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Tech Tip: Flowing Internet Video Streams Through the Television | One Herald
Home / Technology / Tech Tip: Flowing Internet Video Streams Through the Television

Tech Tip: Flowing Internet Video Streams Through the Television

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Mobile remote-control apps, like those from Tvisted, above, can make text entry go faster with on-screen keyboards. Credit The New York Times

Q. How do you get Netflix, Acorn TV and other streaming services directly on the television?

A. To add streaming services to your television, you need a few things, first off, either an internet-ready television (like one of Samsung’s Smart TV models) or a Blu-ray player. You can also add internet services to your viewing options with a set-top box or dongle, like a Roku device, Apple TV, Microsoft Xbox, Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV product. Streaming apps on cable boxes may also be an option, as Comcast and Netflix agreed to a deal this month.

You need a home network and broadband service fast enough to stream video without buffering or stuttering. As for software, you need the apps and monthly plans from any of the subscription services you want to use, like Netflix, Acorn TV (which specializes in British programming), Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, Hulu and all the others.

The steps for connecting everything together and setting it all up vary based on the hardware and software you are using. But you generally need to start by adding the television, Blu-ray player or set-top device to your home network. Although using an Ethernet cable is sometimes an option, in most cases, you need to add the hardware to your wireless network.

Adding the device to the wireless network typically involves going into the TV or player’s menu of internet settings, locating your wireless network — and then logging on to it and tapping through configuration screens using the remote control as an input device. (To speed things up and reduce frustration, you can often find mobile apps that work as remote controls to speed up the text entry.) Some manufacturers like Apple have simplified the setup if you are using products all made by the same company — like an iOS device and an Apple TV — so check the support area of the company’s site for instructions and tips.

Once the streaming hardware is on your home network, you will probably be prompted to visit your hardware maker’s app store on the screen. Many televisions and set-top boxes include the Netflix app already, but if you do not see it, browse the app store. Acorn TV has dedicated apps for Amazon Fire TV, the fourth-generation Apple TV, many Roku players and Samsung Smart TVs and you should be able to find other apps like HBO Go, Hulu and others in the app store.

Finally, once you get the hardware connected to the internet and the software installed, you need to sign up for accounts with any of the paid subscription services you want to use. Although some services let you sign up right on the TV screen, it may be easier to set up your account and provide your billing information on the computer’s web browser ahead of time, and then just enter the user name and password on the TV screen. Once you are logged in, you can sit back and watch your streaming programs.

As an alternative approach to using software directly on the television itself, you can also stream video from many services from a phone or tablet to the TV screen using your wireless network or a video-cable connection. The Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV are among the devices that support this method.

Continue reading the main story


NYT > Technology

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