Oftentimes, we interact with customers who have heard about the benefits of owning a smart TV, but they’re unfamiliar with what a smart TV really is. Basically, these “connected TVs” have the ability to be connected to the internet to access your favorite TV/movie streaming services as well as other internet browsing services. But don’t let their advanced functions scare you! If you’re unsure if a smart TV is for you, here is some of the basic need-to-know information for before you make the switch.


Do you need Wi-Fi to be able to use your smart TV?

You don’t necessarily need Wi-Fi, but you do need some type of internet connection, whether you choose a built-in wireless connection or wired ethernet. Wi-Fi does become important, however, when you want to “cast” certain streaming apps to your TV. Depending on the functionality of your smart TV, the only way you might be able to access these apps and put them on your TV is with Wi-Fi.


What does “casting” mean?

Here’s a bit of background: many of our smart TV customers have smartphones or tablets with their favorite streaming apps on them, such as Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu, or more. As we said before, depending on your smart TV’s functionality, you may only be able to “cast” your shows/movies onto your TV through your phone or tablet, not through your TV itself.


So what does it mean to “cast” your shows or movies? Your smart TV will have a “cast” function, just like it would a cable function, HDMI function, and more. Your streaming app (let’s use Netflix as an example) also has a “cast” button, as well. So when you’re ready to watch a movie on Netflix and the TV is in “cast” mode, ensure you’re connected to the same internet as the TV, and all you’ll have to do is tap the “cast” button on the app. The show will then start playing on the TV!


What companies make smart TVs?

Almost all TV manufacturers now produce smart TVs today, including Roku, Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio, Panasonic, Toshiba, and more. We recommend Roku smart TVs to our customers, because they are simple, easy to use, and their software stays up to date. There typically isn’t a need to “cast” your favorite shows or movies from your phone/tablet.


Am I limited to only movies and TV with my smart TV?

Not at all! Because smart TVs are connected to the internet, they have some great added functionalities. For instance, you can make purchases on Amazon, browse the web, or order a pizza, all from the comfort of your couch.


Do I need a smart TV to Cut the Cord?

Not at all! As long as you have a flatscreen HDTV that’s been manufactured in the past 10 years, you can cut the cord! We can easily and inexpensively “smarten up” any television with the addition of an outside streaming device such as a Roku.


It’s important to understand that smart TVs offer similar services, however, certain services and functionalities differ from brand to brand. If you’re thinking about switching from cable and purchasing a smart TV, Cable Alternatives can help you pick the best option for you. We can also help take care of your cable cancellation and smart TV setup. Ready to get started? Contact us at (763) 571-1037 today!