Q. I called my local cable operator and they said I needed a cable box to operate my Smart TV and watch Netflix. Is that true? Is there a way to use my Smart TV without getting a cable or satellite service? I get the Internet from cable. — Barbara, Oklahoma City.
Barbara, I can’t tell you how many times I get this question. And let me tell you, you are the smart one, not the people you talked to at your local cable company.
Before I explain further, for those who are not familiar with Smart TVs, it’s the term used for a television or set-top box that can connect to your home Internet network, and allow you to access the Internet, including video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
If you use a set-top box (such as Roku) that will connect to your Smart TV, you will want one that has Wi-Fi built-in. This allows you to connect to the Internet using your home network without plugging your Internet cable directly to the TV or set-top.
And, Barbara, you don’t need a cable TV or satellite TV box to watch Netflix, which is available on most every Smart TV. (As is other streaming services such as Hulu and Amazon Prime.) All you need is a decent Internet service, which, based on your question, you appear to now have from your local cable operator.
The cable, satellite or telco TV services have nothing to do with the Internet streaming services that you will watch. You also won’t need an antenna or any other video device.
If you have a question about TV technology, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann
And for more information and products that can help you get the most out of a Smart TV, check out this page from Amazon.com.