A lot of things have changed on our TVs — for the good and bad. Asides from having improved visual qualities, the modern-day TVs now come in fancy, aesthetically appealing architecture: slimmer, bigger, and even rollable (check out the LG Signature OLED TV R, the world’s first rollable TV). On the negative side, however, the speakers and audio quality of TVs nowadays is nothing to write home about. But thanks to Soundbars though, that no longer seem to be a problem. Moving back to the positives, there are now more ways to connect several devices to your TV, thanks to the port configuration. In fact, while many laptop manufacturers are reducing the number of ports on their products, TV makers are doing the opposite.
And out of the numerous quantity of ports you’d find on a TV, one of the most popular is the HDMI. While we have previously highlighted some benefits of HDMI port interface and the numerous things you can do with it on your TV, we would be doing the same for the USB port today.
The USB port is another very important connectivity option you should ensure your TV has (at least two of) before purchasing a new TV because you might be needing them for one or more of the following:
1. Playing and Transferring multimedia files
This is perhaps one use of a USB port (on any device) most people are most familiar with. Via your TV’s USB port, you can hook up a flash drive, pen drive, or an external hard drive and watch movies, play songs, or even read books you have on those storage devices. You can also view photos from your gallery/album or any digital media device — as long as your TV supports the multimedia formats.
This is particularly useful if you have downloaded a movie ob your smartphone or laptop. You can simply transfer the movie from your laptop to a flash drive or from your smartphone to the drive via OTG cable/adapter or other USB-C accessories.
2. Connecting computer peripherals
While this isn’t exactly common like the first point above, you can actually connect a couple of computer peripherals like keyboard and mouse to your TV via its USB port. This is particularly useful if you own a Smart TV with built-in applications like web browsers, Netflix, Facebook etc. You can connect a wired or wireless keyboard to the TV as a more convenient way of inputting passwords and a mouse to better scroll through web pages.
These are definitely easier and better navigation options compared to the native handheld remotes that come out-of-the-box with most Smart TVs.
3. Firmware update
You can directly update your TV’s firmware to the latest version if connected to the internet. Another way to get it done is by downloading the latest firmware software of your TV model from the manufacturer’s support website on your computer. Transfer the file to a USB drive and connect to your TV.
Under the “Software Upgrade” section of your TV, choose the “update by/from USB” option. Your TV will automatically locate the update file and commence the update process.
4. Power supply
Yes, your TV requires to be plugged to a power source to function. However, using the USB port(s), your TV can also power other devices like smartphones and TV dongles (some Chromecast devices and Amazon Firestick) that require a power source.
Depending on the manufacturer and model, a TV can supply as much as 5V and 500ma of power to small devices.
5. Connecting TV Accessories
Your TV’s USB port also allows you the luxury of connecting accessories that help beautify your TV, its environs and improve users viewing experience. Although some models of the latest generation smart 4K and 8K TVs from manufacturers like Samsung and LG sports Ambience Lighting features, you can also purchase third-party TV backlights which you can hook up to your TV through the USB ports.
These TV backlights as in the form of strips that you can glue to the rear of your TV. They are also customizable and come with different lighting modes, adjustable brightness level and a couple of other features which can all be controlled via its own remote. Basically, they create an environmentally friendly environment which makes your TV light easy your eye.
Yes, you can do a lot with your TV’s HDMI ports, but you can even do a lot more with USB ports too.
What other ways does a TV USB port come in handy? Let us know in the comments.