cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Smart TV via The Back Door??

Spruance
Grafter
Posts: 173
Thanks: 2
Registered: 03-02-2008

Smart TV via The Back Door??

I have a (slightly more than) 3 year old Sony Bravia 32" Smart TV which I bought in December 2012. However of late I am getting incessant 'Memory Limitation Errors' which essentially is down to Sony not having installed enough RAM when the TV was built but crucially having also not considered making the RAM upgradeable. The issue is getting steadily worse to the point where the 'Smart ' functions of the TV are virtually unusable.
On the plus side as a full 1080p HD TV the set is fantastic. Good viewing angles, good picture, good sound. No problems at all apart from the fact that I paid maybe £150 extra in 2012 for smart functions that no longer exist. I am currently in discussion with Sony (the set came with a 5-year Sony Warranty) via my very obliging local department store who sold me the set in the hope of reaching a satisfactory compromise. Aside from the warranty I have also cited the 'Goods not fit for Purpose' clause of the Sale of Goods Act, and fail to see how Sony can dispute my case given that original documentation clearly stated web browser (Opera) and ability to access Internet video etc. Anyhow that's another story.
I'm not looking for a replacement Smart TV as that might put me in the same situation again in a few years time. Instead I would like to reacquire the smart functionality i.e. basic web browser and ability to use YouTube and similar video websites.
I had been thinking in terms of something like the Roku TV box but wonder now if a budget tablet would do the trick, especially if I can link it to the TV wirelessly (but failing that via HDMI) since the TV certainly offers that option for suitable wifi devices. I also feel that Sony should fund this add on device and have already suggested to the retailer that they pass this idea back to Sony as a reasonable compromise over full refund/replacement.
Anyway, to get back on topic, does anyone know of a plug-in box (not NOW TV as it has no browser) or cheap tablet that might do the trick?

15 REPLIES
Mal08
Rising Star
Posts: 562
Thanks: 6
Fixes: 2
Registered: 20-08-2008

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

We have a Humax Freesat box which has Netflix, youtube, plus all the usual BBC, ITV, Ch, Ch 5 on demand services.
Usual advantages of satillite TV with many channels all received at good signal strenghthunlike Freeview terrestial TV, and programme recording etc.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,768
Thanks: 847
Fixes: 54
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

What about an Android TV box?
Spruance
Grafter
Posts: 173
Thanks: 2
Registered: 03-02-2008

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

Thanks both. Smiley
I have a Sky+HD box also linked to the same TV so catchup services are not an issue and indeed if Sky also had a YouTube app I probably wouldn't have bothered getting a Smart TV in the first place but it's the basic web browser that I miss the most as I don't currently have any other (reliable) way of getting online without using my PC. Coincidentally I had been thinking about getting a tablet or indeed a smart phone but haven't got any further than the basic research stage yet.
I'm just aggrieved that Sony's.... (I'll be kind) ... misjudgement... has left me in the situation I'm now in.  Tongue
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,616
Thanks: 22
Registered: 29-06-2010

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

If you already have a smart phone or tablet, then something like a Chromecast might be the way to go?
Spruance
Grafter
Posts: 173
Thanks: 2
Registered: 03-02-2008

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

Don't currently have either smart phone or tablet although I might well be getting one or both this year. Interesting possibility though. Thanks for the tip Jaggies. Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,568
Thanks: 176
Fixes: 2
Registered: 27-05-2011

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

I get by with my PN Youview box, but have a very cheap LG blueray box which gives me YouTube, Google, weather map etc.  Smiley
To do is to be - Neitzsche
To be is to do - Kant
do be do be do - Sinatra
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,568
Thanks: 176
Fixes: 2
Registered: 27-05-2011

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

BTW I did set up my Raspberry Pi as a media centre as well until I realised the LG Blueray did it all Cool
To do is to be - Neitzsche
To be is to do - Kant
do be do be do - Sinatra
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,366
Thanks: 15
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

Be aware the web browsing on a tablet and phone is often not as simple as using a PC, mainly due to websites not designed for touch interfaces, pop up menus and drop down menu options cause the most grief.
Using a Rasberry Pi or something similar plugged into the HDMI socket on the TV, running ubuntu or similar, then using a wireless keyboard and mouse will give you the most PC like web browsing experience.
--
3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,313
Thanks: 86
Fixes: 3
Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

I have a (relatively old) Motorola tablet (Xoom 2 ME) with  a HDMI connector, also a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, this works quite well for browsing on the TV but at least one of the TV players (I think it's 4OD) will NOT allow their content to be fed to a TV via HDMI cable - otherwise a pretty neat solution.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
Thanks: 929
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

Quote from: Mal08
We have a Humax Freesat box which has Netflix, youtube, plus all the usual BBC, ITV, Ch, Ch 5 on demand services.
Usual advantages of satillite TV with many channels all received at good signal strenghthunlike Freeview terrestial TV, and programme recording etc.

But best of all no connection whatsoever to Rupert Murdoch.
Signed,
Another happy Humax FreeSat user
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Mal08
Rising Star
Posts: 562
Thanks: 6
Fixes: 2
Registered: 20-08-2008

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

Quote from: spoon
But best of all no connection whatsoever to Rupert Murdoch.
Signed,
Another happy Humax FreeSat user

Yes absolutely - I have always refused to pay anything to the Murdoch empire on principle.
The commercial sateklitte service should be competitive like on terrestial.
But Freesat is very good. And I have a zone 2 ( larger ) dish used on the south coast to increase signal margin in poor weather and have never had a drop out or broken picture.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
Thanks: 929
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

I'm just using the dish left behind by the previous owner of this house which I think was on Sky.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
DaveyH
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 1,437
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 9
Registered: 15-11-2012

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

Quote from: Mal08

Yes absolutely - I have always refused to pay anything to the Murdoch empire on principle.

Given how many companies he owns/has interests in that's virtually impossible and you're probably contributing to his empire without even realising it
Spruance
Grafter
Posts: 173
Thanks: 2
Registered: 03-02-2008

Re: Smart TV via The Back Door??

I'm really not concerned about Rupert Murdoch's investment strategy. I like my Sky TV set up and am sticking with it. Wink
I'm not even looking for a full web browser option which is why a cheap tablet sprung to mind. The Tesco one (Hulu?) that they've discontinued might have done the trick. Just something I can hook up to the (ex) smart TV to replicate the missing basic browser etc.
Anyway, thanks to everyone for the useful input.  Smiley
I'm expecting an update tomorrow from the retailer so I will see what they have to tell me before deciding on my next course of action.