The advent of technology has transformed TVs into the most powerful entertainment stations. It has become a one-stop solution for all your entertainment needs. If you are using an older TV, you are missing out on a lot of things.
However, you don’t necessarily have to purchase a smart TV to stream online shows. Did you know that you can convert your normal TV into a smart TV? Yes, and we are going to show you how.
This article shows you multiple ways on how you can upgrade your TV to a smart TV
What is a Smart TV?
The most basic aspect of a smart TV is that it can be connected to the internet using Wi-Fi or an ethernet cable. Additionally, they come with in-built apps for browsing and streaming content. The name ‘smart TV’ indeed justifies its functionality, to say the least.
Smart TVs have gained immense popularity in recent years due to popular OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, and SonyLiv, among many others. These TVs come with these in-built apps and allow you to stream content seamlessly.
Different brands have built their own custom TV operating system to provide a simple user interface and navigation experience.
- Sony TVs have a Linux based OS.
- Samsung TVs have Tizen OS.
- Panasonic TVs have Firefox OS.
- LG TVs have WebOS operating system.
Additionally, the latest smart TVs come with Android OS. They are specifically referred to as Android TVs. They are far more versatile and you can install your favorite apps directly from the play store.
Furthermore, the in-built Chromecast feature allows you to cast popular apps from your Android mobile or iPhone.
What is a Normal TV?
The functionality of a conventional LED/LCD TV is limited to watching DTH content. They come with different ports, the most common ones being HDMI and USB. Using those ports, you can connect a set-top box, gaming console, DVD player, or laptop.
They do not come with any default features to connect with the internet, nor do they have any built-in apps.
How to Turn your TV into a Smart TV?
The only way you can convert your normal TV into a smart TV is by using streaming devices or smart media players. There are a number of streaming devices and smart media players in the market to achieve this purpose.
Below is a list of options that you can use to convert your conventional TV into a smart TV:
Option 1: Install your Smart Box
The most popular smart boxes are Apple TV and Amazon Cube.
Step 1: Connect one end of the HDMI cable to your TV and the other end to the Apple TV box.
Step 2: Plug the two-cylinder end of the power cable to your TV and the other end into a power socket.
Step 3: Turn on your TV and change the TV’s input to HDMI.
Step 4: If your TV has more than 1 HDMI port, choose the one in which you have connected the cable to set up the display.
Step 5: The on-screen instructions will direct you to select an available Wi-Fi connection.
Step 6: Enter the password, and voila, you can start streaming.
Step 7: You will have to create an account or sign-in to start using the smart features.
The process works the same for all smart boxes. However, the number of cylinders in the power cable would differ. Most brands will have only one cylinder in their power cables.
Additionally, the specific way of connecting your TV to the Wi-Fi might differ from one brand to another. If you follow the on-screen instructions, you will have no problem in setting up the connection.
Option 2: Install your Streaming stick
The most popular streaming sticks are Amazon Fire, Roku Streaming, and MI TV stick.
Step 1: Firstly, plug the Amazon Fire Stick directly into the HDMI port of your TV.
Step 2: Then, plug one end of the USB cable into a power adapter. The other end should be connected to the port in the Firestick.
Step 3: Next, change the TV’s input to the appropriate HDMI number that matches the port in which the Firestick is connected.
Step 4: The on-screen instruction will direct you to connect your TV remote to the Firestick. You just have to press the Enter or Play button in the remote.
Step 5: It will prompt you to connect your TV to a WiFi network.
Step 6: Lastly, sign in to your Amazon account or create a new one and then start using the features.
Option 3: Install a smart media player
The most popular smart media player is Google Chromecast. It is a small pen drive-sized device that facilitates wireless internet connectivity.
Step 1: Plug the open end of the cable directly into your TV’s HDMI port. The other end is already fixed to the Chromecast.
Step 2: Then, plug one end of the power cable into the Chromecast and the other end into the USB port in your TV.
Step 3: Turn on your TV and choose the appropriate HDMI channel matching the connected port.
Step 4: Now, the on-screen instructions will direct you to download the Google app on your Android phone.
If you are using an iPhone, you will need to choose the option “Use without Bluetooth” and then choose “Skip Setup”. Now, you will be directed to the Google app.
Step 5: Then, select the device icon from the app for Chromecast to detect and pair with your Android phone.
Step 6: The on-screen instructions will then guide you to get started.
Option 4: Using Set-top boxes
The dramatic increase in the viewership of OTT platforms has motivated set-top box providers to introduce smart features as well with their set-top boxes. For example, Airtel has rolled out Xtreme STB set-top box and stick that allows you to stream content on Netflix, Prime Video, and other OTT platforms.
Jio has also announced that it will offer smart streaming services along with its DTH set-top box. It won’t be long that other DTH providers also offer internet streaming services.
The installation of these set-top boxes will be done by the service technicians. All you have to do is plug in the stick and you are all set.
Option 5: Using Laptop
This is one of the simplest and cost-efficient ways to turn your normal TV into a smart TV. Almost, all of the streaming platforms are compatible with web browsers.
The most popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Youtube, AltBalaji, Sonyliv, Voot, etc. work perfectly well with your web browsers as well.
All you have to do is connect your TV and laptop using an HDMI cable. If you find it difficult to navigate using your TV remote, you can connect a wireless mouse and keyboard to your laptop. Then you can navigate your TV seamlessly.
Additionally, you can install Android based-OS on your Windows laptop which can further improve the user navigation experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can turn your CRT monitor into a smart TV using a VGA to HDMI converter cable. The CRT monitors come with a VGA port. The HDMI end can be connected to a Firestick, Chromecast, Amazon Cube, or other streaming devices.
No. The content is streamed online directly with the help of a wireless internet connection. So, there is no need for aerials on a smart TV.
Yes, you will probably need a set-top box with your smart TV if you watch a lot of local channels. A lot of channels offer paid subscriptions using which you can view their content online. However, it might be very expensive if you have to subscribe to numerous channel subscriptions.
We recommend you to get a smart TV as they have become very affordable as well. The price difference between a smart TV and a normal TV is very less. If you get a smart TV, it will eliminate the need for external devices to stream content. Furthermore, they offer better picture quality and visual experience.
Smart TVs use your home internet to provide online streaming services. The connection can be established through Wi-Fi or ethernet cable. Additionally, you can even use other wireless hotspot devices to access the internet.
It would make much more sense to get yourself a smart TV instead of using third-party devices to access the smart feature. However, if the TV holds emotional value to your family, you can turn it into a smart TV using any one of the options listed above.
What option do you prefer in turning your TV into a smart TV? Did you face any particular challenge in accessing the smart features? Let us know in the comment section.