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Does a Smart TV Use Data When Turned Off/Standby? (Yes, Here’s How to fix it)

As an owner of a smart TV, I was frustrated to find out that my TV was using data even while it was turned off or in standby mode. I did some research and testing and discovered that this was not only true of my TV, but of many others on the market. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing how I solved this problem, as well as other solutions I discovered.

When your smart TV is completely turned off, it’s not using any data. By turning your TV off using the remote, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s not connected to your Wi-Fi anymore. A smart TV that’s turned off has no lights indicating any connection. So, if an LED light still glows, your TV still uses some data.

A smart TV uses data even when it’s turned off or on standby mode
A smart TV in standby mode uses less data for updates
Data usage can range from 250 MB to 2 GB per hour, depending on the resolution
To stop a smart TV from using data, turn it off from the main button or unplug the power cord
Reduce data usage by enabling data saver mode, turning off autoplay, and streaming at lower quality

When Does a Smart TV Use Data?

A smart TV always uses data when it’s still connected to an electrical source or your Wi-Fi. When exactly does a smart TV use data, though?

On Standby Mode

Just like laptops and desktops, your smart TV can also be on standby mode.

When a smart TV is on standby mode, it keeps the infrared receiver on for receiving signals. This makes it possible for your TV to still get notifications and system updates.

A smart TV on standby mode doesn’t use as much data since it only needs it for updates. This feature is essential if your smart TV is connected to other smart devices in your house.

Turned On

Of course, a smart TV consumes the most data when it’s turned on. On average, your smart TV can use up to 250 MB to 2 GB of data per hour. The exact amount depends on what apps you use and what resolution it plays in.

For example, if you’re streaming a video in 1080p HD, you can expect to consume about 1.5 GB of data in an hour. This number skyrockets to 7.3 GB per hour if you watch in 4K Ultra HD.

Common streaming services also have average rates of data usage. For instance, Netflix uses 3 GB of data per hour in HD quality and as much as 7 GB in Ultra HD quality.

Other streaming services that don’t use video graphics, like Spotify, consume much less. Spotify only uses 400 MB of data per hour.

How to Turn Off Data on a Smart TV

If you want to turn off data on your smart TV to save bandwidth, here are some things you can do.

Using TV Off Button

Using the remote to turn off your smart TV simply puts it on standby mode. If you see a red or orange light after turning it off using a remote, your TV is on standby mode.

To completely disconnect it from using data, you must turn it off from the main button. With today’s edge-to-edge designs of smart TVs, you can find the button at the back or under the TV.

Unplug the Power Cord

If you’re still skeptical about using your TV’s off button, one way to make sure it’s disconnected from the Wi-Fi is to unplug the power cord.

In this way, you’ll be removing the smart TV from the main electrical source. It’s a guaranteed way to disconnect your smart TV from everything.

Simply pull the plug from the socket.

Disconnect Smart TV From Wi-Fi

Some smart TVs have a feature that allows you to disconnect your smart TV from the Wi-Fi without turning it off.

You can find this in your device’s network settings. It’s usually as easy as toggling the button off to disconnect.

The only downside to this option is that you’ll have to re-enter your Wi-Fi password if you want to reconnect.

How to Reduce Data Usage of My Smart TV

If you want to reduce your data usage, here are some of your options.

Use Data Saver

Most smart TVs have a data saver mode that helps in reducing data usage. By turning this on, your smart TV tries to save as much data as possible while in use.

Stop Autoplay

Autoplay can be one of the features that consume a lot of data without you knowing. If you’re watching a video and auto-play is on, it’ll keep on using data until you stop the video. 

This can eat up your data easily especially if you fall asleep while watching.

Stream at Lower Quality

Streaming at lower qualities can reduce data usage. A 720p quality uses less data than 1080p, and definitely a lot less than 4K Ultra HD.

While it may be better to stream a movie at a higher quality, you’ll have to spend much more on data.

Final Thoughts

So, does a smart TV use data when turned off? The answer is no.

We all want to get the most out of our smart TVs whenever possible. However, the issue is whether we’re willing to let it consume most of our data cap.

It’s probably best to keep your smart TV turned off if you’re worried about constant data consumption.

Read more: How to disconnect Echo from FireTV