Advice on Smart TVs please!


I would like to buy a flat screen TV and fix it to the wall to save space.

I don’t want any set top boxes (don’t want a TV table or the clutter).

Would a smart TV on its own be enough to get Netflix, Prime etc.?

Thank you in advance!

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Yes, you definitely can.

Regarding the “smart” features, they all have Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, etc., but I would recommend either a Roku TV or an Android TV. The reason is that these TVs will continue to receive support and updates longer than smart TVs from companies that are using a custom smart TV interface.

Get a mount that at a minimum allows tilt and swivel. The tilt allows you to direct the TV downward a few degrees if it’s mounted higher on the wall. The swivel allows you to correct a few degrees for a mount that isn’t perfectly level. Be careful with articulating mounts that can be pulled out from the wall (sometimes up to 2ft) and then angled left or right. The ability to move the TV that far means any cables plugged into the TV need to be able to move the same distance and it can be easy to pull on them and break things.

Regarding clutter, you can eliminate almost all wires by getting a smart TV that connects to the internet via your WiFi. I say almost because the TV still needs a power cable. It’s against electrical code to directly run your TV’s power cord inside the wall, so your choices are either to hide the power cord in a surface mounted conduit that is painted the same color as the wall, or, ideally, you will add a power outlet directly behind your television as part of the wall-mount installation process, but that can be costly if a power source isn’t convenient in the location you want to put your TV.


The “monitor” I’m typing this on is a 42 inch TCL Roku TV. It cost about $200 at Costco a year ago.

The Roku is built in, and you can set up an app on your smartphone for when the guest has dropped the remote behind the couch and you need to log him out so that the next guest won’t use his account.

It can receive Nextflix, Amazon Prime, Roku, Disney, etc. Guests can plug their laptop into it and watch movies from their hard drive.

I have both a smart TV and a TV with an Amazon fire stick.

For ease of use, my Vizio smart TV has a dedicated button on the remote to access Netflix (the only streaming service I provide). Guests get can navigate the smart functions if they want to use other streaming services including music like Pandora or Spotify.

Using the fire stick isn’t difficult but explaining the logistics of how to access the apps is clunky. That TV has some age. I anticipate replacing it soon with a smart TV

BTW I’ve noticed many guests rather than go through their personal log in process to use apps other than the provided Netflix, will use their laptop or tablet.

Also I provide a usb/hdmi cable so guest can connect a laptop to the TV. So it doesn’t accidentally walk off, I zip stripped the cable to the TV. A pair of scissors can easily cut the zip strip but it would require effort so not accidentally “oh I thought we brought this”.


Second the yes! That’s exactly why I get them…no clutter and simple to use. No external components or additional remotes to deal with. They are all connected wirelessly so make sure you have a good router. Since all of mine hug the wall, I also get the HDMI extender cable to allow guests to connect to the HDMI if they wish, without having to move the tv panel to get access. I recommend getting the Samsung TVs since they update their tv firmware on a regular basis (maybe not as often as a Roku TV or Android TV?). Also their tvs work with their Smartthings hub. With that, you can remotely control the tvs such as turning it off in case the guests leave them on after they left. You even know which streaming apps on the tv they’re using. This is handy because let say if you can stream 3 at a time on Netflix, and if 2 of the tvs are using Netflix, it means you have 1 stream left for you to use at home! There’s one caveat I’ve experienced though. Sometime the tv can’t connect to the hub so you won’t know what tv apps they’re using. But the streaming apps I used on the tv have been working fine so far.

I have a Vizio with external Roku added, Samsung and TCL/Roku smart TVs as well as a non smart TV with Amazon Fire Stick. I like the TCL with built in Roku the best for ease of use. The Vizio is in the Airbnb room and mostly it’s not had any problems. I had one guest who couldn’t figure it out. I was unwilling to go into the room to try and troubleshoot plus it was after I’d gone to bed so I just gave him a discount. There was nothing wrong with the TV though.

Keep in mind if your internet goes out or if signal is poor you’ll have no TV or periodic buffering. That’s the problem I had with the internet TV on my patio this year so ended up having to put it on the cable with a box.

Be sure to attached an over the air antenna so there is some programming if internet is out.

We have Roku TVs in both of our Airbnb bedrooms. They are mounted on the wall with a mount that swivels a bit. They weren’t expensive. Not many guests have used them, since we stopped hosting on March 15. But the guests who have used them have been very pleased.

We had DISH and just got rid of it and now have a wall mounted Roku Smart TV and it has lots of free channels plus we have Net Flix and Amazon Prime. We liked it so much that we got the same thing for our permanent residence. I think you will be pleased with a Smart TV.

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Valid point. 20202020

I had one TV like that. a $19 wi-fi range extender did the trick. I like having basic cable on at least one tv too.

I tried two different brands of extenders, had a new modem and router installed, called Spectrum four times and the only thing that fixed it was getting the spectrum TV box. The main problem was on the outside TV. Getting the signal out there was predictably difficult. But even the TV in my bedroom, close to the router, was buffering a lot at the beginning of football season.

Oh I also had paid for greater speed but wasn’t getting it so stepped back down. I haven’t had guests most the year so don’t really know if there will be an effect in the Airbnb room. A friend is in there the next two nights and she’s addicted to TV so she will let me know if there is a problem.

I purchased the 32" version of this TV and the color is fantastic and the ability to create guest logins and stream has been a big hit. The TCL TVs aren’t very expensive and I got mine on Amazon along with a wall mount. My business partner used it as a work monitor when he visited.

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I’m a HUGE fan of TCL TV’s. Good solid brand. Costco was my to go place for them.

My local Costco wasn’t carrying them this year when I was shopping.

I second, or actually 11th or 12th the TCL Roku TVs!! We have them in all 3 of our apartments and they set-up nice and easy and provide all of the apps that guests look for - though, I personally delete the Fox News app for the good of society, but I digress… :wink:

Though, to be totally transparent, they are of average quality. I absolutely think they are perfect for Airbnbs and, for reference, I go for quality over price for my units. My guests are not coming to watch TV. Most of them never turn them on. They primarily get used for Pandora while we clean and for a fireplace video for check-in in the winter. They work perfectly for Netflix on a random rainy day. But if I was presenting an otherwise high-techy listing or another sort that would get serious TV watching, I would need to upgrade. My hubby and I got one for us. It works. We don’t watch a lot of TV and it’s nothing special when we do, but if we did, we would probably get something else - if it hooked up as easily as the TCL, I think :upside_down_face:

We got one at Walmart, one at Best Buy and two of them on Amazon. They are solid for 99% of listings.

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The nice thing is that this 4K TV replaced 2 27 inch monitors but it has twice as much space as both of them. I did have to upgrade to a new video card with 4 gig of fast video RAM in order to have a stable 4k display. It’s like having 4 HD monitors.

I finally upgraded this machine to Windows 10, but in order to upgrade my other desktop I’ll have to get a new graphics tablet since Wacom doesn’t have Win10 drivers for my current one. The large screen is great for photo editing.

I have similar sized TVs side by side outside on my patio during football season. One is the TCL I bought to mount out there and the other is a Samsung I carry outside from my bedroom. The picture on the Samsung is noticeably better both at night when there is no glare and during the day when ambient light is a problem.


But at least I know that the TCL doesn’t have a built in microphone and won’t call home. Samsung has too much spyware on their TVs, starting with voice control, which means that hackers could take over the microphone. It’s only a matter of time before hackers do to them what they already have done to Echo and Alexa.

All our rental (and our own) HDTV’s have full-motion mounts (can get nice ones that support up to 60" for like $25) and we’ve installed several. We always run the cables along the extension of the mount and leave the mount extended then they route down the wall inside Cordmate or Consumer Electronics paintable AV cord concealer painted to match the wall and looks great. Having the mount fully extended makes it easier to get behind to to the controls, cuts down on viewing distance (RULE OF THUMB: You should not be seated further away than 2.5 x the diagonal distance of the TV for optimal viewing and easy reading of captions), and makes it swing to whatever angle you want (as when watching a living room TV from the kitchen). Most mounts have cable control hooks or ties to neatly route them along the mount’s extension and then I started the cable concealer channel higher up on the wall than the bottom of the TV so that even when seated you don’t see any cables. Just a slight slack accommodates the TV no matter how you swing, tilt or extend the mount without pulling cables. I use extension cords or wall-mounted power strips right at the bottom of the cord channel where the cables exit if necessary.

I also mount a soundbar using the mounts that align it parallel to the TV along the bottom because today’s thin HDTVs can not accommodate decent sound so it’s almost a given you should use some sort of sound system along with it. We use the soundbar systems that are full 5.1 surround with bluetooth subwoofer and satellite speakers at the rear for optimal sports and movie watching experience, as well as for playing music throughout the rental even without the TV being on (and guests can steam from their own phones or tablets to our sound system without wires too). They start at about $150 total like the two Vizios we just purchased on sale over Christmas at Costco for two of our rentals, so more than worth it!

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You’re right, but many people people just pay for a cheap install or do it themselves without knowing what they’re doing. Cheap or inexperienced installers will use the cables that came with the TV which are never longer than 6ft and are rarely long enough to use with a fully articulating wall mount or even a fixed mount that’s attached higher than 4ft from the floor. Luckily, now that we have SmartTVs with WiFi, it’s likely that the only long cable you would need to buy is a power cable and they are around $9 on Amazon for lengths of 8, 10, 12, and 15ft.

Wall-mounted sound bars are a great idea, especially for larger rooms. I put them in the family room and master bedroom, but not the smaller bedrooms. @Mar specifically wanted to reduce clutter, so I’m thinking she probably doesn’t want a sound bar and definitely not if it requires an extra remote or has a separate subwoofer.