Note: To return to this page after clicking one of the links below, hit Back as many times as necessary.

The Basics

So you have a WebTV Internet box, and it must be hooked up, or you wouldn't be reading this. Where to start? The WebTV Home page. On the sidebar of the Home page, you'll find links called Setup and Using WebTV; I suggest you click those links, and read every single page you can find there. You'll need all that information in the first months you have your terminal, and you'll be able to refer back in the future anytime you need to solve a simple problem, or change anything about your setup.

You also might find interesting and helpful information at WebTV's website.

Equipment

For some detailed information on your terminal and accessories, click here.

Q & A

Beyond what information you find in the basic pages just off the Home page, you'll find yourself frequently needing more detailed answers, or answers to new problems. One of the links you should have seen was to the Help Center, your first source of information and answers to common questions about your terminal, your subscription, the WebTV service, accessories, billing, and many other things. At the bottom of most pages at the Help Center, you'll find a search box to help you find what you're looking for.

If your question still isn't answered there, you'll find a query form linked from most of the pages at the Help Center allowing you to submit an e-mail to WebTV's customer service representatives for a personal answer (look for the white-on-green question-mark icon). But look for the answer at the site first, answers from customer service can take days to receive.

If you need more help than you find even there, visit the webtv.users newsgroup, a moderated forum allowing you to read 1,000 questions and answers people have put up there, and submit your own question for the moderators and other users to reply to.

The Web

The Internet is huge; the most generally known part of the Internet is the World Wide Web. There are tens of millions of webpages available to you on the WWW, at the click of a link. To use all that's out there, you'll have to learn how to find things, and what common Internet terms mean. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to learn how to find what you're looking for, and what the lingo means, as soon as possible after getting online; it will determine to a great degree how much enjoyment and learning you derive from your time spent, and eliminate a major source of frustration.

E-Mail

Another common and important feature of the Internet is electronic mail. WebTV's e-mail is usually extremely fast, and you'll find yourself using it almost every day. Take the time to learn how it works.

Favorites

After you begin surfing the Web on a regular basis, you'll want to save sites you find of interest in Favorites; think of them as bookmarks in a book with 50,000,000 pages. Again, take the time to learn about all the features and limitations of Favorites, they're a tool you'll need and understanding it is very important.

Newsgroups

Another aspect of the Internet are the newsgroups, which can be thought of as dynamic bulletin boards with access from computers and set-top devices all over the world. This is a big topic, worth spending time learning about in detail.

Chat

People like to talk, and newsgroups aren't "live" enough to carry on a real conversation. For this, you have access to a couple of kinds of chat. This is another big topic, get ready to read about it.

Additional Users

You can add up to 5 additional user accounts to your terminal subscription at no additional charge. Each user you add will have their own e-mail address and storage, their own Favorites, and the primary user (the subscriber account) can place restrictions on the other users' access to mail, chat, and websites, through Setup (or Using WebTV) on the primary's Home page. For more info, click here.

Homepages

With your WebTV, you can build a personal homepage for free, displaying whatever personal interests you have to anyone in the world with Internet access. For more about how to do this, click here.

Have fun!

Paul Erickson

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