How to Outsmart Your Hotel Room TV and Use Its HDMI Ports for Anything You Want - Living Strong Television Network

Hotels can be stingy about what guests are allowed to do with their TVs. If you try to plug your own device into your room’s TV to watch your own content, odds are good that nothing will happen. Hotel TVs are usually plugged into external boxes that track the TVs’ activity and control which channels, apps, and TV features can be used by guests. These boxes are what prevent you from using the HDMI ports, but they can be easily circumvented.

A while back, social media user Deviant Ollam shared some steps on how to disable “hotel mode” on some TVs. We’ll go over those steps below, as well as some additional steps you can take if that solution doesn’t work out.

How to bypass hotel restrictions on some TVs

Most modern hotels run a combination of different restrictions on their TVs, most of which are usually controlled by a coaxial or ethernet cable. There are various reasons for this, but it mostly comes down to controlling bandwidth and trying to make a little more money off you by tracking what you do on the TV. You can bypass all of that, though, by unplugging the cable controlling the restrictions.

Before doing this, keep in mind that the hotel may have an alarm connected to this cable, which will alert them that you’ve removed it. If that happens, you could be warned not to mess with the TV and its cables, or you could be fined, depending on the hotel. Knowing that, if you want to continue, follow these steps:

  1. Look for a data cable plugged into the back or side of your room’s TV. The port resembles a phone or small ethernet cable plug, and the cable should be connected to a breakout box nearby. The cable may also be a standard coaxial cable, which you’ll need to unscrew.

  2. (Gently) pull out or unscrew the cable. If it’s an ethernet cable, look for a small—and very fragile—plastic tab you’ll need to hold down to take it out. Make sure you don’t damage it, as you’ll need to plug the cable back in before you check out.

  3. Turn the TV off and on again, and you should be able to use the HDMI input.

Ollam notes this little trick may disable the TV’s remote in some instances. You should still be able to use the buttons on the TV to swap the inputs and adjust the volume. If this solution doesn’t work, then there might be another issue at play here.

How to turn off ‘hotel mode’

Some hotels will also use a special functionality on their TVs called “hotel mode.” When activated, it essentially blocks input changes, forcing you to use whatever services the hotel offers. Depending on the brand the hotel uses, disabling “hotel mode” can be simple. Here are a few methods for popular brands that we’ve seen in most hotels:

HiSense

To turn off hotel mode on a Hisense TV:

  1. Press Menu on the remote and select the Lock tab.

  2. You’ll be asked to put in a PIN code. The default is usually 0000. If it doesn’t work, then the hotel changed the PIN, and there isn’t any way to continue. If you do get through, tap the Hotel Mode option to turn it off.

LG

If your hotel has an LG TV:

  1. Hold down Settings on the remote until the Input banner pops up. This should show options like HDMI 1, HDMI 2, etc. You do not need the All Settings menu, so you’ll need to hold the button until the inputs appear.

  2. Now, type in the code 1105 and hit OK. Depending on the exact model, you may need to use different codes. Some recommended codes include 0000, 7777, 0413, 8741, 8743, and 8878, according to Pointer Clicker. Inputting the correct code should put you in the Hotel Mode menu.

  3. Switch Hotel Mode to off to disable it.

Samsung

Depending on the type of remote a Samsung TV has, unlocking it and disabling hotel mode may be more difficult. If your remote does not have number buttons, download a third-party remote app from your phone’s app store (Samsung’s official SmartThings app is the most reliable), connect it to the TV, and follow the steps below:

  1. Press Mute on the remote, enter 119, and press OK. This should bring up the service menu.

  2. Find Hospitality Mode and disable it to unlock the TV.

How to unlock inputs on hotel TVs

Another popular way that hotels control how you use their TVs is by locking the inputs and making it impossible for you to plug in your own devices. When this happens, you can plug in your device, but you might not be able to swap to its input, or it might not show up. Depending on the model of the TV, you can actually bypass these settings by following a few steps.

TCL

On TCL TVs, first access the Settings menu by pressing Settings on the remote.

  1. From here, select System and then Parental Controls.

  2. You’ll likely be asked for a PIN code. The default on TCL TVs is 1234. If it doesn’t work, then the hotel has set a customized PIN, and there isn’t much you can do beyond trying to reset the code, which might get you in trouble with the hotel.

If the PIN does work, though, you can select Inputs Lock and then unlock the input you want to use.

LG

To unlock inputs on an LG TV, start by accessing Settings by pressing Settings on the remote:

  1. Choose All Settings, then navigate to General and System.

  2. Select Safety from the list and then choose Input Locks.

  3. You’ll be asked for a PIN code: The default on LG TVs is usually 0000.

  4. Now, toggle the locks for the input that you plan to use.

Sony

Unlock the inputs on Sony TVs by first opening the Settings menu through the remote:

  1. Now, select System and then Parental Controls.

  2. Enter in the PIN when asked. The default is usually 0000.

  3. Select External Input Block after entering the PIN and unlock the input you plan to use.

If the TV your hotel uses isn’t listed here, try googling the specific brand and model to see if there are detailed instructions available for resetting the PIN or unlocking the inputs. However, the steps listed above should cover most major hotels.

As a final note, remember that tinkering with the hotel’s TV could get you into trouble with the hotel, and you should only do so at your own risk. It’s unfortunate, but hotels can be rather picky about what you do with their TVs and may charge you for messing around with their settings. If you do unplug anything, be sure to plug it back in before leaving, so that the next guest is able to use the TV.

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