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Smart TVs & Storage: Here’s What You Need (Solved!)

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You may not notice it, but a neglected part of your Smart TV’s specification is it0s internal storage capacity.

While smart TV storage may not have as much storage as compared to smartphones or laptops, it pays to know how much your TV has and can still store.

Here are some things you need to know about smart TV storage:

How Much Internal Storage do Smart TVs Have?

Smart Televisions do not have much internal storage space. Often, their storage is comparable to low to middle tier smartphones.

On average, smart TVs have 8.2 GB of storage space for you to install apps.

Samsung has around 8 GB of internal memory available, of which 20 percent goes to the system files.

LG does not pack much internal storage for you to use on their smart TVs, and a lot of its smart TVs only have 2 GB of storage, which they make up for by having the common streaming apps preloaded or ready for use.

According to Sony, their smart TVs have around 8.2 GB of internal storage. They also added that you could transfer other apps onto external drives such as hard drives or flash drives.

Vizio, unfortunately, does not have public information listed on the internal storage of its smart TVs.

Which Smart TV Has the Most Internal Storage?

Most smart TVs only have 8 GB of RAM. Sony narrowly beats Samsung by only 0.2 GB of space.

But if we include other smart TV attachments in this comparison, the one with the highest storage space is not a smart TV, but a digital media box.

The Minix NEO U1 is an Android TV box that has 16 GB of internal storage or twice the average of smart TVs in the market.

How Much Internal Storage do you Need on a Smart TV?

The amount of internal storage depends on what you intend to install on your smart TV.

If you are looking at watching Netflix or YouTube, you will not need much.

However, you will need to allow space for the cache, especially if you want to quickly access videos you like playing frequently.

Are Videos in Apps like Netflix and YouTube Stored on my Smart TV?

Videos on Netflix and YouTube are stored online, and it does not take up space on your smart TV.

What usually consume space on your smart TV are your app settings and cache files of your apps.

How Do I see How Much Storage There is on my Smart TV?

You can find the amount of storage space in your smart TV when you open the settings menu, usually under storage or application management.

How Much Can I Record on a Smart TV’s Internal Storage?

You cannot record much on your smart TV’s internal storage, due to its small size.

Manufacturers let users record external storage, such as an external hard drive, due to its capacity.

In some cases, there is a dedicated USB drive labeled for recording, where you plug your hard drive.

Can You Save Files on your Smart TV’s Internal Storage?

For one, smart TVs only have a small storage space, unlike smartphones, which have 64 GB or even 128 GB capacities.

Smart TV storage was not designed like your smartphone, wherein you can customize it, download and upload videos, or open files any file at your whims.

The limited internal storage of a smart TV is dedicated to the apps you install.

Now, that seems counterintuitive to being a “Smart” device.

Why do They Design it Like this?

For one, smart TVs were meant for audio and video entertainment by accessing what’s on the cloud or online.

While using higher capacity storage won’t cost that much as an add-on, in the long run, it will bring headaches to you.

Aside from having that risk of being infected by malware, having a big internal storage space for you save on will only tempt you to load it with so many contents like videos, photos, and other media files.

Oftentimes, you won’t be able to notice that you’re almost at a brim with all the content and apps you had installed.

The lack of space will cause your smart TV to hang, or perform poorly with slower loading times for your apps.

This is also the same reason why other manufacturers limit the apps available on their platforms and apps stores.

So, as a way to maintain the integrity of the product, it would be wiser for smart TV manufacturers to produce smart TVs with lower storage space and run smoothly than have something that may seem fancy but contributes to the sluggish performance.

Can You Add more Internal Storage on your Smart TV?

Unless you have electronics skills and are familiar with your smart TV’s schematics, you will not be able to put more internal storage.

Attempting to add or replace your smart TV’s storage will also nullify your warranty.

While smart TVs are technically computers, it does not have the same flexibility as the latter when the internal storage is insufficient.

Can You use a Smart TV With an External Storage Unit?

Not all smart TV platforms can read external storage.

A good example of a smart TV platform that cannot read external storage is the Apple TV.

What File Format System Can Smart TVs Read?

Smart TVs can read external storage formatted using NTFS and FAT32 file systems.

What File Types Can my Smart TV Read?

Smart TVs can read a variety of video formats like Mp4s, Avi, Mkv, and M4u.

They can also read audio files like MP3s, WAV, FLAC, WMA, and image files like JPEGs, BMPs, PNGs, and BPOs.

These files can be opened natively, without the need for a special app to do so.

Why Won’t my Smart TV Open my File on my External Storage?

The most common reason why a smart TV could not open a file is that the file may be corrupted or damaged. You can check this on your computer if it is damaged.

If it opens on your computer, then it means the smart TV cannot “recognize” the exact format used. Here are some possible scenarios:

If your smart TV could not open a video file, chances are it uses a codec not recognized by the TV.

Codecs are circuits or software loaded inside devices, such as smart TVs, that read video files and “translate” them for you.

The most common codec used by smart TVs for videos is H.264, which provides high resolution and clear images at smaller file sizes.

Why Else Won’t it Open?

For images that cannot be opened by your smart TV, the most likely reason for this is that the image dimensions are outside the allowable size or resolution.

For audio files, the most likely reason for your smart TV not to be able to open your audio file is due to the encoding used.

Some audio files, like flacs, are encoded with many channels for a more surround sound experience.

Unfortunately, not all smart TVs have the capability to read these other sounds and are limited to just the left and right channels.

Will a Smart TV Read my External DVD or Blu-ray Drive?

While USB ports are there as a means to open different media, external optical drives like DVDs and Blu-rays need drivers for them to be recognized by a device, such as a smart TV.

Unfortunately, developers of these drivers only made these devices compatible with computers and not smart TVs.

What Should you Do if your Smart TV Cannot Read my External Hard Drive?

The first thing you need to do is check on your computer if your external hard drive has been formatted or has contents inside.

Assuming it was formatted in the accepted file system and is loaded with readable files that your smart TV should recognize, the next thing you need to do is check if the hard drive uses the GUID Partition Table (GPT).

Smart TVs do not recognize GPT partitioning. Your TV may see a USB device plugged in, but it will not be able to see the contents.

Should this be the case, you need to switch from GPT to Master Boot Record (MBR).

To do this, you will need to:

  1. Reformat your external hard drive.
  2. Backup all your data on the drive, and reformat it with the option for MBR selected.

Once you have reformatted your hard drive, reload your data and check your smart TV if it can read the contents.

Is There a Way for my Smart TV to Open Files not Normally Recognized by the Operating System?

You can install ES File Explorer, which will let your TV platform see files in your external storage normally not recognized by the smart TV.

It’s like Windows Explorer of a Finder Window on Mac, wherein you can explore folders and files in your storage.

This is ideal if you wish to sideload apps not found on your smart TV’s app store.

Note that you should only sideload apps if you are sure of the source, as the installers may contain malware, which may damage your smart TV.

How Do I Free up Space on my Smart TV?

The first thing you can do is clear the cache of your apps to free up space.

To do this, you have to open your settings and look for the manage applications function. This lets you delete caches or an app altogether.

If your storage space is still insufficient, then consider deleting apps that you do not use.

Note, not all bloatware – or apps you don’t use – can be uninstalled, so you will have to make do with what you can delete.

Is 1 GB RAM Enough for a Smart TV?

1 GB of RAM will not be enough for your smart TV, especially if you run a lot of apps in the background.

This is why smart TVs nowadays have at least 2 GB RAM onboard for a smooth experience.

How Much Storage Space do Smart TVs Need to Run Smoothly?

The amount you need depends on the total storage space of your smart TV.

This is why it is recommended to have at least 25% free storage space to avoid lags or hiccups when used.

So if you have 8 GB free, it would be good to have at least 2 GB free.

Can you Upgrade your Smart TV’s Memory?

Like the internal storage, a smart TV’s memory cannot be upgraded.

What is the Largest Disk Space that a Smart TV Can Read?

Most smart TVs now can read only up to 2 TB of hard disk space.

If you have your movie library stored into hard drives, you may want to consider keeping them in external hard drives of up to 2 TB in size.

Anything bigger, smart TV may not be able to read.

Can a Smart TV Read a Partitioned Hard Drive?

Not all smart TVs can read partitioned drives.

In some cases, the smart TV will only get to see one side of the partitioned. This is unfortunate if the media you want to access is on the side not recognized.

This is why it is ideal for keeping your hard drives at 2 TB and below, should you need an external hard drive to host your media library.

Sources:

Not all external hard drives will work properly when connected to a TV’s USB port

Convert a GPT disk into an MBR disk

What are some Android TV boxes with big internal storage?

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