"Smart tv's"... are web browsers any good? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 03-11-2013, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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My BF is in the market for a new tv, sometime this year. we are both relatively new to the ap features now found on so many devices. We do both have "newish" blu-ray players that use the standard FB, youtube, netflix, hulu, etc...but that doesn't appeal all that much to him, in a tv set. Well, I mean it does appeal, but I guess he was hoping to find a set that had a real browser that would allow him to access the internet in a fashion similar to his computer. Is this truly an option? I've done a little research, and I don't see much out there, that is new information. Most of the articles I read state that browsers on television sets are just not worth it...they are too slow.
Is this the case? Should he not bother looking for that as a feature, in a new set?
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post #2 of 29 Old 03-11-2013, 07:28 PM
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IMO you'd be better off just using your computer, either wired (HDMI) or wirelessly. If you can find a smart tv (which I think is a dumb idea) that does have a rudimentary browser, you're going to be stuck with whatever the mfr uses with little to none customization capabilities.
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post #3 of 29 Old 03-11-2013, 10:56 PM
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Can't speak for the 2013 TVs that are due out soon, but no "Smart TV" provides even a fraction of the utility a computer does. The apps are nice to use with the remote, yeah, but most smart TV sets are slow and the browsers are not that great. Samsung and LG offer the most robust Smart TV platforms, so if you're set on buying a TV, go with one of those brands if the smart TV functionality is important to you. LG & Samsung have dual-core and quad-core SOCs powering their smart TVs, so I would guess that those brands offer the best "browser" available.

As Otto Pylot said, your best bet would be to get a small computer for that room and hook it up wired (HDMI) or wirelessly with WIDI or one of those screen mirroring boxes (I think HP offers one?)

EDIT: HP's Wireless tv connect kit --> here

Good luck!
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post #4 of 29 Old 03-12-2013, 11:29 AM
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You might not need to bother with a Smart TV, as the new separate Google TV boxes are not expensive, and have internet browsers (Google Chrome) built in, and functionality is based on the particular matched wireless keyboard. I have a Logitech Revue, which is now discontinued, but it has a wireless keyboard and an internet browser. New Google TV products are coming out now from several manufacturers (Hisense, Vizio, Sony, among others), which might be a consideration. Some TVs might also come with Google TV built in, but you'd want to look at whether you like the particular wireless keyboard provided, and also how frequent the software updates are for the built-in version of Google TV, as opposed to a stand-alone box.

http://phandroid.com/2012/12/20/buy-hisense-pulse-google-tv
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/google-tv-shootout-sony-nsz-gs7-versus-vizio-co-star
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post #5 of 29 Old 03-12-2013, 01:13 PM
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They can be useful, if you've got the patience of Job to wait for the pages to load.

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post #6 of 29 Old 03-12-2013, 02:23 PM
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Even if one came with a web browser, you'll probably have the TV for years. Firefox from 3 years ago would be the 3.x series. Who knows how many security issues have been fixed since then, not to mention the speed increases and features added since then. If TVs are anything like Android phones you'll be lucky to ever get a firmware update for it, so you'll be stuck with old versions of everything forever. Plus I doubt a TV's browser would let you install AdBlock or any other useful extension.

I see little reason to pay extra for a "smart" TV when better functionality can be added more cheaply with a Roku box, an Android stick computer, a Rasberry Pi running XBMC, or even an HTPC. Plus then you are in control, and you can upgrade without changing your TV.

$180 for the wireless HP kit? Yikes. That's almost enough to build an HTPC dedicated to the TV, and more than enough for one of the solutions above.
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post #7 of 29 Old 03-12-2013, 02:27 PM
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^^^ agreed. Smart tv's are more of a marketing gimmick than anything else. I don't like to be tied to a particular mfrs's apps and their usually less-than-robust approach. My blu-ray player has built-in WiFi and I also have an AppleTV2. Some redundancy there but better variety than most smart tv's. And if I really feel the need to surf on my tv, I'll just connect my laptop and be done with it.
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post #8 of 29 Old 03-12-2013, 02:27 PM
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Don't cell phones have browsers?
Just set the cell phone next to the TV remote. Business as usual. biggrin.gif
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post #9 of 29 Old 03-12-2013, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Don't cell phones have browsers?
Just set the cell phone next to the TV remote. Business as usual. biggrin.gif




Or a 10" tablet. A bit easier to see.
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post #10 of 29 Old 03-12-2013, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Lol. You are assuming that he has a smartphone. In fact, neither of us do.smile.gif

So I read your replies to him, and he said he would be content with using the DVD player aps but was hoping for a better way to interact with them. If you have used the Netflix or YouTube ap maybe you are familiar with the difficulty of searching. Is there anything better?
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post #11 of 29 Old 03-12-2013, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ChessieMom View Post

Lol. You are assuming that he has a smartphone. In fact, neither of us do.smile.gif

So I read your replies to him, and he said he would be content with using the DVD player aps but was hoping for a better way to interact with them. If you have used the Netflix or YouTube ap maybe you are familiar with the difficulty of searching. Is there anything better?

With Netflix, pick out your movies online with a computer and then go to your "Instant Queue" within the app.

For You Tube same principle, create an online account and add videos to your list from the computer. When you open the app on the smart TV device just log in to your account and you should be able to see your list.

If you really want a web browser (other than a PC connected to your TV) this is about the best one I've used yet. http://www.amazon.com/Sony-NSZ-GS7-Internet-Player-Google/dp/B008BDBPTS

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post #12 of 29 Old 03-13-2013, 09:32 AM
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After reading your posts - what I believe your intent is to use a browser to access the items that have apps provided. Using a browser in the TV to access 'Hulu.com' instead of the Hulu app, youtube.com instead of the Youtube app, etc.

What you will find is that the browser itself likely won't function on those sites. You will not be able to play the video on those sites (in most 'smart' built-in browsers) and will need to use the provided apps, in those cases.
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post #13 of 29 Old 03-13-2013, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropkick Murphy View Post

With Netflix, pick out your movies online with a computer and then go to your "Instant Queue" within the app.

True, Netflix was a bad example.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropkick Murphy View Post

For You Tube same principle, create an online account and add videos to your list from the computer. When you open the app on the smart TV device just log in to your account and you should be able to see your list.

I understand that you can make selections from the computer, but that sort of defeats the purpose of even bothering to use the TV. Why use it if you have already searched and viewed it on the computer? Kind of redundant to me.

So I guess that is his main complaint. He likes to search YouTube (he's a car guy...and there are endless videos naturally) and he would like to be able to search, using the TV, in an easier manner. I guess it's just not there yet.
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post #14 of 29 Old 03-13-2013, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eherberg View Post

After reading your posts - what I believe your intent is to use a browser to access the items that have apps provided. Using a browser in the TV to access 'Hulu.com' instead of the Hulu app, youtube.com instead of the Youtube app, etc.

What you will find is that the browser itself likely won't function on those sites. You will not be able to play the video on those sites (in most 'smart' built-in browsers) and will need to use the provided apps, in those cases.


Yes, he knows about the apps....I guess he was just hoping to be able to use the TV as a big screen computer, at least for surfing...but clearly that isn't possible. I'll have to look into the Roku thing...I've heard a lot about it, but I still don't understand what it does.
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post #15 of 29 Old 03-13-2013, 10:13 AM
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Using a computer and sending the video to the TV is the best solution. I've had a D6900 Samsung for over a year now and I can honestly say the Samsung internet browser is a piece of crap. All of Samsung's SmartHub is general crap. It is slow, takes too long to boot, responds poorly to the qwerty remote, etc.
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post #16 of 29 Old 03-13-2013, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Chessie View Post

Yes, he knows about the apps....I guess he was just hoping to be able to use the TV as a big screen computer, at least for surfing...but clearly that isn't possible. I'll have to look into the Roku thing...I've heard a lot about it, but I still don't understand what it does.

That's what I suggested above. If he wants to use his tv for surfing, just connect his laptop or whatever to it. You can use an HDMI cable for that purpose (my son does his chemistry homework at times on the big screen that way, taking the necessary breaks to do what ever else he needs to do) or, if you have an AppleTV and Airplay, you can mirror your computer screen to your tv. Roku, AppleTV, etc are similar devices in that they can stream Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora, etc to your tv via HDMI. The apps are usually much more robust than you will find on a SmartTV.
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post #17 of 29 Old 03-13-2013, 12:34 PM
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If you want to watch YouTube, I think Google TV has integrated it very well. I have a Logitech Review & watch YouTube all the time on my Sharp 70" TV. The Sharp also has You tube built in, but the interface & search features of the google TV/ logitech Revue is much better. You also get the Chrome browser with googleTV. As mentioned in a prior post, there are several new set top boxes out now with Google TV.
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post #18 of 29 Old 03-13-2013, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by oc-rdx View Post

If you want to watch YouTube, I think Google TV has integrated it very well. I have a Logitech Review & watch YouTube all the time on my Sharp 70" TV. The Sharp also has You tube built in, but the interface & search features of the google TV/ logitech Revue is much better. You also get the Chrome browser with googleTV. As mentioned in a prior post, there are several new set top boxes out now with Google TV.

Thanks. I'll look into that.
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post #19 of 29 Old 03-13-2013, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

That's what I suggested above. If he wants to use his tv for surfing, just connect his laptop or whatever to it. 

 

Exactly. The built-in browser's OK if you just want to check your email, or something simple and quick like that (sometimes I would see something on TV that I wanted to look up, like a word's meaning, or research a little on something they're talking about), but if you want anything like a real computer experience, it doesn't really cut it. It's too darned slow, for one thing.

 

If you want it for YouTube and a few, other apps you might be interested in, I'd just add a Google TV box. I've got a Roku and a Logitech Revue hooked up to my TV, and that's enough add-on streamers for me (oh, yeah - the TiVoHD, too). Especially given all that free stuff with the Roku. If the Roku did YouTube, they'd probably sell a zillion more.

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post #20 of 29 Old 03-14-2013, 01:04 PM
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One thing I've noticed when watching YouTube thru Google TV is that I rarely get commercials. When I watch it on my PC, I often get commercials.
Also, the interface with GoogeTV/Logitec Review is better than watching on my PC. It is easier to move on to the next video & to scan thru related videos will still watching another one. Not sure if all googleTV devices are that way or whether Logitec gets credit for that?
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post #21 of 29 Old 03-14-2013, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chessie View Post

Yes, he knows about the apps....I guess he was just hoping to be able to use the TV as a big screen computer, at least for surfing...but clearly that isn't possible. I'll have to look into the Roku thing...I've heard a lot about it, but I still don't understand what it does.
Well you can use the TV as a big screen computer but it means you need to hook up a computer to it. I have been doing it this way for around 6 years now. Nothing beats surfing on a big screen imo.

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post #22 of 29 Old 03-15-2013, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ellisr63 View Post

Well you can use the TV as a big screen computer but it means you need to hook up a computer to it. I have been doing it this way for around 6 years now. Nothing beats surfing on a big screen imo.

That was suggested in posts 2, 3, 7, 15, and 19. It sounds like the OP is looking for something other than a computer to tv connection but her options are considerably limited.
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post #23 of 29 Old 03-16-2013, 07:09 AM
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I will say the only negative I have with my HX750 is the web browser. Its painfully slow so I never use it. All I do is just take our Laptop and hook it up to my tv via HDMI. I rarely if ever do that either because my tv is for watching movies and tv programs only. If I want to go on the internet thats what our laptop is for.
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post #24 of 29 Old 03-16-2013, 08:19 AM
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^^^^ same here. It's fun to do every now and then but attempting to make the tv the all-in-one device for all of your viewing needs is silly imo.
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post #25 of 29 Old 03-16-2013, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

^^^^ same here. It's fun to do every now and then but attempting to make the tv the all-in-one device for all of your viewing needs is silly imo.


+1


Agreed. smile.gif
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post #26 of 29 Old 02-16-2014, 04:21 AM
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Hi people.

 

  I too want a TV with internet capabilities.. Or more so, the ability to watch netflix on the laptop and playboy TV on a 45" TV.  Or surf on the laptop and watch internet movies on the big screen.  All from the laptop maybe with WiDi

And I hear and agree,  the best way to accomplish that is to connect a laptop to a TV.

At one time, I envisioned using a laptop as the head Unit in my car stereo..  But that's another subject.

 

So beyond that...  What would you suggest I look for in a laptop and TV for best results?  

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post #27 of 29 Old 02-16-2014, 04:57 AM
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Make sure the laptop has a HDMI port.
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post #28 of 29 Old 02-16-2014, 05:09 AM
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My old gateway doesn't have a HDMI..  Graphics minimum requirements?

 

Id rather have the capability to connect with the TV wireless.

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post #29 of 29 Old 02-16-2014, 01:45 PM
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Connecting directly to the tv via WiFi, and having your tv display what the laptop has pulled off of the internet can be done but is restrictive. There's the DLNA solution but I think that has limitations as well. I have an AppleTV. So I can mirror what my laptop (MacBook Air) has downloaded and do it that way via WiFi but i rarely need to do that. I just use the AppleTV for all of my movie needs. Of course the ATV is limited as well because you can only use what apps it has (Playboy is not one of them wink.gif) and some of the apps require you to have a subscription (HBO Go for example) but for our viewing habits, that's not an issue. For your situation, the only real answer seems to be HDMI from your laptop to the tv if you want to watch something from the internet on your big screen.
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