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If you are a smart TV owner, you probably think about whether you are using a smart TV to its full potential or not. After decades of underwhelming flat screen plasma sets and bulky CRT televisions, it is impressive that Smart TVs can easily connect to an internet connection.
That said, TV technology has reached impressive heights over the last decade or so, and you need to be up to date on how to best utilize your smart television. In this article, we will discuss some ways you can use to get the best out of your smart TV.
Tips for getting the best out of a Smart TV?
Here are a few hidden tricks and helpful smart tv tips that will enable you to improve your Smart television experience:
Use your Smartphone to control the Smart TV
If you are sick and tired of using the TV remote control to operate the Smart TV, then maybe you need something else. The best thing about Smart TVs is that you can control them through mobile phones.
You can also use this technique if your remote lacks advanced features. Apple TV, Amazon, and Roku have applications that can easily communicate with a Smart TV. If you are an Apple TV user, you can use the remote app, which is built into an iPhone to control the television.
While this IOS remote app may not work on all Smart TVs, there are also some third-party apps that you can use such as the Universal Remote TV Smart.
Link the Virtual Assistants to your Smart TV
Many Smart televisions come with virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. There are also brand-specific smart assistants such as Samsung’s Bixby and LG ThinQ.
These virtual assistant tools make it easier for the user to find what they were looking for. Even if your Smart TV lacks a virtual assistant, you can use the Alexa setup or your smartphone’s assistant.
Look for Exclusive Content and Free Channels
There are a handful of Smart TV manufacturers that offer a suite of movies, streaming services, and free channels.
If you have hit the bottom of your watchlist on Netflix, and want to watch something new, it is worth flipping through Samsung TV Plus or Vizio’s WatchFree catalog. However, this content is typically exclusive to the platform and offers change frequently, so it is best to check this out every now and then.
Connect the Video Game controller to the Smart TV
Why stop at the internal game mode features in a Smart TV when you can integrate a gaming console in a Smart TV setup? As long as a Smart TV offers a Bluetooth connection, you can easily connect your Xbox or Playstation controller, and use it as a remote controller.
However, to do this, you must first enable the pairing option on your Smart TV and gaming console. Some Smart TVs on the market, even offer a controller pairing menu.
Use HDMI 2.1 for improved Picture Quality
The HDMI 2.1 connector is part of every Smart TV model on the market. This new and improved HDMI connector is slowly becoming a standard in the Smart TV industry.
The connector and cable of HDMI 2.1 are similar to the old HDMI cord but if you use HDMI 2.1, it can vastly your picture quality, and deliver 120 frames per second. This method can also offer you a resolution of over 10K.
However, there isn’t a lot of content that will benefit from the HMDI 2.1 connection. You should check the back of your Smart TV and see if it has an HDMI 2.1 connector. If you don’t own a fancy graphic card or a new-gen console, you don’t need to worry about an HDMI 2.1 connector.
Customize the Home Screen
How many Smart TV apps are there on your Smart television’s home screen? Instead of scrolling to find your favorite streaming app or services, go to the settings menu on the TV and select a home screen.
Smart TV’s such as Apple TV, Google TV, and Android TV allow their users the option to customize their home screen. Old Smart television models might not offer the option to strategically place TV apps on the home screen but you will still be able to select your favorite applications.
Curate the TV vibe with the Ambient Mode
A massive Smart TV screen can be a challenge to fit into your drawing room setup. Fortunately, most Smart TVs have the feature of turning into wall art. Some newer Smart TVs on the market have settings called ‘Art Mode’ ‘Gallery Mode’ or ‘Ambient Mode’.
Using a background, video, or image that suits the environment, you can give your TV an amazing screensaver. This screensaver will add a decorative touch to your living room.
Integrate the Smart TV into the Smart Home
If you want to keep things streamlined, you can incorporate your Smart TV into the Smart Home. Many smart home devices and Virtual assistants such as Ring Door Bell pro or Google Assistant can seamlessly integrate with a Smart television.
You can preview your emails, answer your smart doorbell or check on the baby monitor by pressing a button from the comfort of your couch or bed.
Stream Files on your Smart TV
If you have scrolled through streaming options on your TV, you probably have experienced some sort of choice paralysis. Thanks to the viewing algorithms, you will be recommended the same content, making it hard to search for something new.
Try to stream something else by switching out the go-to content applications. You can stream slideshows of your last vacation or old movies.
Keep Up to Date with the Latest News
Why bother and wait for the latest news when you can watch the latest headlines whenever you want to? Fortunately, most big news outlets have their own Smart TV app, that can offer you up-to-date coverage of all the news from different parts of the globe.
Many of these applications offer video and audio streams, along with traditional articles to better your TV viewing experience. When you are looking for sports updates from ESPN or business news from CNBC, it is better to have an option that enables you to get the news whenever you want to.
Browse the Web app on the Smart TV
You can browse the web on your watch, gaming console, and your smartphone, so why don’t you do the same thing on your Smart TV? Fortunately, most modern smart TVs have a built-in web browsers, and it functions the same way as the browser on your phone.
Sure, it may not offer the best browsing experience in the world but it is capable enough to offer a quick Google or Yahoo! search when your phone isn’t close by.
Use your Smart TV as a Learning Tool
What better way to justify the purchase of a Smart TV than using it to learn something new? There is no shortage of quality educational applications on most Smart TVs, from lecture series such as Ted Talks to online classrooms and language courses.
There is also a plethora of educational videos available on YouTube that you can use to train your brain. You can sit back on your couch, and educate yourself without spending a penny.
Stay on top of your Social Media Accounts
Most people love to scroll through their social media accounts for hours daily. In fact, the only thing most people love doing more than watching tv is scrolling through social media. Thankfully, all the major social media sites have robust Smart Tv applications, which enable the user to share their favorite memes and post status updates.
It is not just Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, you can also follow your favorite streamer on Twitch, up your meme game by browsing through Tumblr or you can video call your friend on Skype.
Watch Live Sports on the Smart TV
If you enjoy watching your favorite sport on the big screen, then you are lucky. Most modern Smart TVs offer plenty of choices for sports lovers including applications like NHL.TV, UFC.TV, AFL Live and Optus Sport.
These applications don’t just offer live sports coverage from around the world, they usually feature behind the scene interviews, in-depth stats, and access to past matches. However, keep in mind that most of these applications require paid subscriptions.
Groove out with your Favorite Tunes
While modern Smart TVs are slimmer than ever, they have surprisingly powerful speakers. You might not notice the audio quality while watching your favorite TV show or following daily news, but your Smart TV is a decent substitute for the home stereo system.
However, no need to look for your old DVD player and plug it into the TV though. With applications such as Spotify Music, Google Play Music, Apple Music, and other streaming services, your Smart TV can fill your living room with everything from soothing ballads to sick beats.
While fitness and TVs typically don’t gel together, it is not the case with Smart televisions. Thanks to fitness apps such as Daily Burn and Fitness VOD, along with countless other exercise routines available for free on Spotify and YouTube, you make your Smart television the center of your home gym.
Spice Up your Living room Lights
You know what truly complements a smart television? The smart lights. Not only does adding smart lighting to your living room, enable you to dim them through voice control, but as soon as you start watching a film, the light strips can sync with your Smart Tv. This will ensure your entire living or drawing room react to what’s going on on the TV’s screen.
Speed up the Connection
To ensure you are getting the most out of your TV’s picture quality, you must ensure it is getting high-quality media. If you have a slow internet connection and are streaming low-resolution films, nothing is going to look good on the Smart TV.
Adjust the Brightness and Contrast of your Smart TV
While some people may not agree with this, you can also improve a Smart TV’s picture quality by reducing the TV’s brightness and turning up the contrast. Brightness should be less than half whereas contrast should be at its fullest.
This is a trick that makes colors brighter and will also eliminate the wash-out look that some entry-level Smart TVs have. Sometimes, new Smart TV sets come with a high brightness setting, but you can enhance the picture quality by changing this setting.
Check the Soap Opera effect on the Smart TV
One more thing that you can change from the TV’s setting menu is the soap opera effect. Check if this effect is turned on or off. While the 4K or HD picture will look sharp on the TV, there might be something wrong with the picture quality.
You may not be able to point the issue out or put a finger on a certain issue, but it makes the movies or TV shows look like they were made with a cheap camcorder.
The soap opera effect is designed to smoothen the motions of the picture, making movements seem more life-like and decreasing the motion blur. However, if you don’t like this effect, then you can simply turn it off from the settings menu.
Use the Smart TV Radio
On a Smart TV device, you can tune into your favorite radio station. You can use services such as TuneIn, which will give access to you to all the radio stations in your region. You can also filter these radio stations by music genre, location, or language.
On a Smart TV, not only can you stream music, but you can also stream your favorite podcasts from top services such as iHeartRadio, Pandora, and Spotify. For this, all you have to do is download these apps on your TV, and you can listen to the podcasts while playing with your kids, cooking in the kitchen, or having a shower.
Use the Smart TV to do Online Shopping on a Big Screen
You can improve your online shopping experience by doing the shopping on a large screen. You can easily install shopping apps such as Amazon on a Smart TV, and find better deals and products with a bigger screen.
On a big screen, you can clearly view the product images and even read the customer reviews and small product descriptions without putting any strain on your eyes.
Turn the Smart TV into a Digital Calendar
You can also use your Smart Tv device to display reminders or your schedule, turning the TV into a cool digital calendar. This is great for busy parents struggling to manage schedules or activities. College students can also use a digital calendar to keep track of all their extracurricular activities.
Read your eBook on the Smart TV screen
Since most Smart TVs can now easily connect to a tablet or phone, you can also read your eBook on a big screen. While the main purpose of an eBook is to read it from a handy device like a smartphone, there are times when your eyes get tired of reading small-sized text.
Not to mention, your arms can also get tired of constantly holding a tablet or a smartphone. If you want to read an eBook from a comfortable position such as a lying position, with both of your hands free and without the head bending over your phone or book, then read the eBook on your Smart TV.
Enable Wireless ABD on your Smart TV
If you own an Android TV, then it is a must to enable wireless ABD on the Smart television. ADB stands for Android Debug Bridge, and you can use to install hidden features, uninstall bloatware and sideload applications without APK transfer.
There are several cool things you can do with ADB on an Android TV. Here are a few examples:
Sideload Apps: Android TV does not have access to the full Google Play Store, and there may be apps that you want to install that are not available through the Android TV app store. With ADB, you can sideload apps onto your Android TV.
Change Resolution: If you want to change the display resolution of your Android TV, you can do so using ADB commands. This can be useful if you want to optimize the display for a specific app or if you want to increase the performance of the device.
Disable System Apps: Android TV comes with several pre-installed apps that you may not use or need. With ADB, you can disable these apps to free up storage space and improve the performance of your device.
Take Screenshots: You can use ADB to take screenshots of your Android TV. This can be useful if you want to share a screenshot of an app or game with friends or for troubleshooting purposes.
Record Screen: You can also use ADB to record the screen of your Android TV. This can be useful if you want to create a tutorial or record gameplay footage.
To enable wireless ADB on Android TV, you need to follow these steps:
Turn on your Android TV and go to Settings.
Scroll down and select About.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the Build option. Keep clicking on it until you see the message “You are a developer!”.
Go back to the main settings menu, and you should now see a new option called “Developer options”.
Scroll down to “Debugging” and toggle the “ADB debugging” option to turn it on.
Scroll down to “Debugging over network” and toggle the “ADB over network” option to turn it on.
Note the IP address of your Android TV, which should be displayed on the same screen.
On your computer, open the Command Prompt or Terminal.
Navigate to the folder where you have installed the ADB tools.
Type the command “adb connect [ip address of your Android TV]” to connect wirelessly to your Android TV via ADB.
If the connection is successful, you should see a message in the Command Prompt or Terminal indicating that you are connected to your Android TV wirelessly.
That’s it! You have successfully enabled wireless ADB on your Android TV, and you can now use it to perform various actions on your device without the need for a USB cable.
Step Up your game with the Smart TV Gaming Mode
The gamers have suffered jitter and high latency for a long period. Nowadays, there are several Smart TV models on the market that offer fluid and responsive gaming experiences. These TVs are loaded with 4K resolution, 120HZ frame rate, and HDR (High Dynamic Range).
New gaming consoles such as Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are likely to perform well on modern Smart televisions. Some smart televisions also have tailor-made gaming features such as variable refresh rate and auto low latency mode.
Find the best Smart Tv Audio Setting
Just imagine you are watching your favorite movie on the Smart TV, the conversations are crisp but the action scenes are overwhelming and noisy. The music is lively and bright but meaningful sound effects are getting lost in translation.
While changing the Smart TV volume can be helpful to a degree, do you know that most modern smart televisions offer an EQ option that can improve your viewing experience? Many smart televisions come with audio settings set to standard.
However, they may also come with present audio modes for the likes of music, sports, and cinema, which makes it easier to enhance the viewing experience. If you own an LG Smart TV, you can check out this guide for the best sound settings.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the main difference between an Android TV and a Smart TV?
There aren’t many differences between an Android TV and a Smart TV. However, the Android TV is a type of Smart TV, which features an Android operating system.
Are there any Disadvantages of using a Smart TV?
While if you have a stable internet connection, you can easily use a Smart TV device, some Smart television may require high bandwidth to stream movies and team shows on various streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
What is it that you can do with a Smart Television?
There are many things you can do with your Smart TV. You can watch tv through a satellite or cable provider, or watch content through various streaming services. You can also connect your Smart tv to the internet and stream different content.
In this article, our focus was on how you can get the most out of your smart tv. The good news, there is no one way of getting the best out of a smart TV, and this guide is proof of that. We have listed more than 20 ways you can improve your Smart TV viewing experience.
From using the gaming mode in the Smart TV or adjusting the audio settings of the TV, there are no limits to what you can do to get the best out of your TV. Lastly, we have given a FAQ section, that answers some important questions related to Smart TVs.