Is it a good idea to buy a WiFi repeater to connect a Smart TV? Not always

In recent years, Smart TVs have become the home device that consumes the most bandwidth throughout the day. When we are watching a movie or series from any platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and even if we watch Plex using a NAS where we have the multimedia content, the bandwidth consumed by the TV can easily exceed 50Mbps, something excessive if not we have a well-dimensioned wireless network. If you use your Wi-Fi Smart TV and you have stoppage problems while you are watching a movie or series, you surely need a WiFi repeater.

The Wi-Fi repeaters They are the cheapest devices to improve the wireless network in our home, but they have three main functions. The first function is to expand the WiFi wireless network, taking the main network and repeating it to reach every corner of our home. The second function is to use it as a WiFi access point, connecting the repeater by cable to the local network (either to a switch or to the router). The third function is the one that interests us in this case, and that is that we can use it as if it were a “bridge” of the WiFi network to provide a cable connection.

The best way to connect your Smart TV

The best way to connect your smart TV to the Internet is using an Ethernet network cableIn this way, we can connect the TV directly to the WiFi router that we have in our home. This form of connection is very stable both in terms of speed and latency, ideal for not having any kind of “stop” while watching multimedia content. We will notice the improvement, above all, in those services that require greater bandwidth, for example, when we reproduce content in 4K resolution.

Although there are some TVs that allow us to connect via WiFi at a higher speed than the Ethernet connectionFor example, if the TV has Wi-Fi 6 and supports the 6GHz band, the most normal thing is that this TV can connect at a theoretical speed of up to 600Mbps in the 5GHz band. However, this speed is “theoretical”, and between the losses due to wireless coverage, interference, the use of the WiFi network by other wireless clients simultaneously, the real speed that we can achieve is around 300Mbps maximum.

This figure is higher than the typical 100Mbps Fast-Ethernet port that low- and mid-range Smart TVs have, because high-end 4K models already incorporate Gigabit Ethernet connectivity (up to 1Gbps speed). Nevertheless, it is better to have a stable 100Mbps wired connectionrather than having a 300Mbps connection over WiFi.

What if I can’t connect via cable to the router?

If you cannot connect directly to the router by cable, and the wireless connection of your Smart TV is not very good or you are very far from the WiFi router and you have a poor signal, a very good alternative is buy a WiFi repeater and connect it via Ethernet network cable to this TV. In this scenario, we can buy a WiFi repeater that we will place near the TV where we need to connect to the Internet, we will configure the device to extend the wireless signal of our main router, but we will connect the TV directly to the WiFi repeater by cable, acting as ” bridge”.

We should never connect a Smart TV or TV Box to a WiFi repeater, because we are losing a lot of bandwidth due to this “jump” of the repeater, specifically we lose approximately half of the speed, in addition, the latency of the connection will increase. The best way to help us with a WiFi repeater is connect cable TV to this device, so we will have at our disposal all the bandwidth of the wireless network. In the event that you have several equipment in your living room that need an Internet connection, such as the TV, decoder and TV Box, then you will have to buy a switch and connect it to the repeater, so that it is used as a “thief” of ports Ethernet and connect all the devices we need there.

Currently there are WiFi repeaters that have more than one Ethernet port for the LAN, this is perfect to be able to connect to the local network by cable, and use the other port to connect an end device. In this way, we can use the repeater as a WiFi access point and also as a “bridge” to connect the end device, and all without the need for a switch.

As you can see, there are different ways to connect our TV to the Internet (by cable or WiFi), but we should always use the cable either to the main router or to a WiFi repeater if we have poor WiFi coverage from the main router.

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