In a bid to cut down cables, TVs have over the years metamorphosed into stand-alone gadgets, that feature built-in wireless internet connections, with support for a wide range of apps. A modern television with these features is referred to as a smart TV. A smart TV also let you record shows, take screenshots and access YouTube, Netflix and other movie outlets. Now, the idea of having a smart television sounds great, but having to purchase one, may not be too palatable.
Smart TVs don’t exactly come cheap. If buying a one isn’t part of your budget right now, we have good news for your. You don’t necessarily need to purchase a smart TV to be able to gain access to the features of a smart TV. There are external media players you can use to turn your digital television into a smart television. These media players are also know as TV boxes.
A TV box is a small tech gadget that basically transforms your ordinary digital TV into a smart TV. Most TV these days are already equipped with smart technology, however, these does not completely eradicate the need for a TV box. A TV box can relatively expand the capabilities of your television, turning it into a less powerful version of your computer, or a larger version of your smartphone.
If you are in country where DSTV is supported, you won’t need an additional decoder for the kids room. You can can simply connect to DSTV online via your TV box.
Converting your Digital TV (DTV) into a Smart TV
In this article, we are going to explore the various ways you can convert any Digital TV to a Smart TV using a TV box. While all of these TV boxes run via similar technology, they have different operating systems and thus, different user interfaces. For example, Apple TV runs the mobile iOS format, whereas Fire TV runs off Amazon’s operating system, instantly connecting you with Alexa. Google ChromeCast on the other hand, is powered by a simplified version of Chrome OS.
Using Media Players to Convert DTV to Smart TV
As earlier said, turning a digital TV to a smart TV, can be done using certain external media players otherwise known as TV boxes. These media players are listed below, together with tutorials on how to use them to transform your digital TV to a smart TV.
Using media players such as Apple TV, Fire or ChromeCast is one way of converting your old digital TV into a smart one. However, if these media players are far beyond your reach, there are cheaper alternatives such as using a white label Android TV box. This will be discussed much later in the article.
As you venture into the life of ‘internet of everything’, be aware of some of the security concerns associated with Smart TVs. Mind you, a smart TV is only as smart as the person controlling it. The Samsung smart TV hack in 2012 highlights risk of ‘The Internet of Everything’.
HDMI to RCA adapter
Note that, most Android TV box or media players require a HDMI port and a HDMI cable. If your TV set doesn’t feature a HDMI port, but instead the traditional yellow red and white port, you can use an HDMI to RCA adapter.
How to Convert any Digital TV to a Smart TV – Using Apple TV
Unarguably, Apple TV is one of the best streaming devices we have today. It is one of the top 3 streaming devices, with others being the Amazon Fire stick and the Google ChromeCast. Apple TV is the only Apple product that isn’t restricted to Apple’s ecosystem.
The TV gadget lets you stream videos, pictures, and music from your digital TV. Apple TV also enables you to buy or rent movies on iTunes. However, you cannot store media files on the Apple TV.
Step 1: Locate the HDMI port on your TV
As earlier mentioned, using a smart media player to convert your digital TV to a smart TV requires the presence of an HDMI port, and also you will need an HDMI cable. You will find HDMI ports on the body of your Digital TV. In case your digital TV doesn’t feature an HDMI port, you can use an HDMI to RCA adapter.
Step 2: Connect Apple TV to your Digital TV
In connecting the Apple TV to your digital TV, you will need to connect one end of the HDMI port to your Digital TV and the other end to your Apple TV. After you might have connected the Apple TV to your digital TV, you are required to power both of them and change your TV’s input to HDMI.
Step 3: Setup Apple TV
immediately you change your TV’s input to HDMI, the Apple TV interface will be displayed. Here you are required to select your language of choice, select a Wi-Fi network and enter a password and download any suggested updates.
Step 4: Use Apple TV as a Smart TV
Once you have completed the steps listed above, you will be presented with a drawer of apps, that include all the top-notch streaming service apps, you will able to stream content from Netflix, Hulu and lots more.
How to Convert any Digital TV to a Smart TV – Using Amazon Fire TV Stick
Amazon Fire Stick is yet another media player that lets you turn your Digital TV into a smart TV. Amazon Fire Stick takes the shape of a pen drive. It is one of those media players that isn’t obvious. Plug it to the HDMI port of your TV, and you will have access to a wide range of streaming services, streaming services that ordinarily won’t be accessed on your digital TV.
As you might have already guessed, the setup of the Amazon Fires Stick is very similar to that of the Apple TV, they both require a functioning HDMI. In case your digital TV doesn’t feature an HDMI port, you can use an HDMI-RCA adapter. Steps to converting your Digital TV using Amazon Fire Stick is listed below:
Step 1: Plug Amazon Fire Stick into HDMI Port Of Your Digital TV
Unlike the Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick doesn’t require an HDMI cable for connection. As earlier mentioned, the Amazon Fire Stick has the shape of a pen drive. Instead of featuring a USB A or C, the Amazon Fire Stick Features an HDMI connector. So all you need to do for connectivity is plug the Amazon Fire Stick into the HDMI port of your computer.
In case the HDMI port of your TV is located on the rear, and you don’t have enough room for connection since the wall will be obstructing it, you can use an HDMI extension cable. You are required to plug one end of the HDMI cable to your Amazon Fire Stick, while other End will be plugged to your TV.
Step 2: Connect Amazon Fire Stick To A Power Outlet
Apart from featuring an HDMI connector, the Amazon Fire Stick also features a USB port. To power the Amazon Fire Stick, you are required to connect a USB power cord to it’s USB port and connect the other end to the power brick, then finally connect the Power brick to a power outlet. You are also required to place batteries in the remote of the Amazon Fire Stick.
Step 3: Switch To HDMI Input
To gain access to the Amazon TV Fire interface, you will need to switch your TV’s input to HDMI, since the Amazon Fire Stick was connected to the HDMI port of your TV.
Step 4: Setup Amazon Fire Stick
After you must have successfully connected the Amazon Fire Stick to your Digital TV, the next step is to set up the Amazon Fire service. You will be presented with the Amazon Fire interface, as soon as you switch to HDMI output. Here you are required to perform basic tasks before you can start streaming. You will be prompted to press the play/pause button at intervals, you will be required to log in to a wireless network, inputting the password. You are also required to log in your Amazon account. This will ensure This will ensure that you can view your Amazon subscriptions and purchases.
Step 5: Use Amazon Fire Stick As A Smart TV
Once you have completed the steps listed above, and Logged into your Amazon Account, you will be able to view your purchased movies, shows, and games. You will also be presented with a drawer of streaming apps, that you can use to stream content on your Digital TV
How to Convert any Digital TV to a Smart TV using Google ChromeCast
Last but not least, is Google ChromeCast. Google ChromeCast is yet another media player that can turn your Digital TV to a Smart TV. Manufactured by Google, ChromeCast is a media player, that gives you access to many streaming services. Here are the steps to using the ChromeCast to convert your Digital TV to a smart TV.
Step 1: Connect ChromeCast to your TV’s HDMI
Similar to the already mentioned media players; you will need to connect the Google ChromeCast to your digital TV. The ChromeCast comes with an HDMI connector. So all you need to do is locate the HDMI port on your digital TV and connect the ChromeCast HDMI connector. In case your TV doesn’t feature an HDMI port, you can use an HDMI-RCA adapter to connect ChromeCast to your TV
Step 2: Connect ChromeCast To A Power Outlet
ChromeCast comes with a power cable, you can use to power it. All you need to do is to connect the cable to the power port on the ChromeCast and then plug the other end to the USB port on your Digital TV. Please note that the 4k Version of the ChromeCast cannot be powered by a digital TV, you will need a wall socket for connection.
Step 3: Switch To HDMI Input
To gain access to the ChromeCast interface, you will need to switch your TV’s input to HDMI, since the ChromeCast was connected to the HDMI port of your TV.
Step 4: Download Google Home App on your Smartphone
The Google ChromeCast needs a working Google App to function. You are required to download the Google Home App on your smartphone. It is available on both the Android and IOS platform.
Step 4: Setup Google Home App
Launch the Google Home app on your smartphone, click on accept when prompted, you will be taken to the Google Home Page. Click on the devices icon, located on the top-right corner of your screen. Wait for ChromeCast to detect your phone. You will be presented with a confirmation message when ChromeCast recognizes your phone.
Next, you will need to confirm the code on your TV. Once ChromeCast detects your TV, a code will appear on your TV and also on your smartphone. Make sure both codes match. After which you are to tap Yes (iPhone), or I SEE IT (Android).
Now tap continue and then select a wireless network for your ChromeCast. Enter the password and continue. Please note that your smartphone and ChromeCast must be connected to the same network. Follow all other on-screen prompts.
Step 5: Use Your ChromeCast As a Smart TV
Upon completing the steps listed above, you will be able to stream content on your phone, directly on your digital TV. You will also be able to view apps installed on your smartphone
Reading through this article, you must have observed that converting your Digital TV to a smart TV, is a straightforward thing to do. All you have to do is select one these top media players, follow the steps given and you will be home and dry, Streaming media content on your digital TV, as though it was a Smart TV.
If you have any question, regarding this tutorial on how to convert any digital TV to a smart TV, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.
Alfawise A8 Pro Android TV Box
Apple TV, Fire or ChromeCast are the most popular TV boxes in the market. Smaller players like the Alfawise A8 pro device are not so popular but equally effective. It also come way cheaper than most TV box with the same features. The Android TV box comes with both 2.4G and 5G WiFi, provides a faster and more smooth data transmission, which makes it the ideal choice for cord-cutters.
From your A8 Pro Android TV box, you can download apps, watch local TV channels, connect to streaming apps such as Hulu and Netflix. Depending on where you live, you may even be able to connect to premium cable channels at no extra cost, especially if you have installed KODI software.
A8 Pro Android TV box comes highly recommended and may be purchased for less than $30 on Gearbest at the time of this writing.
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