How Fast Are Web Browsers on TVs? (Video)

Are TV-based internet browsers actually fast enough to be useful? We run some tests.

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We know that internet browsers go unused on our televisions, but exactly how clunky are they? The TVI crew ran some tests to get a ballpark idea. Check out the video above to see how things played out.

The Experiment

We took two of our current TVs, the Panasonic Viera TC-L47WT50 and the Sharp Aquos LC-80LE844U, and put their internet browsers to a speed test. Comparing them to the ideal browsing experience (a decent laptop, in this case the Macbook Air) we wanted to see how much longer it would take to access and load on these TV web browsers.

The Factors

Each TV has its own varying degree of processing power, which made minimal difference in loading pages. The real time waster was inputting letters into the address and search bars. We also decided to include any mistakes we might have made, as accidentally hitting the wrong button or activating "helpful" features is bound to happen to anyone.

The Panasonic Viera offered two modes of control: a regular remote, and a handy touch pad controller. But neither did a good job of inputting letters. In fact, the mouse-mimicking controller was slower than the remote! While using the touch pad, we activated some sort of mysterious option screen that was controlled with the touch pad. We couldn't get it to work and ended up deleting half of our website address we spent so long typing out!

There was virtually no input lag on the Aquos' remote, which was really nice. The Sharp Aquos also had a neat feature: as we were "typing", it tried to predict the next letter in the word for quicker input. Unfortunately, it would only do single letters and not words, making more work to take advantage of this "quick" feature. The remote can only jump between clickable links, making us miss our cellphones from the early 2000s. The Viera at least tried to simulate a mouse.

The Test Results

Of course, the laptop won by a long shot every time. It was still interesting to see how quickly the TVs could process the internet, and if we had a remote with a QWERTY keyboard attached, we imagine the results might be comparable. Laptops are still at least 3 times faster than TVs, so internet on the big screen is still a long way off. TVs are better off sticking to app-based browsing.

Test 1**Laptop (Result 1)** - 23.01 seconds

Panasonic Viera TC-L47WT50 (w/ standard remote) - 1 minute, 45.53 seconds

Test 2 **Laptop (Result 2)** - 19.38 seconds

Panasonic Viera TC-L47WT50 (w/ VIERA Touch Pad Controller) - 2 minutes, 28.75 seconds

Test 3**Laptop (Result 3)** - 11.23 seconds

Sharp Aquos LC-80LE844U (w/ standard remote) - 2 minutes, 25.62 seconds

Bonus Round**Panasonic Viera TC-L47WT50 (w/ both remotes)** - 1 minute, 5.34 seconds

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