You can use a TV to watch thousands of shows and movies.
And you also use it to control other smart home devices.
So it’s not unusual for you to wonder:
“Can I also use my TV as a camera?”
And today, you’ll be glad to know I have the answer to that question.
Continue reading to find out:
- 5 interesting facts about cameras on TVs.
- 7 simple steps to connect an external camera to your TV.
- What are the security risks of having a camera on your device.
- And this is just the beginning…
Can a TV screen be used as a camera?
A TV screen can’t be used as a camera. But TVs can have a built-in camera on their bezels. Most of the time, you can find the camera on the top of the TV frame. But in other models, it’s located at the bottom of the device’s bezel.
Using a TV screen as a camera – 5 facts
#1: Only Smart TVs have built-in cameras
Having a camera on your TV is a pretty cool thing.
However, it’s worth noting that only the Smart TV models have this feature.
So if you have a non-smart TV, your device automatically doesn’t have a camera.
And if you’re thinking…
“But how do I know if I have a Smart TV?”
Well, it’s pretty easy to know if you have a TV that’s smart or not.
For starters, a Smart TV will have streaming apps on its home screen or the Apps section on its system.
Moreover, these devices also have ethernet ports at the back, as it’s 1 of the ways they can connect to the Internet.
So if you find any of these indications on your device, you have a Smart TV.
However, it’s worth noting that just because your TV is smart doesn’t necessarily mean it has a camera. That’s because…
#2: Only selected Smart TV models have built-in cameras
Some new TV models are equipped with cameras. However, some still aren’t.
So the only way to know whether your Smart TV has this feature is to check its user manual.
And if you’re currently considering buying a TV with a built-in camera…
Then I have some suggestions for you.
That said, here are…
My top 3 recommendations for TV models with cameras
LG 55-inch CINEMA 3D Smart TV LA9600
This LG TV lets you control your interface with hand motions through its built-in camera.
On top of that, it also has built-in video calling apps. So you won’t need to install applications separately just to use your TV’s camera to its full potential.
It’s also worth noting that this device’s camera is retractable.
With that, you’ll maintain your utmost privacy when you don’t need to use the feature.
Samsung 55″ F8000 Series Full HD LED TV
On top of its high picture quality…
This Samsung TV also has a built-in camera to make your streaming experience easier.
See, like the previous LG TV, you can also use hand gestures to control this Samsung device.
For example, you can simply wave your hand accordingly to change your TV’s channel. Or even adjust its volume.
LG 55-inch CINEMA 3D Smart TV LA8600
A camera for video calls or even games. That’s what’s offered by this LG TV.
So if you’re interested in controlling your device without a remote or voice commands…
You might want to give this TV model a shot.
#3: You can connect external cameras to TVs
If your TV doesn’t have a built-in camera yet you want it to have 1…
Then you can connect an external model to your device instead.
Fortunately, this is a pretty easy process. And it only takes a couple of minutes to…
Connect an external camera to your Smart TV:
Step 1: Prepare your external camera
Cameras that have a micro-USB port can be connected to your TV.
So if you’re unsure if you can connect it to your device yet…
Then first check if it has a micro-USB port on its body.
Note: Some cameras cover their ports with a thin lid. So check every part of your gadget before you conclude that it doesn’t have this port.
Step 2: Prepare a USB cable
Most cameras come with their original USB cable. So if you still have this cord, you can use it to connect to your TV.
However, other micro-USB to USB cables will still work perfectly fine. So simple prepare whichever one’s available.
Step 3: Turn ON your devices
Turn your TV and camera ON.
And wait for a couple of minutes, so they’re both entirely powered.
After doing so…
Step 4: Connect the camera to your TV
Plug the micro-USB connector of the cable to the camera.
Then connect the other end to the USB port of your TV.
Once you’ve successfully connected the 2 devices…
Step 5: Change the input source of your TV
Press input/source on your TV remote…
And select the name of your camera or the input USB from the list.
Note: If these steps don’t apply to you, check your TV’s user manual.
Further reading: 7 Easy Ways To Change Input On Samsung TV
Step 6: Adjust your camera accordingly
At this point, you should now be able to see your camera’s view on the screen.
So all you need to do is set it up according to your preferences.
Step 7: Connect your camera to the Internet
Follow the instructions on your TV to connect your camera to the Internet if you want to.
And just like that, you now have a TV with a camera on its system.
#4: Cameras on TVs have multiple purposes
Many think TVs with built-in cameras are only used for video calls or selfies.
But the truth is, cameras on TVs have more purposes than that.
And I’ll list out the most important ones now.
Cameras are used for gesture controls
In some TV models, your hand can act as a virtual mouse for your Smart TV.
And this is only possible with the help of built-in cameras.
For selected Samsung TVs, for example…
Moving your hand moves the cursor on the screen. And clenching your fist becomes the “Select” action.
Want to see this feature being used? Watch this video:
Cameras also make logging into your Smart TV account easier.
That’s because you don’t need to input a passcode or password to your remote physically. And you only need to face your TV to access your account or to bypass parental controls.
Conduct video calls
Conducting video calls is the most popular way cameras are used in Smart TVs nowadays.
And it’s easier to do so than ever. Because televisions now have many communication apps that allow video calls.
You might also want to know: 9 Real Reasons Why You Should Get a Smart TV (Updated)
#5: Using your TV as a camera has security risks
Since Smart TVs can connect to the Internet…
Unfortunately, they’re also prone to security risks and hackers. Similar to how other Internet-enabled gadgets like PCs and phones are.
And because cameras only work with smart TVs…
That means your device’s camera is also at risk of being hacked. Which can put you and your family’s privacy and safety in danger.
See, according to experts…
It’s possible to hack a Smart TV through the Wifi it’s connected to.
Or through other unsecured devices connected to the same network your TV is using.
With that said, taking proper precautions is crucial if you have a Smart TV with a camera. Or if you’re currently in the process of getting 1.
“Do you have any tips to secure my TV’s camera?”
Glad you asked. Because I sure do.
On that note, here are…
3 safety tips you should follow to protect your Smart TV’s camera
Regularly update your devices
The easiest and most effective way to protect your TV from hackers is to keep it up to date.
That’s because updates ensure that your device gets the latest safety features. So that you can protect your:
- Data and information.
You can think of every update as small patches that cover up any holes hackers can get through.
See, as time passes by, more of these holes will pop up. However, if you regularly update your device, hackers won’t be able to enter your Smart TV’s system easily. Because you’ll also be covering these holes as they appear with the help of regular updates.
However, as mentioned earlier…
Hackers can also access your TV through other unsecured devices using your Wifi.
For this reason…
You should also update other devices using the same network as your TV, including your:
- Mobile devices.
And other gadgets that also use the Internet.
This way, all your devices will have stable protection against security risks.
Only install official apps to your Smart TV
3rd party TV applications can be tempting to install.
However, remember that your TV’s brand hasn’t thoroughly inspected these apps. So they can contain malware or viruses that can bring security threats to your TV.
In worst-case scenarios…
3rd party apps can also give hackers direct access to your Smart TV camera.
So if you want to prioritize your privacy and safety, stick to the official applications.
Strengthen your Wifi password
As mentioned, the most common route hackers use to access devices is weak Wifi networks.
That said, you should use strong passwords for your Internet connection.
And as a general guide, your Wifi security pass should have:
- 1 capital letter.
- 1 special character (if applicable).
Can someone watch me through my TV?
Someone can watch you through your TV if your device has a camera.
However, remember that this isn’t likely to happen if your Smart TV is secured enough.
With that in mind, it’s crucial to follow the 3 tips I listed above to protect your device from security threats.