How to Get Internet on TV

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Updated January 24, 2023

In the US, there is an estimated 119.9 million TV households in the TV season 2018/19. This number includes both smart and “dumb” TVs. As the benefits of connecting these highly-rated TVs to the internet increase, you may find yourself wondering how to get internet on TV. The answer is extremely simple if you have a smart TV. However, if you do not have a smart TV, the answer is a little more complicated.


  • Traditional TV sets cannot connect to the internet on their own.
  • Many devices may require an HDMI to AV adapter to watch streamed content on the TV.
  • You may be able to stream shows and movies using a streaming device, computer, or video game console.

How to Connect a Dumb TV

Some consumers refer to traditional TV sets as “dumb” because they lack the features of a smart TV. A traditional TV cannot connect to the internet on its own and needs an additional device to connect to and stream content from the internet.

To stream content, one must have a wireless or wired connection to internet service and the appropriate streaming app. Smart TVs, however, do not need additional devices because they are equipped with a wired connection and streaming app capabilities. This makes it easier for consumers to access their favorite shows and movies on demand.

But for dumb TVs, you’ll need an external streaming device. These devices include digital media players or streaming devices, computers, Blu-rays, and gaming consoles. Many of these units require an HDMI port or adapter.

With connected devices, you can get instant access to the internet and all of its content. Enjoy your favorite shows, movies, or music with unlimited internet access with just a few clicks. Whether it’s streaming on a connected device or directly from the internet, digital media has never been more accessible.

If your TV lacks an internet connection then it is likely, not broken and you do not have to fix a broken tv screen. Here are a couple of tips to assist you.

Connecting a Streaming Device to Your TV

Many streaming devices plug into the HDMI port found on several HD TVs. Older TVs may not have an HDMI port, but many have an A/V (audio-visual) port. The cord that plugs into this cord has three components, each marked with a color. You can see a white, red, and yellow end of the cord. If your TV doesn’t have an HDMI port, you should check for three circular ports lined up in a row marked with the aforementioned colors. You may need to purchase an HDMI to AV adapter.

Once you determine you have an HDMI port or have purchased and acquired an adapter, you simply plug the device into these. Make sure you turn the TV on to set up the new device. You will need to connect to the internet using your Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi connection. If you have a protected internet connection, you will have to type your password in using the remote. This will help you figure out how to connect my tv to wifi. After setting the streaming device up, log into your streaming services. From there, you may watch shows from these services on your TV. If you are having issues with an inconsistent connection, you may experience buffering, however. To learn what to do about this, you can read more about why your TV keeps buffering. It should also be noted that when you should have a strong WiFi password when you connect your smart TV so no one can hack your smart TV camera.

Connecting a Computer to Your TV

Many consumers do not realize this, but your computer may connect to your TV. If your computer has an HDMI port, you can connect an HDMI cable to the TV and the computer. From there, you should be able to extend your display or duplicate your display on the TV. Both of these options can be found under display options. Connecting your computer to the TV allows you to access the internet and display content on the TV screen, though you may want a mouse to control it from a distance. Additionally, if you don’t want to connect a computer, but want to share photos or videos you have taken, you can connect your phone to your TV.

Connecting a Gaming Console to Your TV

Many gaming consoles starting with the Playstation 3, XBOX 360, and Wii connect to the internet. The earlier generations of these consoles come with AV cords, which would require an adapter like the one mentioned above to connect to more recent TVs. Video game console brands include an HDMI cable in the box to connect to the TV, and they would require the adapter to connect to older TVs. Video game consoles often offer applications to access streaming services. Before trying to open these applications, make sure you are connected to your Wi-Fi or an ethernet cable. This information can be found under “settings” and “network settings.” However, if you are like a lot of consumers, you have many devices connected to your TV like a cable box, gaming console, streaming device, or DVD/blu ray player. If so you may want to know how to add more HDMI ports to a TV. Just remember to make sure your connections are secure so you don’t have to wonder why your TV screen is pink.


How can I make my non-smart TV a Smart TV?

To make your non-smart TV smarter, you need to buy a streaming media device, video game console, or computer to connect to the TV.

How can I connect a streaming device to my TV?

Most streaming devices will connect to your TV through your HDMI port or an AV port using an HDMI adapter.

How do I stream internet content on my TV?

You will need accounts for streaming services and an internet-enabled device. The device can be connected to the TV using a cord, and you will need to connect to the internet to log in to your accounts.

STAT: In the US, there is an estimated 119.9 million TV households in the TV season 2018/19. (source)

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