CraigM wrote:Q-I don't care about a Smart TV for internet/facebook...BUT will I need that WIFI/Ethernet connectivity in any way for a remote control situation?
I'm assuming that by "remote control situation" you mean remotely controlling it via Indigo? If so, WiFI/Ethernet aren't necessarily required, but would probably make integration a bit easier. On the other hand, I found that, while my Panasonic TC-P65VT30 has WiFi and Ethernet, developing a control interface between Indigo and the TV through the network was quite a bit more complex than using the TV's custom integration serial port interface. So, it really depends on the specific brand and model I guess.
CraigM wrote:Q- What happens when you plug-in a TV onto the network? Does it show up and get an assigned IP?
CraigM wrote:Q- If it shows up on the network, does that mean that I can somehow give it commands (on/off...) directly? Or will the TV still need an IR sensor?
That's another one that really depends on the specific brand and model. It's probably a safe bet that any TV that has an iPhone/Android app to control it over the network can be controlled by other devices over the network. You'd still have to do your own development to get that to work though.
As for the Global Cache comparisons, I have no experience with any of those, so I couldn't comment. For my serial connection to the TV, I just use a USB-serial interface, a small custom Python script I wrote, and numerous triggers in Indigo.