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New Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-01-2017

Smart TV for dummies

I'm very interested in not needing a tv provider but have no idea how any of the other options work, I'm quite tech illiterate, for lack of a better way of putting it so could use some help. Looking at all the info it looks like the easiest option would be a smart tv, but I'm clueless as to how they work. I see they have apps for several content providers built in but that's all I understand.

 

Do you have to subscribe to the individual providers to access the content?

 

Do you have to actually plug a cable into it or do you hook it up to the internet via wireless?

 

Do you have to set it up immediately after purchase or can it sit for a while? Meaning could I purchase one now and get it set up this summer when my tv viewing is reduced?

 

If you watch tv shows on your local channels would NetFlix and Hulu cover those shows? 

 

Could someone help me with figuring this out so we can kick directv out the door? We've had nothing but problems with them for years, shows constantly cutting out, remote and or receiver not working/communicating, one particular channel cutting out on and off, screen going black when changing the channel and taking way too long for it to come up, no sound, so we would really like to dump them once our contract is up but as I said, I'm clueless on how the other options work and reading about them just confuses me more.

 

Thank you for your help.  

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 4,109
Registered: ‎02-25-2013

Re: Smart TV for dummies

My wife and I are also considering cutting the cable.  I will try to address your questions. There are SMART TV's which have something like a web browser built in.  Or you can purchase an AppleTV, or ROKU or some such.  It plugs into your TV and you use the remote to browse channels.  Internet is required. I strongly recommend hard wire instead of WiFi if possible.  I will use Roku for my examples because that is what we have.

 

Do you have to subscribe to the individual providers to access the content?

 

 

What you need to be aware of is Roku can access all of your broadcast channels.  However, if you do not have a cable subscription you cannot access them.  In order to connect to them you have to enter your valid provider email address.  CBS on the other hand requires a $5 a month fee.  Many of the other channels also require cable provider.

 

Do you have to actually plug a cable into it or do you hook it up to the internet via wireless?

 

You can use Wi-Fi.  However, connecting via an ethernet cable is greatly desired as it will signifianlyt reduce lag time.

 

Do you have to set it up immediately after purchase or can it sit for a while? Meaning could I purchase one now and get it set up this summer when my tv viewing is reduced?

 

You can hook it up whenever you want

 

If you watch tv shows on your local channels would NetFlix and Hulu cover those shows? 

 

Netflix will not cover local channels.  Free Hulu covers some shows. Monthly subscription to Hulu will cover more.

 

Do you have the ability to go straight antenna?

 

 

Please leave Kudo’s if you like a post or click Accept as Solution if a post answers your query. I am not an employee of Best Buy and all opinions left on this forum are my own.
Posts: 463
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Registered: ‎10-10-2012

Re: Smart TV for dummies

Hey Shiva,

 

Welcome to the community, and thanks for posting! Before coming to Best Buy's social media team I used to work in Home Theater at one of our stores. It's been a little while, but I'm happy to dust off that section of my brain and see if I can help out. Either way, we have some other experts around who may also be able provide some context, along with Mariah, our resident Home Theater expert, who I'm trusting to cover anything I miss Smiley Happy

 

  • Streaming applications will typically require different subscriptions, but they tend to be a lot cheaper than a cable/satellite plan. Examples would be appls like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Sling TV, etc.

 

  • Plugging in depends on the device you're getting your "Smart" capabilities from. Many TVs have apps built in with wireless capability, or you can always look at wireless streaming devices that can plug into an existing TV and get you the same features. Something like a Roku or Apple TV could connect your current TV to your WiFi for as low as $30.

 

  • There shouldn't be any rush to getting new devices set up. Furthermore, most of the subscription services I mentioned earlier don't work off contracts, so you can wait to sign up until you're ready to use them!

 

  • To get your local channels, you have a few options. The easiest and most cost-effective option is probably to pick up an antenna, which will allow you to view your local channels for free. However, you can run into some signal issues, similar to what you mentioned with DirecTV (for best results, I'd recommend checking out Mariah's TV Antenna Guide). Otherwise, apps like Hulu and Sling TV (my personal choice) can stream local channels for you, and will typically have episodes available on demand too.

 

If you want to get rid of cable/satellite, you have a ton of options. However, keep in mind streaming video takes extra bandwidth, so you want to make sure your internet is fast enough to handle it. 

 

I hope that covered everything, but don't hesitate to let us know if I missed anything or you have any follow-up questions!

Tony|Social Media Supervisor | Best Buy® Corporate
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New Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-01-2017

Re: Smart TV for dummies

So if I wanted to use Roku I'd need to create an email through my internet provider?

We unfortunately do not have the capability for any type of internet cable. I have spectrum,they only do the kind that goes through a cable like directv so the only option for cable usage would by where the router is, so only one room could use a cable.

I'm not sure how a satellite would work but I'm assuming it would have to be installed somewhere, like the roof? Because the satellite providers employ such wonderful people to install we have three dishes on the roof right now as we had dish then went to directv and each change they installed a new dish but left the old one, and directv we switched twice.

I'm not sure how fast my internet is so will have to call them tomorrow.

So if I want to go the smart tv route I'd have to make sure to get one that's wireless capable then.

Sling has local channels? I checked on them today but didn't see local channels or mention of them, plus they're missing the CW, or seem to be.

I'll have to look into Roku again, I think they're the ones I emailed with no response.

I'd really rather stay away from any extra devices if I can, which is why a smart tv looks like the easiest option for me.
New Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-01-2017

Re: Smart TV for dummies

Satellite should be antenna in the third paragraph, completely mis-typed that!
Posts: 2,603
Topics: 48
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Registered: ‎11-30-2015

Re: Smart TV for dummies

Hi SolarShiva, 

 

I'm happy that Tony was able to swing by and address your initial questions. Your internet provider should allow you to purchase a modem, and router that aren't theirs to use. (This can also eliminate any modem rent you pay for too!)

 

Any subcription based service like Hulu, or Netflix would require you to create an account with an email. Please know any email address you may have would work with that. 

 

To clarify a modem is what pulls your internet signal from the cord in your wall. Then a router is what connects to the modem, and broadcasts that signal for to your Wi-Fi enabled devices to intercept. 

 

Which shows are you interested in viewing? Please note the CW has their own Application that's FREE! Sling TV covers a variety of programing that most individuals enjoy through a cabel provider. 

 

An antenna should be able to pick-up your local networks like ABC, NBC, and FOX.  ABC also has a FREE APP too! Once I know more about which shows you enjoy to watch I'd be able to make a better recommendation on what could be the best options for you. 

 

Depending on your geographic area an antenna can just be set up in your home! I highly suggest the Antenna Buying Guide. It goes over everything of how to determine what you can get in your area for local channels, plus what type of device you'd need to go with. 

 

Respectfully, 

 

 

 

Mariah|Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
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New Member
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎02-10-2017

Re: Smart TV for dummies

Thanks a lot for your help

Spoiler
 
New Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-01-2017

Re: Smart TV for dummies

So I would need to buy a modem or would I be fine with what I have currently? I called my interent provider to verify the speed and they said it would be fast enough for streaming. 

 

Regarding the shows I'm interested in, I watch shows on the SyFy channel, travel channel, fx, tnt, cw, abc, cbs, nbc, fox, Freeform(formberly ABC Family) animal planet, national geographic, probably missed some there as well as I watch shows on other channels from time to time. I would definitely be interested in the apps for the movie channels down the road. 

 

I did stop into a local Best Buy as I had to buy a printer so I asked while I was there. The person that helped me told me about antenna's and mentioned I could either buy one for just an individual tv or buy one for the whole house but someone would have to install it somewhere. I'm sure one for an individual tv would be pretty self explnatory but I'm not sure how you would use an antenna to watch tv. Would you use the source button on your tv/remote to go to it or how does it work? And if you went the individual tv antenna way, could you buy one for each tv or would they interfer with each other? 

Posts: 3,065
Topics: 44
Kudos: 300
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Registered: ‎07-27-2015

Re: Smart TV for dummies

Hi SolarShiva –

 

If you already have WiFi in your home you shouldn’t need to buy a modem or router, as you should already have all the equipment you need to get a streaming device like a Roku connected to the internet for streaming.

 

Based on the channels you mentioned you like watching I think an Antenna for local channels and Sling for the cable channels you mentioned would work well for you. As for watching TV with the antenna you’re spot on. You would use your remote to switch the TV’s source between your streaming device and the antenna, and then change the channels using the remote much like you do now.

 

Finally if you were to get an antenna for each individual TV they would not interfere with each other, so nothing to worry about there. Please let us know if you have any other questions, as we’re happy to help!

Michael|Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
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