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Does Facebook Portal TV Need A Smart TV?

Last Updated Oct 4, 2021
phone with facebook open

Facebook has now begun to enter itself in the running when it comes to connecting with family and friends worldwide. With the Portal TV, you can make video calls on your TV instead of using your phone or computer. But does it work without a Smart TV?

Simply put, it does work with any TV, whether it is a smart tv or not, but there are some requirements for your TV. It is also quite easier to use this device with a smart TV than a regular TV.

Understanding your Facebook Portal TV can be a little complicated if you aren’t technically inclined. Here is everything you need to know about this device and what you need to use it.

Does Facebook Portal TV Need A Smart TV?

Smart TVs make everything easier for you including adding new devices but it is not always necessary. All you need to use Facebook Portal TV is an HDMI cord and an HDMI port on the television. If you don’t have this port, you will not be able to use this device.

Because you use it via an HDMI cord, it is more versatile, and you can change TVs if you need to. It is similar to that of the firestick or other devices. Then you need to set the camera where you can see the room clearly and you can begin making your calls.

How To Set Up Facebook Portal TV

If you haven’t already, you need to first purchase an HDMI cord. You can buy this online with your Facebook Portal TV or you can purchase this at your local general store. HDMI cables are easy to find and you need them for other media devices attached to your TV like a DVD player.

Once you have collected all the devices and cords that you need, you can begin setting up your Facebook Portal TV. Here are the steps you need to follow to make this process easy:

  • Plug in your HDMI to an available port and then connect it to your Facebook Portal TV.
  • Turn on the TV to the correct HDMI source.
  • Turn on Portal TV.
  • Connect the device to the internet.
  • Use the remote to log into your Facebook account (required).
  • Connect your Portal to any of your smart devices like your Alexa.
  • Test out the video calling to see if everything is working properly.

Always test out the product. Try a few different calls and test out the shutter, as well as disabling the microphone. These are great safety features that you need to be familiar with. You can even use voice commands with this device. You can set that up as well.

Pros And Cons Of Facebook Portal TV

There are many pros and cons to having this Facebook Portal device, just like any other device. You can look to see which features you need and what negatives you will not negotiate with.


The Facebook Portal TV is unique because there haven’t been any web cameras with smart technology connecting to your TV until this device. You will find that it can make your life easier and it is quite useful for those who don’t have the greatest eyesight.

Here are many more benefits to the Facebook Portal TV to take into consideration when you are thinking about purchasing it:

  • Can track people moving around in the room.
  • It works with Alexa.
  • It has a wide field-of-view
  • Can display your pictures and images from Facebook.
  • Voice assistance.
  • You can attach to TVs as long as it has an HDMI port.
  • Encrypted video calling.


Although the Facebook Portal TV can make things much easier for you when communicating with family and friends, there are some downfalls to consider. For some, this device may not be for them, and this is more because of the security issues not with hacking but with Facebook gathering information and selling it to other vendors.

Here are some of the negatives you should consider when you are considering buying this product:

  • You have to have a Facebook account to use it.
  • Limited app compatibility.
  • You can’t add apps to the smart device.
  • The image is 780pxl and not higher.
  • Facebook can use your information to target ads.
  • Has limited functionality.
  • Expensive for the limited functionality.

If you already have a Facebook app, your information is already being used for targeted ads. You will find that this will help you, but if you don’t want Facebook to have more access to your home, you may want to use other devices.


The Facebook Portal TV doesn’t need a smart TV to work. You can attach it to any TV with an HDMI port with ease. Once connected, you can communicate to anyone else via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. An easy way to keep up to date with everyone is through a video call.

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