Google Assistant, simply put, is Google’s version of Apple’s Siri. It is a virtual assistant built-in on your Android phone, which you conjure up by long-pressing the home button. Created in 2016, it has proven to be a success unlike its predecessor Google Now and it is available on most Android phones, Android TVs and tablets. To request its assistance with any task, you can either voice or type in your query. These tasks range from asking for directions to getting weather predictions. So, how to use Google Assistant to watch TV? Let’s go through it, step by step.
See also: How to add users to Google Home
How to use Google Assistant to watch TV
First, you need to figure out what type of TV you have in your home. Is it smart or Android? Does it even have internet connectivity? Before you rush to the store to buy a new and up-to-date TV, let’s see how we can work with what we currently have. For simplification purposes, we are going to look at three different types of TVs.
These TVs simply do not have internet connection capability and therefore cannot connect to Google Assistant just yet. But not to worry, in this day and age, practically anything is possible when it comes to technology. For you to use Google Assistant on your non-smart TV, you will need to purchase a Chromecast dongle that can turn any TV into a smart TV. This purchase can easily be made online, just be sure to find one that works best for you.
The dongle is a pocket-sized device that is connected to the HDMI port at the back of the TV after which it connects to your Wi-Fi network, transforming your TV into a Smart TV. The transformation becomes complete once you press the Cast icon on your phone that’s visible on most streaming apps. It sends the link to Chromecast which then prompts the streaming. From here you can request Google Assistant on your smartphone to give simple commands like adjusting the volume or switching channels.
They are referred to as smart since they come with internet connectivity and built-in apps like YouTube and Netflix which is amazing, right? One problem with smart TVs is that they have limited updating capabilities for your available apps making it hard for them to be up-to-date. The other problem is that they offer fewer app options. Keep in mind that not all smart TVs run Android OS which is a requirement to access Google Assistant. The ones that do include Sharp, Sony Bravia, Hisense, and Phillips while the ones that don’t are LG, Samsung, Vizio, and Panasonic.
With these smart TVs come remote controls that have a microphone in them. The microphone allows you to control the TV by talking into the remote which has a microphone. If that isn’t an option, you can also use the Assistant on your phone to control your TV.
Like the smart TV, Android TV comes with internet connectivity and built-in apps. It, however, has an upper hand over the smart TV in that it comes with an in-built Google Assistant, much like your Android phone. This way, you can control the TV by talking into the remote control which has a microphone. Alternatively, if the remote control doesn’t allow this then you can also use your smartphone.
Another advantage of the Android TV over the smart TV is that it allows for regular updates of the in-built apps as they change over time, as well as the ability to download new apps using Google Play Store, much like you would on your Android phone. This is overall the most advanced TV to use Google Assistant with.
Should you be persuaded to ditch your old TV set for an Android TV, be sure to do your research first so that you get your money’s worth.