We all know the thrill of watching our favorite Netflix shows on the biggest screens in the house?
If not at our house, then at a friend’s. The introduction of Smart TVs was perhaps the most enjoyed television revolution of the century.
Streaming apps for watching your favorite shows at will on your TV and staying in touch with the internet trends really do it for you. And these are just some of the thrills of having a smart TV. From voice assistants now readily available for your convenience to casting your mobile phone to have an HD picture quality, the list of pros doesn’t seem to end!
Not everyone, though, gets to enjoy these perks. Either you’re someone who’s hooked to your old programming on your TV set, or you’re broke and can’t afford to upgrade to a smart TV. The latter is where we come in. Whether it’s the questioning thought of “how do I make my TV smart?” that keeps you up at night or the thoughts of discarding your dumb TV for a smart TV, this guide answers it all for you.
Let’s target the actual problem first. Most of us don’t really understand what goes on the backend of a smart TV, and I don’t think we want to know. All we want is our TV screen to display the same functions as our phone. Let’s make the question more specific then, how to make a regular TV screen appear like a smart TV screen?
Read on to find out!
How to Turn a TV into a Smart TV?
Retaining the value of your old TV, learn how to make any TV a smart TV. Many tech brands already provide solutions for that. Unless you have the money to afford an Apple TV media player, here are some small solutions manufacturers sell at affordable prices. Here are the best devices to make your TV smart:
1) TV Dongles:
|Portable: ready to use on the go||Works with only one device at a time|
|Robust: strong and compact||USB-port required|
|Easy to use: wirelessly attached|
|Auto-powered: does not require charging|
|Affordable: many cheap options available|
A streaming stick or dongle is the best option a non-smart TV holder can get. These devices are made to help you access streaming services on your TV screen from your phone. Working like magic without the hassle of a cluttered mess of cables, these devices get plugged into the USB or HDMI port of your TV and you access to specific content.
Ditch the small screen of your phones and convert your regular TV to a smart TV with the help of these media players. These dongles behave like modems, you have a plan, and you access the internet using the dongle. Pretty interesting, right?
The best part is that you get a wide range of options. If you’re a family of apple users, you’ll have to look into the Apple TV line for perfect compatibility. You can turn your TV into an android smart TV using a Chromecast. Similarly, if you’re looking to cast specific streaming platforms, there are options for that as well. A popular example is the Amazon Fire Stick for Amazon Prime and related services.
How to make your old TV smart using these streaming sticks?
Find the USB port, or in some cases, HDMI ports work as well. Stick the dongle in, and select the respective option from the menu of the TV. Check for internet protocol, and you’re in! Here’s an extensive guide to help you with that.
2) Chromecast Clones:
|Works flawlessly without maintenance||Sound glitches reported|
|Gets enough power from the USB port||Works for HDMI suitable for 720P or 1080P input|
|Easy to use|
|Clutter-free, compact use|
If all you want is a simple cast on your screen from your desired apps, then the Chromecast clone might be the best option for you. Learn how to convert an old or non-smart TV to a smart TV with method two. Although this method is a cheaper substitute for the actual Chromecast, it gets the job done.
Recently, there was an uproar in the tech market regarding a Chromecast clone, EZCast manufactured in China. With perfect screen mirroring and cloned features, this device brought in a lot of reviews. To understand the difference between Chromecast clones and media players, let’s look at how these clones work.
The basic feature at work here is screen-mirroring, and the only port you require is an HDMI port.
How to turn your TV into a smart TV using a Chromecast clone?
Since the most popular clone is the EZCast, we’ll demonstrate using this clone. The methodology here varies slightly for the iOS system of an iPhone and an Android. Make your TV smart with minimal costs, easy steps, and a comprehensive guide.
iOS: Plug the EZCast into the HDMI port. First, add a wire to the power, and then the EZCast wire into your iPhone.
Not finding what you need? Here’s a related article: 6 Best 55′ Inch TVs for the Money 2021 [Reviewed]
Android: Install the EZCast App. Plug in the device into the HDMI, attach the power cable and the EZCast wire respectively. Lastly, follow the steps on the screen.
Interested in similar articles? Here’s our guide on the best 4k TV’s on a budget!
3) HDMI Cables:
|Cheap alternative||Notifications will appear|
|Easy-to-use||Cluttered mess of cables|
|Perfect screen casting|
The cheapest way to make a dumb TV smart is to use cables. Yes, as much as we hate the mess these cables create, I assure you there is no cheaper method. Plus, we all have an HDMI cable lying somewhere around the house. If that’s not the case, invest in one, you can get them for less than $30!
How to convert my old TV into a smart TV using HDMI cables?
- Get a compatible HDMI cable. There are three (most common) types of HDMI connections: Standard, Mini, Micro, the names suggest the sizes of the devices.
- Attach one end to the HDMI port on the TV, and the other to your laptop. For devices where the HDMI port isn’t available, adapters can be used.
- After making sure both the TV and your device (laptop, notebook, a phone) are turned on. Select the menu from the TV, and scroll to the HDMI input option.
- Choose the appropriate HDMI input.
- Enjoy the screen mirroring and convert your regular non-smart TV into a smart TV.
4) Gaming Consoles:
|Lots of features and content||Some consoles are hard to troubleshoot|
|Flexible 2-in-1 method|
Yes, you read that right. These gallant (and pricey) devices that are mostly used for gaming, and raved about for gaming purposes have more to them. Who would have thought a solution was so close in sight? Whether it’s an outdated Xbox One or a new Ps5, these gaming consoles will convert your TV into a smart TV. The next time you find a gaming peer asking, “How do I make my TV smart?” You know what to say!
The great news is that there has been a surge of streaming consoles, packed with content, effective for gaming, but most of all, an excellent choice to make your old TV smart. Unless you want to pay for an extra device or use a mess of cables, make use of that gaming console.
The biggest use (other than gaming) of these consoles would be streaming devices. You’ll find a variety of streaming options such as Amazon Prime, YouTube, Netflix, Spotify etc. You could simultaneously download apps that you want to use as well. This is a feature-packed option for gamers!
Now you know how to turn your TV into a smart TV using an already owned device.
- Home appliance control framework based on a smart TV set-top box.
- The recommendation systems for smart TV.
Hey! I’ve been a Home Improvement Expert for the past 40 years. Having smartened hundreds of homes through my TV shows “This Old House” and “Bob Vila”, I have gathered an expertise in the art of smart home gadgets, appliances, and everything else. Now, I want to share with the world what I have learnt!