How to Take Screenshots on Your Smart TV

We are all used to taking screenshots on our Android phones , Apple devices and computers , but you can also take screenshots on your smart TV or streaming device. It’s just more complicated and it depends primarily on what you are taking the screenshot of.

Thanks to High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), these devices can prevent you from taking screenshots of movies and TV shows you are watching. However, it never hurts to give it a try. And there may even come a time when you need to upload a screenshot of your device’s interface – for example, if you’re troubleshooting.

On the other hand, you can take screenshots without using paid apps on Android TV, Roku, Apple TV, Nvidia Shield, and Amazon Fire TV. Here’s how:

Taking screenshots on Apple TV

Apple TV allows you to remotely take screenshots of the Apple TV interface on a Mac, but Apple TV’s copyright protection is one of the strictest, so you won’t be capturing footage from what you’re watching in DRM apps.

  1. Connect Apple TV and Mac to the same network.
  2. Open QuickTime Player on your Mac.
  3. Go to File> New Movie Recording.
  4. In the live stream window that appears, select your Apple TV from the drop-down menu.
  5. A four-digit code should appear on the Apple TV screen. Enter this code into QuickTime on your Mac to connect two devices.
  6. Once you see your Apple TV interface in QuickTime, press Shift + Cmd + 5 to open the screenshot toolbar. Click Capture to take a screenshot.

Taking screenshots on Android TV

If a dedicated remote control app is available on your Android TV device, check for a screenshot button. This is the easiest way to take a screenshot on your TV. However, not all Android TVs offer such apps, and only a few include a screenshot function. In such cases, you will need a third-party Android TV remote app that allows you to take screenshots, such as CetusPlay.

  1. Install CetusPlay from the Google Play store on your Android TV and Android phone.
  2. Make sure both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  3. Then enable USB debugging on your Android TV. Go to Settings> About and select Build seven times in a row until you see the message “Developer Mode is activated.”
  4. Go back to settings. Go to Developer Options> USB Debugging and enable USB Debugging.
  5. Open CetusPlay on your Android device.
  6. Touch the icon with three stripes, then select “Screen Capture” to take a picture of your Android TV screen.

Taking screenshots on the Nvidia Shield

The Nvidia Shield is the only device on this list that actually lets you take screenshots as they are – no third-party apps or external hardware required.

  1. Open the Nvidia shield settings app.
  2. Go to Device Settings> System> Nvidia Share.
  3. Turn on Nvidia share. Now you can take screenshots.
  4. Hold the Home button on the Nvidia Shield remote or in the remote app to open the sharing menu.
  5. Select Screenshot.
  6. Select “Save to Photo”.

Taking screenshots on a TV / Roku device

Roku users can take screenshots using a PC web browser connected to the same network as the streaming device.

  1. First, you need to enter developer mode on your Roku device. Using your Roku remote or remote control app, tap the home screen three times, press the Up button twice, then press Right, Left, Right.
  2. Select “Turn on the installer and restart” or “Turn off the installer and restart”. (whichever comes first)
  3. Once your Roku restarts, go to Settings> System> About.
  4. Write down the IP address of the device.
  5. Then open a browser window on your computer.
  6. Enter the Roku IP address.
  7. Enter your username and password to login.
  8. After logging in, click on Utilities.
  9. Click the “Screenshot” button and the screenshot will appear on the screen. Right-click the image and select “Save Image” to download it to your computer.

Taking screenshots on Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV screenshots must be taken using an externally connected PC with ADB platform tools installed.

  1. On your Fire TV device, go to Settings> My Fire TV> About> Network . Make a note of the IP address of your device.
  2. Go back to Settings, then go to Developer Options> ADB Debugging and enable ADB Debugging Mode.
  3. Download and install the ADB tools on your computer. This guide should make things easier.
  4. Open the ADB folder on your computer. Shift + right-click an empty space, then select Open Command Window Here.
  5. In the Command Prompt window, run this command: adb connect "IP" (Note: Replace “IP” with the Fire Stick’s IP address obtained in steps 1 and 2).
  6. A connection pop-up message will appear on the Fire TV screen. Accept to complete the connection.
  7. Now you can take screenshots remotely from your PC using the command line. Run adb shell screencap -p /sdcard/image.png to take a screenshot. Then run adb pull /sdcard/image.png to save the screenshot to your PC’s ADB folder.

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