The requirements for using the Google Virtual Assistant to watch TV are initially just a few: a smartphone (it can be Android or iPhone), a Chromecast device that is capable of turning any TV with an HDMI connection into a media center or transform an Android device into TELEVISION. You need to download and install the Google Home app (Android / iOS) on your smartphone. If you’re using an iPhone, you’ll also need to download and install the Google Assistant app for iOS.
Setting up your Android TV or Smart TV with Chromecast is very easy: All you have to do is install the Google Home app, add the Chromecast or Smart TV by tapping on the “+” symbol at the top of the app and selecting it Set up the device > New device then follow the instructions on the screen.
After the device has been linked to the intended home or room, Google Home inserts an icon for the registered device on the main screen.
Pro tip: You can also access the Google Assistant Settings through Google Home in the right corner of the screen and make sure Language comparison activated. Only then can you use the Google Assistant to watch TV with voice commands.
As far as Google Assistant compatibility goes, a lot depends on which region you live in. In the US, for example, the coverage is a bit bigger because we have Netflix, Disney +, MaxDome, CW, CBS All. have Access, HBO Now, Hulu, YouTube, YouTube TV, YouTube Kids, Wiki, Crackle, Red Bull, STARZ, Zatto and Google Play Movies and TV.
However, you won’t have any support for Amazon Prime Video or Apple TV +, which is a bit frustrating. This is especially true of Amazon’s streaming video service, which supports both Chromecast and Android TV.
The good news, however, is that many news channels on your TV can be started with a simple voice command to the Google Assistant on the phone.
How to use the Google Assistant to watch TV on an Android TV
Android TVs already offer the built-in Chromecast function, so you don’t have to buy any additional accessories. That will surely make life easier. Depending on the model, you can also speak directly into the remote control to give commands to the Google Assistant.
Now, if your remote doesn’t have a microphone, you can use your smartphone as a gateway for voice commands to the Google Assistant. This can also be done with a smart speaker like Google Nest mini or Google Nest Hub.
Once you’ve set up the Google Assistant on, for example, LG WebOS and Samsung Tizen TVs, you can use the same voice commands in Google Assistant on your phone or smart speaker to watch TV.
Examples of voice commands that can be used to control your TV with the Google Assistant:
- Playback: “Pause”, “Stop”, “Resume”.
- “Switch to BBC News.”
- “Switch to CNN.”
- “Channel [name or number]. “
- “Louder”, “Increase volume”.
- “Decrease volume”, “Decrease volume”.
- “Adjust volume on [number]. “
- “Switch to HDMI 2.”
- “Connect to bluetooth.”
- Deactivate: “Switch off”.
Watch TV on a Chromecast with the Google Assistant
If your TV has an HDMI input, you can use Google Chromecast to turn the device into a media center. This allows you to control the receiver to stream video links from your smartphone or tablet.
With this method, it is possible to “stream” the screen when the television or streaming device is switched on. Often times, using Chromecast is enough and has proven to be a very affordable option. You can also quickly stream series, movies, and YouTube videos to your TV using commands like “Ok, Google” or “Hey, Google”. The same applies to smart speakers from Google and other partners.
Unlike Android TVs, Chromecast doesn’t let you request specific episodes or scenes from series or movies.
Examples of voice commands that can be used to watch TV with the Google Assistant:
- Movies and TV shows:
- “Watch Stranger Things on Netflix.”
- “Open [movie title or show] at [streaming service]. “
- “Finding Romantic Movies.”
- “Find sitcoms.”
- “View Science Fiction TV Shows.”
- “Show films by [actor or actress]. “
- Video clips:
- “Watch funny cat videos.”
- The information:
- “Talk about Game of Thrones.”
I bought my Android TV from Sony in 2015 and was only recently able to use the TV that is connected to my smart devices to watch TV. A few months ago I started having problems with my remote and to make my experience worse, it never offered the microphone option.
And here my smartphone and Google Nest mini played a far bigger role: a remote control that accepts voice commands to control the TV. Yes, the experience is sometimes not as smooth as I would have liked, but at least I can control my Android TV hands-free and even learn new channel options by letting the Google Assistant make the choice.
Speaking of using the Google Assistant on a mobile device, you can also use the Android TV Remote Control app as an alternative remote control option as it saves me from sudden mood swings due to outages with voice commands.
Do you already use the Google Assistant to watch TV on your smartphone? Or do you prefer to use the Google Home Nest mini or the Google Home Nest Hub? Are there any other tips we can add to this Google Assistant guide? I am curious to see how you use Google’s virtual assistant in the comments section.