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Can a Smart TV Surf the Internet?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (March 24, 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 swann@tvpredictions.com

Q. I've been thinking of buying a Smart TV because it can get Netflix and some other Internet video services. But I was wondering if it can surf the Internet like a computer. Could I go to web sites etc.? -- Mickey, Miami, Florida.

The answer is yes, but let me provide some background first because not all Smart TVs are equal.


The Smart TV can connect to the Internet and deliver an array of video and audio streaming services as well as access to some of your favorite Internet social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. In that respect, it can do many of the things that your computer or tablet can do.

However, most Smart TVs deliver the information via apps, not web browsing. For example, Netflix and Facebook have apps that appear on screen when you turn on your TV's Smart TV page. You can then access your personal accounts on those sites and even update your Facebook or Twitter page right on your TV. But you can't then surf to a random web page unless an app has been created for that page -- and the app is available on your Smart TV. And in general, only top sites have developed apps for smart televisions.

Note: Every Smart TV maker offers a different set of apps, although many are similar such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Pandora. So if you are looking for a specific Internet service to use on a Smart TV, you'll want to do some research before buying to make sure it's there.



Now to get to your question, there are some later model Smart TVs that actually offer web browsing. For example, this
Panasonic 50-inch Plasma Smart TV comes with a browser that supports HTML5 pages; be forewarned, that may not include all your favorite sites.

This
Samsung 55-Inch LED Smart TV also comes with a web browser, one that a CNET TV reviewer said is "
pretty good. Websites are never going to look that great on a TV unless they are designed for their resolutions, but this TV did a good job of rendering the sites I looked at." By the way, you can buy a Samsung wireless keyboard to surf or use the remote.

There are other ways to surf the Internet or your TV such as
connecting your computer to your TV or buying a set-top with a web browser such as this Sony Blu-ray player.


So if you want to surf the Net on your TV, Mickey, yes, you can do it.

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