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
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
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
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.
Samsung 55-Inch LED Smart TV
also comes with a web browser, one that a CNET TV reviewer said
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.