How to turn a normal TV into a Smart TV

We show you what are the best alternatives that you have at your disposal to convert a normal TV into a Smart TV.

Although most of the models that are marketed today have smart features, not everyone has a Smart TV at home. Perhaps in your case it is because you have acquired a model for a secondary room or that your television is already a few years old. But no matter what the reason, Is there a way to turn your normal TV into a Smart TV? The answer is yes. Read on to discover all the alternatives you have at your disposal.

In order to keep things simple, we have divided this guide into two parts. First of all, we talk about the best gadgets that turn a regular tv into a smart one. Then we put on the table benefits of opting for any of the proposed solutions. Are you ready to take your TV to the next level? Let’s do it!

5 ways to turn a normal TV into a Smart TV

There is no single device that allows you equip your TV with smart functions, such as access to the main platforms, Internet connection or latest generation games. Actually, the alternatives are many and here we collect the most striking.

Connect a computer to your TV

How to turn a normal TV into a Smart TV

With a PC it is possible to run any desktop application on a television, like this user, who listens to music on Spotify

We kick off with one of the most versatile options: connect a pc to the tv. One way to not spend a single euro with this method is take advantage of a computer that you no longer usebe it portable or desktop. What will you need to achieve it? Any of these things:

  • an HDMI cable. Attention! Only when the equipment has an HDMI output.
  • A USB-C adapter. It is required if it is a laptop that does not have a video output, but does have USB-C connectors.
  • A VGA adapter. For older computers, the most common connection type is VGA. The truth is that it is the connection with less quality. You probably need an RCA converter if your TV is a few years old.

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chrome cast

The chrome cast is one of the recurring alternatives when it comes to equip a normal TV with the latest smart functions. If you don’t know how it works, we’ll explain it briefly. It is a content receiver that is controlled from the mobile phone and is compatible with numerous services. To watch a movie or a series, just open the corresponding service on your device and send the content to the TV. Playback controls remain on the smartphone.

Google Chromecast (3.Gen) – Desktop Computer

If you opt for this alternative, don’t miss the guide on how to set up a Chromecast step by step. On the other hand, take a look at the comparison of the different existing models.

use your console

How to turn a normal TV into a Smart TV

Modern consoles are true multimedia centers. It is not good to discard them to give life to a Smart TV inside a normal TV

Xbox Series S

Another possibility is to take advantage of the multimedia capabilities of your console. Both the PlayStation from Sony as the Xbox from Microsoft are compatible with services such as HBO, Prime Video, Netflix and YouTube. And, how could it be otherwise, they are ideal if what you are looking for is to play on your television.

PlayStation 5 console

Buy a dongle or a set top box

The expression dongle can be translated in Spanish as adapter or key. Refers to small-format media players, such as the Chromecast with Google TV, the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick or the Fire TV Stick. What these devices run are full operating systems (usually Android), so you can enjoy a large number of applications and services.

Xiaomi TV Stick 4KFire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote (includes TV controls), HD Streaming DeviceChromecast with Google TV – Streaming entertainment, on your TV and with voice search – Enjoy movies, series and Netflix in 4K with HDR – Easy to install

On the other hand, the so-called set top box, larger format players and that, in general, have greater processing capacity. Of course, the operation is very similar to that of dongles. They all come with their own remote control. The best models currently on the market are the Apple TV, the Roku Express 4K, the Xiaomi TV Box S or the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro.

Apple TV HD (32GB)Nvidia SHIELD TV Pro, Processor with Remote, Chrome, BlackRoku Express 4K | HD/4K/HDR Streaming Media PlayerXiaomi Mi TV Box S – Streaming Player, Black

Get a Raspberry Pi

How to turn a normal TV into a Smart TV

The Raspberry Pi, that small computer that opens up a world of possibilities

The fifth way to get smart features on a regular TV is with a raspberry pi. In reality, we are dealing with a small computer that is capable of running desktop operating systems, such as Linux distributions. You’ll be able to use it as a multimedia player thanks to its HDMI output and the support it offers to tools like Kodi. To find out how to get the most out of it, take a look at these six projects carried out on a Raspberry Pi (one of them is, precisely, a multimedia center).

Raspberry Pi Spain RAS-4-4G – Pi 4 Model B Motherboard / 4 GB SDRAM (1822096)

Why it is worth converting a normal TV into a Smart TV and what is the best alternative

There are several reasons why we advise you to convert your normal TV into a smart one. In fact, in most cases, the investment you have to make is low and the benefits are many. Here are some of the ones we consider most relevant:

How to turn a normal TV into a Smart TV

The benefits of turning a normal TV into a Smart TV are enormous. take a look at these

  • Access all the content you want. The main use of a television is the reproduction of content. Without an internet connection and a modern operating system you will not be able to access Netflix, HBO Max or Disney+. The best solution to this problem is to connect a PC, a Raspberry Pi or any of the media players mentioned above. Easy, cheap and fast.
  • Use your TV to surf the Internet. Almost all of the above devices allow you to use your TV to surf the web. That way there won’t be a single video or song that escapes you.
  • Being able to install advanced applications. Whether you choose to connect a PC, a Raspberry Pi, a dongle or a set top box, you will have at your fingertips advanced multimedia software such as Kodi or Plex. To see what each of these utilities is capable of, read about the best Kodi addons and top Plex features.
  • Avoid buying a new TV. Even if your TV is not smart, it may have features that are essential for you. Without going any further, your panel may be large or have good display quality. Why spend money on a new TV when yours works perfectly and meets your needs? Any of the proposals is valid to add functionalities to your TV without changing it for a more modern one.

Given these benefits, which method is best for you? Let’s see.

What is the best option to convert a normal TV into Smart TV?

How to turn a normal TV into a Smart TV

Access to content is the main motivation for a user to equip their normal TV with smart features

After everything mentioned in this article, you may still have doubts. We close this guide by analyzing some cases and the best alternatives for each of them.

  • you have a low budget. Take advantage of the capabilities of an old PC or buy a low-cost player, such as Chromecast or Fire TV Stick.
  • You want the highest resolution. There is no other option: you are going to have to spend a little more and choose devices such as the Chromecast with Google TV, the Apple TV 4K or the Fire TV Stick 4K. Remember that your TV must be compatible to enjoy the content at full resolution.
  • You are looking for the greatest customization. Avoid closed proposals, such as the Apple TV. Our advice is to look for a player with an OS based on Android or a Raspberry Pi. Typically, if you have access to tools like Kodi, you will be faced with hundreds of customization settings.
  • You are thinking of playing on your TV. So, nothing better than connecting the console to your television. But if you don’t have one, Chromecast with Google TV offers access to Stadia and Fire TVs to Amazon Luna. Also, on any Android device you can install many games. On Apple TV you have the App Store (and the Apple Arcade payment method) with many games adapted to the television.

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