How to Connect Smart TV to a Mobile Hotspot (2023)

Almost all houses are now adjusting to a smart TV on their room setup. Not only are they better in terms of functionality than older TVs, but they also cost less on your electricity bill. Smart TVs are at their best when connected to a WiFi or wireless connection.

Smart TV with WiFi

However, in some situations, your WiFi connection might be down due to some issue or scheduled maintenance work. When this happens, you can still use the limited features of your smart TV. But there’s an even greater alternative—using a mobile hotspot.

In this guide we’ll answer:

  • Using a Personal Hotspot for your smart TV;
  • How to Connect Mobile Hotspot to Smart TV, and;
  • Why Won’t my TV connect to my Hotspot?

We’ll also include tips on why this is not a sustainable option for an internet connection, and why a WiFi connection is still the better choice. Using your phone hotspot is mentioned as a way to use Amazon Fire Stick without internet.


So, if you’re wondering how to connect your smart TV to a mobile hotspot, read this guide to learn more.

Table of Contents

Using a Personal Hotspot for your Smart TV

Connecting your smart TV to a personal hotspot is a similar process to connecting to a WiFi network. In this process, you can either use a phone or a portable hotspot device. Most importantly, it must be recognized by the smart TV.

When setting up your hotspot, remember its network name and password to avoid any problems. Besides this, here are some things to keep an eye on to have a smooth mobile hotspot hookup on your smart TV:

  • Make sure your mobile device is connected to the internet. Please see our fix if you get a Mobile Network State Disconnected error.
  • Ensure that no other devices are connected to the mobile hotspot. Depending on the device, it can only handle a limited number of connections. It will also greatly reduce the speed since it is shared with all connected devices.
  • Update your smart TV’s firmware. Like your smartphones or laptops, your smart TV needs to update its network adapter drivers. It is to ensure that all nearby networks are discovered by your smart TV and to have a consistent connection.

Here’s how you can set up a mobile hotspot connection on your Android phone:

  1. Go to Settings > Mobile Hotspot & tethering.
  2. Then, tap WiFi Hotspot. On this page, you will see the default WiFi name and password. You can easily change both details by clicking on them and entering the new name and password.
  3. Next, go to Connections > Mobile Data and turn it to On.

To enable a mobile hotspot connection on an iPhone, do the following:

  1. Go to Settings > Personal Hotspot.
  2. Tap Allow Others to Join and take note of the WiFi Password.
  3. Then, go to Settings > Cellular and turn the Cellular Data option to On.

Tip: When on a prepaid plan (eg QLink), ensure that you have enough credits to have a continuous connection.


How to Connect Mobile Hotspot to Smart TV

If you have the mobile hotspot set up, you can now use it for your smart TV. The process is simple; depending on the brand of your smart TV, accessing the mobile hotspot settings can be different.

For most regular smart TVs:

  1. Turn on your smart TV.
  2. Go to the Main menu of your smart TV.
  3. Go to Settings > Connection Settings.
  4. Find the Wireless Settings option and click on it.
  5. Here you can search for your mobile hotspot’s name
  6. Once you find it click and enter the password.
  7. Your smart TV should now be connected to your mobile hotspot.

For Samsung Smart TVs:

  1. Turn on your Samsung Smart TV and press the TV button on the remote.
  2. Go to Menu > Network.
  3. Select Network Settings and choose Wireless.
  4. From the list, select the name of your mobile hotspot.
  5. Enter your mobile hotspot’s password.
  6. Then, click Next. Your smart TV will now attempt to connect to your mobile hotspot.
  7. Once successful, click Enter to confirm.

Samsung TVs are a bit different, as they use Tizen OS rather than Android or iOS. This means that they have a smaller range of native apps. To help, we have an article on How to Get Peloton App On Samsung TV, which lists several methods to get unsupported apps on your Samsung TV.

For VIZIO Smart TVs:

  1. Turn on your VIZIO Smart TV and press the Menu button on the remote.
  2. Choose the Network menu. From here, you will see the list of WiFi networks nearby, including your mobile hotspot. If you cannot see it, go to More Access Points and find it there.
  3. Select your mobile hotspot and enter its password.
  4. Choose Connect and press OK on the remote.
  5. Your VIZIO smart TV should now be connected to your mobile hotspot.

We also have a entire article devoted to how to mirror your Android device to VIZIO TV.

For LG Smart TV:

If you know how to turn on the wifi on an LG TV you will be fine, but here are the steps again:

  1. Turn on your LG Smart TV and press Menu on the TV remote.
  2. Go to Setup > Connection Settings.
  3. Select Wireless and pick the name of your mobile hotspot from the list of wireless connections.
  4. Next, enter the password and select Enter to confirm.
  5. Your LG Smart TV should now be connected to your mobile hotspot.

If the connection is still not working, we have an article devoted to your LG TV not connecting to Wi-Fi and several solutions.


Why Won’t my TV Connect to my Hotspot?

Connection issues on your smart TV can be due to different factors. The problem can involve your smart TV or your mobile hotspot source. However, we have narrowed down a few fixes that you can try to solve this connection problem:

Fix #1: Try Power Cycling your Smart TV

Power cycling both your smart TV and your smartphone will help to reset all connections and settings that can be the root cause of this problem. To power cycle your smart TV,  do the following:

  1. Turn your smart TV off and unplug for 30 seconds.
  2. Next, plug it back in and turn it on.
  3. Try connecting to your mobile hotspot once again and see if this solved the connection issue.

Fix #2: Update your Smart TVs Firmware

As mentioned earlier, updated firmware is crucial to keep your smart TV away from errors. Firmware updates may contain upgrades for the smart TVs network adapters, which are responsible for both wired and wireless connections. 

To see if your smart TV has the latest firmware available:

  1. Open your Smart TV and go to Settings.
  2. Choose Support > Software Update.
  3. On this page, you can see if your smart TV has the latest updates.

If you have the latest firmware installed, the problem may be on your smartphone or hotspot device. Try restarting your hotspot device and see if this solves the issue.

Fix #3: Factory Reset your Smart TV

If you have outdated firmware on your smart TV, chances are you will need a stable network connection to download the latest firmware updates. What you can do is temporarily factory restore your smart TV and see if this solves the connection issue.

To factory reset your smart TV, do the following:

  1. Turn on your smart TV and press the Menu button on the remote.
  2. Navigate to Support > Self Diagnosis.
  3. Next, select Reset and press Enter.
  4. If asked, enter your PIN or passcode and select Yes on the following window to confirm.
  5. Your smart TV may restart several times during this process.
  6. Once the reset is successful, set up your smart TV and try connecting to your mobile hotspot.


Final Thoughts

If you don’t have a WiFi connection nearby, a mobile hotspot is a great alternative. Like a WiFi connection, you will need to enter a password to successfully connect to your mobile hotspot. This feature is also easy to set up and is available on most smartphones today. We also have a full guide on how to Stream from your Phone to TV without WiFi. This guide has a few more connection tips like airplay, screen mirroring and also wired connections.

While you can connect to the internet without using WiFi, it can cost you a lot more, since most data plans can have a lucrative price—unless, you’re currently subscribed to an unlimited data plan. With this in mind, a WiFi connection is still the better long-term choice.

Mobile hotspots can also have a limit on the bandwidth and connection capacity, which will certainly limit your ability to watch and stream media content. Hence, you can refer to this guide to make the most out of your mobile hotspot connection.