Smart TVs, Roku, etc.

I am in the early stages of exploring the capabilities of smart TVs, so bear with me.

As I understand it, a smart TV will allow me to access Netflix (I already subscribe), and…what else? Surf the web? Run PowerPoints via my laptop? View photos?

I just wonder how practical it is to peruse the Dope on a huge screen, fire off an email, or Google something. Do folks really do this?

Can I use Firefox, or is there some sort of built-in (probably inferior) browser?

What else do smart TVs do that I am missing?

And Roku…does it do everything a smart TV does?

What questions am I too ignorant to ask?


I don’t have a smart TV so this response won’t be on point. I do have a wireless DVD/BluRay player, an $88 Sony. I haven’t explored all the internet options but I can access Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu etc. with it, and I can watch programming that I was previously watching on my PC. (Yay for big screen Terriers and Justified!)

Maybe a cheaper option like this might be a first step, before investing in a smart TV.

We just got an Internet-ready TV, but we don’t have Netflix yet. (There’s a button for it on the remote control.) I think I saw something about getting to the web, and it came with some aps. Haven’t had time to explore it.

I’ve used the web browser app on my Logitech Revue (comes with Chrome, which is fine with me, since I use that on my laptop) for Google searches, and see no reason I couldn’t use it for any of my Web activities, such as web-based e-mail or forums. I really wouldn’t be surprised if I could get an e-mail app for the Revue, since it’s Android-based.

Roku lacks a web browser, so you’re stuck with their “channels”, and if an upgrade breaks one that isn’t sports, their customer service couldn’t care less if you can get the channels you bought the device for. This is why I switched to the Revue.

My only real gripe about the Revue is that it requires cable/satellite service. What I would find more useful is a smart-TV device that simply allows me to hook into our home network without needing cable service.