The useful connection that your television has and you don’t use: the 5 tricks to take advantage of it and make the most of it

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the useful connection that your television has and you don't use the 5 tricks to take advantage of it and make the most of it
the useful connection that your television has and you don't use the 5 tricks to take advantage of it and make the most of it

The vast majority of televisions currently sold in Spain have USB ports, but many people do not take advantage of them.

In recent years we have experienced a transition from dumb devices to smart ones in the consumer electronics sector. It has happened with smartphones, watches and also with televisions . These devices are no longer the main screen on which we consume content , but they continue to be a key piece of the audiovisual experience in the home.

Gone are the crazy audience figures for public or private channels, and currently the use of televisions is also shared with video streaming applications, game consoles, etc. In addition, mobile phones have positioned themselves as the main screen for many users’ daily lives , who even use them when they are watching TV, a movie, etc.

 

Although their use is much more versatile, there is one element that is not usually used much. We are talking about the USB ports that the vast majority of models usually have. Furthermore, there is usually more than one. Although they are not as important as other ports, such as the HDMI used for consoles or external streaming devices, USB ports can be very useful.

Use it as a charger

One of the most common uses of this port is to charge an external device. This is obvious when we have to configure a Chromecast , which sometimes comes with the USB-A port to be able to use this TV port as a charger. But even if we do not use an external device it can be used like this. Using a USB-A to USB-C charging cable, we can always have a USB-C port next to the television to charge any device, from a mobile phone to a tablet, and even headphones . This is convenient at meal time, or when watching a movie, when the cell phone is not used.

 

Another option is to put a wireless charger next to the television connected to this port. If our mobile phone has this charging system, it is very easy to leave the charger next to the television as another element and support the mobile phone when it is not going to be used. In addition, picking it up and putting it on is much more comfortable than with the cable and does not leave any loose cables visible.

The only drawback of this use is that, logically, the loading speed will not be the fastest . The USB ports on TVs don’t always provide power, that must be taken into account, but even when they do, it is not at a high speed. However, it is not about charging the phone quickly, but about doing it while we are watching TV, for example, without rushing.

Offline content

Although it is now much more common to consume content from the Internet, it is still possible to enjoy videos on an offline device to view them on the big screen. They don’t have to be movies and series, but can be videos recorded by ourselves.

It is very common to make more and more videos and photos of events or everyday moments, but then we don’t see them. In this way, we will have an excuse to enjoy, also in a grand way, moments that remain in the past. To do this, you only need a storage system , it doesn’t matter if it is a pendrive or a portable hard drive. This also forces us to have a backup copy of our files outside the cloud, which is a good idea in case there are problems with our online account.

Record content

Many televisions have the option of using the storage system that is installed on the television to record what is broadcast on the different channels that are available. In this way, we have a recording system without having to buy other devices.

Of course, this depends on the television model, not only on whether or not it has a USB port , although it is normal for most televisions to have this option. If so, a recording button should appear on the remote control, usually in the shape of a red dot. In this case, it is good that the storage disk is of high capacity, since recording content usually takes up a lot of space.

Connect accessories

Finally, it is possible to use this port to connect some accessories via cable , sometimes wirelessly, which is also usually possible with Bluetooth connectivity. In this case, perhaps a webcam or a keyboard is useful for certain uses, which do not have to be everyday.

Perhaps to fix a problem with the television configuration it would be interesting to have this option, or to connect a wired mouse or keyboard if the remote control has been lost and be able to configure another one. Of course, this depends on each television model since some are not compatible with this use, although most current ones are.

System updates

In the event that a television is updateable using a new firmware version, it is likely to be via Wifi. But if due to a fault that does not work, or we have problems with the connection, sometimes it is possible to download the update elsewhere and put it on the device using a USB memory .

As can be seen, televisions have much greater potential use than they are usually given, and in part that is due to the USB ports. They may not be used for all of these functions, but it is very likely that some of them are useful in every home.

 

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise