Is it realistic to make Smart TV out of a regular TV?
Very often, the decision to buy a new TV is made only because there is no Smart TV. But don’t rush to waste your money. After all, this technology is not tied to the TV, but it may well be implemented in other devices:
- Game consoles,
- Digital television receivers,
- Media players,
- Blu-ray players
By connecting the devices listed above to your TV with your own hands, you can be content with the same functionality as Smart TV. They are able to work on various operating platforms, as, for example, Androi and Linux, provide surfing the Internet, support the ability to update programs. That is, they actually implement all the same tasks as the desired TV model.
How to make Smart TV from a regular TV with your own hands
Smart TV is a smart TV with built-in access to the World Wide Web. This function is implemented by software, which, in turn, requires a specific operating system. Accordingly, in essence, Smart TV is a kind of symBIOSis of a TV and a computer.
Based on this, logically, if your gadget is not equipped with the Smart TV option, then this SIMply means that there is no computer system in it. But can it be correctly connected outside? How to make Smart TV from a regular TV? Let’s consider in more detail.
External Smart TV on Android platform
Android has an important advantage. a colossal Play Market library (paid and free applications). This unique functionality allows you to turn almost any device into a powerful tool for reading books, watching movies, playing games, and communicating with friends in a matter of minutes. All these options are available for implementation on the TV.
What needs to be done for this? It is enough to purchase a special mini-computer (Smart-TV set-top box). Visually, such a gadget resembles an ordinary USB flash drive. We connect it directly to the TV.
Let’s consider a concrete example. Smart TV based on iconBIT Toucan Stick 3D PRO HD media player. In essence, such a gadget is a networked micro-computer housed in a case, the dimensions of which correspond to the dimensions of a conventional flash drive. We connect such a device via HDMI. Power. Directly from USB from TV. If there is no such connector, then use any other additional source. The technical characteristics of this option are quite impressive: built-in Wi-Fi, dual-core processor (1 GHz), Android 4.2 system, expansion up to 32 GB microSDHC, 4 GB NAND Flash, 1 GB DDR3.
By connecting this device, you turn your TV into a real media center, which is able to recreate files of almost any format from the Internet via USB (including Blu-ray 3D ISO, Full HD, MKV), there is support for IPTV services, you can download from Play Market various applications. over, you can connect the Skype messenger, communicate on various social networks, search the Internet, play games. But what about without a mouse? In fact, this problem is easily solved. After all, its role is successfully implemented by the remote.
If this is not entirely convenient for you, then it is quite possible to connect a regular mouse via a free USB. And even more. you can connect a standard keyboard. But be prepared for the fact that some devices may not be recognized by the gadgets you are connecting. In addition, many applications in the Play Market are designed for touch screens, but a TV is not. Accordingly, inconsistencies are also quite possible.
Nevertheless, the most important advantage of Smart TV is that comfortable watching movies online with this method is fully realized.
What is the difference between outdoor and built-in Smart TV
The difference between these two options for implementing Smart TV lies in several important points. First of all, it is the interface and the possibility of updating. As a rule, the built-in Smart TV does not provide for a full upgrade, as well as expansion of functionality (and this will still have to be done over time). Considering such nuances, an external Smart TV becomes a rather successful solution.
How to make Smart TV from a regular TV. conclusions
The potential of Smart TV is quite possible to realize on any TV. There is no need to buy a new gadget. In fact, if this function is connected via SmartTV set-top boxes, the only condition that is required is the presence of an HDMI input. But if your TV is an older model and is not equipped with such a connector, then you can use stationary media players made in the form of a TV tuner.
One of the options for how to make “Smart-TV” from a regular TV is to use a console. Compared to full-fledged media players, game consoles are less functional, and some applications are paid. To get the most out of the Microsoft Xbox 360 console, you need to sign up for Xbox Live with a Gold account.
Service “Microsoft Xbox-360” does not provide an opportunity to copy movies to your HDD, but plays them from DVD, CD and flash cards. In addition, an external drive connection is available. All popular. and audio formats are also supported. To get the full option, you should constantly be in touch with the updated Windows Media Center (DLNA format).
How to connect Blue-Ray?
Often, these connectors are provided as standard. It should be borne in mind that when the player is connected via the SCART or RCA interface, the image will not be as high quality as via HDMI. But if we make “Smart-TV” from a regular TV, this moment is not critical. You may need an RCA-SCART or HDMI-SCART adapter to connect a Blue-Ray player to a SCART connector. When interacting with RCA, you will have to independently transfer the television receiver to AV mode, since this connection does not provide an autonomous transition to a decoder, unlike SCART mode. You should also choose an adapter carefully: too cheap copies may interfere with file playback.
How to display an image using mobile devices on the TV screen?
Smartphones or tablets are often equipped with a mini HDMI or MHL connector. This makes it possible to connect the device to TVs of various modifications. Otherwise, the use of adapters will be required, which are selected individually, since they are not unified with each other.
For example, to connect Apple, you need a special adapter. To avoid rapid discharge of the device, it is advisable to additionally connect the power cable. On the Android platform, you can select several types of resolutions (from 480 to 1080 pixels). Unfortunately, iPad and iPhone gadgets do not have such functions. As a result, the image in interactive games may be slightly distorted and have black stripes on the side. In this case,s from “YouTube” will be formatted across the entire width of the screen.
Media Player Selection Criteria for Smart Option
Most of the latest series of media players are equipped with connectors for connecting a keyboard or mouse through the USB ports of the TV. In a variety of models, you can choose the option with a Russian interface and access to branded applications.
You should also be aware of the supported connections. In any case, the HDMI connector must be required. S / PDIF digital audio input and built-in card reader will not be superfluous. Modern media players are increasingly being produced without a built-in hard drive, but with the ability to connect an external media or memory card.
If your TV is so old that it does not support HDMI connection, then you will need to select analog composite connectors with appropriate inputs and outputs. Those who are not used to storing information on interactive services will need to make sure that the player can functionally play files in the desired format. Fortunately, the choice in this area is very wide.
One of the options for how to make “Smart-TV” from a regular TV with USB is to use a Blue-Ray player. Such devices have a rather high price, but they also have great functionality. When using them, the consumer gets the following features:
- support for almost all formats and codecs. as well as audio;
- built-in WLAN module;
- connection of external drives and DLNA options;
- a full set of Smart and WI-Fi functions;
- additional applications and access to all kinds of interactive resources.
How to make “Smart-TV” from a regular TV?
Many houses have a not very modern, but a working TV. A dilemma often arises: change the TV to a new sample or upgrade an existing device. The latter has many preferences using mobile or gaming gadgets.
You can do this SIMply through the HMDI port of the TV, as a result you will get a kind of monitor, the image quality on which leaves much to be desired, and it is not very convenient to control the functionality (especially with a mouse). This procedure is much more effective if there is an interface adapted for the TV screen. Do not forget that a standard computer is quite noisy and not always appropriate next to a TV.
As an alternative. various mini-devices and game consoles. With their help, it is possible to reorganize the usual “TV set” into the “Smart” format. One of the best options is considered the “Android whistle”, the release of which is well established in China. There are several series of them, but the principle of operation of each is approximately the same.
Next, we will consider how to make “Smart-TV” from a regular TV using the Sony PlayStation 3. In this case, the user is provided with two free resources focused on playback. as well as the ability to store media information on an internal HDD format.
The console does not allow you to play files that weigh more than four gigabytes due to the limited capabilities of the device. “Play Station. 3 ”runs from DVD, CD, Blue-Ray discs, as well as from memory cards and external media of various formats within the allowed volume. Using the PS-3 console, you can listen to music, watch at resolutions up to 1080p, view photos and use some free online services.
Pros and cons of media players
To figure out how to make “Smart-TV” from an ordinary TV with your own hands using a network media player, you must take into account all the advantages and disadvantages of this method. With the right approach, the used set-top box will make it possible to make a real competitor to modern “fancy” devices at minimal cost. The pluses of using a media player include:
- compact overall dimensions;
- acceptable price;
- interaction with all common modules and formats;
- built-in WLAN option;
- accessibility for connecting external devices, including a hard drive.
Modern television repeaters are real multimedia centers with Internet access with support for a variety of services. However, with a maximum of functions, such a thing will be very expensive. It is much easier and cheaper to build a “Smart” with your own hands from improvised devices and wires.
This can be done in one of the following ways:
- Using a compact and inexpensive media player.
- Via smartphone or tablet.
- Using the universal playing system Blue-Ray.
- Using a game console (console).
Next, we will consider how to make “Smart-TV” from a regular TV by each of the methods, as well as find out their advantages and disadvantages.
Decide on the size and price of the console
Our instructions on how to make Smart TV from a regular TV, we will continue with advice in advance to decide which options for the set-top box are best for you. There are many options currently available. we list them below.
The first, the so-called stick, is a small device for receiving a Smart TV signal. It connects directly to the TV, does not require additional power and is practically invisible from the outside, since it does not exceed a USB flash drive in size.
The second option for Smart TV is a TV box, SIMilar in size to a tablet. Of course, no screen is provided. the device is only responsible for receiving the Internet signal.
Finally, the third option is a full-fledged Smart TV set-top box. It weighs more, takes up a lot of space, but gives you access to full functionality, including allowing you to connect external devices: flash card, keyboard, mouse, and so on.
Note that when choosing a set-top box for a TV, it makes little sense to focus on the country of origin. The vast majority of models are made in China. and the more expensive such equipment is, the higher the chances that you can enjoy all the delights of Smart TV. In general, you can choose a model with 3-4 GB of RAM, an 8-core processor and Android OS starting from the 6th generation. And if you plan more global tasks, the listed “average” indicators need to be revised upward.
What else should be considered when choosing
Above, we have listed the main factors for choosing a set-top box for Smart TV. There are also additional characteristics that directly affect the quality of the picture displayed on the TV screen. These parameters are hardware, not software, so untrained users usually do not know about them.
In order to avoid mistakes when purchasing a set-top box that allows you to run Smart TV on a SIMple TV, take a close look at the following characteristics:
- Auto Frame Rate, or An important difference between Smart TV and a conventional TV is the ability to convert the original frame rate, synchronizing them with the optimal screen frequency. The result is a stable flow that minimizes eye strain.
- Support for H.264 and H.265 codecs. These standards are used to compress a multimedia stream with almost one hundred percent preservation of the original quality. The latest protocol, otherwise called HVC, significantly saves onboard memory.
- Supports Smart TV Google Widevine / L.1, as well as Play Ready 3.0 standard. Software protocols are required to view programs with resolutions higher than 1080p. In the absence of these options, it will not be possible to play movies and other multimedia content from some sources.
- VP8 / VP9 codec support. These aLGorithms are widely used by the most popular hosting, YouTube, as well as other platforms owned by Google.
- Support for audio processing technologies. There can be many such protocols on one Smart TV set-top box: from standard DTS and Dolby Digital, which are responsible for multichannel audio, to mixers, which change the number of channels (from stereo to mono and vice versa). It will not be superfluous to support Passthrough, a technology that allows you to output an audio track to the receiver without preliminary processing and thereby ensure maximum playback quality.
Apple TV set-top box
With all its drawbacks, Apple’s set-top box has two significant advantages. First, you are guaranteed long-term support. at least for several years. Secondly, you can always subscribe to a relatively inexpensive subscription. and watch hundreds of channels, thousands of films and cartoons on your TV, not to mention musical compositions.
The device is equipped with a full-fledged gyroscope that responds to movements in all three axes. The remote control can be used, among other things, as an interactive pointer or mouse. I am glad that the remote control battery can be recharged directly from the USB connector. On the rear panel there are only three ports: HDMI, for connecting the power supply and the Internet cable.
Following the instructions on how to make a Smart TV out of an ordinary TV, you can also use a wireless connection. including the “advanced” 5 GHz frequency. Of course, the set-top box fully supports the proprietary AirPlay protocol.
We recommend using this Smart TV box in the following cases:
- At your disposal is a completely high-quality TV that does not support Smart TV functionality.
- You want to sync with your iTunes storage, connect your TV to your iPhone or iPad.
- You are going not only to watch programs and movies, but also to play mobile games on the big screen.
If possible, we recommend buying the most modern set-top box model. It costs, to put it mildly, not cheap, but it opens up access to almost limitless possibilities. We will briefly describe the technical capabilities of the latest versions of the equipment.
So, the set-top box can work with a maximum resolution of 4K at 60 frames per second. To get this quality picture, use a HDMI cable with specification 1.4 or higher.
After connecting, you can configure in the settings menu, section “and audio”, such parameters as color.
In addition, it is possible to synchronize mobile devices (over the air, after entering the generated access code) and computers with the set-top box. In the latter case, it is necessary that the PC be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Next, you need to select the Devices and SIMulators parameter in the Xcode submenu and, having found your prefix, click Pair.
When the transformation of a SIMple TV into a Smart TV is completed, you can, for example, take screenshots (Take Screenshot key). or receive full information about the set-top box.
Game consoles Playstation and Xbox have SIMilar functionality to TV-boxes
Another way to turn an ordinary TV into a Smart TV is to use consoles, for their intended purpose, providing you with the opportunity to play games on the big screen. Typically, these devices support some services by default, including YouTube. You will be able to watch all sorts of TV channels, when you subscribe. use media libraries, as well as make voice and calls. It makes no sense to consider the advantages of one manufacturer over another and vice versa. choose the console you like and start watching!
The obvious benefits of watching Smart TV through the console:
- You can contact technical support for help at any time. Outstanding performance far beyond that of mini set-top boxes.
- In parallel with watching channels, you can, of course, continue to play games.
- The cost of the console is less than the price of a complete PC.
As always, there are drawbacks:
- New games are quite expensive.
- You will get access to the Smart TV functionality, but you will not be able to use some options. And, of course, you will not be able to install applications and mobile games compatible with Android on TV.
- The console is more expensive than Smart TV boxes.
Buy stick attachment
In this case, you buy not a relatively large system unit for watching Smart TV, but a miniature set-top box. It is connected to one of the TV connectors, usually HDMI. you don’t need to do anything else: pick up the remote control and proceed with the settings!
The advantages of the equipment in question:
- First and foremost. small size and weight. To make Smart TV from a regular TV, just put the USB stick in your or travel bag.
- Support for modern versions of audio and codecs.
- There is a built-in operating system with which you can synchronize the mini-set-top box with TV and mobile devices.
- Wi-Fi connection support is fully implemented.
- By connecting the equipment, you can not only watch TV channels and movies, but also play mobile games.
As usual, there are some drawbacks:
- For obvious reasons, there is no port for connecting an Internet cable on the stick body: there is SIMply nowhere to place it.
- There is no full-fledged cooling system, as a result of which the device periodically overheats and “crashes”.
Consider the process of connecting a stick using the example of a specific good model from Xiaomi.
Google Chromecast TV Box
Hardware from Google works with VP8 / VP9 and H.264 codecs, by default it is equipped with 512 MB of RAM, as well as 16 GB of internal memory. The set-top box allows you to connect to TV both through a wired connection (HDMI cable) and via Wi-Fi: there is an AzureWave 802.11n adapter for this.
You can install any Android compatible application on your Smart TV. Playback in 720p and higher resolution is possible (you need to purchase a more expensive model or use a special firmware). In addition, it is possible to synchronize the device not only with a TV, but also with a computer or laptop.
In general, the equipment for displaying Smart TV shows excellent stability, perfectly decodes signals from different sources at a relatively low price. This is the main reason for the popularity of Chromecast. However, there are others:
- You can easily connect your Smart TV device to any TV or PC.
- It is possible to synchronize equipment with mobile devices: phones and tablets.
- The set-top box is capable of handling flash movies as well. saved in HTML format
- Having figured out how to turn a regular TV into a Smart TV, you can easily perform more complex tasks. for example, duplicate your phone screen to a TV.
Note that the set-top box we are considering has a slightly different functionality than Android TV. So, the second is a stand-alone OS suitable for installation on almost any device designed to process multimedia content. Chromecast, in turn, works exclusively on branded consoles, without the possibility of porting to other equipment.
The inability to control the TV, as when using Android TV, is compensated by the installation of the Google Cast program, which significantly expands the functionality of the set-top box. in particular, it makes it possible to install applications on TV.
We advise you to choose the type of set-top box based on your preferences and capabilities. For reception of a signal in minimum quality, the basic version is quite suitable; the next step is 720p devices. There are also more expensive equipment. it works with 1080p, 2K and even 4K resolutions.
Example of setting up a Xiaomi Mi TV Stick
The procedure is performed in several steps:
- Unpack the box and the supplied remote control. Insert the batteries into the latter, and then hold down the two buttons marked in blue and synchronize.
- On the first few pages, set basic system parameters. First of all, this is the interface language, then the date and local time.
- If you wish, you can try to perform the setup from your smartphone. We’ll warn you right away: this method does not always work.
- In the list that appears on the next page, select the Wi-Fi network to which you want to connect the Smart TV set-top box.
- Further, to turn a SIMple TV into a Smart TV, using the standard interface offered by the developer, configure TV channels, applications, search and other parameters important for operation. At the same stage, you can connect to your Google account. This is done very SIMply, you don’t even have to manually enter your password: the request will come to another linked device, for example, to a mobile phone.
- After that, you can freely manage programs: install, uninstall them, change shortcuts in places.
- In some services, for example, Netflix, you will have to enter your account information completely manually.
- The set-top box works great with all popular media libraries and streaming platforms.
- Some domestic applications, including PremierTNT, you can also connect without unnecessary difficulties by entering the necessary data and issuing permissions on the linked mobile device. True, you still have to manually enter the password generated by the system.
- The initial configuration of other Russian services, in particular, “Kinopoisk-HD”, is carried out in approximately the same manner. This application, among other things, allows authorization by QR code.
- Of course, you can install any third-party multimedia player via Android TV OS, for example. VLC, which allows you to play both online TV channels and files saved in the gadget’s memory. Using the example of the mentioned player, the interface of the set-top box with connected servers looks like this.
- Having managed to make Smart TV from a SIMple TV, you will be able to use built-in services, in particular, Chromecast.
- The following screenshots provide a list of basic Smart TV settings.
- Here are the additional settings related to HDMI-CEC technology. By activating them, you can use the TV remote control to control the set-top box.
- we give a list of information about the equipment.
The set-top box we have reviewed during testing has shown excellent stability of the Internet signal reception. At the same time, one cannot fail to note a noticeable heating of the case. however, no overheating followed by rebooting was noted. Even when playing high-definition clips, the device continued to work. without any noticeable loss of quality.
The remote control supplied with the set-top box is extremely SIMple in design, but offers all the functions necessary for full control of Smart TV. It is noteworthy that there is a button for invoking voice search. The remote is synchronized with the set-top box via Bluetooth; other compatible devices can be connected in the same way.
The main advantage of such equipment is its miniature size. You can always take it with you. and connect it to any TV. True, if you are going to play games or want to use third-party devices like a flash drive, it would be better to immediately purchase a larger console that has all the necessary connectors.
How to turn a regular TV into a Smart TV: 3 ways to turn a SIMple TV into a Smart TV
Despite all the owner’s desire to get a TV with a full set of options from a regular TV, it will not work to make Smart TV without using additional devices. Old devices are SIMply not adapted for full-fledged work on the Internet. and neither long settings, nor all kinds of programs for smartphones will help. Ideally, you need a TV that fully supports Smart TV functionality, but in practice, you can use “workarounds” that allow you to at least partially realize the capabilities of Smart TV.
Unfortunately, even new models that demonstrate excellent picture and sound quality and have an arbitrarily wide screen sometimes do not support Smart TV mode. The easiest way to solve this problem, without resorting to radical means like another TV, is to use connected equipment:
- Smart attachment.
- A stick-attachment that looks very SIMilar to a flash drive.
- Console for games.
Note that other options, often offered to novice users, either do not differ in efficiency, or do not give any result at all. These methods include, inter alia, connecting multimedia players or connecting a TV to a smartphone or tablet. In the latter case, for the full use of the TV, the latter needs support for the Miracast option or SIMilar. but just for its implementation, Smart TV functionality is required. We will not consider such options. we will focus on the SIMplest ones, which give one hundred percent results.
How Smart TV set-top box connects to TV
Now let’s see how to get Smart TV on a regular TV. In fact, the process is much easier than it seems to a beginner. Unpack the newly purchased equipment, find the TV remote control. and carefully follow the instructions:
- According to the user manual provided by the manufacturer, connect the Smart TV with the supplied cable to the HDMI or USB port. In addition, it may be necessary to power the device from the mains. this is definitely the case if the standard plug leaves the case.
- Switch on the TV and use the remote to select a new medisource. Press Sources (or, depending on model, Input).
- Specify from which port the signal will be received.
When the selection is made, the data download will begin. Soon a splash screen will appear on the TV screen. feel free to pick up the console’s remote control and start using all the features of Smart TV!