Will a Smart TV work without Internet connection

Smart TV and OTT content is the new age.

A smart TV allows us to stream video services like Netflix, YouTube, and play games.

If you have a smart TV at home and wondering whether or not it will work without internet.

Then let me tell you.

will a smart tv work without internet featured image

You cannot enjoy a smart TV to its full potential without an internet connection. A smart TV without internet will work as a normal TV using which you can watch antenna or set-top box channels. You won’t be able to download apps or use streaming services like Netflix.  

What makes a TV smart

There are many things that make a TV smart.

The one single thing which “alone” can make a TV or any device smart is built-in Wi-Fi.

Using this, the TV can connect to the world of the internet.

Other features include 

Streaming Services – You can watch content on streaming apps like Netflix, prime video, YouTube, etc.

The demand for OTT content is rising.

Built-in Bluetooth – A TV can have a built-in bluetooth. Using this one can connect a bluetooth speaker, headphone, and other wireless home devices.

Not all smart TVs have built-in bluetooth, but it is good to have one.

Screen Mirroring or Screencast This refers to the sharing of a phone, tablet, or laptop screen with the TV screen.

Games – Smart TVs can be used to play games using the TV’s app store.

These are basic low-end games.

For playing high-end games like mortal kombat, GTA V you will need gaming consoles like Xbox or PlayStation.

Smart TV Features that require Internet

  • Streaming Services via the Internet
  • Downloading Apps
  • Surfing the Web for viewing websites
  • Voice Search for the Web

Smart TV Features that do not require Internet

  • Playing games that are already downloaded
  • Watching Media via set-top box, antenna, Blu-Ray player, pendrive, etc

What can’t be done on a smart TV without Internet

No streaming services – You cannot stream shows and movies using any streaming platform like YouTube, prime video, etc

These streaming services require an internet connection. 

No firmware updates – A smart TV runs on an “operating system” that needs updates with time.

The update makes the TV’s OS more stable, secure, with some bug fixes.

Without the internet, the TV will “fail” to download the firmware update from the servers.

No App Downloading – A user has the option to download apps from its app library.

The number of apps in the app library depends on the type of smart TV.

These apps can include gaming apps, streaming platforms, or utility apps.

You can watch cable channels using set-top box or antenna

Without the internet, a smart TV works as a normal TV.

You can use a “cable TV” or “antenna connection” or “satellite connection” for watching different TV channels.

In my area, we call it the set-top box connection for cable TV connection.

It requires a monthly charge for accessing the channels.

The resolutions you get on these are HD or Full HD.

“No 4k quality here”

tv antenna on  a house rooftop

Remember the good old days when we had an “antenna” positioned on our rooftop which was connected to our TV using the antenna cable.

Many times the connection tends to get lost on these antennas and then we had to fix it by positioning the antenna correctly.

Both the options – cable and antenna connection are very low cost when compared to the combined cost of internet and streaming services.

Why buy a smart TV if you don’t have Internet connection

If you do not use an internet connection at your home then you may think why to buy a smart TV if I do not have internet and I do not require the smart TV features.


Almost all TV manufactured today are smart TV

Most of the TVs available in the market are already smart.

A Smart TV is not a new thing nowadays.

The cost of manufacturing an LED TV is going down every 1-3 years. 

Manufacturers and vendors are pushing more smart TVs and are neglecting the normal TV.

A few years back people debated whether to buy a smart TV or a normal TV. They claimed the benefit of buying a normal TV with factors like price difference, availability of streaming devices like Fire TV stick, etc

“But Not Now”

The price difference is not big and the majority of TVs are already smart.

More Features

Smart TV offers more features.

For example the number of HDMI ports.

With the increase in gadgets to be used with a TV like a set-top box, Blu-Ray player, gaming consoles, etc the need for more HDMI ports was born.

The older normal TVs only had 1 HDMI port and at max 2 but smart TVs now have around 3 HDMI ports.

Streaming video services on Smart TV using the Phone

screen mirroring a phone on the TV

You can stream video services on the Smart TV without using a home internet but still, you need some kind of internet like the phone internet.

For this

You will require “cellular data” on the phone and built-in chromecast or miracast for screen mirroring, this will also require a home Wi-Fi router.

There is no need for the home Wi-Fi router to have an internet connection.

Both the devices need to be connected to the home Wi-Fi router for screen mirroring.

The above mentioned method is wireless.

You can also go with the “wired way”.

You will need to connect your phone using a cable.

Most TV’s have an “HDMI port” on them.

You have to figure which port is on your phone.

A Modern phone has a Type-C port on it. If you have one on your phone then grab an HDMI to Type-C adapter cable.

If you do not have a Type-C port on your phone then you may try using an MHL cable. However, the chances of MHL cable working are very low because all phones do not support MHL.

After finding the right cable for connecting your phone to the TV you can screen mirror your phone on the TV.

After successful “screen mirroring” you can play the video content on your phone and it will be exactly displayed on the TV screen.

The downside of this technique is you will have to continuously use the phone for screen mirroring

If you get some kind of app notification or phone call, the same will be reflected on the TV screen.

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