TV's Answer Man
What Is a Smart TV? How Do I Connect It?
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
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
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
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
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
For more information and products that help you get the most of
a Smart TV set-top, check out
this page from Amazon.com