If you want to upgrade your TV experience, you might consider purchasing a new smart TV. However, before you splurge on a brand-new device, it’s essential to know that you can turn your standard TV into a smart TV.
But why would you want to turn your standard TV into a smart one, and how do you actually do it?
We share what you need to know to take your entertainment setup to the next level.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Smart TV?
- Why Turn Your Standard TV Into a Smart TV?
- How to Turn Your Standard TV Into a Smart TV
- Tips for Choosing the Right Option
What Is a Smart TV?
A smart TV is a television that is connected to the internet and has built-in apps for streaming videos, music and other content. It gives you access to a wide range of online services and features.
These include streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, social media and web browsing.
Smart TVs come with various features, including voice control, the ability to connect to other devices and personalized recommendations based on your viewing history.
They also often have a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to navigate and find the content you want to watch.
These TVs have become increasingly popular in recent years because more people are using streaming services to access their favorite shows and movies.
Why Turn Your Standard TV Into a Smart TV?
There are several reasons why you might want to turn your standard TV into a smart TV. Here are a few of the most noteworthy perks.
Access to a Wider Range of Content
With a smart TV, you can access a variety of streaming platforms and other online services, giving you more options for entertainment.
This includes popular platforms as well as specialty services like:
- Amazon Prime Video
- HBO Max
You’ll also have access to a broader range of channels and programming since many smart TVs have live TV streaming capabilities if you use certain apps or have an antenna. This allows you to watch live sports, news and other programming.
In addition to streaming platforms and live TV, smart TVs also offer access to a variety of other online content, including movies and TV shows from rental services, music streaming services and social media.
Smart TVs often come with features like voice control and the ability to connect to other devices, making them easier to navigate and use. For example, you can use voice commands to search for content or control your TV without using a remote.
You can also connect your smart TV to other devices, including your smartphone or tablet, to stream content or use it as a second screen.
Smart TVs typically come with built-in web browsers, making it easy to access the internet directly from your TV. This can be especially convenient for checking email, browsing social media or looking up information while watching TV.
Upgrading to a new smart TV can be expensive. By turning your standard TV into a smart TV, you can save money while still getting many of the same benefits.
Depending on the option you choose, you might be able to turn your TV into a smart TV for as little as $30 to $50.
You could also save money on your monthly bills by using a smart TV to access streaming platforms and other online services. Many of these services offer monthly subscriptions, which can be more cost-effective than traditional cable or satellite packages.
How to Turn Your Standard TV Into a Smart TV
There are several ways to turn your standard TV into a smart TV. Here are some of the easiest options.
Using a Streaming Device
A streaming device, such as a Roku, Amazon Fire Stick or Apple TV, plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and allows you to access various online services and apps.
These devices come with a remote and often have voice control capabilities, making it easy to navigate and find the content you want to watch.
To use a streaming device, you’ll need a reliable internet connection and a TV with an HDMI port. Some streaming devices also require a power source, so be sure to check the specific requirements for the device you purchase.
One of the advantages of using a streaming device is the wide range of options available. There are many different brands and models to choose from, each with its own unique features and compatibility with other streaming platforms.
For example, the Roku Ultra offers 4K resolution and HDR, while the Amazon Fire Stick has Alexa voice control built-in. Alternately, Apple TV offers access to Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV+ and a variety of other apps as well as games.
Using a Smart TV Box
A smart TV box, such as the Nvidia Shield or Xiaomi Mi Box, is a standalone device that connects to your TV and provides access to a range of online services and apps.
These devices often come with more advanced features, such as support for 4K resolution and gaming capabilities.
To use a smart TV box, you’ll need a TV with an HDMI port and a reliable internet connection. You might also want to check to see if you have an appropriate power source, if needed.
One of the advantages of using a smart TV box is the advanced features and performance they offer. Many of these devices are powered by high-end processors and graphics chips, making them capable of delivering a smooth and immersive viewing experience.
For example, the Nvidia Shield offers support for 4K resolution and HDR, as well as access to various streaming apps and games. The Xiaomi Mi Box offers 4K resolution and access to a range of streaming apps and the ability to play games or use voice control.
Using a Video Game Console
Many video game consoles, such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, have built-in streaming apps and the ability to connect to the internet, making them effective smart TV alternatives.
In addition to streaming video and music, these devices offer many gaming options.
To use a video game console as a smart TV, you’ll need a TV with an HDMI port and a reliable internet connection. You may also need a power source.
One of the advantages of using a video game console as a smart TV is the ability to play games and access advanced features like 4K resolution and HDR. Many of these devices are also compatible with various streaming apps and live TV services.
For example, the Xbox One offers access to a variety of streaming apps and live TV channels, as well as support for 4K resolution and HDR. The PlayStation 4 also provides access to a range of streaming apps and live TV channels, as well as advanced gaming capabilities.
Tips for Choosing the Right Option
When it comes to turning your standard TV into a smart TV, there are a few things to consider.
Consider the Cost
Streaming devices tend to be more affordable than smart TV boxes and video game consoles. If cost is a major factor, a streaming device could be the best option for you.
That said, it’s essential to consider the long-term cost of each option. While a streaming device may have a lower upfront cost, you might end up paying more in the long run for subscription fees and other costs.
On the other hand, a smart TV box or video game console may have a higher upfront cost, but it could offer more advanced features and potentially save you money on your monthly bills.
Make sure that the device you choose is compatible with your TV and the online services you want to use. Some devices may not work with certain TVs or might not offer access to certain streaming platforms.
It’s important to check each device’s specific requirements and compatibility before making a purchase. This includes the type and number of HDMI ports on your TV, the internet connection speed and other technical requirements.
Think About Your Future Needs
Consider whether you’ll want to access more advanced features, such as 4K resolution or gaming capabilities. If you think you’ll want these features, a smart TV box or video game console might be a better option for you.
Alternately, if you simply want access to a variety of streaming apps and other online content, a streaming device might be sufficient for your needs.
Consider User Experience
Evaluate the user experience you want from your smart TV. Do you want a device with a user-friendly interface and voice control capabilities? Or do you want a device that is easy to set up and use?
Take the time to research and compare the user experience of different devices to find one that meets your needs and preferences.
Turning your standard TV into a smart TV is a cost-effective way to access a wider range of online content and features.
By using a streaming device, smart TV box or video game console, you can easily upgrade your TV and enjoy all the benefits of a smart TV.Make sure to consider the cost, compatibility, future needs and user experience when choosing the right option for you.
With the proper device, you can turn your standard TV into a smart TV and enjoy a more convenient and comprehensive viewing experience.