20 November 2017
There was a time when televisions (TVs) were able to play only broadcasted channels or content from CD/DVD but with changing times, they have now become capable of connecting to the internet and do "smart" things. This is the reason we now have a new category of TVs called Smart TVs which are awesome but like it happens with any new technology, they are expensive than their non-smart counterparts.
So if you have been thinking of getting a new Smart TV but are holding on because of their prices, you don't need to worry anymore. We have listed a few ways using which you can not only save a lot of money but also get the same experience as having a Smart TV.
We have not listed these methods in any specific manner. They all help you to turn your TV into a Smart TV and you are free to choose the one you like the most depending on your preferences or needs.
Note: The exact availability of these methods and their supports apps/services will vary from region to region.
Digital media player dongles are the most common way of turning a normal TV into a Smart TV. They look like a dongle or a USB flash drive but feature an HDMI port and cost anywhere between $20 to $80. This means you will need to have a TV with at least one HDMI port for this method to work. You can choose from a number of available options like Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV stick, Roku, and Teewe. All these options allow you to plug-in the dongle to the HDMI port of your TV and start browsing apps like Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube instantly. It should be noted that the platform (OS) they run on will depend on the particular device you choose.
Apple TV is also a digital media player but it comes in the shape of a box along with a remote. As the name suggests, it is manufactured by Apple which means it is the most expensive option in the list. There is also a 4K supported variant named Apple TV 4K with pricing reaching $199 for the 64GB storage option. It also plugs into your TV's HDMI port and offers you a wide-range of content and apps to choose from and watch.
Android TV boxes are exactly like the Apple TV, the only difference is that they run on Android. And as we see with Android smartphones and tablets, there are different manufacturers which release these Android TV boxes. So if you not only want to have a Smart TV but also run Android on a big screen, this is the method for you. They let you access all the apps/services you would expect as well as the Google Play Store. It means you can also install your favorite apps from the store and use them directly on the TV instead of going for the screen mirroring option. As for the pricing and extra features, it depends on which one you choose to buy.
Airtel Internet TV is basically a TV set-top-box but with Android OS powering it. It means it is your single solution for having access to both cable TV channels and internet-based apps like Netflix, Prime Video, and YouTube. It even has inbuilt support for Chromecast, 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos. It further allows you to record live TV channels and watch later. The only thing to note here is that It is currently available only in India at the moment.
If you already have a latest-generation gaming console (Sony PlayStation or Xbox One series) or you are planning to get one in the future, then you can also use them to use your normal TV like a Smart TV. Both of these gaming consoles offer you entertainment section from where you can stream online content. They do differ in terms of exact features offers/supported but they both do a great job of offering you a great on-demand media consumption experience.