In 2017, Pixie carried out a survey on “Lost & Found” items. Results showed that the most misplaced item in the average American home is the TV remote. 71% of people in the US lose their TV remotes at least once a month.
When your remotes aren’t missing, they can be broken, or their batteries can be dead. In all of these scenarios, you would have to input commands manually on the TV panel.
If you own a Samsung TV, we have good news.
There are ways to control your TV from the comfort of your couch using your smartphone. You only need the Samsung SmartThings app (which manages smart home devices) or an IR Blaster.
In the following sections, we’ll discuss two ways to control your Samsung TV with a phone. Also, you’ll learn how to set up your phone to issue verbal commands to your TV.
2 Ways To Control Your Samsung TV With Your Phone
Even if you still have your remote, being able to control your TV with your phone is an added convenience.
There are two ways to do this for a Samsung TV:
- The Samsung SmartThings app
- An IR blaster
In this section, we will walk you through the setup and connection process for each one. Let’s go!
1. The SmartThings App
The Samsung SmartThings app is a mobile application that allows you to control and manage your Samsung TV and other smart home devices from your phone.
This app is available for both Android and iOS devices. It also has an easy-to-use interface that is convenient for users.
Below are a few things you need to know before connecting your TV to the app.
- You must ensure your phone and TV are connected to the same WiFi network.
- You have to log onto the same Samsung account on both the phone and the TV.
- The SmartThings app can only control your TV after the TV is powered on. You cannot use the app to turn on the TV.
- The SmartThings app allows you to control multiple smart home devices. Apart from your TV, you can add other devices to the app and control all from a single interface.
- You can connect multiple TVs to the app and organize them with the “Rooms” feature. This will allow you to switch between TVs easily, and control them individually.
- The SmartThings app also has a “Watch TV” feature that allows you to access your favorite TV shows and movies. Simply select this option from the app’s Home screen and choose what you want to watch.
- Contrary to popular opinion, the SmartThings app works with several devices that aren’t made by Samsung. You can check their website for a list of brands and devices compatible with the SmartThings app.
How To Set Up The SmartThings App
Step 1: Download the Samsung SmartThings app and install it on your phone. You’ll find it in the App Store or Google Play Store.
Step 2: Open the app and sign into your Samsung account.
Step 3: Connect your phone to the same WiFi network as your Samsung TV.
How To Add a TV To The SmartThings App
Step 1: Launch the SmartThings App.
Step 2: From the menu at the bottom of the screen, select Devices.
Step 3: Press the (+) icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
Step 4: Select the “Add device” option.
Step 5: Tap on “Scan nearby” to bring up a list of available devices.
Step 6: Select your Samsung TV from the list; a PIN will appear on the TV screen.
Step 7: The SmartThings app will request a PIN. Enter the PIN displayed on your TV screen.
Step 8: Press “Done” to connect both devices and wait for the process to complete.
Step 9: You’ll see a screen where you can edit the name of your Samsung TV.
Step 10: Press “Done” to finish the setup.
How To Use The SmartThings Remote Feature
Step 1: Launch the SmartThings app and go to Devices.
Step 2: Select your Samsung TV.
Step 3: If the remote interface does not immediately pop up, press the Remote option on the screen.
Step 4: The remote interface will appear, then you can use it just like a regular remote.
2. The IR Blaster
An IR (infrared) blaster is a device that allows you to control your TV and other devices using your phone’s IR transmitter.
Several phone models from Samsung, LG, Vivo, Huawei, and REDMI have built-in IR blasters and remote controls. However, iPhones do not come with IR blasters.
If you have a built-in IR blaster, you only have to open your phone’s remote app, select the Samsung TV option, and follow the setup prompts that appear. After connecting the IR blaster to your TV, you can use it to control your TV as you would a traditional remote control.
If your phone doesn’t have a built-in IR blaster, you can purchase a separate IR blaster control device . These devices connect to OTG-compatible phones via USB-C ports.
In the following sections, we’ll show you how to set up and use an external IR blaster. But first, below are a few things you should know.
- Point the IR blaster directly at the TV’s IR receiver for a stronger interaction.
- Keep a clear line of sight between the blaster and the TV’s IR receiver. If your TV is enclosed in a cabinet or behind a wall, the IR blaster may not work properly.
- Purchase an IR blaster that is compatible with your TV brand. There are different IR blasters available on the market, so choose one compatible with both your phone and TV.
- Download and install an IR remote control app on your phone. There are several options available, like the Samsung Smart Remote app or the Peel Smart Remote app.
- We recommend the Universal TV Remote app (formerly ZaZa Remote app).
How To Set Up The IR Blaster
Step 1: Plug the IR blaster into your phone’s USB-C port.
Step 2: Enable the OTG function on your phone.
Step 3: Launch the remote app and allow the permissions that appear once the app is open.
Step 4: Select “Add Remote.”
Step 5: Select “TV.”
Step 6: Scroll down and select “Samsung.”
Step 7: You may be prompted to enter a code displayed on your TV screen into the app.
Step 8: The app will prompt you to press a button on the remote interface. Press the button.
Step 9: The app will ask if the button sent a command to your TV. Press (✖️) or (✔️) depending on the result.
Step 10: Repeat this until the matching process is complete.
After the matching process is completed successfully, you can now use your phone like a regular remote.
Can I use voice commands to control my Samsung TV with my phone?
Yes, you can issue voice commands to your Samsung TV through your phone. You only need a phone with built-in voice assistant (i.e., Google Assistant) and a Samsung TV compatible with voice commands.
You’ll have to connect your phone and TV to the same WiFi network. Then set up the SmartThings app on your phone and add your TV.
Follow the steps below to use the voice function for your smart devices.
- Open the SmartThings app.
- Tap Menu on the Home screen.
- Click on Voice Assistant.
- Select the voice assistant you want to use (Alexa, Google Assistant, or Bixby).
- Tap Allow to commence setup.
- Tap Link.
- Test the voice control function by asking your voice assistant to turn on the TV.
There’s a high chance that you’ll lose your remote a couple of times this month. If you don’t want to make the long trek from your couch to the TV—just to use the control panel—use your phone!
You can use your phone to control Samsung TVs through the SmartThings app or an IR blaster. What’s even better? You can link a voice assistant to the SmartThings app and issue voice commands to your TV.
Follow our detailed guide in the article to connect your Samsung TV (and other smart home devices) to the SmartThings app.
Gabriella ‘Diogo is a content writer with a vested interest in tech hardware and equipment. She shares her knowledge and processes in an easy-to-grasp, lighthearted style. When she’s not testing or researching device performance, you’ll find her writing short stories or rewatching episodes of her favorite sitcoms.