Smart TV versus Streaming Stick (1 Viewer)

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charlesrshell

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I am trying to get up to speed on all this here streaming stuff. So sorry if this is a dumb question. I haven't really followed all the threads and post about streaming that close. Does a smart TV need a streaming stick (Fire, Roku, etc) too? Can a smart TV get all the apps that the streaming sticks can get? Do the streaming sticks do a better job than the TV apps? We have three Samsung, two LG, and two Vizio TVs that are all smart. Also, I think my Slingbox 500 does the app thing too but not sure how that works, never use it for the apps. There seems to be a little difference of all the pre-loaded apps they have. Thanks for any help.
 
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comfortably_numb

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I am trying to get up to speed on all this here streaming stuff. So sorry if this is a dumb question. I haven't really followed all the threads and post about streaming that close. Does a smart TV need a streaming stick (Fire, Roku, etc) too? Can a smart TV get all the apps that the streaming sticks can get? Do the streaming sticks do a better job than the TV apps? We have three Samsung, two LG, and two Vizio TVs that are all smart. Also, I think my Slingbox 500 does the app thing too but not sure how that works, never use it for the apps. There seems to be a little difference of all the pre-loaded apps they have. Thanks for any help.

Personally, I prefer a "dumb TV" + a streamer (Roku or Fire Stick) because smart TV apps are so hit or miss, and their performance varies. But if you already have smart TV's, just scroll through the available apps and decide if they are what you need. If they are the ones you're looking for, then no, you don't need a separate streaming stick.
 

charlesrshell

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Personally, I prefer a "dumb TV" + a streamer (Roku or Fire Stick) because smart TV apps are so hit or miss, and their performance varies. But if you already have smart TV's, just scroll through the available apps and decide if they are what you need. If they are the ones you're looking for, then no, you don't need a separate streaming stick.

OK, thanks. The few apps we have used from the smart TVs have really worked great. Five of our smart TVs are Ethernet and two are WiFi. If a smart TV lacks an app you want, is it easy to add it somehow? Which streaming sticks are the best IYO?
 

comfortably_numb

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If a smart TV lacks an app you want, is it easy to add it somehow?

This is the part that's hit or miss. Maybe, maybe not.

I use all Roku's in my setup, but Fire Sticks are pretty good, too. Again, it depends on which streaming services you need.

For instance, I use the NASA 4K UHD channel on Roku quite often. Fire Stick doesn't have it. I like the Heartland Channel. Fire Stick doesn't have that either. But, Fire Stick works with HD Homerun and Dish Anywhere, where Roku doesn't. So it's important to make a pro/con sheet when determining which streamer to buy.
 

charlesrshell

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This is the part that's hit or miss. Maybe, maybe not.

I use all Roku's in my setup, but Fire Sticks are pretty good, too. Again, it depends on which streaming services you need.

For instance, I use the NASA 4K UHD channel on Roku quite often. Fire Stick doesn't have it. I like the Heartland Channel. Fire Stick doesn't have that either. But, Fire Stick works with HD Homerun and Dish Anywhere, where Roku doesn't. So it's important to make a pro/con sheet when determining which streamer to buy.
Gotcha, thanks comfortably_numb.
 
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Radioguy41

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Individual TV mfgs make arrangements with different providers so it is hit or miss as to whether you can add a particular app or not. For instance I have a Vizio and am not able to add Acorn or BritBox. I have a Samsung smart Blu-Ray/4K DVD player that has some different apps available than the Vizio but still no Acorn or BritBox apps. However, they are available on the Roku channel which is available on the Samsung so while I can't access them directly I can indirectly by going one layer deeper. Sometimes you just have to dig deeper to find what you want.
 

charlesrshell

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Individual TV mfgs make arrangements with different providers so it is hit or miss as to whether you can add a particular app or not. For instance I have a Vizio and am not able to add Acorn or BritBox. I have a Samsung smart Blu-Ray/4K DVD player that has some different apps available than the Vizio but still no Acorn or BritBox apps. However, they are available on the Roku channel which is available on the Samsung so while I can't access them directly I can indirectly by going one layer deeper. Sometimes you just have to dig deeper to find what you want.
How do you add an app that is not pre-loaded in the smart TVs?
 

Juan

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Every tv I have has apps built in, but I can not think of the last time I used any of them for their "smart" functions. The app selection is so varied, and they are so rarely updated, that IMO a add on streaming device is the best way to go.
Youtube is a good one to try...mine connects the phone to the tv for youtube videos

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ncted

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If you must use SmartTV apps. Roku TVs are the best IMHO. Amazon sells FireTV SmartTVs, and there are Android TVs out there as well. Either way, the hardware that drives the display is almost certainly outlast the streaming capabilities of the "smart" TV, so I don't think it is worth it, but it is also getting harder and harder to find a good display that does not come with the smart stuff built-in.
 

TheKrell

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Fire Stick works with HD Homerun and Dish Anywhere, where Roku doesn't.

I have a lot of ripped DVDs on my LAN, and the Fire TV Stick w/VLC app can play these just fine. My Roku devices don't have VLC available. Is this the lack of mpeg-2 decoding on Roku? A licensing issue? My RokuTV likewise will not play my LAN movies, even though it clearly has mpeg-2 decoding to show OTA broadcasts.
 
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comfortably_numb

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I have a lot of ripped DVDs on my LAN, and the Fire TV Stick w/VLC app can play these just fine. My Roku devices don't have VLC available. Is this the lack of mpeg-2 decoding on Roku? A licensing issue? My RokuTV likewise will not play my LAN movies, even though it clearly has mpeg-2 decoding to show OTA broadcasts.

Correct, Roku cannot do MPEG-2 and they have said that it never will.
 
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ncted

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Looks like a lot of choices out there. So is there a way to add an app in smart TVs that is not pre-loaded?

They almost all have app stores of some sort. None of the options have all the possible apps though. As others have mentioned, the Roku devices will lack the Dish Anywhere app in particular.
 

charlesrshell

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They almost all have app stores of some sort. None of the options have all the possible apps though. As others have mentioned, the Roku devices will lack the Dish Anywhere app in particular.
I notice that my main LG TV has a browser app. Can I get apps thru this browser?
 
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