The era of intelligent devices is a reality. We have a Smartphone, Smart TV, Smartwatch and many more smart devices that are becoming more common. The TV aspires to become the center of the home and this has to say many Smart TV systems. Therefore, we tell you some ways to turn any TV into a Smart TV to squeeze it to the max.
How to turn any TV into a Smart TV
Smart TVs allow us to do much more than watching TV. Information instantly while watching our favorite program, possibility to use social networks without having to shift to the mobile phone, ability to play the content of our smartphone quickly and easily, a video store with access to thousands of movies and series without moving from the sofa and even game console.
So far, the so-called Smart TV was quite limited by its operating system so the manufacturers have begun to bet on more advanced solutions. In the 2015 range, we find Tizen on Samsung, WebOS on LG or Android TV on Sony and Philips. This is just the first step of the many improvements that will be coming in the next few years to televisions, with the idea of turning them into the center of the home.
If we still have a TV that does not have Smart TV capabilities or we have a Smart TV from previous years with limited functions, we must know that there are several ways to get more out of it. For this, we can use from an HDMI stick to an old computer, to the mobile and other devices. With a small investment, we can achieve a lot without changing the TV.
In recent years HDMI sticks have become popular that connect to our TV and make it a Smart TV. These small devices, many of them available to buy in Chinese stores, add the possibility of using Android as an operating system on TV with its endless possibilities.
These are some of the highlights and not only with Android:
- Rikomagic MK802 IV: An HDMI stick with Android 4.4, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. It allows you to play content in Full HD, play the most popular Android games and run the main applications. Its price is about ₹5511.
- Ugoos UM2: With a very attractive design, this HDMI skewer features Android Jelly Bean, 2GB RAM and Cortex A9 quad core processor at 1.6 GHz. We can get with it for about ₹6000.
- MK809III: It has Android 4.4, 2GB RAM, 8GB internal memory and 1.6 GHz quad-core processor. This very economical warranty option can be found for ₹2333.
- Intel Compute Stick: A really advanced solution to turn any TV or monitor into a complete computer with Windows 10 and all the possibilities that this implies. Intel Atom processor, WiFi, Bluetooth, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, USB port and microSD reader as strengths. Its price is over ₹9,800.
In the previous section, we have left out the Chromecast to dedicate a specific section. It is a device of reproduction of multimedia content in streaming to which we can send what we want from the mobile, tablet and computer. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, Android phones, tablets, Windows computers, and Mac OS X. The latest version can be achieved for ₹3,399.
Chromecast, for the great utility, it offers in exchange for a reduced price. In addition to official support, there are plenty of tricks to get you much more. Playing videos from our computer wirelessly on TV quickly was never so easy.
Apple TV and other Set-top-Box
These desktop devices connect through the HDMI port of the TV and expand the possibilities. Broadly speaking, they are like the USB stick but larger, which also serves to have slightly more advanced features. In this section, we also include the Apple TV, the signature device of the bitten apple with which you want to conquer our TV.
These are some of the most outstanding:
- Minix Neo X8-H: This device adds Android 4.4 capabilities to our TV with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal space, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It is able to reproduce without problems videos with 4K resolution, the reason why its compatibility in the future is assured. Its price is around ₹10,677.
- Apple TV: Cupertino has recently renovated the Apple TV to which they have incorporated the operating system tvOS to turn it into a powerful solution based on the applications. It integrates with the contents of iTunes and has a new command that allows us to use it with the voice taking advantage of the capabilities of Siri. The catch is that it supports 4K resolutions. The price for the 32GB model is ₹13,500 and for the 64GB model of ₹17,999.
- Google Nexus Player: The full potential of Android TV thanks to this device with a very careful design and possibility to connect a game controller. It has thousands of applications highlighting YouTube, Plex or Netflix. Inside we find an Intel Atom quad-core 1.8 GHz and WiFi 802.11ac for better performance. Its price is $89.00 on eBay although it is no longer available in the Google Play Store.
Connect a console
The latest generation consoles go beyond video games, being authentic advanced multimedia centers with many possibilities. In addition, little by little they are getting more attention from third parties who decide to bring their services to these platforms too.
The two most prominent are Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
- Xbox One, the Microsoft console that was recently updated with Windows 10 brings together the best games with entertainment. We can quickly switch between TV, game, and applications, watch Netflix and Blu-ray movies or access well-known applications such as Skype, Internet Explorer and even Plex.
- PlayStation 4, the Sony console also functions as a complete multimedia center that nothing has to envy what some Smart TV present offer. Blu-ray playback, PlayStation video store, Spotify, YouTube, Plex and hundreds of applications are undoubtedly a good reason to try them.
Using a computer with Kodi
A good way to take advantage of an old computer or laptop is through Kodi, formerly known as XBMC. It is a complete media player that works on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Android, iOS and even a Raspberry Pi.
Another possibility, though not as attractive and visual as Kodi, is to connect the computer directly to the TV and use the Windows interface (or the operating system we have) to watch movies or surf the Internet. In the network, we have many alternatives to watch series and movies.
The old cell phone can also serve us
Among the six alternative uses, we can give an old mobile, we find the Media Center. We just need to get a cable with HDMI and micro USB ends so you can connect to the TV. This way, we will be able to access all the content that we store in it.
Kodi is also available for Android and as we mentioned in the previous section, it is an excellent utility to turn any TV into a Smart TV.
What is your opinion about Smart TV? Do you use any of the solutions outlined in here?