This is the era of smart devices. Our mobile phones are getting smarter day by day, smart futuristic wearable gadgets like Google Glass and Smart Watch are getting to ready become our daily companion. In the last couple of years the Television also received some technical improvements. We have seen the birth of a new breed of TV called Smart TV.
But these Smart TVs are too expensive at this time. Don’t you think it will be great if we can somehow get most of the features of Smart TV on a normal HDTV? Yes, it is possible! Now turn your normal HDTV into a Smart TV without robbing a bank. You don’t need to buy those expensive smart TV. If you have a normal HDTV then you are good to go.
In this article I’m going to tell you how to turn your normal HDTV into a Smart TV under $100. This sounds exciting isn’t it? But before that let us know what is called Smart TV?
What is Smart TV?
Internet connected TVs are usually referred as Smart TV. The traditional TVs can show regular TV channels and can only play media from DVD or Blu-ray players. Smart TVs are more interactive; it can do a lot of things. You can stream media over the internet, browse internet, use apps, play games and much more. Smart TVs require internet connection to work, so it usually comes with Ethernet port and Wi-Fi connectivity. Smarts TVs are usually expensive but with the help of some additional devices it is possible to get all the smart TV features in a regular HDTV.
What you need ?
- HDTV with HDMI port.
- Fast internet connection (Minimum 1Mbps).
- Ethernet or Wi-Fi connectivity
Turn HDTV into Smart TV:
Google Chromecast [$35]
Google Chromecast is possibly the cheapest and easiest way to add smart TV functionality to any HDTV. Stream online videos from YouTube, NetFlix, Google Play Movies using a nifty little device which resembles to a USB flash drive. You can stream online contents and browse the web on large TV screen. Local media streaming is not supported by Chromecast but for just $35 you cannot complain about it.
Android Smart TV Dongle
You might not be aware of this kind of devices. But there is quite a good number of Android powered smart TV dongles available in the market. These are actually fully-featured Android devices without a screen. The dongles connect to the TV using HDMI post. These Android smart PC sticks usually run Android 4.0+ and are available with dual and quad-core processors. Most of the smart PC dongle comes with 1GB RAM and features memory card slot. Some dongles even supports USB OTG functionality to connect external storage devices. You can install apps and games from Google Play Store, browse the internet, play music just like any Android device.
Roku Streaming Player [$50-100]
Roku Streaming Player is very popular among the users. The beautifully designed streaming player offers hundreds of TV channels, stream videos from Netflix, Hulu and many other services. Both 720p and Full HD 1080p video streaming are supported. It comes with a handy remote control. Roku Streaming Player has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity as well. The cheapest version of the Roku LT Streaming Player costs $50 and the advanced Roku 3 is priced at $100.
Google TV is an exciting device to enhance your TV watching experience. You can do a lot of stuffs using Google TV. Watch online videos from YouTube, Google Play movies and other services, browse the web on the big screen using the Chrome browser. It also supports Google Play store so you can enjoy apps, movies and music. Google TV is available from different manufacturers and some TVs come with built-in Google TV support.
Apple TV [$99]
The article will be incomplete without Apple TV. If you are into Apple’s ecosystem then you might want to buy Apple TV instead Google TV. Apple TV lets you stream Full HD 1080p content from various online services like iTunes, NetFlix, Hulu Plus, YouTube , Vimeo, etc. You can even stream local media from iPhone, iPad and iPod touch using the AirPlay feature. Apple TV also supports iCloud.