Can a smart TV be used as a computer? [EXPLAINED]

Smart TVs are becoming increasingly popular as people seek out ways to make their television viewing experience more convenient and enjoyable.

In this article, we will uncover whether Smart TVs can be used as computers as well as the various other ways they can be used besides watching movies and TV broadcasts.

A smart TV can be used for basic computing tasks, but it is not as powerful as a traditional computer. Smart TVs typically have slower processors and less storage than computers, making them incapable of running complex applications or storing large amounts of data.

Smart TVs can only be used for basic computing tasks such as browsing the web, checking email, and streaming videos. So if you’re looking for a TV that can also double as a computer for basic tasks, a smart TV might be a good option. Just keep in mind that it won’t be as powerful as a traditional computer.

Using a keyboard and mouse on a smart TV

You can use a keyboard and mouse on a smart TV  by connecting them to the TV’s USB port or via BlueTooth. But keep in mind that compatibility might be an issue and your Smart TV may not support all the features on your keyboard and mouse, such as special keys.

Also, depending on the model of your smart TV, you may be able to connect your keyboard and mouse wirelessly via Bluetooth from the TV’s settings menu. Once the peripherals have been configured, you can use them as input devices or to navigate the smart TV’s interface, just like you would on a computer.

For most users, it is not necessary to use a keyboard and mouse since a smart TV’s remote control can be used to navigate the TV’s interface. The following video explains how to connect a keyboard and mouse to a smart tv

Using a Smart TV as a PC monitor

A smart TV can be used as a PC monitor, but it is not as capable as a traditional computer monitor. Smart TVs typically have lower resolutions and refresh rates than computer monitors, which means they cannot display as much detail. This makes them less ideal for gaming and other activities that require high resolution and fast response times.

However, if you just want to use your smart TV as a basic monitor for your computer, it will work fine. Just keep in mind that the image displayed may lack the high detail and refresh rate found in a dedicated computer monitor.

Can a smart TV crash or hang like a PC?

A smart TV can crash or hang like a PC, however, since they are designed to be more stable than computers it is not likely to happen. On the rare chance you experience a crash on your smart TV, it is usually easy to fix.

Simply restarting the TV or unplugging it for a few minutes can often fix the problem. So if you’re worried about your smart TV crashing or hanging, don’t be.

Downloading apps on a smart TV

smart tv with many apps installed

You can download apps on a smart TV since they come with a built-in app store that is used to search, download, and install new apps.

In most TVs, you can navigate to the app store from the main menu. Once an app has finished installing, you can launch it from the smart TV’s home screen.

Keep in mind that not all apps are available on all smart TVs. Similar to smartphones, some apps may only be available on certain models because of differences in their operating systems.

Below is a list of apps available for smart TVs:

  • Netflix
  • MX Player
  • X-Plore File Manager
  • Google Drive
  • Plex
  • Spotify
  • Hulu
  • Google Chrome
  • YouTube
  • Send Files to TV

Aside from apps, do smart TVs have other benefits?

Aside from apps, smart TVs have other benefits such as:

  • Smartphone compatibility
  • A huge library of channels to choose from
  • They can be used as hubs to control other smart devices such as wifi cameras and smart door locks
  • They are reliable and easy to set up

Using your Smart TV as a control hub helps declutter your entertainment center since one remote control can be used to control multiple devices.

Connecting external speakers to a smart TV

External speakers can be connected to a smart TV via HDMI ports or auxiliary audio ports found at the back or side of most Smart TVs. External speakers can also be connected wirelessly if your smart TV has Bluetooth capability. 

Once external speakers have been connected and configured, you can have more control over the audio quality in your home. 

When buying external speakers, do research to ensure that the unit you purchase is compatible with your smart TV’s input method.

Record Audio and Video on a smart TV

Most smart TVs come with a built-in digital video recorder (DVR) that can record shows and movies. However, if your smart TV does not come with a built-in recorder, you may need to purchase a separate DVR.

If yours has a built-in DVR, use the TV’s menu to navigate to the DVR options and follow the instructions to set up and start recording.

Smart TVs and computer viruses

It is possible for a smart TV to get a virus or malware through malicious apps or downloading infected files, but it is not as common as in computers. To protect your TV from viruses, be sure to only download apps from trusted sources.

Additionally, you can install a virus protection program on your smart TV, such as ESET smart TV security, to protect it against malware and viruses.

Keep in mind that antivirus programs are not compatible with all smart TVs, so be sure to check your TV’s specs and operating system before purchasing one.

Using a VPN with a smart TV

A smart TV can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt internet traffic and keep your online activity private. To set up a VPN on your smart TV, you will need to purchase a VPN subscription and then configure it on your device.

Once it is set up, you will be able to use the VPN just like you would on a computer or mobile device. Before subscribing to a VPN service ensure you check your TV’s specs and pick one that is compatible with its operating system.

Conclusion: Do I need a computer if I have a smart TV?

A smart TV is an all-in-one device that has all the features and functions of a traditional TV, plus additional features like built-in streaming apps, internet connectivity, and more. 

While a smart TV has some of the features found in computers, it is not as powerful as an actual computer. Therefore, if you are looking for a device that can handle more advanced tasks like video editing or graphic design, a traditional computer is still the best option. 

On the other hand, if you’re simply looking for a device for basic tasks such as watching your favorite shows and movies, browsing the web, and viewing photos, a smart TV is preferable.

When choosing a smart TV, be sure to consider the features that are important to you and compare different models to find the one that matches your needs. Additionally, be sure to check the compatibility of all external devices or programs you want to use with your smart TV.

Eustace G.
Eustace G.
Eustace is a technology enthusiast and avid gamer who holds a Bachelor's Degree in Telecommunication and Information Engineering. His passion and knowledge of computers, and technology in general, is channeled towards helping others understand complex concepts, solve problems, and make informed decisions.


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