Samsung's 2019 TVs are now available for preorder, and with them comes a highly anticipated feature: the ability to use Amazon Alexa smart speakers with your Samsung smart TV, giving you voice control for adjusting the volume, opening apps, searching for shows and much more.
But you can get older models to work with Alexa, too. With just a couple of apps, you can set up your Amazon Echo or similar Alexa-powered device to offer some voice-activated goodness on your smart TV now.
One (big) caveat: As of now, the functionality of Alexa on older Samsung smart TVs is very limited. You can use your Alexa device to power the TV on and off, and that's about it. The added functionality in 2019 will let you control the volume, switch inputs and launch select apps with Alexa's voice control, but that's all yet to come. For now, if you want to adjust the channel and volume, or do anything more advanced, you need to use the Bixby voice assistant built into the TV, using the microphone on the TV remote control.
But if hollering for Alexa to turn on your TV still sounds fun, here's how to make it work:
Step 1: Set up your devices.
First, make sure that both your Samsung TV and your Amazon Alexa device are set up and functioning. Once you complete the initial setup on the TV and the Alexa device, you'll need to make sure that both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network.
If you haven't yet, you'll also need to set up the TV as a Thing (smart device) in the SmartThings app. To do this, simply sign in to your Samsung account on the TV.
Step 2: Prepare the apps.
You'll also need to get your phone ready to coordinate these two devices. If you haven't yet, download both the Samsung SmartThings app (available for iOS and Android) and the Amazon Alexa app (also for iOS or Android).
Make sure that you log in to both apps with the same account information you used for your TV's Samsung account and your Echo's Amazon account.
Step 3: Discover your TV in the SmartThings app.
First, you'll need to discover your Samsung TV in the Samsung SmartThings app, which lets you treat it as a basic connected smart device when connecting it to your Alexa speaker.
To do this, go to the Devices menu, found on the bottom menu of the app.
On the Devices page, select the Add Device option. With the TV powered on, it should be easy to find your device in the list.
Once you've found the device and paired your phone to the TV, select the Samsung Smart TV and use the toggle button next to its name to enable its use as a smart device.
Step 4: Discover your smart speaker in the Alexa app.
Second, you'll need to be sure that your Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or other Amazon device has been discovered in the Amazon Alexa app. If it hasn't, or if the device is set up through someone else's phone, you'll need to do the following. (If this doesn't apply to you, move on to the next step.)
In the app, select the Devices button from the menu at the bottom of the home screen.
If the Echo (or similar Alexa device) shows up in this menu, then you're all set. If not, open the All Devices menu option and find your Alexa device on the list of available connected devices.
Step 5: Connect the apps.
In the Amazon Alexa app, enable the Samsung SmartThings skill, and sign in with your Samsung account to link the accounts.
Step 6: Select your TV in the Alexa app.
Once you've enabled the Samsung SmartThings skill — which should automatically pair Alexa to the TV — you can use Alexa to power your TV on and off with your voice.
MORE: For more Alexa-related tips, tricks and how-tos, check out our complete guide to Alexa.