Facebook Portal is one of the most useful tools in the social media mogul’s new smart home products. Designed to work seamlessly with Facebook-enabled apps such as Whatsapp and Messenger, this device allows you to project your Facebook social media software onto the biggest screen in your home.
Hooking Facebook Portal up to a smart television lets you project the user interface on the touchpad onto the television’s screen. This fullscreen mode allows callers to see the user as the user moves around the room, automatically adjusting sound and video.
If peering into a small smartphone screen for video calls keeps you from digging into Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, Facebook Portal just made things a lot easier. Read on to learn more about how you can make your Facebook Portal appear fullscreen on your television.
Facebook Portal can be accessed from your smartphone app or a touchpad, but the biggest advantage to getting Portal is that you can place video calls on your TV screen. This gives you the largest picture to get up close and personal with your contacts, and can make it easier to hear them talking too.
Here’s what comes with your Portal TV that you need for getting started (Source: Facebook Portal):
- Portal TV: The Facebook Portal TV device is a small bar designed to be set up alongside your cable box and other entertainment center accessories. The Portal needs to be placed in an area where the camera can easily track the user’s movements when they need to place a call.
- Remote control: The remote for the Facebook Portal is relatively simple since there are a few other easy ways to interface with the Portal such as voice or the Portal touchpad.
- Quick start guide: The Quick Start guide is the basic manual for Facebook Portal that will explain its functions and which buttons do what on the remote. However, the Portal can also be controlled through your smartphone app or by voice command.
- Safety and warranty guide: The safety guide may seem like cut-and-dry information, but you’ll want to keep this guide for your records in case your Facebook Portal turns out to be defective and needs to be replaced.
- Power cord: The Facebook Portal will need to be plugged into an electrical outlet or power source to connect with the television, which also needs to be plugged in via its own power source for the Portal to make calls or perform other functions.
- HDMI cord: An HDMI cord is needed to connect your Facebook Portal to the television monitor so that it can read audio and visual data streaming from the Facebook messaging app.
Along with the above supplies, you’ll also need your Facebook account or Whatsapp account available to get signed in. Next, you’ll want to get the Portal installed:
- Mount the Facebook Portal at your TV. The Portal can be mounted on top of the television screen or on a flat surface directly beneath the TV. Note: Do not install the Portal on top of or near a soundbar or other wireless device. This can cause feedback interference and other technical issues.
- Plug the Portal into a power source. Use the power cord to connect the Portal to an electrical outlet. Place one end of the charging cord into the port on the Portal, and the other in the wall socket.
- Plug in the HDMI hookup. The HDMI hookup is what allows the Portal to pass video and audio data to the television screen. Plug the HDMI cord into the Portal, and then plug the other end into the HDMI input port in your television. Note: It’s recommended for you to use the HDMI 1 port if more than one port is available on your television monitor.
- Update Portal. Once the Portal is powered up and the TV is turned on, the Portal home screen should come up automatically and begin updating. At this point, wait to be prompted again by the home screen. From here, just follow the on-screen instructions to finish set-up.
Once you have the Portal connected to your TV, you’re ready to start making fullscreen video calls!
Controlling your fullscreen Facebook Portal is easiest using voice commands after you figure them out, but you can also control Portal through a touchpad or your smartphone app. These are some of the functions you can control (Source: Facebook):
- Spotlight: Spotlight is a function that allows you to toggle the camera to focus in on one person in a multi-party video call. This function is controlled through Portal’s Manual Mode, which can be toggled on and off via the touchpad.
- Augmented Reality: Like Snapchat and other social media applications, Facebook’s Portal allows users to place an augmented reality filter over the real-time video footage of their face. This makes video calls more entertaining, especially with kids.
- Watch: Through their Watch feature in Facebook Portal, Facebook curates a selection of videos that can be viewed through Facebook Portal, including your own videos that you’ve saved through Facebook Live and livestreams from gamers or other social media influencers.
This short list only scratches the surface of what Facebook Portal is able to do for social communications. And the more compatible devices you have connected to Portal, the easier it is to integrate into a broader smart home system.
One of the features of video chats that is off-putting to many people who refuse to adopt it is that it can be difficult to see the person on the other side of the screen. Facebook Portal makes many major quality-of-life improvements to the concept of video chatting and represents the next step of evolution in real-time video communications.