How a Smart TV works: the best tricks and functions

For many years now, televisions have stopped being silly boxes to become one of the smartest devices in our house. And despite this, there are still many people who continue to treat them as if we were in the times of UHF and VHF.

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How a Smart TV works: know the most practical functions

The fact is that any modern Smart TV offers a wide selection of highly practical features , but there are many users who simply look for the icon of their favorite streaming platform. And it is a mistake, because they can give much more of themselves.

Use your mobile phone (or console gamepad ) as a remote control

It has all happened to us all. And it does not matter how small the room is: the remote control will end up missing sooner or later. It may be under a pillow, in a different room or in the dog’s bed. In the end the problem is the same: you can not turn on the TV, change the channel or control the volume. But there is a solution: you can use the mobile.

Many manufacturers offer specific applications to control their televisions from the phone. Samsung uses Smart View , while the LG app is called LG TV Remote . All of them provide access to the basic features of the television, as well as advanced options such as sending content stored on the mobile, which is one of the strengths of the Samsung app.

If the TV in question is based on Android TV, they can also be controlled using the Android TV Remote Control application from Google. It is very basic, but it can easily take us out of a hurry. And if our TV uses an alternative platform or we want to use an application to access the options of all types of devices, there are alternatives from third parties such as SURE Universal Remote , which is really powerful and even allows to regulate the air conditioning.

Finally, many Smart TVs allow you to navigate through your menus with the command of a console. To do this, you only have to connect it from the menu of Bluetooth devices. It is not very practical to change the channel, but it can be a recommended option to navigate faster through the TV menus. Test it.

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Watching YouTube on TV is easier than it seems

It does not matter if you have Android TV, webOS or Tizen: the vast majority of Smart TVs have direct access to YouTube. The official application is available for practically all the television platforms that we can find in the market, but it is quite true that it is not very comfortable to search with a virtual keyboard or using the remote control . But there is an alternative.

The YouTube application for mobile phones incorporates a feature that allows you to continue on-the-fly playback directly on a nearby Smart TV. For this we only have to link the TV and the mobile through a Wi-Fi network. Just look for the video you want to see on your mobile phone, tap the button to transmit to a nearby device and let the TV do the rest. We guarantee that you will never use the remote again to search on YouTube.

Enjoy the latest video games without a console

If there is an audience that really knows the benefits and potential of modern Smart TVs, that is the players’. In addition to serving to check the weather, the bag or watch YouTube videos, a Smart TV can also replace the classic video game console , either downloading games from its own application store or taking advantage of dedicated streaming platforms.

Since much of its catalog is shared with the basic Google Play, TVs with Android TV have a large repertoire of video games of all kinds ready to download. You just have to connect a Bluetooth gamepad and start enjoying. In the Tizen case there are fewer options, Steam Link can give a lot of play. Never better said.

This technology allows us to connect our PC to the latest generation Samsung televisions without the need for cables , using only a Wi-Fi network. In this way we can play on our PC but on the TV in the living room, matching keyboard, mouse and controls with total normality and using a very intuitive interface to avoid having to go looking for icons of tiny size. The visual quality is also very good, with support for Full HD and 4K resolution.

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Install applications that are not officially available

Android TV is one of the most popular Smart TV platforms of the moment. And for very good reasons. It is intuitive, easy to implement and has a huge number of applications at your disposal, many of them shared with their homonyms for tablets and mobile phones. Basically, many of the applications that you already have on your Android phone are also available for Android TV. But not all.

Compatibility with Android TV depends to a large extent on whether the developer wants to create a version specifically adapted for televisions. When it does not exist, we can use the sideloading technique, which allows us to install the mobile or tablet version on our television. There is the possibility that its operation is not completely fluid or present failures in the interface , but it is a good way to be able to enjoy our favorite apps also on the TV.

To install a mobile application on the TV we must allow the installation of programs from unknown sources , a parameter that can be found within the security options in the configuration menu. After that we can install a sideloading application like Sideload Launcher , which allows to run these applications that are not officially available for Android TV but in other versions of Android.

The simplest way to install an application via sideloading is to download the APK (the Android installer) from a trusted page like APKMirror and put it on a pendrive . Then we will connect said pendrive to the television and we will inspect its contents with a file explorer. Then you must look for the APK file and execute it to proceed with the installation. Once installed on the TV you can launch it with Sideload Launcher.

Learn to record your favorite programs on a flash drive

The VHS is dead and buried, but there are still many people who miss the possibility of recording their favorite shows. Because yes, TVE offers all its programs for free through its official application and others such as A3Player and Mitele offer direct access to the contents of the main private channels in Spain, but some sports broadcasts are not offered over the Internet and there are many stations local without official application. One possible solution is to burn these programs to a USB memory.

For many years now, all Smart TVs have a USB port that serves much more than playing movies stored on external devices such as pendrives and hard drives. We can also use them to record broadcasts , although this feature varies in features and TV settings on TV.

Search in your manual where you can find the option to record live content and remember to reserve a pendrive only for this function , since some TVs protect the contents through DMR to avoid piracy.