsung LinkStick adapter can be plugged directly into any Samsung smart product. However, this adapter may not work with other manufacturer's products.
As another example, the Linksys WET610N Ethernet bridge will work with any smart product and can be directly connected into some Sony products. However, for the remaining Sony products, and for all other manufacturer's products, this Ethernet bridge must first be configured in your PC for it to work.
As you can see, choosing a compatible wireless adapter requires a bit of research. Use the product detail pages on BestBuy.com and the product specialists in our stores to help find the best adapter for your situation.
Have other questions? Get them answered here.
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