Smart TVs & Mobile Hotspots: 14 Answers (For Beginners)

Some people have shifted from wired home Internet connections to using mobile data to connect to the Internet.

However, it might not be a wise decision, especially if you have home devices that rely heavily on the Internet, like a smart TV. You need a stable and fast connection for a smart TV to stream without hiccups.

Is your mobile Internet connection, or hotspot, cut out for the task of supporting your smart TV?

Here’s What You Need to Know about Smart TVs and Mobile Hotspots.

Smart TVs can connect to the Internet via mobile hotspots. However, mobile hotspots are not a highly reliable connection for your smart TV, and streaming through a mobile hotspot uses a lot of data. 

1. Will a Mobile Hotspot Work with Smart TVs?

You can use a mobile hotspot to connect to any device that can connect to the Internet, including your laptop, tablet, smartphone, and smart TV.

2. How Do You Connect Smart TVs to Mobile Hotspots?

The process of connecting your smart TV to a mobile hotspot is the same as connecting to Wi-Fi.

  • Under your Network or Connection settings, let your smart TV scan for available Wi-Fi networks.
  • Make sure the mobile hotspot is active so that your smart TV can find it.
  • Once your mobile hotspot is shown on the list, select it and enter your password.
  • Your smart TV will then be connected to the Internet through the mobile hotspot.

3. Why Won’t My TV Connect to My Hotspot?

If your smart TV won’t connect to a mobile hotspot, chances are your hotspot is already working at max capacity.

Mobile hotspots don’t have the same capacity as Wi-Fi routers. Some mobile hotspots can connect to as many as 10 devices simultaneously, while other hotspots can only accommodate five devices in total.

Should your smart TV be the only device attempting to connect to the mobile hotspot, here’s what you can do to troubleshoot.

  • Turn off the device providing the mobile hotspot, as well as your smart TV. Give it a minute or two before restarting.
  • Restart the device and try connecting again.
  • This process lets your mobile hotspot reboot and refresh. You should now be able to connect your smart TV to the mobile hotspot.

4. Can I Use My Mobile Hotspot to Watch Netflix on My Smart TV?

You can use a mobile hotspot to watch Netflix on your smart TV. But be warned that this can consume a lot of data every time you watch a video.

If you plan to use a mobile hotspot for Internet intensive activities, you should have a data allocation that is large enough to support your consumption. Streaming Netflix, even at the lowest settings, will take up a lot of data.

If you really need to watch something, then by all means, go ahead and use your hotspot. But if you can hold off, consider doing so, given the amount of data Netflix—or any other streaming service—needs.

5. Can I Use My Mobile Hotspot to Watch Disney+ on My Smart TV?

Like Netflix, you can use your mobile hotspot to stream Disney+ on your smart TV.

But doing so also carries the same repercussions as streaming Netflix with a mobile hotspot—it will use a lot of data.

6. Can I Use a Mobile Hotspot to Watch HBO Max?

You can use a mobile hotspot to stream HBO Max, but the brand recommends that you use a traditional Wi-Fi setup that does not rely on mobile Internet services.

HBO Max, like other streaming services, uses a lot of data.

7. Are There Any Streaming Services that Cannot Use Mobile Hotspots as an Internet Source?

Hulu Live TV, the live TV streaming service, cannot use mobile hotspots as its Internet source.

But Hulu’s standard video-on-demand service can use mobile hotspots as an Internet source.

8. Can My Smart TV Create a Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot?

Smart TVs cannot create a mobile hotspot.

Smart TVs do not have their own Internet connections. They rely on an external source to connect to the web. Devices that can create mobile hotspots have their own connection, such as a SIM card.

9. Can I Use a Broadband Stick to Connect a Smart TV to the Internet?

You can try to connect your smart TV to the Internet using a broadband stick, but note that not all broadband sticks are compatible with smart TVs.

You need to check with the broadband stick manufacturer to determine which operating systems it can work with.

10. Can You Tether Your Smartphone to a Smart TV?

You can connect a smartphone to a smart TV by mirroring your smartphone on the smart TV.

You can learn more about connecting your smartphone and smart TV in our article Smart TVs & iPhones/iPads: 8 Answers (For Beginners).

11. Can You Use a Mobile Hotspot for Chromecast or AirPlay?

You can use your mobile hotspot to connect your TV via Chromecast or AirPlay.

But the stability of the streaming is still dependent on the signal of the mobile hotspot.

12. How Much Bandwidth Does a Smart TV Need?

It is recommended that a smart TV have at least five Mbps of bandwidth available to stream in HD resolution.

If you want to stream at higher resolutions, you should look at having at least 25 Mbps of bandwidth for your smart TV.

13. How Much Data Does a Smart TV Use?

Smart TVs use up a lot of data when streaming videos.

And the amount of data consumed is highly dependent on two factors:

  • The quality of streaming
  • The duration of streaming

To give you an idea of how much data is consumed, if you stream Netflix at 1080p HD, you stand to consume around 3 GB of data per hour. If you use your mobile hotspot to stream a 2.5-hour movie, that will use 7.5 GB.

That might seem small if you have an allocation of 50 GB a month, but watching one video a day will most likely eat through your data allocation before the middle of the billing period!

Other streaming platforms consume more, while some consume less data. Your mileage may vary here.

14. Is it Recommended to Use a Mobile Hotspot with a Smart TV?

It’s not recommended to use a mobile hotspot to stream content on your smart TV, and there are a few reasons for this.

Compatability

Not all smart TVs are compatible with mobile hotspots. The compatibility depends on the smart TV and even the manufacturer of the hotspot.

Connectivity

A mobile hotspot needs to be connected to a cell site, and if there are lots of obstructions around, like other buildings or even multiple stories above you, you will get a poor connection.

If you are using a mobile hotspot, your best bet is to put your mobile hotspot device by a window.

Cost

The third reason for discouraging the use of mobile hotspots is the cost. You’re looking at an average of 3 GB of data per video.

Now, if you rely on a mobile hotspot for movie marathons, that’s going to consume a lot of data, and some mobile carriers charge penalties if you exceed your allotment.

You should also check with your service provider for any charges related to using your mobile hotspot. Some carriers charge a fee for the use of hotspots from a smartphone.

Security

Mobile hotspots use cell sites, which are considered public connections. When compared to Internet connections used at home, mobile hotspots using public connections are less secure.

It’s also easier to customize security with your home connection as opposed to your smartphone’s mobile services.

Final Thoughts

A mobile hotspot is not an ideal Internet connection for smart TVs.

You should only consider using a mobile hotspot with your smart TV if there are no other viable options or if you are only using it for a short time.

You will be much better off connecting to a dedicated Wi-Fi connection in your house. Getting a dedicated connection may have a higher upkeep cost, but you save yourself headaches that may arise from an unstable, mobile hotspot Internet connection in the long run.

 

Sources:

How to Use a Mobile Hotspot: Make Your Phone a Wi-Fi Machine

Can I Watch Netflix Using a Hotspot?

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