How to turn your TV into smart TV: here are the best options
This guide will show you the options available to turn your TV into smart TV without spending a fortune. In fact, if you have a TV “traditional” still in use, but still want to take advantage of Netflix content, Prime Video, YouTube, DAZN and so on, you have different devices and appliances to make smart TV.
In a world where streaming is rapidly alongside or even replacing the traditional use of content, the purchase of these devices makes it in step with the times devices that otherwise would be obsolete.
Here are the best options to make your smart TV a few euro.
Make smart TV: advantages
Why turn the TV in the smart TV? The advantages are easy to enumerate:
How to turn your TV into smart TV
If you want to make your TV a smart TV, you must purchase a so-called dongle, or a device capable of giving intelligent functionality with dated equipment.
A smart TV allows easy access to popular streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney +, etc.) Directly from your remote control, music (Spotify, Deezer, TuneIn), games and other content. However, if you have a TV dated, but still fully functional, it is normal not to deprive volersene investing in new equipment.
From this point of view, a dongle such as those described in the next lines, is the ideal option to meet your needs and protect your wallet.
One of the most popular options for making a smart TV is Google Chromecast is in its standard version that 4K, the latter called Ultra Chromecasts.
Chromecasts is an excellent choice in terms of quality / price ratio. Simply connect the device to the TV via HDMI cable, follow the configuration wizard via the app Home Google (Android or iOS) and connect to the Chromecast home WiFi. At this point, you can access a variety of additional content starting from your smartphone, tablet or PC. Among these was Netflix, YouTube, Infinity TV, Amazon Prime Video, Plex, Spotify and many more.
In addition, you can connect the Chromecast to a NAS or network hard disk and start streaming locally.
The technology is based Chromecast called Google Cast. This is supported by all phones and tablets with Android software version 4.1 or higher. In addition, the dongle is also compatible with Apple devices able to run Chrome.
Obviously, the Chromecast is compatible with all smart speaker Google / Nest, including Google Home, Nest and Nest Mini Hub. This way, you can issue voice commands and control your TV with your voice. We talk about it in detail in our guide on how to connect to Google Home TV.
Ultimately, a great way to transform your regular TV into a smart and voice-controlled.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of the direct competitors of the Chromecast and, like the latter, is characterized by the excellent quality / price ratio.
Again, it is available in both the standard version and the 4K. The degree of compatibility is very high: Fire TV Stick provides access to all major streaming platforms, in addition to a web browser.
In addition, Fire TV Stick is compatible with voice-prompted Alexa (and integrates it in the supplied remote control) and with the Echo devices. This course allows control with the TV voice. To find out more about it, we wrote a detailed guide on how to control your TV with Alexa.
If you would like more information about the product, you can consult our review of Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Fire TV Stick with remote voice Alexa | media player
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD remote control with voice Alexa …
TV Box/Mini PC
Among the most popular choices to make smart TV are the Android TV box. These are real small computers, which integrate Android operating system.
They connect to the traditional via HDMI cable and allow, as viewed items in the lines above, to access a variety of additional content: simply download the app from the store Google to access Netflix, Prime Video, Spotify, games, applications and much else.
In addition, many models also integrate the app Kodi, which turns the box into a real media center. With the addition of some plugins, you can also access thousands of television channels, both Italian and foreign.
The market for Android TV box is full of options: you start with models from a few tens of euro, until you get to devices that reach € 200 as NVIDIA Shield TV (the latter can be regarded as a gaming console).
Obviously, it is good to make a thorough research before purchasing since, precisely because of the myriad of TV box for sale, there is the risk of buying a model with an unstable connection and of poor quality.
Alternatively you can opt for a Mini Windows PC, a device with similar functionality to Android Box, but closer to a real desktop computer.
If you want more information on these products, you can read our guide to Android TV box and Mini Windows PC.
Below are some options to make the smart TV:
Another way to transform traditional TV into smart TV is Apple TV, the media center of Cupertino. This provides similar functionality to the TV box above and is a choice particularly recommended if you are users of iPhone, iPad and Mac (you can direct streaming from these devices to the Apple TV) and, more generally, with technology devices AirPlay2.
In addition, this box offers the ability to download all the apps and platforms of the major streaming, including Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube. In addition, you can watch the Apple TV + content, of course, if you subscribe to the service.
Even in this case, there are two versions: a standard, now in the 4th edition, and a 4K, which then allows the use of Ultra HD content.
Now TV Smart Stick
Now TV Stick, manufactured by Roku, is the HDMI stick that allows direct streaming of Sky content, as well as the other major platforms including, of course, Netflix.
The monthly subscription content (both live and on-demand) starts from € 9.99 per month, but the acquisition of the key you still have 3 months of free basic package of vision. If you do not want to activate any subscription, you can still use the stick as a TV box and download the app to your liking.
Just like Sky, you can then dial your subscription according to your preference: films, TV series, entertainment, documentaries, sports and more.
The stick also allows playback of files on your local network.
Discover NowTV at this link
TIM Box allows access to both the streaming platform TIM (TIM Vision), but also to download apps including Netflix third, Prime Video, DAZN, Chili and apps on Google Play (Tim Android TV Box integrates the operating system).
Unlike traditional TV box, Tim Box also allows you to connect the antenna to the TV and access the digital terrestrial channels. This way, you can also pause and scroll back / forward and, for some channels, use the restart function.
Also, very interesting feature is that call IoTim, which allows the management of their devices for the smart home.
For more information, you can click here
Make smart TV: other options
Those views above are the most common and popular options to transform the TV into Smart TV. However, there are other viable ways. These include:
Make smart TV with a universal remote control IR
In the previous section we have focused on how to access additional content, streaming, apps, games and web browser with a traditional TV, showing the economic dongle.
However, there is another type of dongle that allows you to make smart TV in a “different”: the universal infrared remote controls. These devices “clone” IR TV remote control and allow remote management, via smartphone. Simply download the app dedicated and set up your remote control.
In addition, thanks to its compatibility with screen readers Alexa and Google Assistant, these devices allow voice control of TV. Very cheap and easy to use, they are among the most popular home automation devices from those who love DIY low cost.
Below is a list of the most famous:
BroadLink RM Pro + – Universal remote SmartHome in …
Broadlink Smart Hub Home, RM Mini3 WiFi Universal Remote …
Broadlink – RM4 Mini – Audio / Video Universal IR Remote Control, hub …
Universal Infrared Remote Control Air conditioning d ‘air TV DVD …
Telecomando IR Smart, Smart Home Automation, Panamalar wireless WiFi…
MOES Smart IR Control Smart Hub Home Wi-Fi enabled remote control …
If you want more info, you can also read our review of Broadlink RM PRO +