Smart TVs are much more convenient than regular ones.
So if you want to join the Smart TV bandwagon…
That’s totally understandable.
But before you go and grab yourself a new 1…
Let me show you the different ways to turn your regular TV into a smart TV.
Continue reading to find out:
- What makes a TV “smart.”
- 9 lifesaving hacks to turn regular TVs into smart ones.
- How you can use your mobile device to make your TV smart.
- And this is just the beginning…
How to make my TV a Smart TV? 9 ways
Before diving into the different ways to turn regular TVs into smart TVs…
Let’s discuss: what makes a TV smart?
To answer that…
Here are the things you can do on smart TVs that you can’t do on dumb or basic ones:
- Enjoy games.
- Browse the web.
- Access the Internet.
- Watch on streaming platforms.
Now, the good thing about these features is…
You can easily integrate them into your regular TV. And the easiest way to do that is by…
#1: Connecting your laptop/PC to the TV
If you already have a PC…
Then this is the cheapest method to turn your TV into a smart TV.
Because all you need to do is connect your computer to your TV’s HDMI port.
And your TV will immediately access the smart TV features I mentioned earlier.
With that said, I’ll show you the easiest way of doing this process. And that’s by…
Connecting your PC to the TV using an HDMI cable:
Step 1: Prepare a high-quality HDMI cable.
As the bridge that connects both gadgets…
Your HDMI cable must be in good condition.
So before you start plugging this into the ports of your TV and PC…
Ensure that it’s free from any:
Step 2: Plug 1 end of the cable into the HDMI OUT port of your laptop/PC.
Make sure that it fits into the slot securely.
Because loose connections lower the audio/video quality that you’ll get.
Step 3: Connect the other end of the cable to your TV’s HDMI IN port.
Step 4: Turn ON the PC and your TV.
Step 5: Set your TV’s input settings to HDMI.
If your TV has more than 1 HDMI port…
Check the label of the port you plugged the HDMI cable into.
And choose it from the list of available inputs on your TV.
Step 6: Try out the connection.
Just like that, your regular TV is now a smart TV.
Now, simply think of your TV screen as 1 giant monitor. And you can use it as you would use any other computer.
#2: Use your mobile device
Did you know that you can use your mobile devices to turn your TV smart?
Now, the most popular way to connect a phone to a TV is through Chromecast.
However, not all TVs are Chromecast-compatible, right?
But that’s not a problem. Because you can simply use an HDMI cable and an adapter to link your phone to the TV.
See, it’s very easy to buy these types of adapters online:
And you can use them as the link between your phone and the HDMI cable.
Now, once you have an adapter compatible with the connection type of your mobile device…
Follow these steps to connect your phone to your TV:
Step 1: Turn ON your TV and phone.
Step 2: Plug your adapter into its power source.
Step 3: Connect your phone to the built-in cable of your adapter.
Step 4: Connect 1 end of an HDMI cable to the HDMI port of the adapter.
Step 5: Plug the cable’s other end into your TV’s HDMI IN port.
Step 6: Change your TV’s input source into the specific HDMI you used.
Step 7: Your TV will now reflect your phone’s screen.
With that, everything you watch on your phone will be projected to your TV.
Further reading: How To Connect a Non-Smart TV to Your Phone? 3 Proven Ways
Google never fails to amaze me.
See, on top of their smart devices like Google Nest and Nest thermostat…
They also have a streaming device that you can use to make your dumb TV smart.
Now, you might think…
“Don’t I still need my phone to use Chromecast on my TV?”
But the answer is no, not necessarily.
See, this “Chromecast with Google TV” has its own operating system.
So it’ll make your TV “smart” without connecting your phone to the TV.
And the best thing about this device?
It’s compatible with voice commands.
Simply say something along the lines of:
“Hey Google, search for cute puppy videos.”
And your TV will automatically do so.
Moreover, it’s effortless to…
Set up a Google Chromecast with Google TV:
- Turn ON your TV.
- Plug your Chromecast into its power source.
- Connect an HDMI cable to the HDMI port of your TV.
- Plug the other end of the cable into the HDMI port of your Chromecast.
- Switch the HDMI input of your TV to the 1 your Chromecast is plugged into.
- Wait for the remote to automatically pair with the Chromecast.
- Follow further on-screen instructions.
Note: If your remote doesn’t pair automatically, press and hold its Back and Home buttons. And let go when the controller’s light starts to pulse.
#4: Amazon Firestick
Do you love your Alexa-enabled device?
Or are you interested in knowing more about AI?
Then you should try connecting an Amazon Firestick with your regular TV.
See, not only will a Firestick let you watch on your favorite streaming platforms…
You can also highly rely on Alexa to control your TV.
Just press and hold the mic button at the tip of the remote and say something like:
“Alexa, play the latest episode of Stranger Things.”
Really, this feature is very convenient and user-friendly.
With that said, if you’re interested in using a Firestick to turn your TV smart…
Here’s how you can set up your Fire TV:
- Plug your Firestick into the HDMI port of your TV.
- Connect the streaming device to its power source.
- Turn ON your TV.
- Switch your TV’s input to the HDMI port used by your Firestick.
- Install the batteries of your Fire TV remote.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
- Sign in to your Amazon account.
#5: Apple TV
When I think of class and luxury, I think of Apple products.
But you’ll be glad to know that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to…
Turn your regular TV into an intelligent Apple TV.
See, for less than $200, you can access these features on your TV:
- The Dolby Atmos experience.
- Watch on streaming platforms.
- High-quality privacy protection.
- A private listening experience with AirPods.
And these are worth the price if you ask me.
So if you want to use this streaming device on your TV…
Follow these steps to set up your Apple TV:
- Plug your Apple TV into its power source.
- Connect the streaming device to your TV.
- Turn both devices ON.
- Ensure that you’re using the right input settings.
- On the screen, select your country, region, and preferred language.
- Choose to set up with your iOS devices or do so manually.
- Install your favorite apps and start streaming.
For a more detailed setup guide, visit Apple’s official website.
Roku is my go-to recommendation for a budget-friendly streaming device.
See, for just $25, you can grab a new Roku express device.
But don’t let this affordability trick you into thinking that…
Roku is far behind other streaming devices.
See, Roku models can:
- Integrate with the Roku mobile app.
- Activate the private listening feature.
- Connect with Alexa and the Google AI.
Pretty sweet deal, no?
So if you’re looking for a cheap way to turn your TV into a smart TV…
I highly recommend grabbing a Roku.
And once you have 1 on hand, follow these steps to…
Hook up your Roku to your TV:
- Using an HDMI cable, connect your Roku to the TV.
- Connect your Roku to the router with an ethernet cable (optional).
- Plug your Roku device into the wall outlet.
- Turn ON your TV and select the proper input source.
- Set up Roku’s remote.
- Follow the on-screen setup process.
You might also want to know: Can You Use Roku and Firestick at the Same Time?
#7: Blu-ray players
Who would’ve thought that 1 day even Blu-ray players could connect to the Internet?
But really, I’m glad that they can because Blu-ray players let you:
- Use the Chromecast feature.
- Access online streaming platforms.
- Listen to Music providers like Spotify.
And, of course, like always, they can still read and play Blu-ray disks.
So not only are you getting a smart TV…
But you’ll also get a touch of nostalgia in just 1 platform.
With that, if you’re interested in getting 1…
Here’s how you can set up your Blu-ray player:
- Turn your TV OFF.
- Place your Blu-ray player near your TV.
- Connect an HDMI cable to the back of the Blu-ray player.
- Plug the other end into your non-smart TV.
- Connect the player to its power source.
- Turn ON your Blu-ray player.
- Power up your TV.
- Take your TV remote.
- Change its input source into the HDMI input used by your Blu-ray player.
#8: Set-top boxes
Some cable providers in the US have Internet-enabled set-top boxes.
And here are the most popular companies that have them:
So if you want to transform your regular satellite TV into a smart online-streaming TV…
Contact 1 of the cable companies I mentioned and ask for their different packages.
With that said, here are the steps to…
Connect a set-top box to your TV:
- Connect 1 end of an HDMI cable to the HDMI port of your set-top box.
- Plug the other end into the HDMI port of your TV.
- Turn ON both devices.
- Switch your input settings to the 1 your cable box is using.
- You should see the launch screen of your set-top box.
#9: Use your gaming consoles
Do you have a gaming console at home?
Then lucky you, because you can use it to make your TV “smart.”
Don’t have 1 yet?
Then you might as well get 1. Because gaming consoles aren’t only for playing games.
See, you can also use them to watch on online streaming platforms and stream on the web.
With that said, I’ll start with my favorite gaming console, the…
Playstation 5 just came out not too long ago.
But tell you what, you don’t need the latest model to make your TV smart.
If you still have the PS4 or even the PS3 around…
You can definitely use them to upgrade your TV. Because you can install the most popular streaming platforms on any of these PS models.
Want to know how?
Then follow these steps to….
Install streaming apps on your PlayStation:
- Click the PS button on your controller.
- On your home screen, click the PlayStation Store.
- Navigate to the Apps section.
- Click the Moves/TV option.
- Select the streaming platform you want to install.
- Tap Download.
- Wait for the installation process to be completed.
Note: If you want to know which apps are available on the PlayStation store, head to this page.
With that, if you ever want to stream on your TV, simply follow these steps:
- Press the PS button on your controller to reach your home screen.
- Head to the TV & Video section.
- Select the streaming app you want.
Now, of course, since I talked about PlayStations…
I can’t leave out its main competitor, which is the…
Xbox doesn’t lose out when it comes to entertainment.
From music, game streaming channels, and video-on-demand apps…
Xbox has all of these covered.
And to show you just how “smart” an Xbox is…
Here are some of the most popular Xbox apps in different entertainment categories:
- TuneIn Radio.
Video-on-demand streaming platforms:
- HBO Max.
Apps for gamers:
- Forza Hub.
- Rooster teeth.
- Halo Channel.
- Ubisoft Connect.
See, with all of these selections…
You’ll never be bored with using an Xbox on your regular TV.
With that said, if you want to know how to install apps on your Xbox…
Follow these steps to access Xbox apps on your non-smart TV:
- Turn ON your Xbox and TV.
- Head to your home screen.
- Scroll to the right of your screen.
- Select Apps.
- Hover to the app you want to install and press A on your remote to select it.
- View the images of the app and read its description.
- If you want to install it, click the Install button.
- Wait for the process to finish.
Now, if you want to be able to launch this app quickly…
Follow these easy steps to pin an app on your Xbox’s home screen:
- Go to the “My games & apps” section of your Xbox.
- Hover over the app’s tile.
- Press and hold the Menu button on your controller.
- From the window, select Pin to Home.
See, with an Xbox, your TV will be just as smart as most modern smart TVs on the market.