Did get a new iPhone? Are you connecting TV to Internet or simply connecting a new TV? Did you turn on your new laptop and ask how to use Windows 8? You just received the gift you wanted—a smart TV, a tablet, smartphone, computer, media player, smart phone—what do you do now? Here are a few first steps. Later this week, come back to find more complete instructions and tips for Smart TVs and media players, smartphones-Android and iPhones and tablets, and Windows 8 computers.
How to hookup your TV: Pull it out of the box, put it on its stand. Typically manufacturers include a separate leaflet on how to assemble and connect the stand to the TV (not in the manual). Alternatively, put the TV up on its wall mount. Then, of course, you'll need to hook it up. Most home theater devices —DVDs, home theater receivers, media players—today have a single cable, HDMI that carries both sound and picture (audio and video). If you have older devices—a VCR, an older cable box—it may still have three cable connections (yellow for video, white and red for audio) called composite cables. Some new TVs and devices have ports to connect composite cables, others will require an adapter (included with theTV). If you have a big screen, you will want to ultimate replace those devices as the picture quality using composite cables is standard definition and will look sub-par and blurry on your new big screen.
TVs and Media Players/ Streamers
How to Connect a Smart TV, Media Player/Streamer to the Internet and your home network: These devices must be connected to your home network to get services from the Internet. Be sure you know your WiFi router name (SSID) and the password. If there is a "WPS push" option on your router (there will be a button), you can use it for easy setup instead of searching for a network and typing in the password. Note that when you press OK to start the WPS setup, you will have 2 minutes to get to your router and press the WPS button. Once set up It will automatically connect to your router.
Setup an app store account to get more apps: Some TVs and media players require that you setup an account to install more apps.
Get trial subscriptions or connect your accounts to streaming services: If you are new to Netflix, Hulu, Rhapsody, Spotify or other media streaming services, take advantage of the 14-day or month free trial subscription offers.
Connecting a Media Players/Streamer: When connecting a media player or streamer, you may have the opposite problem than you did on a TV. An older TV may only have composite audio and video connection and not HDMI. Some players can only connect via HDMI (time to return it or buy a new TV), others will come with a mini-plug-to-composite adapter cable that connects with composite cables to the TV and into a headphone-like-jack on the player/streamer.
Apple TV: You'll need an iTunes and/or an iCloud account. This will be the same account you use for your iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac computer. The Apple TV remote has few buttons The center area of the circle of navigation buttons, is the select button and the menu button is used to return to the previous screen (long press to go home). You can mirror some iPhones and iPads to your Apple TV.
Smart Phones - Android and iPhone
Smartphone: Hopefully, the gift giver activated your phone prior to giving it to you. You can't make calls until you get a SIM card from your phone company that identifies your phone number so you can make and receive calls and connect to the cellular (i.e., 3G or 4G) network. If it has a SIM card, you may be able to activate it by connecting to your computer or calling the cellular provider.
Without cell service, use Wifi: You can play with apps on your smartphone using WiFi without having cell phone service.
Create a Google Play Store, or iTunes account.
Windows 8 - Laptop
If you have been a Windows user in the past, you will be surprised at how different it is from the Windows 8 experience.
Where are all the menus? Instead of menus and windows, Windows 8 uses swiping motions on a touchscreen display or wide touchpad. When you aren't sure what to do, swipe up from the bottom to bring up all apps, photo imports, swipe in from the right edge to bring up settings in an app, swipe down from the top to bring up thumbnails of open web pages, swipe in from the left to cycle through open apps.
Get a Microsoft Live account to buy more apps and to coordinate between a windows phone or tablet, and with an Xbox.
Adding emails is easy: To add an email account, swipe in from the right and click on accounts. Click "add an account."
Explore different tiles: Your best bet is to click on various tiles to set up services for Facebook, photos, mail, and so forth.
Do you read instructions on your new device, or just poke around?