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#1
Old 08-31-2016, 05:48 PM
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Any "smart TV's" which work with a USB PC keyboard connected? Smart TV's are not so smart!

I was looking at a Sharp 50" smart TV at a friend's house. He tried connecting various USB keyboards to the TV, but none of them would work.

You would think that if they made a TV which could connect to Youtube and use a browser, that they would also design it so a keyboard or microphone could be connected!

Are there any other brands of smart TV's which work with a PC keyboard? Have a microphone plug?

(I know Android boxes which connect to TV's work with everything. USB keyboards, mouse, Bluetooth devices, etc. - Just curious about these new TV's.)
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#2
Old 08-31-2016, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Me_Billy View Post
I was looking at a Sharp 50" smart TV at a friend's house. He tried connecting various USB keyboards to the TV, but none of them would work.

You would think that if they made a TV which could connect to Youtube and use a browser, that they would also design it so a keyboard or microphone could be connected!

Are there any other brands of smart TV's which work with a PC keyboard? Have a microphone plug?

(I know Android boxes which connect to TV's work with everything. USB keyboards, mouse, Bluetooth devices, etc. - Just curious about these new TV's.)
My Sharp works with a cheap wireless (Logitech) keyboard which uses a USB "dongle" plugged into the USB port of the TV.
Doesn't work real well, though - the keyboard, YouTube and browsing the web is slow and "clunky" Not worth doing, IMHO.

My Sharp is now 3 years old - can't say anything about the current generation of televisions.

Last edited by Mind's Eye, Watering; 08-31-2016 at 06:45 PM.
#3
Old 08-31-2016, 07:01 PM
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I have a Samsung that I bought a keyboard for, from Frys. I thought it would make it easier to search for shows on Netflix and Amazon. Spelling words with an arrow control and an okay button isn't fun for me. Unfortunately, after using the "set-up wizard" multiple times, it was a fail.
#4
Old 08-31-2016, 07:05 PM
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I have read that it is possible but I have never seen it done well and I work in large-scale IT. That doesn't mean there isn't a combination of TV and keyboard that can pull it off, it just means they aren't commonly used that way. I always advise people to just use a real computer connected to the TV if they want it to be fast, reliable and flexible. That is what I do and it can handle anything just like a regular computer because it is one just with a really big monitor. Works great even with an older computer.

I don't like Smart TV's in general. They work fine right out of the box but they are extremely prone to obsolesce and they require even more updates than a full computer with fewer capabilities. In my opinion, it is better to leave the computing work to a real computer that you can swap out when it no longer meets your needs. You can do that in many ways. Some fully functional Windows computers are extremely small form factor these days and minimalist Linux boxes can be even cheaper and smaller than that. They can handle almost any keyboard and mouse you want because they can handle the drivers for them properly. Smart TV's don't make good general purpose computers that can handle lots of hardware because they aren't designed to be general purpose computers.
#5
Old 08-31-2016, 07:07 PM
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Depending on the brand you can get a smartphone app and use the touch keyboard on your phone. Much less unwieldy than a full size keyboard.
#6
Old 09-01-2016, 09:08 AM
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Or you can just get a "dumb" TV, and use it as the monitor for a cheap Linux system. Then you can use any computer peripheral you want.
#7
Old 09-01-2016, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
Depending on the brand you can get a smartphone app and use the touch keyboard on your phone. Much less unwieldy than a full size keyboard.
The Roku app supports direct transfer of YouTube searches (find it on your phone or tablet as fast as always, tap to make it run on the TV) and voice searching. As well as being a fairly fast general-purpose remote - faster than an IR universal, not quite as fast as the OEM (Bluetooth variant) one.
#8
Old 09-01-2016, 10:44 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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The options are:

1. Get a TV that explicitly says you can hook up a suitable keyboard. This might require a powered USB hub. RTFM.
2. Use an phone app that can control the TV.
3. Use a bluetooth keyboard.

and best of all:

4. Don't buy a smart TV. Get a regular one and a suitable streaming device that allows a keyboard.

Note that, for example, the Amazon FireTV (box) allows hooking up a USB keyboard and mouse (and more), while the FireTV Stick requires root and other tricks to do this (which I have done). On other devices, YMMV.

I have no idea why people buy smart TVs with such limited functionality when for less total money you can get a regular TV and a very good smart device. In particular, one that you know will get OS updates and patches. Without security patches, a smart TV can quickly become a non-working TV.
#9
Old 09-01-2016, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
The Roku app supports direct transfer of YouTube searches (find it on your phone or tablet as fast as always, tap to make it run on the TV) and voice searching. As well as being a fairly fast general-purpose remote - faster than an IR universal, not quite as fast as the OEM (Bluetooth variant) one.
Maybe it's because I have an older model (I believe it's a Roku 2 XD), but YouTube is complete shit on that thing. It literally takes 5 seconds (at least) for button presses to register, forget scrubbing because it will just freeze and crash, and performance actually deteriorates from there the longer you watch. I watch YouTube on my phone rather than deal with that.
#10
Old 09-01-2016, 12:23 PM
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My LG smart TV has a microphone built into its remote control for voice command and search.
#11
Old 09-01-2016, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
Maybe it's because I have an older model (I believe it's a Roku 2 XD), but YouTube is complete shit on that thing. It literally takes 5 seconds (at least) for button presses to register, forget scrubbing because it will just freeze and crash, and performance actually deteriorates from there the longer you watch. I watch YouTube on my phone rather than deal with that.
I have the same one, but possibly a later revision that is faster - some 2's were upgraded to 3 speeds. The OEM remote is pretty fast, but trying to use an IR universal/programmable is exactly as you describe.

The phone app is a nice solution.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 09-01-2016 at 01:19 PM.
#12
Old 09-01-2016, 07:55 PM
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Well DTS does not pass through to the stereo on my friend's TV either (going via the HDMI cable). I don't know if that should work?

And no Youtube DTS videos get the stereo DTS indicator to light up either - that is going from the "smart" TV to the stereo via an optical cable.

So far as the DVD and PlayStation/DTS is concerned, re-routing the sound to bypass the TV - go directly to the stereo via a digital coax and optical cable makes DTS work just fine.

Apparently the TV does not support DTS nor even allow it to pass through in "raw" mode!

Last edited by Me_Billy; 09-01-2016 at 07:57 PM.
#13
Old 09-02-2016, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
The options are:

1. Get a TV that explicitly says you can hook up a suitable keyboard. This might require a powered USB hub. RTFM.
2. Use an phone app that can control the TV.
3. Use a bluetooth keyboard.

and best of all:

4. Don't buy a smart TV. Get a regular one and a suitable streaming device that allows a keyboard.

Note that, for example, the Amazon FireTV (box) allows hooking up a USB keyboard and mouse (and more), while the FireTV Stick requires root and other tricks to do this (which I have done). On other devices, YMMV.

I have no idea why people buy smart TVs with such limited functionality when for less total money you can get a regular TV and a very good smart device. In particular, one that you know will get OS updates and patches. Without security patches, a smart TV can quickly become a non-working TV.
Depending on the size you want, it's difficult to buy non-smart TVs these days. Just looking at the bestbuy website, anything above 60" is smart, and most TVs by the good brands (Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio) are smart, regardless of size. Is it worth it to save $80 to get a non-smart Insignia brand instead of a same sized smart Samsung or LG?
#14
Old 09-02-2016, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muldoonthief View Post
Depending on the size you want, it's difficult to buy non-smart TVs these days. Just looking at the bestbuy website, anything above 60" is smart, and most TVs by the good brands (Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio) are smart, regardless of size. Is it worth it to save $80 to get a non-smart Insignia brand instead of a same sized smart Samsung or LG?
Right. Our TV is "smart" largely because of this. But you can still pretend it isn't and buy a Roku or your streaming box of choice anyway. That is what we did. The Roku has a smartphone app that solves the keyboard issue.

In general I don't trust the TV manufacturers to do a good job at "smart" features. It's not their core competency, it's a checkbox feature they probably don't think it's worth investing a lot of R&D into, and they don't have a huge incentive to keep it upgraded (at least not for the TV they've already sold you). Roku, Amazon TV, and Apple TV live and die by the quantity and quality of their apps and their user interface. The UI in general between our Samsung and our Roku is night and day difference.
#15
Old 09-02-2016, 02:03 PM
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I just use my Steam Link. It's "for" video games and you need Steam, but I actually mostly use it to alt+tab away from steam and watch videos on my TV. If you want, it can be used to just make your TV a secondary remote monitor for your computer. You really need a wired ethernet connection, though, it stutters a lot if you use it wirelessly.
#16
Old 09-02-2016, 02:25 PM
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My friend has one of these keyboards and he likes it. And it's got 4 1/2 stars with 1200 reviews.

https://amazon.com/dp/B00I5SW8MC?psc=1
#17
Old 09-02-2016, 06:35 PM
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I LOVE my smart TV. It's a Hisense (I know, me either) 40" that was listed for $300 at Best Buy. The sales rep strongly recommended it to me and pointed out that it was as cheap or cheaper than the other non-smart 40" TVs they had for sale, so I figured "why not?".

I love it. I can switch between HBOGo and cable and Showtime Anytime with just a few clicks. Time Warner gifted me with free Showtime for a year, and it took a while for me and a TW rep (who totally wasn't responsible) to figure out that I needed to delete the Showtime icon (which came preinstalled on the TV but is for al la carte) and install ShowtimeAnytime (which is for people who have Showtime through their cable provider).

The only thing that suckes is the SiriusXM app on the TV, and IDK whose fault that it, but it's harder for me to change channels on the TV's SiriusXM app than it is to switch from the SiriusXM app to the HBOGo app. Plus, if you end up logged into SXM on 2 devices at the same time it kicks you and AND loses your login info. Retyping my e-mail address and password using arrow keys made me consider trying to connect a USB keyboard to the TV.
BTW, a friend wanted me to watch a movie so he gave it to me on a USB thumbdrive. I don't remember if I used the Google Play app or the Roku Media Player app that was preinstalled on the TV, but it played the movie flawlessly. Did I mention that I love this TV?

I recently bought a wireless keyboard and mouse for my PC but also partially so I could try it with the TV. I haven't yet, because I haven't needed to, and Shagnasty leads me to believe that I need not bother; but if asked, I will try it in the name of science.
#18
Old 09-02-2016, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post
Right. Our TV is "smart" largely because of this. But you can still pretend it isn't and buy a Roku or your streaming box of choice anyway. That is what we did. The Roku has a smartphone app that solves the keyboard issue.
Yeah, buying a dumb TV is about as easy as buying a dumb phone, they exist but you generally have to sacrifice features and are better just getting a smart TV and ignoring the smart functions. My TV has Netflix and various other features but I almost exclusively use the PS4 as its interface is generations better.
#19
Old 09-03-2016, 08:26 AM
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Well, yeah, of course you're sacrificing features. That's what "dumb" means.
#20
Old 09-03-2016, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Well, yeah, of course you're sacrificing features. That's what "dumb" means.
I mean that you may be sacrificing dumb features such as TV size in order to get a dumb TV. Better to get the TV that is the size and quality you want and just ignore whatever "smart" features it has rather than trying to find a dumb TV that doesn't even have the basic TV features you want.
#21
Old 09-03-2016, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Pearse View Post
I mean that you may be sacrificing dumb features such as TV size in order to get a dumb TV. Better to get the TV that is the size and quality you want and just ignore whatever "smart" features it has rather than trying to find a dumb TV that doesn't even have the basic TV features you want.
Yes, the higher up the quality ladder you go, the more likely the TV is to be a smart TV.* That's the reason I got one--not because I particularly wanted a smart TV, but because nobody makes a dumb TV with the other features I wanted (in my case, the best possible picture quality.)

I have a Bluetooth keyboard I can use with my Smart TV, and while it connects, it isn't always useful. The reason is that, unfortunately, each individual app has to be designed to accept keyboard input; it's not enough that the TV has a keyboard connected. If the people who programmed the Samsung Smart TV Netflix app didn't program in keyboard support, you're stuck spelling words with an arrow control and an OK button.

*Is there a name for this phenomenon in the world of commerce, where different characteristics like size, build quality, and features tend to increase together, so that you can't get one without the others? I'm encountering it also as my mother considers getting a new car--she wants something the size of her Honda Civic, but with leather power adjustable seats and xenon headlights and all kinds of luxury features that don't tend to be available in small cars.
#22
Old 09-28-2016, 11:09 AM
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Update: At least some manufacturers LISTEN TO THEIR CUSTOMERS! I found a couple of devices which will take a wireless USB keyboard or mouse!

Samsung 4K UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player. (A REAL 4k player, not just "up-scaling".)

and...

LG UH5500 4K UHD Smart LED TV.

Maybe they have other models which will also do this? Download and read the instruction manual FIRST before buying - see if they have this feature.

Last edited by Me_Billy; 09-28-2016 at 11:09 AM.
#23
Old 09-28-2016, 11:28 AM
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We had recently gotten a Visio that has a small keyboard on the back of the remote.
#24
Old 09-28-2016, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucksinator View Post
I LOVE my smart TV. It's a Hisense (I know, me either) 40" that was listed for $300 at Best Buy.
The reason your smart TV is so great is because the software was written by Roku. I may be slightly biased since I work for Roku, but I've also seen a lot of "smart" TVs, and I've never seen one that is remotely comparable to Roku TVs in terms of software quality and ease of use. Generally TV manufacturers are great at building hardware and terrible at writing software. A lot of manufacturers are coming to realize this themselves and are putting Roku software in their TVs, including Hisense, TCL, Insignia, Sharp, LG, Hitachi and Haier.

BTW, Hisense is not (yet) well known in the US, but it is the largest TV manufacturer in China and the third largest TV manufacturer in the world.

--Mark
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