Will A Smart TV Work Without Internet Connection? This exact question is raised by many people who rely on cellular data to go online and don’t consider a home fiber broadband connection a worthwhile investment.
If you have finally decided to get rid of the decade-old TV from the living room and make space for a shiny new smart TV, you might wonder whether it will work without an internet connection.
In case you happen to have the same concern, you are in the right place. In this guide, we have discussed a few ways you can use a smart TV without internet connection. We also have suggested some alternative options that should pique your interests.
- 1 Will A Smart TV Work Without Internet Connection?
- 2 Why do you need an Internet Connection for your Smart TV?
- 3 Things you can try on your Smart TV
- 4 Is Casting Possible on a Smart TV without Internet Connection?
- 5 To Conclude
Will A Smart TV Work Without Internet Connection?
Yes, smart TVs can function without an internet connection, but you won’t be able to take advantage of the ‘smart’ features. It means you can’t access video streaming apps like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and YouTube on your smart TV without internet.
If you have an aerial set-top box, you can connect it to your new TV and watch live channel broadcasts. Alternatively, you can plug in your Blu-ray player or game console via HDMI.
In case you keep your media collection on a USB-powered external storage device, you can connect it to one of the high-speed USB ports on your TV and play the videos via the built-in media player.
Even without an internet connection, there are plenty of alternative options for you to enjoy content on a smart TV, as they retain the important AV ports.
Why do you need an Internet Connection for your Smart TV?
Some of the smart TV’s features work only when it’s connected to the internet over Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Whether you want to stream on-demand movies and shows, download apps and games, or update your TV’s software, an internet connection is a must-have. If you aren’t planning to do any of it, then you probably are fine without an internet connection on your smart TV.
Having said that, most consumers buy a smart TV to use its ‘smart’ features, which usually require the device to be connected to the web. If you can’t get the most out of your new TV, then it’s not worth the purchase at all.
In most countries, fiber internet plans are quite affordable. Some of them bundle all the networking equipment and OTT subscriptions you need to enjoy on-demand content (and live channels) on your smart TV. It’s also significantly cheaper than paying for a cable or satellite TV package. Thus, you should consider contacting your local internet service provider to request an internet connection to your house.
Things you can try on your Smart TV
If you don’t have the option to get a high-speed wired internet connection to your house, here are a few things you can try out on your smart TV:
1. Use Mobile Hotspot to connect your TV to the Web
Most smart TVs come with Wi-Fi connectivity. You can turn on the mobile hotspot feature on your phone and share cellular data with your TV – assuming it has Wi-Fi built-in.
The process to enable mobile hotspot varies depending on what phone you use. If you have an Android device, look out for the Hotspot & tethering option in the settings. iPhone / iPad users should search for the Personal Hotspot option instead. You can change the name of the Wi-Fi access point and the password so that no one else can use your data.
Once you do that, you can go to your TV’s Wi-Fi settings and connect to the mobile hotspot. You should then be able to download apps and stream videos on your smart TV. However, with a metered data plan or a slow 4G connection, you are bound to have an unpleasant experience.
2. Screen Mirror your Phone/Computer to your TV
Every smart TV offers Miracast functionality. In case you didn’t know, Miracast lets you mirror your phone or PC’s screen to a supported display over a wireless connection. Since the video/audio data stream transmits over a local Wi-Fi network, it doesn’t need an active internet connection to work.
You can enable Miracast or Screen Mirroring on your smart TV from the settings menu, but it should be turned on by default. Most Android phones and tablets running 5.0 Lollipop or later versions support the feature. It’s usually found in the notification shade or the settings, labeled as either Cast, Wireless Display, or Screen Mirror.
With a supported Samsung phone or tablet, you can also wirelessly cast Samsung DeX to your TV and have a desktop-like experience. You will then be able to use your phone/tablet as a trackpad to navigate the desktop environment and launch your preferred apps. DeX also works over a wired connection, which requires to have a USB-C to HDMI adapter.
Unfortunately, iPhone/iPad users won’t be able to mirror their device’s screen unless the smart TV has AirPlay support. Instead, they will have to purchase the official Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter for wired output.
On PCs and laptops that have Wi-Fi connectivity and Windows 10 installed, screen mirroring is easy to access. Simply look up the Connect option in the Action Center.
The downsides of mirroring a phone’s screen to a smart TV is the unconventional aspect ratio and mediocre stream quality. However, the aspect ratio shouldn’t be an issue as long as you have a phone or tablet with a 16:9 display.
3. Connect other Media Devices
As mentioned previously, you can connect your cable/aerial set-top box to your smart TV to watch live TV channels. If your provider does offer HD channels and VOD content, you won’t need an internet connection to enjoy them.
Apart from that, you can copy offline media files to a USB flash drive or a portable mass storage drive and connect it to your smart TV via one of the USB ports. Your TV should be able to identify the external storage device and playback the media files.
Is Casting Possible on a Smart TV without Internet Connection?
No, it won’t work since the ‘Cast’ feature isn’t the same as ‘Screen Mirroring.’ While you can cast offline media to your TV over DLNA using a media player, it’s impossible to cast content from web-based apps like YouTube or Netflix over a direct network connection.
When you cast content to your TV from your phone or computer, it sends a private link to a PWA (Progressive Web App) container instead. Without the internet, your smart TV will fail to load the link or stream the casted video.
We hope this guide has cleared your doubts about using a smart TV without internet connection. Although you can save up a considerable amount of money by not paying for an internet package every month, you will end up missing out on the smart features on your TV that you basically overpaid for.
Popular video streaming services like Netflix recommends a minimum of 5 Mb/s download speed for HD streaming. Hence, all you need to pay for is an entry-level broadband plan and a streaming subscription to access an endless catalog of on-demand content.