This is a guest post from Steve Gardner, tech Expert on JustAnswer.
Many owners of TVs and BluRay players choose their shiny new purchase based on its ability to stream movies from Internet services (such as Netflix) straight into their living room. Convenient and very cool.
But hold the popcorn!
Hooking up a new BluRay player or TV to the Internet is a procedure where many users run into trouble. The reality is that many people are unable to get their new gizmo to talk to their wireless routers in the first place. Here's why:
Problem 1: Wireless device needed
Many BluRay players and nearly all TVs require an additional wireless device or network adapter in order to talk to the outside world. Some BluRay players are sold as "wireless capable" which (in the store) looks like it will do the trick, but in reality the extra device is needed (for an additional cost of $40-$80). Some alternatives to buying the device include hard-wiring the TV to the router with CAT5 cabling or purchasing a second "bridging router" which can be placed close to the TV.
Problem 2: Wireless encryption key
Some players do have built-in WiFi, which brings us to the next most common problem: the wireless encryption key on the router.
The router in your home is normally set up with a key that prevents outside devices from accessing your wireless networks. This includes your new TV or BluRay player. The problem is that the key is often set up by a friend or the cable company and is easily forgotten. Without the key, your posh new TV will not stream anything. Furthermore, in order to discover the key, you need another password to get into your router's configuration screen. Usually, if the key is forgotten, so is the password and the router has to be reset and set up from scratch.
Problem 3: Internet speed
Lastly, Internet speed is very important. A slow connection will result in very low quality video and hang-ups in the stream. Test your connection at www.speedtest.net. Netflix will have you believe you need a minimum of 500Kbps, but, in reality, for HD viewing you will need a connection at least 10 times that, 5-10Mbps.
A fast connection, full knowledge of your wireless security, and a working wireless device will almost guarantee you many happy hours of viewing.