How to Tell if Your TV Is a Smart TV

Television has come a long way from being a simple device for watching broadcast content. With technology rapidly evolving, TVs have transformed into highly connected ‘Smart TVs’ that offer a wealth of interactive features, including access to streaming services, internet capabilities, and much more. If you’re not sure whether you have a Smart TV or a traditional one, this guide is for you. Recognizing a Smart TV is surprisingly straightforward, and understanding the features associated with it can greatly enhance your viewing experience. Here, we will walk you through clear, easy-to-follow steps to determine if your television is indeed a Smart TV.

how to tell if your tv is a smart tv

Internet Connectivity

Smart TVs have the ability to connect to the internet. This is the foundation of what makes a TV ‘smart.’ It allows you to download apps, browse the web, and stream video content directly from services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Look for an Ethernet port on the back of your TV, which resembles a large phone jack. This is for a wired connection.
  2. Check your TV’s menu system for options like ‘Network,’ ‘Internet,’ or ‘Wireless Settings.’ Use your remote to navigate.
  3. If there’s an option for Wi-Fi, attempt to connect to your home network. Successful connection indicates a Smart TV.


Connecting to the internet opens up a world of on-demand content on your TV, but it also means you’ll need a stable internet connection and possibly a subscription to access some services.

Apps and Streaming

A key feature of Smart TVs is the built-in capability to use various applications, much like a smartphone.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Use the remote to find and open your TV’s ‘Home’ or ‘Menu.’
  2. Look for a section labeled ‘Apps,’ ‘App Store,’ or ‘Streaming Apps.’
  3. Explore the available apps. If you find popular services like YouTube, Netflix, etc., your TV is likely smart.


Having apps on your TV lets you customize your entertainment options. However, the availability of apps can depend on the brand and model of your TV.


Sometimes, the most apparent indicator is branding; manufacturers often market their Smart TVs clearly.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Look around the bezel or frame of your TV; you might find logos like ‘Smart TV,’ ‘Smart Hub,’ or ‘Viera Connect.’
  2. Check the user manual or the original box for smart TV branding.
  3. Visit the manufacturer’s website, enter your model number, and look for Smart TV features.


Branding is a quick way to identify a Smart TV, but branding varies by manufacturer and some older models might have outdated smart capabilities.

Remote Control

Smart TVs usually come with a remote control that provides more functionality than those for regular TVs.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Examine your remote for a ‘Home’ button, usually represented by a house icon.
  2. Look for dedicated buttons for streaming services like Netflix.
  3. Some Smart TVs have remotes with built-in microphones for voice control.


A more advanced remote can significantly enhance your interaction with your TV, allowing for easier navigation and control, though it may require some time to get used to.

Voice Control

Many Smart TVs allow you to control the functionality with voice commands, either through the remote or the TV itself.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Press the microphone button on your remote, if available, and speak into it.
  2. If your TV responds to your voice commands, such as opening apps or changing settings, it’s a Smart TV.
  3. Some Smart TVs are compatible with digital assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.


Voice control is an indication of a Smart TV, offering convenience, although it might raise privacy concerns for some users.

User Interface

Smart TVs have a distinct, user-friendly interface that supports the functionalities of a Smart TV.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Press the ‘Menu’ or ‘Home’ button on your remote.
  2. Look for a grid or bar of options that offer more than just basic TV settings.
  3. Explore these options to see if they include smart features.


The user interface on Smart TVs is designed to be intuitive, but it can vary greatly between brands and models, so it may take some adjustment.

Screen Mirroring

Screen mirroring allows you to display content from a smartphone or tablet on your TV.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Search your TV’s menu for ‘Screen Mirroring,’ ‘Cast,’ or ‘AirPlay.’
  2. On your smart device, look for a mirroring option and try to connect to your TV.
  3. Successful mirroring signifies a Smart TV.


Screen mirroring makes sharing content to your TV screen easy, although it may depend on compatibility between devices.

Web Browser

A web browser is another staple feature of a Smart TV, allowing you to surf the internet directly on the TV.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Look for a ‘Web’ or ‘Internet’ icon in your TV’s menu.
  2. Try navigating to different websites using the TV’s remote.
  3. If you can view and interact with web pages, your TV is smart.


Web browsing on your TV is convenient for quickly looking things up, but it’s not as seamless as browsing on a computer or smartphone.

Automatic Updates

Smart TVs frequently receive firmware and software updates to enhance performance and add new features.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Check the TV’s settings menu for an ‘Update’ or ‘Firmware’ option.
  2. Explore the option to check for automatic updates.
  3. If your TV periodically updates itself or gives you the option to do so, it’s likely a Smart TV.


Automatic updates keep your TV up-to-date with the latest features and security patches, although they might sometimes change the interface or settings you’re accustomed to.

Smart Home Integration

Integration with smart home systems is a strong indicator that your TV is a Smart TV.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Look in the TV’s settings or manual for smart home features or compatibility.
  2. See if you can link your TV with other smart devices in your home, like lights or thermostats.
  3. Successful integration with your smart home ecosystem confirms the smart status of your TV.


Smart home integration offers streamlined home automation. However, compatibility issues with different ecosystems or products sometimes complicate the setup.

In conclusion, the era of Smart TVs has brought us into a digital renaissance of home entertainment, where connectivity and convenience are at the forefront. Identifying whether you own a Smart TV is the first step towards embracing this world of possibilities. With this guide, even those with no technical background can discern the smart capabilities of their television. It’s more than just a gateway to endless media; it’s about making your daily life smarter and more connected.


  1. How can I tell if my non-smart TV has been upgraded to a smart TV using external devices?
    External devices such as streaming sticks, gaming consoles, or set-top boxes can add Smart TV functionality to a regular TV. You’ll know if it’s been upgraded if you can access streaming apps and internet features through these devices.

  2. Will a Smart TV work without an internet connection?
    Yes, a Smart TV can function like a regular TV without an internet connection. However, you won’t be able to use its smart features like app streaming and web browsing.

  3. Does the presence of a USB port indicate that my TV is a Smart TV?
    Not necessarily. While Smart TVs often include USB ports, non-smart TVs may also have them for viewing media from USB drives. A USB port alone doesn’t signify that a TV is smart.

Larry R. Jimenez
I'm the senior editor of I help people solve their computer problems and recommend reliable products. My area of expertise includes electronic or hardware products, Windows, Mac, and application tricks. I'm active in the various online tech communities where he provides help for new computer issues as they are released.

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