Let’s Plug It All In!
Since you have probably already mounted your antenna and run it to your TV in some fashion, this section will only concentrate on assembly of your streaming TV. We will start where your Internet service enters your home, which could vary depending on whether you’ve chosen a cable provider or the telephone company.
If you’ve chosen the telephone company then you’re going to have a choice of equipment, which will be a straight ADSL modem or an ADSL modem with wireless. Assuming you decided the cable company is for you, then you will probably have a straight cable modem which will attach to a router. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you might have in both instances.
Straight ADSL modem – You will decide which phone jack you’re going to use and plug it in using the supplied cord. You will then plug it into your computer or laptop using the supplied Cat 5e cable and initiate the configuring software, setting it up according to your providers specifications. Once you know that it is working and talking to the Internet you will want to go back and configure it as a pass-through bridge, letting your router supply the login information (more on that later).
ADSL modem with wireless capabilities – These look just like 100 other routers on the market, the difference is they have a jack for your phone line. Simply plug it into the wall turn it on and configure it similarly to the modem mentioned above. Now the only decision you have to make is if you will go wireless for your streaming TV or hardwire it as mentioned in Step 6.
Cable Modem – The cable modem is very similar to the ADSL modem in the respect that it will be positioned where your service enters the house. Now depending on your home you might already have a cable outlet in every room. If not you will need to decide if you can live with where you will have to set it up. If you can’t then have the cable guy come and run a line to your preferred location. There is usually no set up with these pieces of equipment simply attach it to the cable outlet, plug in your computer router and you’re ready to go.
Next let’s take a look at the router. If you went with the first or third option then you’ve had to purchase a wireless router as well. Before you can hook it up though you will have to either be able to live with where it will be installed, which is next to your modem. Now if you can’t live with it, then run a cable as mentioned in step six.
Once you’ve put that issue the rest you will plug the cable into the ADSL modem and then configure it as per manufacturers’ recommendations. What you may want to do is configure your ADSL modem as a simple pass-through bridge and then enter your logon info into the wireless router. Be sure to set up wireless security on your router to keep people outside your home from using your system or hacking your equipment.
Now that your modem and router are set up and you’re able to see the Internet your next step will be getting the signal to your TV. If you’re router is in a fairly close proximity to your TV you might want to try going strictly wireless for your connection. You will know fairly quickly whether you will be able to stream a full 1080p. Believe me there is nothing more aggravating than to have a connection that can’t keep up causing the stream to constantly reset to a lower viewing level. If this winds up being the case then you will want to run a cable from your router to your TV as mentioned in step six.
Check out the video below.
Okay everything is up and running, you’ve got it good strong connection between the router and your Roku and you created your accounts for your streaming services. Is there more you might want to do?
The answer is yes, there’s always and more that you might want to do. My point here is though that I decided to opt for running a cable from the router to the TV to get the strongest possible connection. When I did this I also bought a dumb hub for $30 and installed it right behind the Roku. All this hub does is give you a way to get 4 more ports back to your router with one cable. This means that no matter what you plug-in that is network ready, it’s always going to have the best possible connection back to your router.
Another plus is that you can plug your laptop into the hub as well and then use your HDMI port from the laptop into your TV. When streaming TV through your laptop services like Hulu provide you with access to a greater range of shows because it no longer sees your device has a portable piece of equipment. I know, I know it is, but they don’t see it that way. This gives you an added range of flexibility in your streaming activities.
An additional piece of equipment you might want to consider is a TiVo. Yes TiVo is there for recording over the air broadcast as well, all you need to do is purchase a DVR and a subscription. Their low-end DVR is around $149 and the subscription is a little less than $15 a month. For that price you will be able record all your shows over the air and have a programming guide available as well.
As time goes on and more and more people come the realization that streaming TV is the way the future more equipment will be hitting the market, so check back here often we will be keeping track of all of it.