1.888.955.6000
 
 

Wireless Entertainment FAQ

Getting set up


» What do I need to set up a home network?

» I don't have wireless Internet set up in my home. Do I need it and is this a project I can handle?

» I've heard about DLNA — what's that?

» I don't have a computer. Can I enjoy the Internet on my TV?


Watching videos


» How do I watch home movies and play vacation photos on my TV?

» Can I search the Internet on my TV?

» I already have a membership with Netflix® or Blockbuster® and get movies mailed to me. How can I watch their instantly available content on my TV, too?

» How do I watch YouTube™ videos on my TV?

» How can I watch my cable or satellite shows on my computer or cell phone when I'm away from home?

» How can I view news, sports, and weather updates instantly on my TV?

» I have a Facebook® or Twitter® account. Can I access these sites on my TV?


Listening to music


» Can I play music in the living room if it's stored on my computer in another room?

» I already listen to music from Pandora® or Rhapsody® on my computer. Can I listen to it through my main speakers, too?

» Can I listen to Internet radio in other rooms in my home?

» I want to play music in multiple rooms in my home. How can I do that?


Getting set up


Q: What do I need to set up a home network?
A: To set up a home network, you're going to need a modem connected to your cable jack or phone line, a router connected to your modem, and a compatible computer or other Internet-ready device either wired or wirelessly connected to your router. For the most part, it doesn't matter whether you use a wired or wireless home network, but there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

For more information, check out our article on creating a home network.

Q: I don't have wireless Internet set up in my home. Do I need it and is this a project I can handle?
A: If you plan to connect multiple devices located in different rooms around your house, and don't already have Ethernet cable running through your walls, then a wireless system is your best bet.

Setup is generally less involved than creating a wired home network, since you won't have to run wire through your walls or across your room. However, you will want to set up some security, and most folks who are familiar with the settings menu in their computer should be able to handle it. For more information, check out our article on creating a home network.

Q: I've heard about DLNA — what's that?
A: DLNA, short for Digital Living Network Alliance, is a certification that allows you to connect certain devices to your home network, and share your digital and online content in multiple rooms in your home. For example, if you have a DLNA-certified television, you may be able to stream home movies, photos, and music stored on your computer to your TV. While DLNA isn't required to share media, it's currently the easiest way to do so, since DLNA certification essentially guarantees that your components will "play nice" together.

For more information on how to enjoy DLNA in your home, check out our articles on enjoying music, movies, and photos from your computer on your TV and on your Xbox 360™ and PS3.

Q: I don't have a computer. Can I enjoy the Internet on my TV?
A: Yes. You'll need a high-speed Internet connection and a TV or other device that's Internet-ready. To get an idea of the Internet services you might be able to get on your TV, check out our article on enjoying the Internet on your TV.


Watching videos


Q: How do I watch home movies and play vacation photos stored on my computer on my TV?
A: The easiest way to do it is to use DLNA-certified gear connected to your home network, along with a compatible computer. DLNA certification means that these devices use an industry-wide standard for recognizing and playing digital media. Many DLNA-compatible TVs, Blu-ray players, and gaming systems can access photos, videos, and music stored on compatible computers.

For more information on how to stream media to your DLNA devices, check out our articles on enjoying music, movies, and photos from your computer on your TV and on your Xbox 360 and PS3.

Q: Can I search the Internet on my TV?
A: Yes and no. Most Internet-ready gear only gives you a limited form of Internet access. For example, on an Internet-ready Samsung TV you may have access to USA Today through Samsung's proprietary app service. You can read headlines on the front page, and browse through a limited selection of articles and videos. However, you may not have access to the full site, and more specific features like membership services.

On the other hand, with some devices like Sony's PlayStation® 3 or the Nintendo Wii™ you get a full Internet browser that functions much like your computer's web browser. Check out our article on enjoying the Internet on your TV for a better idea of what you can expect.

Q: I already have a membership with Netflix® or Blockbuster® and get movies mailed to me. How can I watch their instantly available content on my TV, too?
A: Some TVs, Blu-ray players, home theater systems, and gaming systems give you access to Netflix or Blockbuster right on your TV. You choose a movie or TV show that you want to watch and it's ready to go — instantly and without searching for a disc. If you want this feature, look for players with a Netflix or Blockbuster logo.

The library of online Netflix movies isn't as broad as their massive disc collection, but there are thousands of titles and some are shown in HD. Blockbuster works similarly to their stores. You'll "rent" or "buy" movies right on your TV screen. Check out our article on enjoying the Internet on your TV for more information.

Q: How do I watch YouTube™ videos on my TV?
A: Most of us have favorite web videos that we like to share with friends and family. Now you can pull up those videos on the biggest screen in your house using the right Internet-ready device. A number of TVs, Blu-ray players, home theater systems, and game consoles give you access to YouTube right from your TV using a special app or widget. Just look for the YouTube logo on the device.

Check out our article on enjoying the Internet on your TV for more information.

Q: How can I watch my cable or satellite shows on my computer or cell phone when I'm away from home?
A: If you're a frequent traveler, accessing your own list of recorded shows from the road can be comforting and an easy way to keep up on your favorites. A Slingbox lets you use any computer with an Internet connection (and even some cell phones) to access your cable box or satellite receiver. Set your DVR to record a show, catch up on the programming you have stored on your DVR, or surf your premium movie channels. You'll get complete control of your DVR or satellite receiver even if you're hundreds of miles away.

Here's something to keep in mind: Slingbox devices make a wired connection to your home network, so you'll either need a wireless bridge or a nearby router. Check out our article on creating a home network for an idea of how to set one up.

Q: How can I view news, sports, and weather updates instantly on my TV?
A: A number of Internet-ready TVs, Blu-ray players, and game consoles come with "widgets" or apps that let you check the weather, or get news and sports updates on your time — not on your TV or radio station's. Each manufacturer might offer their own weather, news, or sports service, so be sure to check the details for the device you're interested in for a full listing of the services that it offers.

Check out our article on enjoying the Internet on your TV for more information.

Q: I have a Facebook® or Twitter® account. Can I access these sites on my TV?
A: If you have an Internet-ready TV, Blu-ray player, or game console, then you may be able to check your friends' tweets or status updates on your TV. Just remember that you probably won't get full access to the site. For example, most devices giving you access to Facebook will only let you check your news wall or browse your friends' profile pages. You probably won't be able to make changes to your own profile or change your personal settings.

Be sure to check for the Facebook or Twitter logo on your device if this is a feature that you're interested in. And for more information, check out our article on enjoying the Internet on your TV.


Listening to music


Q: Can I play music in the living room if it's stored on my computer in another room?
A: Absolutely. Network music players let you remotely access music stored on the computers in your home. They connect to just about any home audio system and some even feature their own built-in speakers. With a home network and the right wireless music player, you can enjoy your entire collection of digital tunes from an audio system in your living room. And you'll be able to switch albums, artists, and playlists from the comfort of your couch. As an added bonus, depending on which player you choose, you may also get access to Internet radio stations and digital music services, like Rhapsody and Pandora.

Of course if you have a TV, game console, or Blu-ray player that's DLNA-certified, then you may also be able to enjoy your digital music collection in your living room that way, too. For more information about using DLNA gear in your home, check our our article on enjoying music, movies, and photos from your computer on your TV.

Q: I already listen to music from Pandora® or Rhapsody® on my computer. Can I listen to it through my home theater speakers, too?
A: There's a variety of gear that lets you access Pandora or Rhapsody, including network music players, Blu-ray players, TVs, and game consoles. You can use any or all of these solutions to listen to your customized radio stations or music libraries in different rooms of your home. For example, pipe Pandora into your living room with a Blu-ray player or listen in the kitchen using a wireless music player.

For more information, check out our article on wireless multi-room music systems.

Q: Can I listen to Internet radio in other rooms in my home?
A: Most definitely. A number of wireless music players, home theater receivers, and TVs give you access to Internet radio. Many use different services to allocate channels.

If you're not familiar with Internet radio, it lets you listen to radio stations from almost any city in the world. Tune in to your favorite broadcaster's account of your hometown sports team's game, or expand your musical horizons by listening to radio from different countries around the world. Internet radio gives you thousands of station choices so you'll never get bored. Check out our article on enjoying the Internet on your TV or our blog series on Internet radio for more info.

Q: I want to play music in multiple rooms in my home. How can I do that?
A: It's possible — and pretty easy — to play music in every room. And it won't take a serious home improvement project to accomplish. Wireless multi-room music systems take advantage of your home network to play music from your computer as well as sources on the Internet. There's a variety of network music players so you can find one to fit any room of your house. Access a wealth of music on your home theater system or use a small, stylish player that fits on a bedroom table.

Controlling these systems won't have you running back to the computer, either. Many of them feature remotes or built-in controls with color screens that let you switch between your digital music collection and other sources like Pandora or Rhapsody. You can switch songs, adjust volume and even create playlists on the fly.

For more information, check out our article on wireless multi-room music systems.

Gift Card The Great Gear Giveaway

Sign up for our email newsletter and then enter to win a $500 Rewards Card.