With Internet and network connectivity on TVs, we are entering a new era where smartphones or tablets can now control their television. With your gadget, you can select the channel, adjust the volume, and use your smartphone’s keyboard to search for your favorite videos or even those news pages for you.
Controlling your TV with your smartphone
Why is this necessary? Because many times, you’re on your phone and the remote is never around. And more importantly, it allows you to use your phone’s keypad to type texts more easily.
Not all TVs support remote control via smartphones, but more and more new TVs come with this technology, even being added to home theater kits and Blu-Ray devices. If you have a TV from 2010, there is a good chance that you have connectivity with a smartphone or tablet. If you have a 2011 model, there is an even better chance. Look for your specific TV model on the manufacturer’s website to check.
Manufacturers that support remote control on your phone or tablet
These manufacturers currently support remote control over their smartphone or tablet:
How do I set up my smartphone or tablet to work as a TV remote control?
Here is a step-by-step guide to get you started:
Wireless home network
First of all you need a wireless home network. If you do not have a wireless router, buy one at your local store. Preferably, with the”n” pattern, which is faster.
Putting the TV in a network
Now you need to connect your TV to your home, wireless, or cable network. Some TVs need adapters in order to access the internet. Check your device manual for your case.
The cable connection is much easier: just plug the internet cable into your television. The Wi-Fi connection requires you to go through a few configuration steps. Follow the steps in the network settings menu in the TV menu and find your own local wireless network. Enter the password and you should be ready.
Download the application
You now need to download the Remote Control App for your smartphone or tablet. Depending on your TV you need to download a specific application for the brand.
Pair TV and phone/tablet
Before you can start using your remote you need to pair/sync the TV and your device. Open the application and follow the on-screen instructions. Sometimes you need to enter the TV menu and find a remote control setup option.
Limitations when using your smartphone or tablet as a remote control
There are some limitations, however. The most important of these is the lack of wake-on-lan compatibility on most televisions. Basically, this means that you can not connect the TV to the device, just browse and turn off the TV. There are a few ways to turn your smartphone/tablet into a universal remote control for your home theater system, though.
First, check the app store on your device to see if there are apps for your home theater components. If the home theater component connects to the internet, there is a good chance that there is an app available for your smartphone. Many modern audio and video receivers and entertainment electronics have their own applications.
Some TVs require their smartphone/tablet to have a specific sensor or transmitter to function as a remote control. Check the manual of your TV and your gadget to see if they can be used.
Other remote control options for your devices
If you are not able to get applications for all your components, you may want to consider a universal remote control. There are also adapters for smartphones and tablets that transform your device into a universal remote control. It pays to research and try to find a compatible template for you.
Do you already use your smartphone as a universal remote control? What do you think of practicality? Share in the comments!