Pre-purchase Q - do I need a 'Smart' TV if I have xbox Live?!


Standard Member
Hello all.

Finally bowing to pressure to allow a game console into the house. As my kids are now 9 and 10, I guess I've done well to hold off this far...

Attracted by the xbox 360 as it has internet/wifi connectivity, and it's probably more similar to what we're currently used to - a PC.

I will also be buying a new, slightly larger, TV - no point in half measures. Sigh.

Ok, there are certain things we will not require, and that will include any subscription services to 'Live' - I feel we have more than enough 'stuff' available already without needing to add these features. However, what we would find really useful would be access on the TV to BBC iPlayer, Ch4 on demand, etc. so's we can catch up on missed programs. I guess access to 'Youtube' would be fun too, although not essential, as would general web browsing if that's possible. I was toying, therefore, with getting a 'Smart' TV which has some or all of these features.

My main Q is, then, if I get an xbox 360, will this negate the need to get a Smart TV?! Standard Freeview-HD TVs are a good £50-100 cheaper than their Smart counterparts, so there's no point spending that extra if the xbox Live will do it for me!

Or will I need to add a subscription to 'Live' to get these things?

What does the 'standard' (free) 'Live' do - catch-up TV? Web browsing? What else?!

Many thanks for any pointers :D.

l Dowson l

Active Member
My main Q is, then, if I get an xbox 360, will this negate the need to get a Smart TV?! Standard Freeview-HD TVs are a good £50-100 cheaper than their Smart counterparts, so there's no point spending that extra if the xbox Live will do it for me!
Thats correct. iPlayer, Demand5, 4OD and YouTube are all apps that are available on the xbox as well as internet explorer which I havent used. NetFlix and Love Film are also available.

I think you may need to sign up to Gold to get these benefits however. Another £25 - 40 a year depending on what renewal deal you get.

I probably shouldnt say this in the Xbox section but have you looked into a PS3? It has a Blu-Ray player if you havent got one as yet and you wouldnt need an annual subscription as far as I know.
Last edited:


Standard Member
Oooooh, cussing on the xbox forum...

Thanks, Dowson - that's promising.

The actual console I'll be going for hasn't been set, so I can be flexible. As far as game-playing goers, I understand there isn't much to choose between them all (tho' I do have an irrational personal dislike for Wii...)

So PS3 has internet features like the TV catch-ups too? Can it be WiFi'd? (Tho' taking an Ethernet cable through t'wall ain't a major problem.)

I'm not looking for movie or game downloads, faffing around with multiple apps, etc - just looking for a decent game player along with the main-channel (Beeb, ITV, Ch4 & 5) TV catch-ups. Having kept these console beasts from the door for 10 years, I'm determined our kids won't become slaves to them now!

Thanks again :)


Distinguished Member
Only iPlayer is free on the Xbox. Everything else (ITV/4OD/Demand5/Netflix/Lovefilm/Internet Explorer) requires you to have a Gold subscription for Xbox Live.

On PS3, all of the above is free. It is missing Demand5, but has everything else for free.

Wii only has iPlayer & a web browser.

Wi-Fi is standard on all the current consoles.

l Dowson l

Active Member
Oooooh, cussing on the xbox forum...
Don't tell anyone!

I'd pop a question into the PS3 section just to clarify. I can only speak from an xbox perspective but if you dont own a Blu-Ray player I know I'd go to the dark side (PS3). :smashin:


Standard Member
Thanks Hippo - that's really useful info.

I have no intention of getting subscription services, so that may well rule out the xbox - unless I also go Smart TV.

Cheers again, Dawson - yes, I'll clarify all the info before I make my decision.

Great info, gents - much appreciated!


Novice Member
Do you have or intend to have any subscription tv services (sky etc) as these nearly all have iplayer, 4od etc now. Some standalone bluray players will also give you access to the same type of services


Standard Member
Hi Rodenal. No, I don't. And hell will freeze over before I subscribe to anything other than t'net!

(I don't want the household to revolve around electronic entertainment and viewing - there's more than enough good stuff on the Beeb and Ch4 etc at the moment, without me adding to the confusion. If there's nothing really worth watching on, then the tele can bludywell go off and t'kids can pick up a book instead!)

I've come round to thinking a Smart TV is the way to go - it'll make doing 'catch-up' and all that stuff a lot more straight-forward to access, I think. And then the console can do just what it was originally designed for...

Yep, I'm old-fashioned!

Thanks, all.

niall campbell

Novice Member
The tv is rubbish for Smart stuff

Stick with a console. Its far more friendly and with dvd/ blu ray player built in , what more do you need ??

It will stream wirelessly or be plugged in. Look up Amazon and run a CAT 6 cable from the router to back of xbox. The cable is dirt cheap and far more stable than wi fi.


Standard Member
Thanks, Niall.

Wanna keep things simple as my requirements are pretty basic! All I'll need from the tele - apart from the current terrestrial progs - will be the odd catch-up. I just don't want (well, don't want the kids...) to go down the path where they think they can switch on the tele at any time and always find something 'worth watching'. I like things as they are now - whenever I see one of them pick up the remote, I ask "What's on?!". If they can't tell me, or if it ain't something really worth watching, I tell 'em to put the damned thing back down and go and use their brains instead... Lucky kids, eh?!

I get what you're saying about Smart TVs not being so clever at the moment - it's only BBC iPlayer and ITV that are guaranteed on them currently, I believe, with Ch4OD being available on Samsungs as they've made a deal? Surely Ch4 and 5 will be added to all in due course with a firmware update? In which case, that'll do me more than fine.

And the games console can stay switched off :p


Similar threads

Top Bottom