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Author Topic: Can you help me with my new smart TV?  (Read 58657 times)

Offline Pmb

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Can you help me with my new smart TV?
« on: 24/03/2014 08:24:20 »
Howdy, folks.

I just bought myself a smart TV. The instructions on how to use it vary from horrifically bad to none existent. What I what to be able to do is to stream Network TV channels and programs to my TV. But I can't figure this out for the life of me. Does anybody here have any knowledge about this and/or smart TVs? Thanks.

Pete
« Last Edit: 05/06/2014 13:55:10 by Georgia »


 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #1 on: 24/03/2014 09:35:50 »
Most modern TVs have a HDMI video interface. So the simplest solution is to take some general-purpose computer that you already have connected to the internet, and attach your TV as an extra-large external monitor. On a Windows computer, the external monitor settings  are in the Control Panel-> Display/Screen Resolution settings.

This should work, but it will only use a small fraction of the capabilities of your new smart TV.

Smart TVs are able to access the internet directly.
  • For watching high-quality video, a high-speed internet connection is best; however at peak hour (around 7-10pm in residential areas), even high-speed services can slow to a crawl*....
  • You need to connect your TV to the internet gateway. Today's gateways often have a WiFi antenna, and a number of RJ connectors.
    • You can use WiFi, but it is likely to suffer interference when you turn on the microwave, or if your neighbor starts downloading a big file on his WiFi (try to pick a channel separated from your neighbor's channel by at least 2).
    • It will probably work better if you have a wired connection, using an Ethernet cable from your local home electronics shop.

You will also need an antenna to receive "Free to Air" TV - there is usually some automatic tuning option which will find your local TV stations.

You will probably need a Cable TV Set Top Box if you are interested in those channels. (But don't try balancing the "Set Top Box" on today's thin-screen TV panels!)

...but maybe you just need to ask a 10-year old to set it up - they never read the instructions anyway. (But watch over their shoulder to see the "return to factory settings" menu, just in case they really mess it up.)

What problems are you experiencing?

*It's an unfortunate historical term, but most residential internet services are called "Best Efforts", which really means "Almost No Efforts".
« Last Edit: 24/03/2014 10:49:28 by evan_au »
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #2 on: 24/03/2014 12:11:47 »
Most modern TVs have a HDMI video interface. So the simplest solution is to take some general-purpose computer that you already have connected to the internet, and attach your TV as an extra-large external monitor.
Since that was the most obvious thing to do it was the very first thing I tried. While it can be done and I have used I this way I'm looking for something less cumbersome and more efficient. E.g. every time I want to use the TV as a monitor I have to unplug my PC monitor from my computer and attached the TV, by hand. This also means that the computer speakers is used for sound instead of the TV speakers. I also want to be able to do this from my remote as much as possible and leave the cable swapping to a minimum .

It's also very odd watching TV in front of me and having the sound come at me from the left side of the room.

Quote
This should work, but it will only use a small fraction of the capabilities of your new smart TV.
I just shelled out a huge amount of money for this TV (it's a 70" TV :) ) so I want to get as much out of the smart part of it as I can.

Quote
Smart TVs are able to access the internet directly.
  • For watching high-quality video, a high-speed internet connection is best; however at peak hour (around 7-10pm in residential areas), even high-speed services can slow to a crawl*....
  • You need to connect your TV to the internet gateway. Today's gateways often have a WiFi antenna, and a number of RJ connectors.
    • You can use WiFi, but it is likely to suffer interference when you turn on the microwave, or if your neighbor starts downloading a big file on his WiFi (try to pick a channel separated from your neighbor's channel by at least 2).
    • It will probably work better if you have a wired connection, using an Ethernet cable from your local home electronics shop.
I use the Ethernet connection since its faster than Wi Fi. I have a connection speed of about 55Mbps (download)/11MBps (upload).

Quote
You will also need an antenna to receive "Free to Air" TV - there is usually some automatic tuning option which will find your local TV stations.
Already shopping for one. I want to cut off my cable bill. They're getting too fat. I'm going to use them for just the phone and internet.

Quote
What problems are you experiencing?
I'm supposed to be able to switch the TV to see the computer desktop with one of the HDMI cables but while I do see the desktop there's nothing on it and no cursor. Something's screwy. The TV doesn't work according to how the manual says it should. I gotta call them someday about it.
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #3 on: 24/03/2014 14:03:19 »
"You will also need an antenna to receive "Free to Air" TV - there is usually some automatic tuning option which will find your local TV stations"
I live 15Km from a "Freeview" transmitter and get good pictures on the proverbable bit of wet string so don't feel you need an ostentatious array pre amps etc.
Many modern TV's will run pictures from an USB and much interesting media can be downloaded from the Internet (if the TV has an USB socket but the function has been removed for commercial reasons I know how to get it back)!
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #4 on: 24/03/2014 20:14:20 »
Quote
while I do see the desktop there's nothing on it and no cursor
There are two (or three) modes for an external screen:
  • Extend the computer's  primary screen: The icons remain on the original screen, and the extra screen is a blank slate where you can drag items to view. By setting the extra screen as the primary screen, your icons will appear on the TV screen.
  • Duplicate the computer's primary screen: This limits you to whatever resolution is on the primary screen (usually lower than what the TV can do).
  • Single screen: Just use the external screen.

You may also need to get a better graphics card - some older computers don't have enough video memory to fill a HD screen at maximum resolution.

Quote
It's also very odd watching TV in front of me and having the sound come at me from the left side of the room.
You can connect the computer's audio output to the audio input of the TV. This will mute the computers, and activate the TV's internal speakers.
But it's awkward to plug/unplug.

I assume that you haven't had success getting the TV to access the internet by itself?
This normally requires the TV to issue a DHCP request to your residential gateway, to have an IP address allocated.
It should be possible to see from the TV what its IP address is. You can often examine the residential gateway to see what IP addresses it has allocated.

Some older internet services use an Ethernet switch instead of a residential gateway. These services expect the computer to have a "PPPoE Client" with a username and password to access the internet and have an IP address allocated. In this case, you may need to enable a PPP client on the TV and enter the username/password - but some of these older services are very restrictive about what devices you attach.
« Last Edit: 24/03/2014 20:28:33 by evan_au »
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #5 on: 25/03/2014 09:01:35 »
What is the make and model of your TV, if the instruction manual is available on the internet I would like to have a read of it.
« Last Edit: 25/03/2014 09:07:44 by syhprum »
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #6 on: 25/03/2014 18:29:29 »
PS: Another possible source of incompatibility with the internet:
- Newer TVs may be able to use IPv6, which doesn't require older techniques like PPPoE or DHCP to allocate an IP address.
- However, older residential gateways (and older internet services) may only support IPv4.
- You may need to see if your new TV has an "IPv4" setting to access the internet.

I heard that some smart TVs first access their manufacturer's website, to download the latest software updates. This could take some time, once initial connectivity is established.
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #7 on: 26/03/2014 23:48:39 »
What is the make and model of your TV, if the instruction manual is available on the internet I would like to have a read of it.
It's a Sharp Aquos 70" Smart TV model LC-70LE650U

When the Rent-A-Center people came to pick up the TV I was renting they showed me how to use the TV as a second monitor. Basically, when the desktop is showing, place the mouse pointer over the desktop background and right-click the mouse, then right click "Screen resolution" which will then open a pop-up window. Under "Multiple displays" I then select "Extend these displays" and then the mouse can go between two screens. The second screen I use for the HDMI output which has an HDMI socket on the back of the computer and that connects to the smart TV. Then click "input" on the TV remote and select the input which has the HDMI cable going to the smart TV. I can then watch on TV whatever I see on that second screen. :)
« Last Edit: 26/03/2014 23:55:46 by Pmb »
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #8 on: 27/03/2014 10:50:04 »
Without wanting to promote any particular brand of smart TV, this particular model has:
  • An antenna for digital or analogue TV.
  • It can connect to the internet via a residential gateway: Either WiFi (preferably with the TV in the same room as the gateway*) or via Ethernet cable (maximum range 100m)
  • They want you to download their app to your smartphone. This can act as a remote control for the TV, plus you can show people photos and videos taken on your phone.
  • It can play videos from a USB stick or a DVD player
  • Some "features" like Netflix will require you to take out a subscription with a different organisation.
  • It has a downloads page so you can download the latest software (it even fixes a bug where the software download doesn't work!)
    It has a manual, but like a lot of modern computerised devices, the real instructions actually appear on the screen (after you reach the right menu).

*To connect via WiFi, you will need to enter a security code on the TV (this code would have come with your residential gateway); some residential gateways have a button that gives a limited time for new devices to connect, without entering long security codes.

Footnote: They make a lot of their 4 million:1 dynamic contrast ratio. To fully experience this, you will need to watch it in a darkened room. And take off your glasses, because the reflected light will impair the contrast ratio. (Just to be sure, squint, so there will be less light reflected from your eyeballs. ;) )
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #9 on: 27/03/2014 21:00:21 »
My 4 year old LG TV is not smart and has no RJ45 connection although I have coaxed it into running video from an USB
I have a TECHWOOD HD set top box with HDMI output and such a connector but when I connect it to the Internet modem it recognises that there is a good connection and says it will connect dynamic but nothing happens
Do I need a special remote control ?
« Last Edit: 28/03/2014 21:05:04 by syhprum »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #10 on: 28/03/2014 05:47:29 »
I still have a not-so-smart CRT at home. 

However I tinkered a bit with a Visio and Samsung "smart" network-ready TV with the network cable. 

Just plugged the network cable into a mini-hub/mini-switch, and got multiple network connections.  One net connection to the computer, one to the TV. 

I didn't do TV over the internet, but Netflix was pretty straight forward. 

The friend had an external satellite tuner.  The Visio had troubles with the aspect ratio when I connected it to the satellite tuner via antenna input, but worked fine when using the red/white/yellow composite cables.

A lot seems to happen with the remotes.

There are also some "smart TVs" that use WIFI, although it would seem to me that if it is in a fixed place and it is possible to get network cables to the TV, then one should just use hard-wired.  I haven't tried wireless config, but you would need your local WIFI configuration. 

I haven't dealt with for a while, but there are some broadband network connections that seem to supply only a single IP, and they give fits when plugging in multiple computers or devices.  In this case, a ROUTER is more appropriate than a hub or switch.



 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #11 on: 28/03/2014 08:55:29 »
Quote
it says it will connect dynamic but nothing happens

This is probably referring to DHCP = Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.

This protocol allows the TV to request an IP (Internet Protocol) address, so it can send and receive information to the internet.

If nothing responds to the DHCP request, the TV may just keep requesting forever. You probably need to configure a DHCP server in your residential gateway.

IPv4 addresses are 32 bits long, and they are starting to become a bit scarce, so internet service providers may be reluctant to give you more than one of them. However, if you have a router and a DHCP Server in the residential gateway, the internet service allocates 1 IP address to the gateway, and the gateway can allocate a number of "local" IP addresses to devices in your home.

IPv6 has 128-bit addresses and is far from running out; it has mechanisms to allow any new device to allocate itself an IP address.
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #12 on: 28/03/2014 21:03:05 »
My TECHWOOD HD set top box is about 5 years old before the IPv6 era, I have ordered some RJ45 cable extenders and will try it as the only device on the circuit both with the new modem that Virgin have supplied and the original one that they supplied in 2007 when they arrive.
I have scoured the internet for information but can find nothing about how this RJ45 input is meant to be used.
I tried to communicate with the set top box via a programmable "Magic" remote with no luck although it would auto detect other TV,s no problem.
I can tell the box to auto tune with the regular remote no problem but it only looks for UHF channels.
 

Offline Omaughuntinaser

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #13 on: 31/03/2014 14:53:08 »
throw everything away with'smart' for its name.
It's all agenda 21!!

these kind of tv's have camera's installed!
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #14 on: 04/04/2014 22:28:54 »
throw everything away with'smart' for its name.
It's all agenda 21!!

these kind of tv's have camera's installed!
That's the worst advice I've seen this week. Getting a smart TV has saved me a lot of money and made entertainment regarding TV and movies easier and I get a great deal more out of it.
 

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Re: Need help with my new smart TV
« Reply #14 on: 04/04/2014 22:28:54 »

 

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