Family surprised by TV
NaMong Productions /

TVs seem to be turning into oversized smartphones.

Hub Entertainment Research’s fourth annual “Evolution of the TV Set” study asked more than 2,500 Americans about their smart TV usage. It found that over the past two years, the number of smart TV owners using their devices for more than viewing TV and movies has jumped to 73%. That’s an increase of 10 percentage points since 2020.

Here’s a look at the most popular alternative uses for smart TVs.

1. Streaming music

A happy family of parents and two children dancing in the living room
fizkes /

Smart TV owners who use their TV for this: 40%

Streaming music and other audio, such as podcasts, is the most common alternative use for smart TVs.

If you’re looking for a good podcast, by the way, check out Money! with Stacy Johnson.

2. Casting other screens

Couple watching TV or streaming while on phone
Syda Productions /

Smart TV owners who use their TV for this: 26%

The comparison with smartphones wasn’t metaphorical. Hub’s study found the number of people using smart TVs to mirror their phone, tablet or computer screen has just about doubled since 2020.

Not only is it easier to see and share, this “opens up the TV screen to much content not available through native apps,” according to the report.

3. Checking news or weather apps (tie)

George Rudy /

Smart TV owners who use their TV for this: 22%

This is perhaps the least surprising smart TV usage, since it replicates something TVs have long been used for. Only now instead of tuning in to our local news station, we’re opening an app.

3. Browsing the web (tie)

Couple with their feet up watching TV
Tero Vesalainen /

Smart TV owners who use their TV for this: 22%

Another popular alternative use for smart TVs is general internet surfing. A couch instead of an office chair? These people may be ahead of the curve.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.