OnQ Blog

How To Make Your TV Smarter

Want to surf the Web and download apps on your TV from your very own living room or bedroom? A flood of new gadgets can help, some of which you may even already own.

Cable

The easiest way to connect your computer, smartphone or tablet to your TV is with a cable—specifically an HDMI cable. First, figure out what size HDMI port your device has (micro, mini or standard size). Using a cable to connect your phone to your TV, you'll be able to mirror exactly what’s happening on your smartphone/tablet/computer on the big screen for one epic game of Fruit Ninja. 

Wi-Fi

If your TV has built-in Wi-Fi, it may be possible to connect your smartphone or other mobile device via Wi-Fi. If both devices supports a standard called DLNA, you can stream music, photos and videos to your TV. Free apps like Skifta allow you to control that connection and add a few other features. An upcoming feature called Wi-Fi display will allow you to mirror your display just like the HDMI cable.

Add a set-top box

There’s a growing list of set-top boxes designed for browsing content from the internet on the silver screen. For example, they use extra-large fonts and menus that are easily viewable from eight feet away or more (like your couch). Since they’re computers, they often run mature operating systems that may allow you to browse the web and/or install apps--awesome. Roku, for example, gives you access to certain content and apps like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and more. Of course there are also TVs with built-in functionality to mirror or work with your mobile devices like Apple TV, Google TV and Microsoft’s XBOX360.

Buy a TV with a computer in it 

With these smart TVs, there's no connecting cables, no tinkering with your smartphone, and no connecting set-top boxes. The Lenovo IdeaTV K91, for example, features a Snapdragon S3 processor and runs the full blown Android 4.0 operating system, without the tangle of wires. 

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