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TV's Answer Man

What Is a Smart TV? How Do I Connect It?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (January 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 swann@tvpredictions.com

Q. I keep hearing about these Smart TVs that can get Netflix without using DVDs or Blu-ray. How do they work? -- Ellen, Lothian, Maryland

Smart TV is a term used for a television or set-top box that can connect to your home network and allow you to access the Internet, including video streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon or Vudu.

Here's how it works:

If you use a set-top box, you will want one that has Wi-Fi built-in. This allows you to connect to the Internet using your home network without plugging your Internet cable directly to the TV or set-top. (If you don't have a home network installed,
here's a guide on how to do it.)

With a Wi-Fi built-in set-top, such as this
Blu-ray player, you connect the box to your TV just like you would with any DVD or Blu-ray player. Then, after turning on your TV and tuning to the source (HDMI or component) where the player is connected, you hit the Menu button of your player and search for the header that says Connect or Internet (Every one is a little different so just look for the Header that suggests connecting to the Internet.) Click on that header and your player will search for available Internet connections in or near your home. Look on the screen for the one that has your home network's name and click on it. The player will then begin connecting to your home network. (If your home network has a lock on it, you will get a prompt to type in your password.)

Once you are connected, go back to the Menu of your set-top box and search for the header that says Video or the name of an Internet program service, such as Netflix. Click on the video service of your choice and you will get on-screen instructions on how to set up an account. If you already have an account, you can type in your account name and password.

If you use a TV to access the Internet rather than a set-top, the steps are pretty similar if the TV has Wi-Fi built-in, such as
this one,

If you use a TV that does not have Wi-Fi built-in, but is Internet capable, it will probably come with what's known as a dongle. The dongle is a small antenna that plugs into the USB port of your TV and allows your set to capture the signal of your home network.

For more information and products that help you get the most of a Smart TV set-top, check out
this page from Amazon.com

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