How to Change the Input on a Samsung TV

With so many devices and remotes, it can be hard to keep track of what everything is and how it works. Samsung TVs and the remotes that control them are no exception, all of the buttons, menus, and cryptic acronyms can be confusing to navigate and make sense of. Thankfully, it’s not as complicated as it appears to be.

How to Change the Input on a Samsung TV

Follow along in this article to learn how to change the input for your Samsung TV.

Why Are There Very Few Articles Online About This Subject?

The fact is that the Samsung TV input/source problem isn’t something people write about. In most cases, people find solutions wherever they can, carry out said solution, and then they forget all about it.

Ever played a game like X-Com where there’s a massive installation problem, but nobody online, not even the publishers, are offering solutions. So, you have to trawl the forums to find the one kind soul who’s uploaded a solution?

The Samsung TV problem is very similar. There are a few solutions out there, and your best bet is to search the online forums, try one solution, fail, try another, fail, and so on until you get it right. Luckily for you, this article features all the known solutions to the problems, including those relating to the recent 4K smart edition.

If there is now a lingering hope that either Samsung will stick to the most recent source/input method and stop changing it, or that they’ll make the source/input solution a little clearer in their future TV operating manuals.

Broken TV

How to Change the Source for Your Samsung TV

You have various inputs for your Samsung TV. When you use the Samsung TV menu, these are also known as sources. There’s a good chance that you have more than one input/source. For example, many people have a USB input, and many have HDMI ports. It’s also possible to select your video and audio inputs as different devices.

For example, let’s say that you have your PlayStation plugged into your HDMI and an external hard drive plugged into your USB. It’s actually possible to have the visual piped in from your PlayStation, while having the audio piped in from your external hard drive. This isn’t so uncommon either. For example, some people play console games while having their podcasts playing on their TV rather than having the video game audio playing.

Method 1 – The Source Button

Some Samsung TVs have a “Source” button at the top of the remote. In some cases, this is the only way a Samsung TV may change its source. In other cases, it may only be possible to access the source menu through either the source button, or by plugging something into the TV so that the source menu appears automatically.

Method 2 – Plug Something into Your TV While It Is on

This method is fairly self-explanatory. While your TV is switched on, you plug in your device into one of the input ports. In most cases, this will cause the input/source menu to appear on its own. In other cases, when you plug something into your TV, it will switch automatically to that source.

For example, if your games console is turned on, and you plug it into your TV, then your TV will probably switch right to that games console’s feed. In addition, if your games console was already plugged into the TV, and then you turned on your console, then the TV would automatically switch to the console’s feed. There are also times when you may turn on your console, then turn on your TV and the TV has already set itself up on your console’s feed.

Method 3 – Source Is Selectable via the Menu

In many cases, especially with modern TVs, you’re able to simply select the source via the regular menu.

  1. You start up the menu using your remote, or a combination of simultaneous button presses on your TV.
  2. Once the menu is up, you can scroll to and select Source.
  3. Next, a window will show you all the sources/inputs that your TV has right now and may even show you which connections are missing.

You may also label your inputs if you wish, which is just another way of renaming them. It’s only useful if you have two of something, such as you’re using the same two gaming consoles for whatever reason. In most cases, there’s a menu for labeling/renaming your inputs. For example, with the Samsung Q7, you have to select the input and press up.

Change the Input on Your Samsung Q7 Qled UHD 4k Smart TV

  1. Grab your remote and hit the Home key. Doing this will bring up a menu bar that usually runs along the bottom of the screen.
  2. On the menu, scroll over to Source and select it.
  3. From here, you’re able to select your input and rename these sources too, if you so desire. Simply select the input icon and press up, and this will bring up the edit option. You can edit your HDMI sources, but you can’t rename apps.
TV Source

TV Sources and Their Meanings

TVs are capable of receiving many different types of digital formats from a variety of devices and cables. For this reason, the Source/Input menu can be lengthy. We won’t go into complete detail, only enough to help you choose your Source.

  • HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface and is the standard for modern video/audio. The various numbers next to them on the Source menu, such as HDMI1, HDMI2, etc., refer to a specific HDMI port on the back or side of the TV. These are usually labeled clearly on the TV.
  • USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. Many TVs have USB ports that allow you to plug flash drives, etc., into them.
  • RCA stands for Radio Corporation of America, the company that designed it, and is used for audio, composite video, and component video connections, such as a DVD player
  • AV or Composite Video is an older analog video connection. Often used for older DVD players, retro gaming equipment, etc.


Dealing with certain Samsung TVs to change the Source can be a hassle. Thankfully, it seems as if Samsung TVs are becoming more standardized in regard to changing the Source/Input for them, hopefully it stays that way.

Did our suggested methods work, or have you found your own way to change the input on your Samsung TV? Let us know in the comments section below.

8 thoughts on “How to Change the Input on a Samsung TV”

David Ahlstrom says:
I have a new Samsung smart tv. HDMI 1 port is my cable TV. I want to also use hdmi 2 port for a PC. Going to ‘source’ doesn’t work (no hdmi2 option is there). Going to connection guide doesn’t work. Going to settings doesn’t work. HDMI 2 is NOWHERE to be found. I know the cable is ok and I know the PC can output to HDMI. What is Samsung’s problem with something as trivial as input?
Steve Larner says:
The problem is trying to push out TVs faster than can be thoroughly thought out, tested, and reviewed effectively. Is it a genuine Samsung TV? Many of their TVs are good quality, although Phillips is my preferred brand―long lasting and very compatible.
mg says:
Such a basic thing and can’t find the answer. Have external HD antenna connected. Want to simply watch open air tv; not through anything else. Just use the damn samsung 43Q60BAFXZA tv as a damn tv. Can’t find how to select that as source. All the gurus want to impress upon you how they know so damn much but cannot give you simple functionality of tv
Steve Larner says:
If you have a coax input on the back labeled “Ant In” or similar, you can use the antenna. TV models may vary, but you can try the following: connect the antenna, press “source” to find the “TV” input, or try “Home -> Menu -> Connected Devices.” Once you are on the “TV” input, select “Settings (All Settings) -> Broadcasting -> Auto Program.” Select “Start” and choose “Air.” Once it scans for channels, choose “Close.”
Jen says:
Same. Where is the damn sour e button?!
Steve Larner says:
It states that “some” Samsung TVs have the “Source” button. You most likely don;t have it. You can try to plug in the device to see if it autodetects it. That’s the only option other than going into settings to change the source.
John Chalmers says:
I have a simple request I conected my laptop to my tv How to I vselect the source
Steve Larner says:
Connecting a laptop to a Samsung TV depends on how you connect it. Use the “Source” button on the remote to select the appropriate input. If nothing appears, the problem is in the laptop settings and drivers.
Bonnie Chameides says:
Did not help. It keeps returning to the notice that my cable is disconnected, when Ive never had freaking cable. I will go out of my way to tell others NOT to buy a lousy Samsung. Worst ever! And I’m not young.
Steve Larner says:
Did you select “Air” during the setup process?
ken frayne says:
What are the names of the numerous different sources and what do each mean like: Samsung TV Plus, HDMI 1 and HDMI2, etc. Is there a “Cable Box” source?
Destiny G says:
From my understanding, Samsung TV Plus is pretty much the smart TV itself including its channels and apps.

As for your question on the HDMI’s and the cable box… is your cable box hooked up with the 3 red, white and yellow cords? If so, this would likely be called “AV” on your source list.

However, many tvs nowadays don’t have the option for “AV” input. By that I mean, they don’t have holes on the back for the 3 red, white and yellow cords. In that case, you’d have to get an adapter that has the cords on one side, and an HDMI on the other. And this may cause your cable box source to be called either “HDMI” or “AV”. You’d have to see. Either way, you can rename them apparently according to this blog post. But I would shorten it from “Cable Box” to just “Cable”.

If you are unsure about what an HDMI port is, they have many uses besides being on the back of the tv. They are the ports that replaced the red, white and yellow cords over time. Generally speaking, laptops and projectors will also have at least 1 HDMI port for things.

Hope this helps.

Julian Little says:
I can edit source names on my Samsung but the tv won’t keep the new name when the tv is switched off and back on again. Is this another bug?
Scooter says:
Apparently it is. My TV has done the same thing. I had my default source set to the HDMI where my Chromecast was plugged in. Now it defaults to TV. Irritating. I would love to be able to set up the default source to the HDMI my CC is plugged into. But alas… No luck.

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