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Can You Use a Smart TV if You Don’t Have Internet?

Can You Use a Smart TV if You Don’t Have Internet?

With most of us relying on streaming services to watch our favorite TV shows or the latest movies, you might wonder what would happen when the internet connection goes out. 

Does a Smart TV lose its functionality when the internet connection goes out? The simple answer is no.

Connecting to the internet and streaming content is not the only function of a Smart TV. They won’t suddenly become useless when the internet goes down.

Watch Local Channels

A person watching local channel on TV

Smart TVs come with a digital tuner that you can use to search for local TV channels. Depending on your location, you might need to use a digital or aerial antenna to get channels.

Accessing the auto-tune feature of your Smart TV depends on what brand and model you have. 

You need to either go to Menu or Settings. Then, find the Channels tab and select Auto Tuning or Channel Tuning to start your search for local channels. All channels found will be automatically saved.

To access these channels, you need to go to Live TV. All the saved local channels will now be available for viewing.

Watch Cable TV

A man watching cable TV

If you have cable TV and forgot about it, losing your internet connectivity is the best time to revisit this old service. Though you will not have access to the same content as you would if you were streaming shows, it beats watching static or not having anything to watch at all.

Hook Up Your Blu-Ray or DVD Player

A woman put DVD into her DVD player

If you have a collection of Blu-ray discs or DVDs, you can plug your old player to your Smart TV so you can still watch some movies even when the internet is out.

To connect your media player, you need to plug one end of the HDMI cable to the HDMI Out port of the player. Connect the other end to the HDMI In port on your Smart TV.

Once everything is connected and plugged in, you need to change the video source. You can do this by clicking on the Input button on your remote and selecting HDMI 1, 2, or 3, depending on where you plugged the player.

You can also change the video source by accessing the Menu or Settings of your TV.

Connect Your External Hard Disk or USB Flash Drive

Black USB Flash Drive

Another way movies and TV shows are stored is with the use of flash drives or external hard disk drives. To use your external storage device with a Smart TV, you need to plug it in the USB port, which may be located at the back or sides of your TV.

A pop-up window will ask you if you want to access the files on the drive and from there, you can select which media you want to play.

Startup Your Game Console

Two friends playing game on TV

Most games these days rely on internet connectivity, but there are others games that you can enjoy offline.

So if you’re tired of looking for things you can watch on the TV, you can play games on your console instead. 

Who knows? You might just beat your old record or finally get past a level you’ve been stuck on for ages.

Cast or Mirror Your Mobile Device

A man Mirror his Mobile Device with TV

Some Smart TVs allow you to directly cast from your mobile device to the Smart TV, while others require the use of a device like a Google Chromecast.

If you belong to the latter situation, Google introduced a new feature called Guest Mode that allows users to cast media even without an internet connection.

The only caveat is that Guest Mode needs to be set up with an internet connection. If you are expecting internet interruption, you should set up Guest Mode before that happens.

When using Guest Mode, you need to turn on the Bluetooth on your mobile device to connect to the Chromecast without an internet connection. 

Take note though that some apps may not support Chromecast’s Guest Mode. But if it does, you can cast your downloaded videos and watch them on your Smart TV.

Apple TV  also allows you to stream content from your mobile device to your Smart TV without an internet connection. But yet again, you do need an internet connection to set it up the first time.

Connect Your Device Using an HDMI Cable

HDMI cable plugging in the TV

If your device does not have casting or screen mirroring features, the other option to connect your device to your Smart TV is by using an HDMI cable. However, you will need the correct type of cable.

For iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch users, you need to connect an Apple Lightning to Digital AV Adapter  to your device. Then, you need to plug an HDMI or USB Type-C cable into the adapter and connect the other end to the Smart TV.

For Android users, you need a data cable with a Type-C USB or micro USB on one end and an HDMI on the other, like the uni Store’s USB C to HDMI Cable .

To see the content of your phone on your Smart TV, connect the Type-C USB end of the cable to your phone, then the HDMI end to the Smart TV.

Wrapping Up

A family watching football on 4K TV

We rely on an internet connection for so many things these days, but losing this connection if you own a Smart TV does not mean the end of the world. 

Though you have access to more videos and movies via streaming services on your Smart TV, you can still use it even without an internet connection.

Some solutions include watching on local channels or cable TV.  You can also plug in your game console or media player to revisit old movies and video games you haven’t played in a while.

If you have downloaded some videos on your mobile device, or have access to the internet on your phone or tablet, you can cast or mirror it to your Smart TV.

In conclusion, losing the internet connection on your Smart TV doesn’t render it unusable. There are still lots of ways to keep you entertained for hours.



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