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Should I Buy a Smart TV Or Smart TV Player?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (February 14, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I've been thinking about buying a Smart TV so I can watch Netflix streaming video, but a friend tells me that I should just get a Blu-ray player that has Netflix because it would be cheaper. What do you think? -- Tommy, Miami, Florida.

Your friend is right in this respect. If you have a TV you're already happy with, you could get a
Blu-ray player that has built-in Wi-Fi for under $100 and stream Netflix (and other Net TV services) to the set. You wouldn't have to spend hundreds of dollars or more on a new TV.

However, here's where it gets complicated. Some
savvy folks believe a Smart TV, which often costs a bit more than a comparable, non-Smart TV, delivers a better streaming picture than a Smart TV device, such as the Blu-ray player. The theory is that some Blu-ray manufacturers use secondary servers to transmit the signals from the streaming service and therefore the picture may not be quite as sharp or reliable.

(Editor's note: Don't know what a Smart TV is? Read:
What Is a Smart TV? How Do I Connect It?)

Is this true? I have both a Smart TV and a few Smart TV Blu-ray players and I wouldn't say that the picture is necessarily better on one or the other. But there are those people who say the Smart TV does a better job with streaming so keep that in mind.

Bottom line: If you were planning to shop for a new TV anyway -- and streaming is important to you -- go ahead and get a set that offers Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, etc. But, again, if you like your current TV, get a Roku set-top or a Blu-ray player with Wi-Fi. You'll save money and, in my view, be just as happy.

Products to Check Out:
Streaming Blu-ray Players
Smart TVs
Digital Media Players (Including Roku)

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