Are you one of those who only use your smart TV to watch TV? The arrival of Smart TVs also brought new ways to use the TV. These are 9 tricks to get the most out of your Smart TV using it for more than just watching TV.
The most veteran of the place still remember how, in a derogatory tone, more years ago than I would like to recognize, many called the television “the silly box”. Little did they imagine the transformation that this device would suffer by simply adding a function: the Internet connection.
This connection has forever changed the concept of a device that until now only served as a window to what the television networks would like to show us, but which, as in its day happened with the smartphone, has been adding new functions and utilities that have turned the television into the true center of home entertainment.
When the full potential of smart TVs and their functions is discovered, the user changes his attitude when using it, and he no longer feels “to see what they put on TV” but it is the user himself who manages what content You will see, among a huge catalog of leisure options.
If you still do not sit before the TV with that attitude, it is that maybe you are not taking advantage of all its functions. We show you 9 tricks to get the most out of your Smart TV.
9 Tricks to Get the Most out of Your Smart TV
Here is the list of all tricks
No#1: Welcome to television 2.0
One of the advantages of the arrival of Smart TVs is the wide range of content that can be accessed thanks to its internet connection.
During the first years of Smart TV life, the number of applications available for televisions was very little, so if your Smart TV is going to turn a decade in your home, its options are limited, even if it is connected.
However, the operating systems that mount the current Smart TVs do offer maximum connectivity and make it easy for you to squeeze the full potential of that Internet connection.
As we say, the arrival of Smart TVs has changed the way the user watches TV. You no longer sit in front of the TV at a certain time to watch a particular TV show. Now he makes use of the video platforms on demand and that has given him the freedom to see the content he wants, at the time he wants without time restrictions.
It is something as simple as opening the YouTube app and finding the videos of the main entertainment programs that the producers themselves are responsible for uploading to their respective channels.
The YouTube app is one of the essentials on any television and the amount of content that can be found on that platform is such that it can make you forget what traditional television was.
Of course, having a subscription to one of the content platforms available today contributes greatly to making the most of your Smart TV, since they broadcast content in 4K resolution with HDR and surround sound technologies, something that to date it is not possible to enjoy on conventional television channels that only reach HD broadcasts with poor image and sound quality.
No#2: The End of the war for Command
There was a time when taking control of the TV remote control placed you in a dominant position in front of other family members. Unfortunately that position of power has vanished with the improvement in the connectivity of televisions.
To control the most common TV options, you only need your smartphone and have the free remote control app that many manufacturers have created for their TVs installed.
This app is especially useful in those afternoons when the remote control is inexplicably far from your reach and getting off the couch represents an unassuming sacrifice, especially now that you have found the perfect posture.
Brands such as LG or Samsung have their own applications that turn your smartphone into a remote control for your TV, but there are also other generic ones for those TVs that use Android TV. Now your smartphone is also the remote control for your smart TV.
No#3: Jukebox with Unlimited Music
Are you one of those who prefer to do household chores while listening to music? Well, to achieve this you no longer need a sound system. All you need is a Smart TV.
Today’s televisions have greatly improved the sound quality, and there are few that incorporate several speakers with which they even manage to emulate surround sound or, at least, obtain a more than decent stereo sound. In addition, many users choose to install an additional sound bar to their Smart TV, so the final sound quality of the TV is more than decent.
Why not take advantage of the sound quality that your TV provides to play your favorite music to liven up the always tedious household chores?
The arrival of apps on TVs almost equates them to smartphones, so you can install the Spotify app or simply search the YouTube app of your Smart TV for a playlist of your favorite artist and let the music flow.
To improve the sound quality, many TVs incorporate a specific sound mode for music, so you will use all the power of the TV to listen to your favorite music. Surely you would never have imagined that your Smart TV could become a jukebox with unlimited music.
No#4: An Unexpected Gaming Platform
If you are fond of video games it is quite likely that you have connected the console to your Smart TV to enjoy your favorite games on the big screen. But did you know that you don’t need a console to enjoy the best games on your TV?
If you have Android TV as an operating system for your Smart TV, you can install any Google Play game on your TV, and connect a game controller via Bluetooth or directly with a USB cable.
In fact, if you already have a PlayStation or an Xbox, you won’t need to buy another controller since many TVs recognize them as Bluetooth controls and allow them to be used to control games.
This makes it really easy to play the same games as your mobile on your Smart TV as current TVs mount similar hardware to what we can find in mid-range smartphones. But it’s not the only option.
You can also use local streaming systems like the one that allows the Steam gaming platform with its Steam Link app. This application allows you to run your Steam games on your computer, so that it acts as a server, while the Steam Link app installed on your TV would act as a client that receives the video signal from your computer.
That way, you can be comfortably playing Battlefield 5 or The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on your TV, while the game is running on your gaming PC that is in another room … and all without a single cable.
No#5: Connectivity Beyond Your Screen
Directly related to the previous trick, in which you can send the video signal from your gaming PC to your Smart TV to play from it to the best games, leave us on the tray the next trick you should know to get the most out of your Smart TV: Connectivity through Chromecast and other data server protocols.
A device as simple and affordable as the Google Chromecast revolutionized the connectivity between smartphones and Smart TV as it allowed the user to easily send content from their mobile to watch it on the TV.
Now, most new TVs have an integrated Chromecast, or have support for the Miracast wireless display connection protocol that offers the same connectivity options.
What does Chromecast connectivity allow you? Well, for example, create a reflection of the screen of your smartphone on your TV, so that everything that happens on the smartphone screen will be seen on the TV.
That includes the option to play more demanding games, such as Fortnite, that may not be compatible with your Smart TV. Simply connect your smartphone to your Smart TV using Chromecast (or the Miracast protocol) and run the game to watch it on the screen of your Smart TV. If you use a Bluetooth game controller connected to your smartphone you will not find differences, except in the size and quality of the screen.
Another of the tricks that allow you to get the most out of your Smart TV is to take advantage of the DLNA file server protocol to view content on your TV that is actually stored on other computers.
That way, you could watch wirelessly, the videos you save on your laptop, on your computer or on a NAS disk. The only requirement is that both the TV and the device are connected to the same network and remain on while the content is playing.
Most televisions will show these remote servers as one more source of input in the menu of external sources, so you only have to select them to navigate the content available on each of them and choose a video, a photo or a song to play it on the TV.
No#6: PC and Monitor All in One
As the connectivity options of Smart TVs have progressed, their hardware has become more and more powerful. In some way, their evolutionary path has developed in parallel to that of smartphones while retaining many points in common with them.
This has led some TVs to have hardware equivalent to a mid-range smartphone, which means that in practice they match some modest computers in performance.
You can connect a keyboard and mouse using Bluetooth to turn your TV into a computer from which to browse, check email or use social networks. All you need is to install a browser, although it is more than likely that your TV already includes one at the source.
With the amount of services available online, can you imagine how many things you can do from your TV? From editing documents with Google Docs or Office 365 online, editing photos and videos, creating presentations.
The possibilities are unlimited and to get it you just need to connect a keyboard and mouse to your TV to make its use more comfortable. Isn’t it amazing?
No#7: Use it as a Control Panel for Your Connected Home
The Internet of Things (IoT) is gradually being implemented in homes. Connected light bulbs that allow turning on or off with a voice command, smart plugs … everything is connected.
Your Smart TV is no exception and voice assistants have made their place among their software. In fact, many of them have support for several of them.
This compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa attendees or Google Assistant not only allows you to control the TV’s functions just by saying it, but they also allow you to integrate the Smart TV into the ecosystem of your connected home.
That way, just turn on your TV to turn it into a control center for your connected home.
You just have to press the button on the remote control of your TV to activate the microphone of the voice assistant (and in some models not even that since the microphone is integrated in the TV itself) and order the air conditioner to adjust its temperature, to the lights that lower their intensity to create a cinema atmosphere and to the sound bar to activate the Cinema mode.
No#8: Unlimited Storage for Your Leisure
If we tell you that you can watch movies, photos or listen to music just by connecting an external USB drive to your TV, we probably won’t be discovering anything new. This function is available from the first Smart TV.
However, what not many users know is that they can program their televisions to record the contents that interest them the most and watch them when it suits them best.
To do this, you only need to connect an external hard drive to a certain USB port on your TV that has recording functions and configure it as an extension of the internal storage. That way, you can select any program to be broadcast on television and automatically record it for later viewing.
This is a particularly useful trick when you do not have a television service on demand, but you do not want to miss your favorite show or series.
No#9: Your TV as a Decorative Element
So far we have told you some tricks to get the most out of your Smart TV when you sit in front of it to rest or entertain. But did you know that your Smart TV can be useful even when you’re not ahead
When you are not using the TV, it is nothing more than a huge black rectangle in the living room that brings nothing to your home. That is why more and more manufacturers are incorporating a low consumption option that turns the TV into a frame Literally.
By activating this mode, while the TV is not being used, a series of selected images or works of art are displayed, and even frames that make your TV really look like a picture are simulated.
The effect has a greater impact is a modern Smart TV, with much thinner profiles, and if you have it installed on the wall.
Within this “Gallery” mode you can also choose to link your TV with your Google Photos account, so that when the TV enters standby mode, photos of your trips, your selfies or your family photos are displayed.