Your smart TV comes with an onscreen keyboard that you can control with your remote, and while it works okay when you’re searching for a show by title, it can be a hassle when you’re trying to find extended content. Being able to use your keyboard would make it easier if you could connect it.
How do you connect a keyboard to a smart tv? To connect a wireless or wired keyboard to a TV, plug in the keyboard into the TV’s USB port, and follow the onscreen steps, however, not all keyboards are compatible so make sure you read more on the subject before trying.
It is possible to use a keyboard with a smart TV, however, you may find it’s a little more difficult than you initially thought. Not all keyboards work with certain TVs, and there’s not always a USB passthrough. By reading through this article and understanding your keyboard better, you’ll learn what to do if you encounter any problems.
Why Would You Need to Connect a Keyboard to a TV?
The primary reason why it makes sense to connect a keyboard to a TV is for convenience and efficiency, not unlike connecting your soundbar to your remote which we have a guide on here. It’s frustrating to use the keys on your remote to search for shows and browse websites because you have to scroll through every letter of the alphabet to choose the one you want.
It’s even worse if you want to type out a message to a friend or use your smart TV to compose an email. Your smart TV also comes with a web browser that can be difficult to operate with the TV’s remote control. When you connect a keyboard, you can type search commands, browse websites, and compose messages the same way you do on your laptop or PC.
Some Keyboards May Not Work on Certain TVs
Not all keyboards work with every TV, because manufacturer specifications do vary. Your keyboard may work perfectly with a Samsung Smart TV, for instance, the Samsung Q60 (on Amazon), but not with one from Sony. The same also applies to TVs; not all models allow you to connect a keyboard. If you were lucky enough to purchase a smart TV that came with a keyboard, you shouldn’t have any problems.
If you’re connecting a keyboard you already have, it’s best to refer to your user’s manual. There should be a listing of Smart TV models and other devices – (by the way, we have a list of some of the most popular smart devices to use) – that the keyboard is compatible with. You also want to read through your TV owner’s guide to find out which keyboard brands will work with the device.
In most cases, whether you’re using a wired or wireless keyboard, you should be able to connect it to your TV’s USB port. It is standard on most Smart TVs, though it is less common on Android models. Even if your Android TV has a USB port, the technology between the two devices might not be compatible.
There’s Likely No USB Passthrough
Regardless of whether you’re connecting a wired or wireless keyboard to a smart TV, there must be a USB port. If the TV does not have a USB port, you cannot try and bypass it by using an HDMI connection. The television will not recognize the connected device and you will still have to use the remote control to search and browse through content.
Obviously, the keyboard must be connected to the device it’s controlling and if you want to use it with the TV, it must be plugged into the television’s USB port. In the case where you want the keyboard hooked up to another device, you’ll have to disconnect it from the TV and plug it into that device’s port.
Sometimes, there can still be problems getting the TV to recognize the keyboard or vice-versa. If you’re using the USB port and everything is connected properly, it might be an issue with the setup steps. You may need to disconnect the keyboard and follow the onscreen prompts again.
Recommended Keyboards for TVs
If you don’t have a keyboard that is compatible with your TV there are some that are affordable and compatible with most televisions. Before you do purchase a new keyboard, you’ll want to decide between getting a wired or wireless one. Both will perform the same functions, the only difference is convenience.
A wired keyboard does need to remain close to the TV, while a wireless one will allow you to move around as long as you are still receiving the signal from the television. If you want to surf channels and browse the web from your couch, a wireless keyboard might be the best option.
Fosman Mini Bluetooth Keyboard
You’re not limited to only using this wireless keyboard with your TV, it also works with smartphones, PS4, and other devices. The Fosman Mini Bluetooth Keyboard (on Amazon) is lightweight and comfortable to use, even when you’re relaxing on the couch. Along with all of the keys you’d expect to find on a keyboard, it also comes with a touchpad for easy navigating.
It comes with a long-lasting battery, for instance, it can work for ten days before needing to be recharged. There’s also a handy LED light that indicates when battery power is running low. In addition to coming with a limited warranty, the keyboard is also backlit so you can use it in dark rooms.
Logitech K600 TV Keyboard
Compatible with most smart TVs, the Logitech K600 TV Keyboard (on Amazon) makes it easy to browse the web, scroll through entertainment content, and compose messages. Along with the standard keys, it also comes with a D-pad and touchpad so you won’t have any problems navigating the TV’s on-screen layout.
Media keys make it easy for you to stop, play, and pause movies. It will also allow you to switch which device it controls, as long as each one is connected to the same source. You only need to tap a button on the keyboard to switch from the TV to a laptop, or iOS device.
There’s no question that using your keyboard to scroll through content and navigate the web is easier than using the TV’s remote control, especially if you need to look for a specific movie or television show. Thankfully, they’re not overly difficult to connect either. Whether it’s a wired or wireless keyboard, you just need to have a TV with a USB port.
While there’s nothing wrong with using a wired keyboard, you do have to remain close to the TV. A wireless one does give you more freedom and is often compatible with other connected devices. Regardless of the model, including whether it’s wired or wireless, it’s going to be a lot easier than using the TV’s remote control.