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Turn Your Galaxy Tab 3 into a Remote Control Using the Peel Smart Remote App

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The Peel Smart Remote app that’s pre-installed on your Galaxy Tab 3 allows you to control devices that accept infrared signals such as your television and cable box. This article shows you how to use the Peel Smart Remote app to not only allows you to control your TV and set-top box but also to find shows to watch. You’ll start by learning how to set up Peel Smart Remote to work with your TV and your set-top box, such as your cable box. Next, you’ll learn how to view programs and add your favorite channels to the Peel Smart Remote app. You’ll also learn how to control your TV using the button tray at the right side of the app screen. Finally, you’ll learn how to view and change your TV settings as well as add a new TV (and any related devices) so you can use the app for all TVs in your home or office.
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You can use your Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 to do more than connect with your computer and smartphone. The Tab 3 includes the Peel Smart Remote app pre-installed on the device so you can use the Tab 3's infrared emitter to control your television remotely.

Set Up Peel Smart Remote

Start the setup process by tapping the Apps icon on the screen and then swipe to the second page of the Apps screen shown in Figure 1. Tap the Peel Smart Remote icon on the page.

Figure 1 The Peel Smart Remote icon appears on the second page of the Apps screen

In the Samsung Disclaimer window that appears, continue setup by tapping the Agree button. The introductory screen appears; continue the setup process by tapping the Choose Your Country or Region button as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 The Choose Your Country or Region button appears in the bottom right area of the screen

Within the Choose Your Country or Region window that appears on the screen, swipe up and down in the list if necessary to find the country or region you live in. By default, the Peel Smart Remote app recognizes your country you set in the Tab 3 settings and displays that country at the top of the list as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 Your current country appears at the top of the list

Tap the name of the country in the list to open the Find Your TV Service window and then type your ZIP or postal code in the Find Your TV Service window that appears on the screen (see Figure 4). When you're finished typing your ZIP or postal code in the keypad, tap the Done button in the keypad or the Search button to the right of the Enter Zip/Postal Code box.

Figure 4 Type your five-digit postal code in the keypad

Now you see a list of TV services available in your area underneath the ZIP code you entered (see Figure 5). You can swipe up and down the list to find the TV service you use, and when you find the service tap the service name in the list. For this example, I'll tap Comcast Corporation at the top of the list because I use the standard Comcast service.

Figure 5 If you don't see your TV service in the list, swipe up and down in the list to find it

Next, you need to choose your TV brand from the list within the Choose Your TV Brand window shown in Figure 6. Swipe up and down in the list if necessary to find your TV brand. If you don't see your brand in the list, tap the All TV Brands button and then select your brand on the screen.

Figure 6 If you don't see your TV brand in the list, swipe up and down in the list to find it

When you see the TV brand in the list, tap the TV brand name to continue to the next step: Turning your TV on to verify that your Tab 3 can control your TV. First, point the side of the Tab 3 with your infrared (or IR) blaster toward the TV; the blaster is on the same side as the power and volume buttons. Then, in the Your Tablet is Your Remote window shown in Figure 7, tap the Power button.

Figure 7 Turn on your TV by tapping the Power button on the screen

If your TV is off then the TV should turn on. The Did It Work? window appears on the Tab 3 screen to confirm that the TV screen turned on. If it did, tap Yes in the window. If you're not sure, then try turning the TV on again by tapping Send Code Again in the window. Tap No, Try Another Code shown in Figure 8 if the TV didn't turn on at all.

Figure 8 If your TV didn't turn on, tap No, Try Another Code in the window

Once you confirm that your TV screen turned on and tapped Yes in the window, the Choose Your TV Tuner screen appears as shown in Figure 9. If you use a DVR or TiVo player or if you use a cable box to change channels then tap the Set-Top Box/DVR button. If you change channels using your TV then tap the TV button.

Figure 9 If you use a cable box, TiVo, or DVR player, tap the Set-Top Box/DVR button

I use a Comcast cable box so I'll tap the Set-Top Box/DVR button. The Choose Your Set-Top Box/DVR Brand window appears and I'll tap Comcast in the list. Note that if you don't find your set-top box or DVR in the list, tap the All Set-Top Box/DVR Brands button and then select your set-top box or DVR company name in the company list.

Figure 10 If your brand isn't listed in the list, view all brands by tapping the All Set-Top Box/DVR Brands button

Now turn on your set-top box and/or your TV if one or both aren't on already. Next, point the side of your Tab 3 with your IR blaster toward your set-top box (in this example, the cable box) and tap the Next Channel button on the Tab 3 screen. After you tap the button, the Did It Work? window (see Figure 11) asks you if the channel changed. If you're not sure, tap Send Code Again in the window. If not, tap Try Another Code as often as needed to see when the channel changes. When you see the channel has changed successfully, tap Yes.

Figure 11 If the channel didn't change, tap No, Try Another Code in the window

Now setup is complete and the Complete Setup window shown in Figure 12 asks you if you want to personalize your top picks, which are suggestions for TV shows that you'll see in the app screen. If you want to personalize your top picks, tap the Personalize Top Picks button; the app will ask you a few questions about the shows you like. For now, tap the No Thanks button.

Figure 12 You can personalize your top TV picks by tapping the Personalize Top Picks button and then answering a few questions on the screen

App Screen Features

The main Peel Smart Remote app screen appears and contains three sections: the menu bar, the control panel tray button on the right side of the screen, and sections containing channel and show selections.

The Menu Bar
The menu bar at the top of the screen shown in Figure 13 contains:

  • Several section buttons on the left side of the bar; the Favorites button is selected by default.
  • The current time and arrow buttons so you can see programs airing in half-hour segments. The default is the current time half-hour slot but you can see the previous and next half-hour's programs by tapping the backward and forward arrow buttons, respectively.
  • The ability to add a new TV by tapping the TV icon button; you'll learn how to add a new TV later in this article.
  • What you're doing now with the app; in this example, it's Watching TV.
  • The Power button to turn the TV on and off.

Figure 13 The Power button appears at the right side of the menu bar

The Control Panel Tray
The app contains a control panel that allows you to control your TV and/or set-top box. By default the control panel tray is minimized. You can open the tray by tapping on the gray tab in the lower right corner of the screen; the tab contains three small buttons. When you tap on the tab, the tray appears on the right side of the screen as shown in Figure 14.

Figure 14 Control buttons appear in the tray on the right side of the screen

The tray is divided into three sections:

  • At the top is a list of buttons that you can use to manipulate your TV and/or set-top box, such as muting the TV sound. This section may show a numeric keypad you can use to change channels on your TV or set-top box.
  • In the bottom section is a directional keypad for manipulating your TiVo or other DVR device.
  • Between the top and bottom sections are two buttons; the Play button is selected by default. Tap the directional menu button (it has four arrows) to view menu buttons and change menu settings in the top and bottom sections.

You can close the tray by tapping the gray tab on the left side of the tray as you saw in Figure 14.

The Sections Area
Below the menu area is the sections area that is divided into different channel and show types that are appearing on TV right now. By default you see three sections: Popular Channels, Peel Picks, and Tonight on TV. Swipe up and down within the sections area to view all the sections.

Channels or shows within each section appear as small picture tiles that tell you what the show is and may also include a brief description about the show or channel. You can view all the shows within each section by tapping and holding your finger on a picture tile and then swiping from left to right. When you want to view more information about a show, tap the show picture within the section. An episode description tile appears on the screen and you can watch the show by tapping on the tile.

If you have a favorite channel you prefer to watch, you can add that channel by tapping the Add/Edit Your Favorite Channels tile within the Favorite Channels section. The Choose Your Favorite Channels window appears as shown in Figure 15 and shows a list of the television stations in your area based on your TV provider. Add a channel to the Favorite Channels section by tapping a channel in the list; when you do the heart icon to the right of the channel name turns red so you know you've selected that channel as a favorite.

Figure 15 When you tap a channel, the heart to the right of the channel name turns red

Swipe up and down in the list to view the entire list and tap on the channels you want to add as your favorites. When you're finished, tap Done in the window; the channels you added appear in the Favorite Channels section.

Add a New Room

If you want to control another television in your home with the Peel Smart Remote app, you can do so by tapping the Settings icon in the menu bar (it has a gear icon). The Rooms & Devices option in the settings list on the left side of the screen shown in Figure 16 is selected by default. On the right side of the screen you see the Rooms and Devices settings list for your current TV and set-top box.

Figure 16 The right side of the screen shows settings for your default TV and related devices

You can view all the room and device settings by swiping up and down in the list. If you want to change a setting for a device, such as a TV, tap the device name in the list and then change the settings on the screen. You can also add a new device by tapping Add New Device in the Devices section. What's more, you can add another TV and related device(s) by tapping the Add New Room button and then adding the devices within the New Room window. Note that if the other TV and related device(s) are in the same room, the Peel Smart Remote app still considers each TV and related device(s) to be in a separate room.

That concludes our tour of the Peel Smart Remote app, so have fun exploring other features of the app so you can enhance your TV viewing experience.

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