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How to set up your smart TV

Bagged yourself a new smart TV? Here’s how to get it all set up


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Smart TVs are pretty much the standard these days. After all, we’ve got so many great streaming services that it only makes sense to have them on our home’s biggest screens. And it’s not just streaming that smart TVs are great at – some of them even let you control your smart home. Woah.

So if you’ve just picked up a new TV and want to show off its smarts, we’ve got you covered with this quick guide to getting it all set up.

How to set up a smart TV

First things first: unbox your TV and plug it into a power source. Your new TV might be smart, but it’s not work-without-power smart. Turn it on and go through the on-screen setup. You’ll probably be asked to choose a language, tweak your picture settings and connect to the internet.

There are two ways to connect your TV to the internet: a wired or wireless connection. Wired connections are typically more reliable, but you’ll need a good Ethernet cable. Plug one end into the correct port on your TV, and the other into your broadband router.

If you’re going wireless, head to the next section to find out how to connect your smart TV to WiFi. Or check out our in-depth guide to connecting your TV to the internet.

How to connect your smart TV to WiFi

Smart TVs get their smarts from the ‘net. To enjoy all those super-cool smart features like streaming, you’ll want to connect to WiFi. You’ll probably be asked to do this in the initial setup process, but if you skipped it or want to change your WiFi settings, follow these simple steps:

  1. Turn on your TV and head to the ‘Network’ or ‘WiFi’ section of the settings menu.

  2. Select your WiFi network from the list of available networks.

  3. Enter your WiFi password and click connect.

  4. Wait for your TV to connect to your WiFi network.

Having trouble connecting to your WiFi network? Try resetting your router.

How to set up streaming services on a smart TV

Now that your TV is connected to the internet, you’re free to set up alllll your favourite streaming services. We’re talking Netflix, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, YouTube and more. Most modern smart TVs come with these apps pre-installed, so your only job will be popping the popcorn.

Noticed one of your favourite streaming apps is AWOL? Don’t panic! Just like your smartphone or tablet, most smart TVs have app stores where you can find loads of top streaming apps. For example, if you’re a Disney fan who’s wondering how to get Disney+ on your smart TV, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your TV and head to the app store.

  2. Search for the Disney+ app and download it.

  3. Open the Disney+ app and sign in with your Disney+ account and credentials.

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your account and customise your preferences.

Repeat the steps above for whatever app you’re looking to download. And if you still can’t find what you’re after, remember you can always use an external streaming device to access more streaming services.

How to set up a smart TV without internet

Internet isn’t everything. If you’re missing an internet connection, you can still use your smart TV for watching digital TV, DVDs or connecting your gaming console. Here’s how to get your smart TV up and running without an internet connection:

  1. Plug your TV into a power source.

  2. Connect your TV to your preferred video source, like a Blue-ray player, Freeview box or gaming console using the correct cables.

  3. Turn on your TV and select the input for your chosen video source. There’s probably a handy button on your TV remote for this labelled ‘Input’ or ‘Source.

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the initial setup, including selecting your language and screen resolution.

How to get Freeview on a smart TV

Good old Freeview. If you just want a simple live telly watching experience that includes popular stations like BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and more, Freeview has your back. You won’t have to pay for a monthly subscription to a streaming service and if you’ve got an aerial, you won’t need to connect to the internet either. Here’s how to get Freeview on your smart TV:

  1. Make sure that your smart TV has a Freeview tuner. Most smart TVs come with a built-in Freeview tuner, but if yours doesn’t, you can buy a separate Freeview box and connect it to your TV.

  2. Connect your TV aerial to your TV or Freeview box.

  3. Use your TV remote to tune in to Freeview channels.

  4. If your TV doesn’t automatically detect the channels you’re after, you might need to do a channel scan or tune to get more channels.

If you’re using an indoor TV aerial for Freeview, make sure you position it correctly for the best signal. You might need to move your indoor aerial around a few times to find the best positioning. Still struggling to get a good signal? You can use a signal booster to improve the quality.

How to get Freeview on a smart TV without an aerial

Don’t have an aerial? Some smart TVs come pre-installed with the Freeview app, allowing you to watch live TV and catch-up TV without an aerial. If it’s not already installed, here’s how to download it:

  1. Make sure your smart TV is connected to the internet.

  2. Look for the Freeview app in your smart TV’s app store and download it.

  3. Instead of selecting ‘Aerial’ during the setup process, choose ‘Broadband’.

  4. Open the Freeview app and enjoy your free channels!

If you can’t get the Freeview app, pick up a Freeview Play box like this one by Humax. You’ll get twelve free channels, up to 250 hours of TV recording plus the ability to pause and rewind live TV.

If you’re streaming live TV, you’ll need a good internet connection. Make sure your internet speed is fast enough to avoid any buffering issues.

Found what you need?

If you have – great. If not – don’t worry. You can always chat to an expert in-store or via video call on ShopLive. They’ll be able to give you the lowdown on loads of great smart TVs and accessories.

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