There is no doubt that Smart TVs are excellent devices. From being able to search the web from the comfort of your couch to having buttons dedicated to turning on the streaming platform of your choice, the options are almost becoming endless. But did you know that there are plenty of other things you can do with your smart TV than just Netflix and chill!? This post will cover some of the more exciting hacks you have for your TV.
What Is A Smart TV?
A smart TV is a television set with built-in software to receive digital and internet television signals, enabling access to video content such as movies and TV shows, viewing pictures or documents stored on a home network or attached storage device. Some of the benefits over a conventional or “dumb” TV set include:
- Convenience: There is no doubt that the most significant benefit of a smart TV is the sheer convenience that they provide. You can do almost anything on them these days without having to crack open your computer.
- Control: The amount of control that modern smart TVs possess is unimaginable even a decade ago. The options are limitless, from using your smartphone as a remote to use your voice to find programs or open applications.
- Streaming services built-in: From Netflix to Amazon Prime, most modern sets can stream directly from your favorite service without interruption.
- Built-in app store: You can download all manner of apps, including pretty much anything you can find on the Android Play Store (they mostly use Android as their OS).
- Extremely high definition: Although this isn’t exclusive to smart TVs, you can often find most sets with a 4K OLED display and, in some cases, up to 8K.
- Great UX: The beautiful user interface is easy to operate and navigate, making it a pleasant experience.
Top Hacks For Your Smart TV
Although these devices come pre-set to make your life as easy as possible, there are numerous things you can do to make them even better.
Reprogram A Remote For A Specific TV
In days gone by, it used to be a big deal to reprogram a remote if you misplaced your old one or it deteriorated over time. However, these days, it is simply a case of checking online and following a simple set of instructions. For instance, you can use these tricks to program a DIRECTV remote to Vizio TV, which will allow you to use the most ubiquitous universal remote (the DIRECTV) with a Vizio set. If you have another brand, the best part is that you can often find loads of information on various forums such as Reddit or watch “how-to” videos on YouTube to see how it’s done.
Use Chromecast To Use Your Phone As A Controller
In some games, you can download the app on your phone and use Chromecast to use your phone as a games controller. Chromecast is a media streaming device that plugs into the TV (although many now come with it built-in) and allows you to wirelessly stream content from your phone, laptop, or tablet. Chromecast works with apps like Netflix and YouTube to display video content on your TV screen. However, you can also use it to play games on the big screen with your phone. Not all games will allow this, and you have to enable it in the “Remote and accessories” section of the settings. You simply follow the instructions to add an accessory, and away you go.
Play Audio Via Your Device And/ Or A Headset
To set the scene, imagine that you simply cannot fall asleep no matter what you do, and you want to watch a movie to whittle the hours away. If you are not keen on squinting at your tiny phone screen, the only other option is to watch it on the box. However, you don’t want to wake up everyone in the house, so what can you do? The best answer is to send the audio directly to your smartphone, where you can control the volume precisely and even use Bluetooth headphones to keep the full, immersive sound.
Tune The Settings Out The Box
This point isn’t a hack per se but will improve your viewing experience enormously. Because smart TVs have the word “smart” in the name, many people believe that you can merely take it out of the box, plug it in, and it will be set up exactly how you want it. However, this is not the case, and in most instances, it will be set to a factory setting which is pretty awful unless you fiddle about with the settings a bit. Therefore, to get the most from your TV, you should spend some time in the settings menu getting everything just right. You will be pleasantly surprised at the difference a few minutes can make.
Turn It Into A Piece Of Art
Due to the fact that these devices are constantly connected to the internet, you can set them up to show a screensaver when not in use. So instead of having an ugly black mirror staring back at you every time you walk by, you could be looking at some gorgeous cityscape or marvel at the beauty of nature. The best part is that you can set it up as an automatic slideshow and have it flip through a never-ending selection of professionally shot images.
Conference Call From Your Sofa
While many employees are making tentative steps to go back into the office since the pandemic lockdowns, most still allow remote working to continue. Therefore, you can attach a webcam to the TV, download the streaming app your office uses (being honest, this will likely be Microsoft Teams or Zoom), and then sit back and conference call in comfort! Just remember to set your background to something a little more formal than your well-organized Ikea living room.
Use It As A Stereo
Most modern TVs have surprisingly good speakers built-in to them. To that end, you can download your favorite music streaming app (or just open YouTube) and let her rip. You can take advantage of the fantastic sound and also be able to change tracks using your smartphone.
TVs are constantly evolving and are showing no sign of slowing down. You can use the hacks in this post to get even more from these amazing devices. The next time you’re looking to buy a smart TV, don’t forget to do your research and keep the hacks mentioned in this article in mind.