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How To Convert Normal TV To Smart TV (2020)

Edited By Piyush Kashyap, Reviewed By Gulshan

There was a time when the television sets in most households were big, bulky boxes with a limited number of channels to choose from.

As time kept its course and technology kept on gradually evolving, the television sets underwent a dramatic transformation. 

The vintage cathode-ray tubes which served as the forerunners of earlier television sets caused the overall price of the television to touch skies.


Since technological advancements were slow to progress, for a very long time, television sets remained beyond the budget of most people. But then, as technology gained momentum, things started to get better.

The greyscale television sets were replaced by slim and colour ones in the latter part of the twentieth century, and as the world set its foot in the new millennium, analogue sets were completely replaced by high definition digital television TV sets.

The LED and LCD television sets entered the picture, and they were soon followed by the Smart television sets! With the onset of Smart TVs in the markets, in a very small period, they overshadowed all the previous models. But what makes smart television sets unique? 


Smart TV sets, being the new players in the game, outplay the regular television sets at various levels. The most significant feature that draws the line between the two is the feature of the Smart TV sets that allows access to the internet.

It can access the WiFi and just as the name suggests, like the modern-day smartphones, can run the apps.

On the contrary, the normal television set does not have this feature. Since the internet is the source for online media content and platforms, one can access the renowned online streaming service platforms like Netflix, Amazon and Youtube through Smart TV.

This attribute sets the two apart, making the Smart TV sets the favourite. There are numerous other characteristics of the Smart TV sets which one cannot enjoy in Normal TV sets. These are:

  • It can combine features of both television and computers.
  • It has a built-in internet browser.
  • It has several in-built applications, just like smartphones.
  • Has a built-in function of the touch screen (sometimes)

One might wonder with all the features which the Smart TV is equipped with, it should come at a high price. With advancements in the field of tech, Smart TVs once did come with a huge price tag, but over the years, they have reduced considerably.

In a way, the prices of Smart television sets are somewhat equal to that of Normal TV sets, thereby making it the most desirable version of all time. 

As the smart television sets first knocked on the doors of the marketplace, people rushed in to get one. For the people who had already purchased the regular television sets, it was heart-breaking; until the tools which could convert regular television sets to smart television sets entered the markets! 

Here is how you can convert your old regular television sets into smart television sets and enjoy the features of the latter! 

Tools To Transform Normal Television Sets To Smart Television Sets

-Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon offers this dongle set which can help you to enjoy the features of Smart TV on your conventional television sets. You will get two devices, one which you will have to connect to the television itself and other to the remote to control the TV.

The HDMI 2.0 port which comes together facilitates fast data transfer, enabling you to access online content smoothly. You just need to have a WiFi connection or mobile internet hotspot to operate and access the online content. Once installed, the Fire Stick won’t be affected if you change your WiFi connection. 

The Fire Stick comes with some unique features making it a desirable tool. It streams video at the rate of 60 frames per second which is a good and healthy speed. The sound quality is exceptional too.

But the one feature which puts it on a whole different level is the built-in Alexa voice support. There is one another feature which is unique: It comes with a remote which can be operated with the user’s voice. They can look for the content with voice remote or explore new stuff from the recommendations.

-Google ChromeCast:

In 2014 Google launched a device known as Google ChromeCast to transform any television set to smart ones. Just like Amazon Fire TV Stick, it too works with the internet. To use the device, one has to cast it with the TV and install it.

To carry out the installation process, you will have to connect the device to the TV using an HDMI port. After the installation is successful, the next step is to download the Google Home application on your smartphone.

Remember, this would work only if the ChromeCast and your smartphone are connected to the same WiFI network. 

After the application is downloaded, go to the settings in the same application and access the add device option. Just in a few seconds, it will be connected, and then you will have to sign up using your Google account. Soon after that, you will be redirected to the home screen.

After a few regular updates, you will have successfully converted your regular television set into a smart television set. Unlike the Amazon Fire TV stick, Google ChromeCast does not come with a remote. Instead, you will have to operate the TV through your smartphone.

You can install a few free (and premium) applications like RealPlayer Cloud and EZ Cast which would enable you to stream content from your USB drives too! 

Advantages of using Amazon Fire TV stick or Google ChromeCast

The advantages of using either Amazon Fire TV stick or the ChromeCast is that these devices are small and portable, which can be easily connected to the television set using HDMI port.

As you can operate it through your smartphones, you can very conveniently steam online content just like when you do on your smartphones. Easy installation, together with fairly reasonable rates makes both the devices extremely viable. 

Adding to it, these devices never run obsolete. On the contrary, a smart TV tomorrow eventually will grow old. As a consequence, sometimes is it fairly better to use them instead of buying a new Smart television set. 

-Airtel Xstream;

Similar to Amazon Fire Stick, Airtel launched its Xstream device, which can help you enjoy the features of smart TV on a normal one. The company has launched the device in two segments, Xstream stick and Xstream set-up box.

While the set-up box provides you with services like Satellite TV and OTT facilities from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, etc., the Xstream stick allows you to stream online content by connecting to it. The whole device comes with a remote, which will help you access the web. 

Apart from the above-mentioned devices, several other companies are providing Android TV boxes to improve your screening experience. They fall in at a variety of prices, and each one has its own unique feature. Vankyo, Xiaomi are some of the notable companies that provide TV boxes.


Apple TV 4K is one unique device which will help you access and stream OTT services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. on your old conventional TV sets. But before you put on your sneakers and head to purchase

Apple TV, you must necessarily ensure that your television set supports 4K and HDR. If it does, well and good. But if it doesn't, then the device won't work with your TV. 

One advantage which comes with Apple TV is that you get to access any apple device present in the room and at the very same time you can enjoy the content on the big screen!

Along with iOS, it also works with Android devices. But to use it with the latter, you will have to download some additional applications like Plex, AirPlay media player etc. 

Apple TV, when compared to ChromeCast, can stream content faster and is easier to use. But when there are more Android devices, getting Apple TV may limit many functions. 

-Roku Express:

As the technology evolves, every product which is quoted to be the best will eventually lose its status when a new product comes on the market. This is also true with Smart TVs. While they may provide exceptional features today, tomorrow at some point, they are going to go obsolete.

Thus, if in case you are not willing to invest a huge amount to buy a smart TV, but also wish to enjoy all the features of the same, Roku Express is for you. This device, Roku HD, will turn your device into a smart version with so much ease that you will appreciate your decision of saving money.

The device is in the form of a Flash drive which needs to be plugged in the HDMI port of your television set. In no time it will start streaming content from the internet on the big screen.

The Roku stick adds many OTT streaming channels on your TV, which undoubtedly includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, HotStar. While some of these channels are available for free, for others you may have to purchase subscriptions.

It comes with an easy handling remote which allows you to surf through the content easily.  

-Xiaomi MI Box: 

The android box launched by Xiaomi called the Xiaomi MI Box is a 4K streaming device which can turn your regular or even a non-smart television set into a smart TV. The only thing which you will require is an HDMI port in your television set. With that, the box will enable you to surf online content.

One unique feature of the box is that you will also be able to view content stored in your USB ports by using its secondary port feature. 

The remote of the MI box isn’t embedded with buttons which you may or may not appreciate. But in a way, it is mostly a good feature to have. The built-in sound controls are an add-on, making it a great product to have. The box itself is much slimmer than the contemporaries making it a portable product. 

Game Consoles

One another method to transform your television set into an extraordinary one is by using gaming consoles. Either Sony Playstation 4 or any other similar product (Microsoft Xbox One for example) can be used for the application or streaming online content.

Gaming consoles are capable of connecting to the internet and have applications through which they can access content from OTT services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Hot Star, to name some. 

Having any sort of gaming console is advantageous since you can save ample amounts of money. You will just have to look for the appropriate applications to make your TV smarter. Having said that, this method is cost-saving only if you already have a gaming console at your place.

If you are planning to start from scratch just for the sake of converting your regular TV into a smarter version, then it is not recommended since gaming consoles cost much more than the portable devices mentioned above. But if you already have one, it is Christmas for you! 

Logical Way Of Thinking

While Smart TVs are extremely desirable, to opt for one or to invest money in converting a regular one into a better version depends on your watching habits and the frequency of consuming content.

While most of the content could be easily found online on the internet, sometimes it is not worth the efforts to get a Smart TV. When you can easily access it, why invest so much money?

On the other hand, if your viewing habits aren’t inclined towards the OTT content but instead you find yourself at solace with the limited channels of the regular TV, then my friend, Smart TV isn’t for you.

There is also this time factor, i.e. how much time you spend regularly watching television. If it is just an iota of your whole day, it isn’t worth it. Also, there are some reasons why Smart TVs aren’t the best:

  • The updates are very slow, and it often consumes a lot of data for updating. Thus, with time, the performance of the TV may deteriorate.
  • Privacy these days is always a concern. When you synchronise the internet with your television set, there is a plausible probability that the data you are using will be sold to advertisers who then use your viewing patterns to throw up ads at you. With time, it will frustrate you.
  • Sometimes, in rare cases, if a webcam or camera is linked with Smart TV, it might be used by hackers to spy on you. Thus it is recommended not to attach the camera with your TV.  


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About the Author

Piyush Kashyap is a Ph.D student at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur. He is a budding editor/ writer and has been working as a part-time reviewer for online content. He loves to read tech-based articles and has a knack for reviewing such articles He likes to stay updated about the latest trends in technology. He has also been working as a reviewer for many scientific journals. He also writes articles based on science. Know More About Piyush

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