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Smart TV questions

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Pepi93

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
I've recently purchased my first smart tv (for my mom actually). I've noticed that my mom likes to surf the web on her tiny phone and read articles so I thought to get her a new smart TV to replace her ancient tube CRT.

I don't know much about Smart TV's so I picked up a Vizio from Costco and soon realized that I can't plug a wireless keyboard/mouse to use it nor can I surf the web on the TV. The Vizio platform is very limited with only a few apps.

I've read something about a "Android Smart TV" but the info I'm finding is not helping me decide on what TV to get instead of the Vizio.

What I'm looking for is this. I Want my mom to be able to turn her Smart TV on, go on a browser, firefox or google and surf the web with a wireless keyboard/mouse. (I have an old Logitech LX710) which I can give her. She's not going to have netflix or anything like that so the Smart function would be strictly for her to get off her tiny phone and read articles, browse websites on her TV.

I shop at Costco.ca and looking for a 43-48inch TV 1080p. Not sure which brands/models to look at?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
Have you tried the Vizio SmartCast app? Lets you cast your phone image to the tv. So you still type/navigate on the phone, but use the TV as your 'monitor'.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I haven't met a good browser on the TV... they really aren't meant for that. The interface is typically clunky and slow.
 

dejo

Senior Moment Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
if the vizio has smart cast- then its not really a smart tv- as it has to use the phone/tablet to actually gain any online content. some of them do have smart capability.
you can also add a dvd player with smart capabilities and may gain the keyboard/mouse funtions as well
 

Lochekey

Senior Pink Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
Why not just get a something like an Intel NUC or compute stick and hook that up to any new flat screen.
 

Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
if the vizio has smart cast- then its not really a smart tv- as it has to use the phone/tablet to actually gain any online content. some of them do have smart capability.
you can also add a dvd player with smart capabilities and may gain the keyboard/mouse funtions as well

I have two Vizio smart tvs. Both support SmartCast.
The Internet browser is terrible, very slow and clunky as stated earlier. The Netflix app is nice though. Very easy to cast your phone on the screen for watchimg videos and stuff.
The NUC is a good idea too. Fairly easy to operate.
 
OP
Pepi93

Pepi93

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
Thanks for the tips guys, I didn't like smartcast either but I will look into NUC. The tv doesn't need to be Smart to use a NUC correct?
 
OP
Pepi93

Pepi93

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
In terms of the barebone mini pc systems, is Intel the way to go or are gigabyte, msi, zotac version ok?
 

dejo

Senior Moment Senior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
the intel is about the same cost as the others but you get a 3year warranty with the intel branded ones. To me its kinda a no brainer to go that way
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
As long as the nuc aint win10 i'd buy it.

"I have two Vizio smart tvs. Both support SmartCast.
The Internet browser is terrible, very slow and clunky as stated earlier. The Netflix app is nice though. Very easy to cast your phone on the screen for watchimg videos and stuff.
The NUC is a good idea too. Fairly easy to operate."

Netflix is built in to my Vizio and has a dedicated button on the remote. Why would you use your phone and cast?? I tried to use LocalCast on my phone (for files on my phone) and it wouldn't run without that pos playstore running too.
Netflix is pretty cool. It was borking late one night and would play nothing but my signal was perfect. I called them at 1:30 am and was guided to simply turn tv on and off and restart. It worked. Her accent was negligible too:salute:
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
As long as the nuc aint win10 i'd buy it.

"I have two Vizio smart tvs. Both support SmartCast.
The Internet browser is terrible, very slow and clunky as stated earlier. The Netflix app is nice though. Very easy to cast your phone on the screen for watchimg videos and stuff.
The NUC is a good idea too. Fairly easy to operate."

Netflix is built in to my Vizio and has a dedicated button on the remote. Why would you use your phone and cast?? I tried to use LocalCast on my phone (for files on my phone) and it wouldn't run without that pos playstore running too.
Netflix is pretty cool. It was borking late one night and would play nothing but my signal was perfect. I called them at 1:30 am and was guided to simply turn tv on and off and restart. It worked. Her accent was negligible too:salute:

The NUC runs whatever you install on it.

Casting with your phone makes it easier to search, type, and generally navigate.
I do so frequently with my Chromecast for things like YouTube, LocalCast, and The CW apps. I'm always using LocalCast to play music or videos from my server though, not from my phone, but I've never had any issues with it.
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
Thanks, I knew that was the reason but for ~2hrs of content, using my tv remote works fine too. The youtube ap for my tv is definitely a pita but I don't generally spend too much time with youtube on my tv. New Pipe on my phone or just using my tablet works great. Tbqh, just looking at my phone is bad for my already bad eyes. Plus I'd really rather not tie my phone up for everything under the sun. Though there is a new device which can BT-tether your phone to any remote and it's associated device (replacing the clunky default remote). Still I'd buy a separate cheapo droid phone if I were to go that route, and/or want to use localcast with the playstore. I'm at the point now if I could root, google would not exist on my phone AT ALL.
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
Why get a nuc when a Raspberry Pi 3 will suffice? Seriously? I have recently acquired one and it is fantastic for this kind of use. You can get your hands on the Pi, a 16GB SD card, a cheap HDMI cable, and a wireless keybo/mouse combo unit like a Logitech K400 for about a hundred bucks.

The Pi is a very simple thing to operate and is basically a mini home computer with some limitations. It is certainly fine (fantastic even) for basic web browsing tasks. Raspbian, the OS, is easy to use, especially if all you ask from it is web browsing. It's ready to go out of the box (if you get a ready to use kit or you can just download the noobs installer yourself). Once in the OS, Launch the browser and you're off to the races. It even has Wifi and Bluetooth.

The Pi will be good for more than just that. You can also install LibreELEC (all this software/os stuff is free btw) which will let you run KODI with hardware acceleration. You can get an unlimited fill of video through various repositories on KODI and get your youtube fix as well. Netflix is buggy on the Pi atm if you can even get it working, but your TV has an app for that anyways.

It has 4 USB ports so you can connect a hard drive or USB stick full of your fav movies and music to enjoy on the Pi as well if you wish, or use it as a download station.. the possibilities are endless and the price is right. You can also hook up computer speakers via the headphone jack or use it with a USB DAC for high quality audio in your living room.

The raspberry Pi is the size of a deck of playing cards. Check out their website if you want to learn more. It's a great little computer for this kind of thing.

RaspberryPi-Hand.jpg


And you get to put it together yourself! (takes about 90 seconds)

https://www.amazon.com/CanaKit-Rasp...qid=1479262672&sr=1-2&keywords=raspberry+pi+3

https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wir...c&ie=UTF8&qid=1479262841&sr=1-3&keywords=k400

^$95 and you're good to go.

Honestly for your mom's uses it's more than enough. Building a NUC is going to cost you a heck of a lot more than $95.
 
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Mjolnir

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2009
Location
Sydney, Australia
Nuc is nice. The Pi is also cool and cheaper. Spend a couple extra dollars on the K400R which is the revised K400. Little bit more refined.

My dad uses his Samsung Smart TV to watch youtube and what not... It's painful really. I tried to setup a home theatre PC/nuc for him but he forgets how to use them half the time because he doesn't use it enough... >.> I gave up eventually.

Oddly he has a Samsung phone but last time I tried to get him to cast it, it was also painful XD. He did just get an S7 so who knows..
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
I have two K400s now. The new model is the 400plus. I have an r and a plus. I like somethings about one more than the other, overall they're about equal. Dedicated volume keys that aren't also function keys on the plus are nice, and the keys are firmer.