Q. I bought a new Smart TV a few months ago and I hooked it up to our Wifi network. But it seems like it loses the connection at least a few times every week. I would like to use the Smart TV for Netflix, but my husband says we should get a Roku box from Walmart. Do you know if the Smart TV has an Internet problem? Can it be fixed? — Kelly, Lexington, Kentucky.
Kelly, your problem is not uncommon with Smart TVs, and even Smart TV devices such as Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. The streaming player will simply lose its connection with your WiFi network, perhaps just for a few seconds, but long enough to interrupt your program or movie.
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The disconnect is a major inconvenience, but Vizio, a leading maker of Smart TVs, offers some suggestions on how to reduce, if not eliminate, the problem.
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For starters, Vizio says it recommends that your Smart TV (or another Smart TV device) be positioned no more than 30 feet away from your Internet modem. This is to ensure that your set can easily pick up the WiFi signal from the modem. The further away the modem is, the more likely that your TV will have difficulty maintaining a consistently strong connection.
Of course, in many homes, particularly large ones, the 30-feet rule is not practical. While you may have the modem stationed in the strategically-smart center of the house (to allow all rooms to have an equal chance of receiving the WiFi signal), there still could be family members trying to stream from the basement, or an upstairs, corner bedroom which is more than 30 feet away.
In this case, you might want to purchase a wireless range extender that will (hopefully) bring a strong WiFi signal to every room, nook and cranny of your home. You can purchase a wireless range extender at most electronics stores both retail and online. Plus, if you get your Internet from a cable TV service, such as Comcast, they might also sell extenders with their service.
If you are still having issues after taking those steps, Vizio suggests trying to stream on the Smart TV alone to see if the connection improves. Sometimes your WiFi signal will lose strength if several devices in the house are operating at the same time.
Finally, one last idea: Connect your Smart TV directly to the modem with an Ethernet cable. That will bypass the WiFi network entirely and (hopefully, again) deliver a stronger signal to your set.
Kelly, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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You didn’t mention the brand of TV but if you just bought it and it’s not a cheap brand, using the TV itself to stream should work as well as a Roku. I have 2 Samsung (mid price range, bought in 2017 and 2018) and they both have worked flawlessly to stream HBO Max and Prime. Hopefully you have fiber internet which is becoming more common for those fortunate enough to live where they can get fiber. I am not one of them. My ISP is At&t DSL (they keep saying fiber is coming soon to my neighborhood) and even with 75Mbps, I’ve never had any buffering. During the remodeling of my home (while the wall cavities were open) I did run ethernet to all my TVs. The outlets are there if I need to use them. Anyone considering buying a Roku and a new TV, I’d stick with using all of your budget money to get a better TV. Newer TVs should be able to play all of the streaming services you could need.
Today “smart electronics” are in MANY ways SMARTER than the ppl how own them LMAO !! (and more work than they are worth in many cases too) !!
You don’t need a fiber connection for Netflix, as the average download streaming speed is only 3 to 4 megabits per second from netflix for HD service from their website. A fiber connection of 1000 megabits per second is overkill of the highest order. As the highest required peak download speed is about 15 megabits per per second. This is true of most streaming, services.
I especially encourage a wired ethernet connection for stationary streaming video devices. Once a wire/fiber enters your house, the router splits the incoming data between the wired switch & the wifi. That top wifi speed gets divided by the number of devices connected. All too frequently the large number of wifi devices becomes the bottleneck no matter the download speed delivered to your house by ISP. CONNECT TVs USING A WIRED ETHERNET CABLE!!