Can You Use a Wireless Keyboard on a Smart TV?
A smart TV is a hybrid device, combining the features of a conventional TV and a set-top box. It allows users to watch standard television programs, browse the net, stream videos and music, and view photos.
Aside from its primary functions, a smart TV can also interact with external gaming consoles, multimedia players, entertainment centers, smartphones, and other devices. Also, there is a wide variety of peripherals that can be used with a smart TV.
The main selling point of a smart TV is its capacity for interactive entertainment and web browsing services. In this article, we’ll try to find out whether you can use a wireless keyboard on a smart TV.
What Is a Wireless Keyboard?
A wireless keyboard relies on batteries (usually the standard AA or AAA) to connect with a computer or another device (smart TV, smartphone, tablet computer). There are two main types of wireless keyboards – RF and Bluetooth. Here’s a quick overview of each type.
An RF keyboard relies on radio frequency technology for communication with the device it is connected to. The keyboard has an onboard transmitter which emits the data, while the USB receiver plugged into the computer (or a TV, tablet, smartphone) receives the data and transfers it to the CPU. A typical RF keyboard operates at 2.4GHz, similar to many other commercially available RF devices.
A Bluetooth keyboard uses Bluetooth technology and protocols instead of the standard RF. This can make a Bluetooth keyboard slightly more expensive than an RF keyboard of comparable performance. Similar to its RF siblings, a Bluetooth keyboard usually works at 2.4GHz. This makes it prone to the same interference issues as the RF type.
Can You Use a Wireless Keyboard on a Smart TV?
Due to being partly oriented towards web browsing and streaming, smart TVs need a way to input text into search and log-in fields. The default solution is an on-screen keyboard (operated via the remote control). However, this can be somewhat clunky, so the smart TVs typically support external keyboards for text input. This raises the question: Can you use a wireless keyboard on a smart TV?
Generally, the answer is yes. But, as you might suspect, things are somewhat more complicated than that. This is mainly due to compatibility issues. Typically, smart TV models don’t support all wireless keyboard models and can only be outfitted with a limited variety. You should check your smart TVs specs sheet/user manual before buying a wireless keyboard.
Another thing to consider is the app compatibility, as some apps might not support external keyboards. The most notable example among them is Netflix, which only supports a built-in on-screen keyboard. On the other hand, you shouldn’t have problems with browsers and most other apps.
How to Connect the Two
Connecting a wireless keyboard to a smart TV is a fairly simple and easy process. Typically, it shouldn’t take more than several minutes to get the keyboard up and going. Though it is largely similar across the board, the exact process may vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer. So, to be on the safe side, always follow the instructions provided by your TV manufacturer.
Here’s a quick overview of how the process generally works.
If you’re using a standard RF keyboard, first make sure that the keyboard batteries are properly installed. Then, turn the TV and the keyboard on. After that, you should insert the USB dongle into the USB port on your TV. Depending on your TV’s configuration, the USB ports are usually found on the side or back panel.
After several seconds, the TV should automatically detect that a new wireless peripheral has been plugged in and display a dialog box. Follow the instructions and your keyboard should be ready to use in a matter of minutes.
If you have a Bluetooth keyboard, turn it on in the pairing mode. Go to the Bluetooth menu on your TV (should be in either the System or Settings menus) and enable the pairing with the keyboard.
It might take several minutes for the devices to synchronize (for some Samsung models, it can take up to 5 minutes to finish synchronization). When the synchronization is over, the TV might prompt you to enter the keyboard’s password.
So, while the short answer to whether you can use a wireless keyboard on a smart TV is yes, there are some things to consider before you buy this type of keyboard.
The first is the compatibility between the TV you have and the keyboard you intend to buy, as some models might not work with each other. Also, keep in mind that you’ll still have to use the on-screen keyboard for some applications, such as Netflix.
Lastly, following the instructions in this article and the manufacturer’s guidelines, you should be able to get your wireless keyboard up and running in no time.