Assume you’ve decided to buy a smart TV for yourself and are browsing the catalog at your local electronics store.
You realize that the majority of the options are prohibitively expensive. You start looking for alternatives because you don’t want to spend the money they’re asking for.
What if I told you that you could turn your ordinary television into a smart television?
If you’re in the Apple Ecosystem, you can convert a regular TV to a smart TV by using an Apple TV, or you can get a streaming stick, such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick. You can get a Chromecast or an Nvidia Shield TV Pro if you prefer Android.
HOW TO CONVERT A NORMAL TV INTO A SMART TV?
USING A STREAMING STICK
With a streaming stick that includes an operating system or an interface, you can “smartify” your TV. It connects to your TV’s HDMI port and is powered by a wall adapter included with the package.
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They enable you to connect your non-smart television to Wi-Fi and use it to browse the web and watch TV online. They are portable and inexpensive, yet provide a smartphone-like experience.
Many devices, such as the Roku and the Amazon Fire TV stick, qualify as streaming sticks. Different models and variants are also available, and you can select the one that best suits your needs.
Most models are 4K capable and can stream video from your phone to your TV, in addition to the standard smart TV features like a well-designed user interface and app stores. Setup is also simple, but there are a few nuances to be aware of.
INSTALLING APPS ON YOUR FIRE TV STICK
You can ask Alexa instead of fiddling with the remote and typing with the onscreen keyboard. There are also a number of universal remotes that are compatible with the Fire TV Stick.
You won’t have to yank your hair out looking for the remote for every TV accessory you own this way.
- While holding down the remote’s microphone button. Alexa will appear.
- Ask Alexa to look for the app you’re looking for.
- Then, choose the result you want to view.
- Install and launch the app.
USING AN APPLE TV STREAMING BOX
When it comes to the streaming box market, Apple TV is hands-down the best product of its kind. It supports the Dolby Vision HDR standard and conforms to the robust and accurate Dolby Atmos standard in terms of audio.
Setting up your own Apple TV box with your regular old TV is simple thanks to Apple’s user-centric and approachable design language.
Setting Up Apple TV
Examine the back of the TV and the Apple TV box for HDMI ports. Plug one end of the HDMI cable into the TV and the other into the Apple TV box.
Make a note of the HDMI port into which you plug the HDMI cable into your TV. Connect the power cord to the Apple TV box, with the other end plugged into a wall outlet. Turn on your TV and connect it to the HDMI source into which you plugged the Apple TV. It should be the port number you noted previously.
Complete the process by following the instructions that appear on the screen. You have now completed the setup of your smart TV with the Apple TV box. When you arrive at the landing page, you can use the remote to navigate through the interface and begin using the TV right away.
The benefit of using an Apple TV is the ease of setup and compatibility with almost any TV that has an HDMI cable. You can also stream video to the device using an Apple device, such as an iPhone, iPad, or a Mac. Then, by adding your Apple TV to HomeKit, you can make the most of it.
You can follow the steps below to set it up for yourself:
For iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch:
- Connect your Apple mobile device to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV box.
- Locate the video you want to stream; it could be from YouTube, Facebook, or even your own collection.
- Press the button. The icon you must tap will vary depending on the app from which you are attempting to stream. (Tap in the Photos app, then tap.)
- After you’ve finished streaming, tap in the app from which you’re streaming, then tap your Apple mobile device from the list.
- Connect your Mac to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV box.
- Navigate to the app or website from which you want to stream video on your Mac.
- Click the icon in the video playback options.
- Choose your Apple TV box.
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USING A CHROMECAST
Aside from the options I’ve already mentioned, a Chromecast is a simple way to make your TV smart. It connects to your TV via HDMI, as do most streaming sticks. The Google Home app can be used to control the device directly.
While Chromecast works without an internet connection, you can get the most out of it by connecting to the internet and taking advantage of a variety of features such as streaming video from the internet and turning off your TV with the Chromecast.
Despite the fact that there have been several generations of Chromecast, the general setup procedure has not changed significantly. The instructions below will walk you through the process of connecting your Chromecast to your TV.
If you have a newer Chromecast, plug it in and connect it to Wi-Fi before downloading the Google Home app. Connect your Chromecast device. Bluetooth is supported by the second-generation Chromecasts.
When you begin the setup process, you will be immediately connected to the device. If it didn’t, make sure Bluetooth is turned on on your phone. The first-generation Chromecast, on the other hand, operates on a temporary ad-hoc WiFi network that it creates. If you have a first-generation Chromecast, connect your phone or tablet to this WiFi network.
Configure your Chromecast:
To complete the configuration, launch the Google Home app. If the app does not begin the setup process, tap the device icon in the upper right corner.
Devices that require configuration will be found at the top of the list, and the device name on the list will be matched with the name displayed on your TV.
The temporary identifier will be confirmed by the app. Select “Continue.” Next, check the confirmation code on your TV and confirm that it matches the code on your phone by tapping “I see it.”
The following page will ask you to choose your region. Tap “Continue,” and you’ll be prompted to name your Chromecast. Enter the name and tap “Continue” once more.
Finally, sign in to your Google account and link the Chromecast to it to personalize your experience with it. “I’ve set this thing up, but what can I do with it?” you may wonder. ”.
You can use your Chromecast in two ways. You can cast from either your mobile device or your computer. Even the desktop casting feature is useful; however, I found the phone casting to be better and more well-designed, which may explain why the Chromecast is so popular.
Launch an app that includes built-in casting. Netflix, YouTube, and Pandora are some that I’ve found to be effective.
Navigate to the video or content you want to watch and tap the Chromecast logo, which is usually in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. The app will begin casting to your TV, and you can begin watching immediately.
One of the benefits of these streaming sticks is that the device does all of the heavy lifting, so it doesn’t matter how old or outdated your device is; it just needs to run the Google Home app.
OTHER ANDROID DEVICES TO CONVERT YOUR OLD TV INTO A SMART TV
If the Chromecast isn’t for you, luckily Android is a fairly open-source operating system, and you can experiment with other companies’ streaming sticks.
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro is the one I’d recommend because it’s powerful enough to run many heavy gaming titles as well as stream 4K HDR10 media.
It not only has an IR blaster that allows you to control your TV, but it also has a lost-remote locator feature and an in-built Chromecast.
This guide should have been helpful if you want to turn your regular TV into a smart TV using the Apple TV box, the Amazon Fire TV stick, or the Google Chromecast.
Now that you’ve successfully converted your TV into a Smart TV, you can enjoy its features by streaming in 4K, playing games, or browsing the web.
Frequently Asked Questions
What device do I need to make my TV a smart TV?
There are several ways to convert your non-smart TV into a smart TV, the best of which is to purchase a smart media player (also known as a streaming device) and connect it to your TV’s HDMI input. Smart media players come in a variety of shapes and sizes (and smart operating systems).
How do I make my TV Smart for free?
You can add basic smarts to your TV for very little money — or for free if you already have the necessary cables lying around at home. The simplest method is to connect your laptop to your TV via an HDMI cable and mirror or extend the laptop screen onto the TV.
How can I get Netflix on a non-smart TV?
The simplest method is to install the Netflix app on a streaming device like Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, or Amazon Fire TV Stick. Connect to your Netflix account using a gaming console, such as a Play Station, Xbox, or Nintendo Wii U, or connect a laptop to a non-smart TV to cast Netflix to it.