Google Universal Analytics
Select Page

Smartphones are amazing! The sheer number of things you can do on one small device is incredible. You can make calls, browse the internet, take photos and videos, turn your phone into a hotspot, and so much more.

But did you know that you can also use your smartphone as a TV remote control? Yes, you can! In fact, there a number of ways in which you can use your phone to control what you’re watching on TV.

Use the phone’s built-in IR blaster

phone with ir blaster

Some smartphones on the market have infrared technology that can be used to communicate with nearby devices such as other smartphones with IR (infrared) technology. And since other electronics such as televisions use infrared to communicate with a remote control, you can use a smartphone with an embedded IR blaster to control a TV.

To be able to use your phone as a TV remote via its IR blaster, you need software that tells it to do so. If your smartphone has an infrared blaster, chances are it already has an infrared remote app. If not, there are plenty of universal remote apps you can download to use to control a TV or any other device that receives an IR signal.

Use a smartphone IR adaptor

If your smartphone does not have an IR blaster, there is still a way you can use infrared to link your smartphone to a TV. You can opt to invest in an IR adaptor, which is a device that plugs into a smartphone via USB and sends out an infrared signal to a nearby IR-receiving device.

phone ir blaster adapter

Just as with a smartphone’s built-in IR blaster, you need an app in order to be able to use the IR adaptor to control a TV. If you purchase an infrared adaptor, you usually get a link to where you can download the app to control the adaptor.

Use your TV’s official app

If you have a smart TV, there is a very strong possibility that the manufacturer has an app for the TV that you can download. If both your smartphone and smart TV are connected to your Wi-Fi network, the app allows them to communicate with each other over the Wi-Fi network.

This method of using your smartphone as a TV remote requires your phone to have neither an IR booster nor an adapter because it doesn’t use infrared technology. You just need your phone and TV to be connected to the Wi-Fi.

Use the set-top box app

If you don’t have a smart TV, you can use a set-top box to stream online content on your standard TV. In today’s terms, a set-top box is a device that connects to your network for internet access and provides you with online services such as Hulu, Netflix, Apple+, and others.

Once the device is connected to your network and TV, you can watch whatever you want right there on your normal TV.

Streaming devices such as Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV Stick all have their own apps that interact with them. Downloading and installing their apps can make it easier for you to browse and navigate their systems easily from your smartphone.

Use screen mirroring

Although this is not necessarily a way of using your smartphone as a TV remote, it does allow you to be in control of the content you’re watching on your TV screen to some extent. Screen mirroring takes the activities on your smartphone and projects them onto a compatible TV.

screen mirroring

If you use screen mirroring while watching something on your smartphone, then whatever you do on your smartphone will be reflected on the TV. So, in a way, that does give you control over what you’re watching although the content comes from your phone and not the TV.

Set-top box apps usually have a screen mirroring feature. However, even if you don’t have a set-top box with an app, you can still take advantage of this feature. For example, if you have a certain Samsung smartphone and a Samsung TV that supports screen mirroring, you can watch videos from your phone on your TV and control the playback from your phone.

Screen mirroring requires no IR blaster or internet connection. You may need to download an app, however, some phones already come with this feature.


Of all the above-mentioned ways to use your smartphone as a TV remote, the best by far is to use a smartphone that has an embedded IR blaster. That way, you don’t have to spend extra money, and you get a free app to use the infrared to control not only a TV but also certain air-conditioners and other IR devices.

But, unfortunately, very few smartphone OEMs include an IR blaster in their devices these days. Not even popular smartphone brands such as Samsung, who used to include it in their devices, still do so anymore. So, if you want to use your smartphone as a TV remote but it doesn’t have an internal IR blaster, consider any of the above solutions and see what works best for you.

%d bloggers like this: