Freeview abstract background

If you’ve bought a TV in the last few years, the chances are it’s a smart TV and most likely has Freeview Play built in – which means the main catch-up player apps come as standard.

As you know, this makes your smart TV a great way to access additional content without having to invest in another box or streaming video platform. But dig a little deeper and you may find that you can do even more with your TV. Here are three tools you might not have known existed...

Channel 100

Channel 100 Freeview Play screen

Find your favourite content and discover new shows.

When there is so much great content available, choosing what to watch is not always easy, which is where channel 100 can help.

If you have a Freeview Play device you can access all the main on-demand players via channel 100. There is a carousel of content recommendations that can be filtered across 10 different genres, and a universal search across live and on-demand TV, making it much simpler to find your favourite content and discover new shows.

Cast YouTube and Netflix content from your phone

YouTube Cast-

Another neat trick is that you can browse YouTube and Netflix content on your phone and send it to your TV to watch. The feature works in the same way for both apps: just find the content that you want to watch and start playing it on your phone (Android or iPhone).

Content will be beamed from your phone to your TV.

When the content is playing tap the screen and select the Cast icon (it looks like a TV with wi-fi symbol overlaid). Choose your TV from the list of devices and the content will be beamed from your phone to your TV. You can control playback from your phone or your TV, pausing or scrubbing through content.

YouTube has an extra neat trick. Select another video and you’re given the option to either play it straight away or to add it to a queue.

Mirror content

It sure beats passing your phone around or crowding everyone around the small screen.

LG Send to TV

Most smart TVs also let you mirror content from your smartphone, letting you view your own photos or videos, or even show your phone’s entire screen. The exact process depends on your TV and the phone that you’re using.

Many TVs support Miracast, which works with Android handsets without additional software. Typically, you have to change the TV’s input to the special Mirroring one. Next, on your Android phone, you go to settings, displays, wireless display, then choose your TV from the list.

If your TV doesn’t support Miracast (check its manual) or you’re using an iPhone, you may need to install an app. Again, your TV’s manual should tell you what you need to install. In some cases, mirroring apps are only available via third-parties and carry a small charge.

Manufacturer’s apps can be slightly more limited. For example, the LG TV Plus app only lets you stream photos and videos from your handset rather than mirroring.

Even so, basic photo and video streaming are really useful if you’ve got a bunch of photos that you want to show to a group: it sure beats passing your phone around or crowding everyone around the small screen.