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Can you view websites on your TV?

Hi all, hope you’ve all had a great weekend!

We’ve got a blog post coming up with some of the findings from our ongoing research project. A lot of people who participated said a TV was one of their frequently used electrical items.

We’re interested in building prototypes that work with TV’s. So, to help us with this, a quick question:

Can you view websites on your TV?

  • Yes, with something built into my TV
  • Yes, with something that plugs into my TV
  • No

0 voters

It would be great to know about your experiences using websites on your TV. Is it something you do often? Do you mostly use specialised apps (for Netflix etc) to use the Internet with your TV? Is it a comfortable experience? Let me know below.

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Yes I can, on a Samsung that is a few years old now. However, I only used the browser just once to try it out, but that was enough, as operating the keyboard with the remote control is a PITA. Our only internet use on the TV is ABC iView and SBS OnDemand. Even with them, the interfaces are not all that easy to use via hte remote, so I often just bring them up on my laptop and use the HDMI cable so we can watch on the 80cm TV screen.

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Ditto to that a pain it is to input info.
And where is there any advantage to using the TV unless you have very poor eyesight?

I can, but I don’t. I have a computer.

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I also can but don’t. It is frustratingly slow to browse on our TV (18 month old Sony) and does not have all the add-ons/extensions which most PC browsers have (making some websites not fully functional). It also has no security/firewalls like that can be installed on PCs/Tablets.

Use PC and tablet for all browsing as a result.

We don’t use the stuff built into the TV as they have limitations on what you can access based on the brand and the deals they have done. Also, the interfaces are slow and cumbersome.

Much, Much, Much easier to use the TV as a big screen for the computer.

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We have two TVs that have access to the internet but it’s a bit cumbersome to navigate with just the remote controller. What we did a few years ago is connect an older computer up to the TV in the lounge room and bought a cordless keyboard and mouse from Kmart for $20 (which is kept under the coffee table when not in use) and hey presto full internet access on a 50" screen.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts everyone.

General consensus is that browsing on a television leaves a lot to be desired; particularly with speed, accessibility and functionality. I particularly like your point @phb about a lack of security.

Do you have similar thoughts on apps and interfaces that are specifically designed for TV’s, or do you find similar problems with these?

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We use the Youtube app which functions okay…and can be linked to our online Youtube account.

We also use ABC, SBS, Ten, Seven apps from time to time. These have the same functionality/look the same as pushing the red button and getting the app through Freeview. It is worth noting that Nine does not have an app.

Other apps included in the TV (namely online TV channels and games) we have looked at but they don’t excite or the content is relatively uninteresting to us (possibly why they are ‘free’ apps on the TV’s software).

We also tend to screen mirror our tablet to the TV for any apps other than the ones mentioned above… The tablet apps are easier to use, more reliable, greater range and have greater functionality. The only downside using screen mirroing is there is about a 1/4 second delay between the tabket screen and the image appearing on the TV.

I have a Sony Smart tv but its browser interface is pathetic. Using the browser is last resort. iView, SBS and commercial free to air catch up is ok but again the interfaces leave a lot to be desired. A compatible wireless keyboard would be much better.

I have a T-BOx and can view SBS OnDemand and the Channel 7 app, IP streaming channels like BigPond Music and Foxtel (if I wanted them). Oh and YouTube and you can plug a USB into the device and watch a range of multimedia file types.

Unfortunately they never got around to adding the other TV on demand apps like iView before they stopped selling T-Box to move to an IP only device, I think they call Telstra TV.

Cheers

I should add the T-Box does wi-fi streaming as well as wired. They all work great, though they obviuosly depend on the reliability of your internet connection for the IP stuff.

Down at the bottom right of https://www.9now.com.au/ there are links to the apps, for apple and android.

On Your Phone or TabletApple iPhones, iPods and iPads. iOS 8+Android phones and tablets. 4.33+

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Agree, a pain to input but I watch a lot of you tube clips and some i-view and my computer is in another room where I do my real computing.
We much prefer to watch them after dinner in the lounge on the big screen rather than squint at the monitor.

I can view any on-line material (web sites, iView etc) through my smartphone and Google Chromecast. Photos and videos taken on the phone can also be viewed on the TV.

It is easier and faster on computer.

I don’t really see the need, given I have an iPad and a samsung mobile.

I watch Netflix using Chrome cast which works fine even with my slow connection 3mps. I also use it with ABC IView which is ok. Have trouble with the other local catchup services just seems to freeze all the time.I also found that it works fine with Google Cast application on chrome browser from my laptop.
I also have a Sony Blue Ray which has some catchup functions ABC IView, SBS On Demand but have experienced problems with picture freezing on both.

If it’s the interface that is your problem there’s a fairly simple and cheap alternative that I’ve been using for a year or so. I have a bluetooth mini keyboard I bought off eBay for about $12. It’s great… it was easy to hook up to my Samsung via a mini USB dongle. This saves the problem of using your remote to enter text & numbers and it also has a small trackpad for the onscreen mouse. I don’t use a browser very often on the TV (I also mirror from PC) but for searches in TV apps such as YouTube it saves time and frustration.