Smart TVs are traditional televisions with integrated internet and interactive web features. This allows users to stream videos and music, browse the internet, and perform a number of other functions that would otherwise require a different device. In layman’s terms, it is a combination of a television and a high-tech computer.
Of course, with Smart TVs becoming more and more popular, many users are curious whether or not they still need to get a TV aerial installation or not. In this article, co-written with TV Aerials Leeds, we’ll attempt to take this somewhat technical question and answer it in a way that even the most recent Smart TV buyers will understand.
The Live Television Question
One of the most common questions regarding Smart TVs is whether or not they allow users to watch broadcasts from channels like Freeview (UK) or Soarview (Ireland). The answer, surprisingly enough, is no. You see, regardless of the internet connection present in all Smart TVs, services like these broadcast exclusively via aerials and satellite dishes.
That said, it is possible to watch on-demand stations that might broadcast (or rebroadcast) the exact same content as the above stations. Furthermore, most Smart TVs usually have applications for BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and a number of subscription-based services like Hulu, Prime, and Netflix.
The problem is that there are set services or applications that come with every single Smart TV. So while it’s possible that the services you want will be compatible with your TV, you can’t assume that they will be. It’s also worth noting that there is currently somewhat of a “provider war” going on, with some services looking to have a presence on some platforms while eschewing others.
The point is, if you want to watch Live television of any kind, you will need to keep your aerial or satellite dish in place.
CAN I STREAM ON MY SMART TV?
It is, of course, perfectly common nowadays for many television users not to particularly care much about live television. With so many options for streaming on services like Netflix, live television can be seen as more of an inconvenience than anything else. With Smart TVs, streaming is easier than ever, especially since many of the apps for the services you love are already built-in.
So, you have your Smart TV connected to the internet, allowing you to use services like YouTube and Netflix with no issues. You can also enjoy the music streaming services like Spotify & Apple Music.
STREAMING VS. TERRESTRIAL TV
So, you have your Smart TV connected to the internet, allowing you to use services like YouTube and Netflix with no issues. However, you can’t seem to get your terrestrial channels to work. The main reason for this is that you haven’t bothered to connect your television aerial! You see, while you might not need an aerial for internet-based channels, you will need it for your local and regional stations. We recommend hiring a professional that will cater to your aerial installation in Leeds.
The reason? Because most Smart TVs use the connected aerial to identify your current geographic location. While the reasons for this are a bit muddy, it’s true that many Smart TV brands will require an aerial in order properly broadcast terrestrial stations. In fact, I’ve overcome a number of these issues for my customers by hooking up their old aerials and panting them to the nearest television transmitter!
At the same time, if you’re committed to not having an aerial and are not concerned with having live TV, you could get by with a set-top aerial (i.e. “rabbit ears”). This will usually allow you to appropriate any local signals, but don’t expect the visual quality you’ve come to rely on from your Smart TV.
THE BEST WAY TO CONNECT A SMART TV
While we’re on the subject of Smart TVs, it’s worth discussing how to connect them properly. For instance, whenever possible, it is always best to connect your TV to the internet via a dedicated ethernet cable. This will help you get the most speed from your broadband connection and reduce any instances of buffering.
You’ll want to remember this when streaming any high-bandwidth services (HD, 4K video, etc.). While WIFI is far more convenient, there’s still more benefit to being wired than wireless. OF course, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you’re welcome to contact me directly.