How to record a video that’s streaming on a smart TV

After a long working day, you want to go back home and watch your favourite TV show, live event, or movie. But once you switch on your Smart TV, you realize you have already missed an episode or the entire event.

The best solution to avoid this scenario in the future is to record a video streaming on a Smart TV. The only problem is that not all Smart TVs can record live videos. So, how do you do it?

Generally, one of the most straightforward ways of recording a video streaming on a Smart TV is to use the DVR. However, most Smart TVs have an in-built recording option you can access by hitting the record button on your TV’s remote.

Alternatively, you can record a video on your Smart TV using built-in screen capture tools, hardware encoder, or third-party recording application.

But understand that recording content protected by an encryption technology called Encrypted Media Extension (EME) may be challenging.

How to record a streaming video on your Smart TV

There are several methods to use if you want to record shows from streaming services. They include:

1. Use third-party screen recorders

Third-party applications, also known as Streaming Video Recorders (SVR), allow you to record streaming TV shows and movies right from your TV.

The apps then store the content in a remote location on your TV or let you transfer the files to a different storage device, allowing you to access live TV or live streams offline.

An advantage of these applications is that you can record even heavily encrypted videos, especially those from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

Hulu on Samsung TV

You can use the apps to record titles that do not have a download option. Furthermore, some apps have a function that detects ads and automatically skips them during the recording.

Your recordings will never expire once you download them.

Here is how to use them:

  • Download and install your preferred Streaming Video Recorder.
  • Open the app and look for a recording option.
  • Find a movie or TV show you want to record.
  • Select Record to start recording.

After the recording, you will access the file inside the app or your TV storage.

An excellent example of a Streaming Video Recorder you should use is PlayOn.

2. Set up and record live TV on Samsung Smart TV

A select number of Samsung Smart TVs allow you to record, play, and pause a live TV event. You can also schedule a live TV event and record it once it begins.

With this method, you can either record one episode or the entire season of your favourite show. 

Before recording, you must have a portable hard drive or USB stick plugged into your Samsung Smart TV. Also, tune in to the channel you want to record and establish an aerial connection.

Now, once you find a channel with live TV streaming, record it as follows:

  • Connect your storage drive to the Samsung Smart TV. The Live TV program will automatically turn on.
  • Press the 123 buttons with red, green, yellow, and blue colours on your Samsung remote.

123 buttons on a Samsung remote

  • An image will pop up on your TV screen.
  • Press the Select button on your remote.
  • Select Record.

Ensure you have enough storage space in your external drive or USB stick to Record live TV. You do not need specialized software to set up and record live TV on your Samsung Smart TV.

Apart from the Samsung Smart TV, the LG Smart TV also lets you record videos.

  • Go to the program you are currently watching.
  • Press the Q-Menu or 123 button on your LG remote.

123 buttons on LG remote

  • The on-screen remote will display.
  • Select REC on the screen remote to display the Progress Bar.
  • Once the Progress Bar displays, select REC to start recording.
The LG TV lets you record programs from external inputs, analogue TV, or digital TV.

Understand that most Smart TVs have an in-built record option, including Sony, Hisense, and TCL. In addition, these Smart TVs have in-built software known as Personal Video Recorder. However, you can only use them to record free-to-view channels.

3. Record streaming TV with DVR

Many streaming services offer Cloud DVR to record their content. However, the difference is that the services do not store recorded videos on your device.

Instead, they keep the recordings in the cloud. That way, you can access the videos from any location.

For example, Sling TV, FuboTV, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, Philo, and DirecTV allow you to record as many programs as you want. However, they limit the period you can store them in the cloud to a year.

Cloud DVR
Photo: Ben Slater

If Cloud DVR does not work for you, an alternative method is to buy a DVR box. The device has a built-in hard drive for recording TV shows and movies.

In addition, you can record programs in Full HD, schedule recordings, and record multiple programs simultaneously.

Once you buy the DVR box, you must connect it to your Smart TV. You can connect it using an HDMI cable, DVI cable, component cable, or an S-Video cable. Then:

  • Search for a streaming movie or TV show.
  • Next, press the recording button on the DVR’s remote.
  • The DVR will store the recordings and allow you to access them later.

The DVR box lets you play the recording, pause live TV, schedule a program, cancel a scheduled program, or delete the recordings.

Although Cloud DVR and DVR boxes can help you record videos, they may not work on streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime. A workaround is to use Streaming Video Recorders.

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