How to use voice control on your TV

Voice control makes using your TV even easier. But how do you get started? 

10 Jun 2020

Voice control technology is something we could have only dreamed about a couple of decades ago. Remember how excited we were when Siri launched?

Now it’s everywhere. Voice assistants work with loads of our everyday tech, from smartphones to fridges. They’ve helped organise us, entertain us and make life that little bit easier. So, it makes sense that most Smart TVs now work with voice control. 

 

Why get a TV voice assistant?

The main benefit of a voice-controlled TV is speed. There’s so much stuff to watch on TV now: streaming services, hundreds of channels, even web-browsing. And it can be a real faff to trawl through multiple apps to find what you want. With a voice assistant you can just ask and it’s there in seconds.

And it’s just simpler. When you use voice control you basically condense loads of buttons into one spoken command. You don’t need to find the menu button, the volume button, the brightness control. It’s all down to you and your voice.

 

What kind of different voice assistants are there?

There are quite a few to choose from. They all have slightly different functionality and effectiveness. But, as we said, those differences are pretty small. There’s:

  • Google assistant
  • Amazon’s Alexa
  • Apple’s Siri
  • Samsung TV Voice Control (or Bixby)
  • LG’s ThinQ

Samsung TV Voice Control and ThinQ will only work with Samsung and LG TVs respectively. They also usually come built-in with their newer models of Smart TVs.

Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, on the other hand, can work with lots of different brands. Although you’ll still have to check whether this is possible with your particular Smart TV.

How do I know which TVs have voice control?

When you’re buying a TV, it will say in the product description whether it has voice assistant built in. Or whether you can link it yourself.

If you buy with us online, you’ll see there’s an option on the left-hand navigation bar specifically to filter out TVs that don’t have it. Or instore you can just ask one of our colleagues.

 

Do I have to have a Smart Home device?

Not necessarily. Some of them have voice control built in. That means you’ll usually get a little remote with a voice control button. You hold it down, give your command and it’ll show it’s listening. This is the kind of set up you’d get with an LG or Samsung, or if you’re using an Amazon Fire Stick.

With some other Smart TVs, you can link it to your Smart Home Hub. So if you have an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple TV you may be able to connect it. Here are some guides for each of them:

How to connect an Amazon Echo to your Smart TV

How to connect a Google Home to your Smart TV

How to connect an Apple TV to your Smart TV

What kind of commands can I give?

Every voice assistant will have slightly different things you can ask. But here are a few examples…

“Open Netflix” – opening apps

“Show me comedy films” – checking out specific genres if you have an idea of what you’re after.

“Turn the volume up / down” – some TVs let you change settings

“Play ITV 2” – playing a specific channel

“Play Killing Eve” – finding a specific show that’s on a streaming service

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