Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:31 am
You can convert normal TV to Smart TV without Chromecast and save yourself money and the hassle of looking for and buying a new TV with a simple and affordable add-on.
Check out the quick video for an overview of the process.
You have been enjoying your HDTV watching TV programs from satellite and cable services, and playing your favorite movies through your DVD or Blu-ray player.
Now you’ve heard that a smart TV can do much more than this. You’ve heard that a smart TV can be connected to the Internet just as you would with a computer. You also learned that you can also access video streaming services from free YouTube to premium services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
But then, you don’t have a deep pocket to purchase new smart TV. Or it could be that you have a relatively new TV that you don’t feel like ditching for a new smart TV set.
Chromecast Option Drawbacks
You explored the matter further and found that you can turn your ‘dumb” TV into a smart TV with Chromecast.
You discovered that Chromecast mainly mirrors what you can do on your smartphone or tablet through a Wi-FI connection. You’re not impressed with the idea. What if your phone or tablet runs out of battery power while you’re streaming?
Worse, what happens if your receive a call when you’re transmitting a video? You decide not to go the Chromecast route.
That doesn’t mean that you have to forget the Smart TV idea.
The good news is you can convert normal TV to Smart TV without Chromecast through some affordable workarounds.
TV Box: Cheapest Way to Make Your TV a Smart TV
A TV box is by far the cheapest way to make your TV a smart TV without Chromecast.
What makes a TV smart is its ability to connect to the Internet and download apps. A TV box has this functionality as well.
Think of the TV box as another smartphone or tablet, only that it can be connected directly to your TV.
There are two types of connections you need with a TV box. The first is an Internet connection and the second is the AV connection.
You can connect the TV box to your Internet connection through a LAN cable if your TV is close to your modem and wireless router. Otherwise, you can use the wireless mode to make the connection.
To connect the TV box to your TV, you can use an HDMI cable. Just plug the HDMI cable into a spare port on your TV.
Android TV Box
You can use an Android TV box to convert normal TV to Android TV. An Android TV is a smart TV.
The most common type of TV box is the Android TV box. There’s a wide range of TV boxes available from different manufacturers. Not surprising, as the Android operating system is open source.
Android TV boxes are very affordable and take up only negligible space on your TV cabinet.
Also with an Android box, there are USB ports through which you can use a wireless mouse and keyboard.
The best part is you can download all your favorite apps from the Play Store.
What’s more, you can use the Android TV box as a media Player. Just attach your pen drive or external hard disk to it and you can be playing your favorite movies in no time.
If you’re unsure which Android TV box to get started with, try the Tanix TX-3 mini. We’ve used this Android TV box for nearly two years without any issues.
You may also want to look at other affordable best Android TV Boxes if you’re interested in using the cheapest way to make your TV a smart TV without Chromecast.
An Android TV box is also the way to go if you’re wondering how to convert normal TV to Android TV.
Computer CPU with HDMI card
Do you have an older CPU that you no longer use? You can use it to convert your normal TV into Smart TV.
How? Just install an HDMI card into your computer CPU and you’re good to go.
Use an HDMI cable and connect your computer CPU to your TV spare HDMI port.
Check out this video for a quick guide.
Then connect the CPU to the Internet, preferably with a LAN cable. Once connected to the Internet, you can browse any web page.
Surf YouTube. If you have a premium subscription with streaming services, then you’ll get to access them as you would with a computer.
Preferably use a desktop CPU so that it sits horizontally and doesn’t look odd when placed on your TV cabinet.
You don’t have to get a powerful CPU for this purpose. As long as you have enough CPU and RAM power on the CPU to surf the Internet. As long as you have a decent Internet speed, you’ll get a good Smart TV viewing experience.
We have tried connecting an HDMI-enabled Core2 Duo CPU to our TV with good results. An Internet speed of 50Mbps is sufficient for smooth video streaming services like Amazon Prime Video.
The advantage of using a computer CPU is that you have much flexibility when it comes to watching movies. You don’t have to install apps. Whatever can be accessed over a web browser will be displayed on your TV.
Just like the TV box, you can attach your wireless keyboard and mouse through your CPU USB ports and you don’t have to fiddle with your remote control buttons.
Also, you can perform other computer-related tasks like video editing or word processing through whatever software programs are installed on your computer.
If you don’t get sound on your TV after connecting your CPU to your TV, check out this video for a fix.
Check out the range of HDMI cards you can install on your old CPU to convert normal TV to smart TV without Chromecast.
How to make Your TV Smart for Free with Your HDMI Laptop
Don’t want to spend money to convert your TV to a smart TV? Here’s how to make your TV smart for free.
This option is suitable if you want to only occasionally enjoy smart TV features on your TV.
Does your laptop computer come with an HDMI port?
If so, you can directly connect your laptop to your TV through an HDMI cable.
Your laptop screen will be displayed on your HDTV screen. Many presentations these days are made using this method nowadays.
You would have to tweak your display setting on your laptop to get the picture displayed correctly on your TV though.
This video shows you how how to make your TV smart for free without Chromecast.