How to Extend the Internet to the TV Room

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Now that so much entertainment including Netflix movies, YouTube videos, Pandora radio and Flickr photos can be streamed from the Internet, you may feel hindered by having to lean into your computer to experience all that content. Wouldn’t you rather lean back on the sofa in front of the biggest screen in the house? The most basic thing you need is home-network access within reach of the TV.

Assuming you already have a broadband Internet service provider but use the connection only for a computer, you may not even own a router. That’s because you might have been satisfied attaching your one computer directly to a cable or DSL modem. But a home office does not make a home theater. You need to install a router so that multiple devices can leverage that broadband subscription.

If a router with an unoccupied Ethernet jack is near the TV, then an Ethernet-ready TV set, media receiver or Blu-ray player is in cable length of the Internet. If the router is in another room and there’s no Ethernet jack in the TV room, then you have these choices:

  • Tack a cable of sufficient length to floor or ceiling molding, even making a hole in the wall, if necessary, to pull the cable through.
  • Attach HomePlug Powerline Networking adapters to electrical outlets so that your home network can piggyback on existing in-wall electrical wiring.
  • Set up a Wi-Fi network so that wireless connectivity replaces long cable runs.

To connect to a wireless network, remember that your TV, media receiver, Blu-ray player, digital picture frame or portable device must be either Wi-Fi capable or Wi-Fi-ready. In the latter case, a Wi-Fi adapter from the manufacturer may be available that plugs into the device’s USB port.

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