If you’ve just bought a new smart TV and want to connect it to the internet for on-demand content & streaming services like bbc iplayer, netflix & Amazon. You may be wondering what is the best way to connect my TV to the internet. there are a few ways to do this and a lot depends on what you think is the best way. For example, you may want the fastest and most secure connection that is capable of transmitting HD or 4K very quickly or you may like the idea of being able to connect your TV without having to run new cables. in this blog i discuss three different options along with pro & amp; cons for you to decide which path is best for you. your internet tv may force you to connect one way instead of another, for example if you don’t have a wireless setup.
Reading: How to connect ethernet cable to tv
ethernet cable – wired connection – better performance
my philosophy is wireless for things that move & cables for things that don’t. This is because to maximize internet speed, throughput and performance; reliability, I would recommend connecting your equipment via a data/ethernet cable. this means that it is better to connect computers, televisions, etc. whenever possible with an ethernet cable.
as you are streaming video from the internet you want to avoid slow loading or buffering where possible this is especially true with hd or 4k video where more information is required to form the tv picture so you need the best speed you can get. this is particularly true if you live in an area with slow broadband or suffer from slow internet speed.
In fact, most early smart TVs or internet-enabled TVs didn’t support Wi-Fi, so you’d have to connect with a cable. this could be a direct ethernet cable or through a powerline adapter link that allows you to send data over the existing electrical circuit. I’ll cover this later in the blog.
You may also find that your existing wifi doesn’t reach where you installed your smart TV, so you may need to install a data cable in any case. The obvious disadvantage of installing the smart TV via a cable connection is that it may not be easy to connect your TV to your router with a cable, this may be due to the router being on the wrong side of the room or in a room different and you may need tools & skills you may not currently possess to be able to do this. or where the TV has been wall mounted & You don’t want to have to hide the cable by drilling holes in the walls, etc., in which case you can hire a professional to install the cable for you, or connect your smart TV via Wi-Fi or powerline technology. If you help with your installation, long ethernet cables can be purchased that have the rj45 connector already attached, which means you won’t have complicated cable terminations. if you are buying cable, your own cat5 or cat6 cable and terminate it yourself instead. i have some videos about installing rj45 plugs & data modules that may be useful to you.
to connect your TV via ethernet
This is usually very easy, just plug your ethernet cable into one of the rj45 jacks on the back of your internet modem/router and then plug the other end into your TV. That should be it without the need to change any settings on your TV.
I recommend using a full ethernet cable to get the best possible speed. You can buy cables that will only have four wires, or two terminated pairs and these will only support 100mb ethernet at best. which in itself is very fast, but it is possible that over long distance it will go down to 10mb ethernet, which is not very fast in today’s world. A fully wired ethernet cable will have a total of 8 pins plugged into the 8p8c plug and should support gigabit ethernet & further if your TV supports it.
If all the rj45 connections on your router are full, additional terminations can be easily added using a network switch. most of these are just plug-in & go as mains power strips.
wifi – wireless tv connection – more convenient/ easier
I know for most people this is the preferred method of connecting your TV to the internet as it is by far the easiest. If your TV is within your Wi-Fi range, you can simply plug your TV into the mains. go to settings and log in to your wifi. This means there is no need to run any additional wiring or where your TV is on the wall there is no need to drill holes in your walls or get dusty.
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although wireless technology & speeds have improved dramatically, I still highly recommend connecting your TV via a data cable whenever possible. there are few things more frustrating! That said, this can require a long and complicated route that requires you to drill holes & lift platforms & if your wifi & the internet speed is enough, why not just connect the TV via wifi?
You may find that it is not even possible to connect your TV to the wireless network with its current settings. Some early TVs don’t support wireless, which means you have to connect the TV with an ethernet cable. others require a usb adapter to be able to provide wifi, since the tv does not have wireless connection & Your existing Wi-Fi connection may simply not reach where you installed your new smart TV. this is usually the case only in large properties or buildings with thick walls or modern construction techniques that use aluminum siding that reflects the wireless signal. In which case, you may need to buy the usb wireless adapter, which is usually not easy to pick up locally, so it would be better to order it online. if your wifi is weak, you may be able to solve this with a wifi powerline adapter or hotspot setup, the latter usually requires you to install an ethernet cable anyway. Alternatively, if your TV doesn’t support wireless, you can purchase a smart TV device such as a Kodi, Firestick, or Google Chromecast & connect it to the internet instead.
to connect smart tv via wifi
There are usually a couple of ways this can be done. First, if your TV does not support Wi-Fi, please connect your USB wireless adapter if necessary first. once connected, navigate to your wifi settings & find your wifi network, enter your password and you should be good to go. if your tv supports wps function i usually use this as instead of having to enter a usually complicated password you can simply select ‘wps’ on your tv and then within a minute press the wps button on your broadband router. note that both the tv & the modem/internet hub must support wps in order to do this. most new TVs are. If you’re setting up your TV for the first time, it will usually take you to the internet settings, which will make this process even easier.
power line connections – wired/wireless – notable alternative
The final connection I’ll get to is connecting your TV via powerline adapters. If you want to know more about this type of connection, I recommend our previous blog about powerline adapters. but here is a summary about using powerline for your smart tv. Powerline adapters/connectors work by sending internet data over your existing network electrical wiring. they are a set of two or more pieces, one of which is installed near your router& connected via an ethernet cable & the other located near your TV. From this, depending on the model you have, a second ethernet cable can be installed to connect between your power line and amp; internet tv or it can be connected wirelessly to the power line as long as it is a model that is also compatible with wifi.
As you can see, powerline is not a completely wireless solution, as you will still need to connect the powerline adapter via a data cable to your broadband router. however, they can save you the fuss and hassle, plus a few hours of running a cable from one part of your house to another. powerline technology has really taken off in recent years with the introduction of internet-based audiovisual content and connected televisions. Because of this, you may come across terms like homeplug av. this is essentially power line, but connection speeds have improved dramatically over the years to support streaming video from the internet. these will have advertised speeds, but that can be 1gb & amp; further, but take them with a pinch of salt as they never come close to these speeds.
Powerline connections like these are perfect for TVs that don’t support Wi-Fi & otherwise it would be difficult to connect a cable to your internet router or the TV is out of your wifi range and the wifi signal is weak. this could cause connection issues, slow loading times & buffering, which would mean powerline adapters could save the day here.
There are some downsides to using powerline adapters to connect your smart TV. a big downside to using power line is that for the kit to work the power lines need to be on the same electrical circuits so if you live on a large property or a property where the electrical loads have been separated on different circuits you may it will not be possible to use the power lines at all. also electrical cables are not designed to carry internet data so they are prone to picking up interference etc so on long cables you may have a poor connection & poor transmission quality. where improved performance can be achieved by using an ethernet cable or even wireless in many situations.
It is important that when using powerline connections for Smart TVs that it is connected directly to the mains sockets and not through power adapters or power strips as this will affect the speed of the connection. on wall mounted tvs, you may also find that you can’t get the power line behind the tv, in which case, you may want to choose a power line adapter that also supports wifi, plug it in somewhere near your TV and connect it via Wi-Fi. i did this recently with a now tv stick. you obviously have the additional cost of the power line kit itself; you can usually pick up a pretty good set for around £50, so you may want to filter this out for your consideration. I recommend and use the tp-link range.
connect smart tv to internet with powerline connectors
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As mentioned above, depending on the make/model of your powerline adapters, there could possibly be a couple of ways to do this. Whenever possible, I’d recommend connecting the TV to the power line with an ethernet cable, but you may need to do it wirelessly.
using a standard powerline adapter kit (not wifi)
Plug one of your home plug adapters into an electrical outlet near your broadband router and connect it with an ethernet cable.
In the TV position, plug your second powerline adapter into a nearby power grid point and connect it to the TV with a second ethernet cable. this should be all and ready to go. there should be no additional configuration required.
using a Wi-Fi compatible home connection kit
If you want to be able to connect from the powerline adapter to your TV wirelessly, follow this method. Please note that your TV must support Wi-Fi for this to work.
Plug a homeplug adapter into a power outlet near your broadband router and connect with an ethernet cable. It doesn’t matter whether this powerline adapter supports Wi-Fi or not.
near the television, plug the Wi-Fi compatible powerline adapter into an electrical outlet. on the TV, navigate to the wireless network settings on your TV. If your power line and TV support the WPS method, you can use this to easily link the TV to your power line connection. if not, find the appropriate wireless ssid and enter the password. This is usually a different Wi-Fi network than your main broadband router and the login details can often be found on the power line itself or in the manufacturer’s documentation. once connected, check the performance to see if it is charging fast. if not, you may want to locate the household plug closer to the smart TV.
questions about internet tv connection
Note that technically there are other ways to connect TVs to the internet. I believe that in some places it is possible to simply connect your cable television directly to the television. this is not the case here in the uk. If you have any questions about connecting your TV to the internet or tips on how to improve your connection, please post your questions in the blog comments section below. please don’t email your questions, we just can’t process the amount we receive. we have just started not responding to them due to the amount of time it takes. Please also do not fill out the contact forms on our website for the same reason and these are really only reserved for customers. please do not call our phone lines either. there is no one here who can offer technical advice and I don’t have time to respond to these types of queries. I’m too busy running a business! That said, if you post your comment in the comments section of the blog, I’ll get back to you. I also appreciate your patience in doing so, as I may not be able to respond as quickly as you would like.
until next time,
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