How to turn your old TV into a smart TV

How to turn your old TV into a smart TV

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  • Post last modified:March 9, 2023
  • Post category:Tech
  • Post comments:5 Comments
  • Reading time:11 mins read
Smart TV

Cable TV is quickly being replaced by smart TVs. This is because it does not give you the flexibility to watch whatever you want whenever you want. Although nearly all TVs you buy today are smart, there is still that old flat screen you bought years ago and you don’t know what to do with it Luckily for you, we have some few ways to turn that old TV smart.

What makes a TV smart?

  • Ability to connect to the internet.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Wide array of streaming apps such as Netflix, Hulu etc.
  • Support for screen casting.

Google Chromecast.

Google chromecast

Google Chromecast has been the go-to way to turn your TV smart for years. From just $49.99, you can access a plethora of apps from the Play Store. It has all the streaming apps you could ever need including; Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Max and so much more. It runs on Google TV which is a modified version of Android for TVs.

With the Google Chromecast, you can access a wide variety of 4K HDR 10+ content provided your tv is 4K. In addition to this, it has a smaller formfactor compared to other Android boxes out there. It comes with a USB C to USB A to power the device.

The Chromecast connects to the TV through the HDMI port. Its literally plug and play. Once connected you will have to sign to your Google account to access a more personalized feed.

Google chromecast Remote

The advantage of using Google Chromecast is that once you sign in, it will sync all your data on Google apps such as YouTube. Furthermore, unlike most Android boxes, you can create profiles for each individual in the household. This means that you can have separate Google accounts for each profile on the same Chromecast Device.

Apple TV.

Apple TV

If you are an Apple fanboy, you are going to love this one. Apple TV is one of the best ways to make your TV smart. As a matter of fact, you can connect it to a smart TV to make it even smarter. It is very snappy and the interface looks amazing. With the Apple TV, you can access hundreds of apps from the app store. As you would expect, it supports most streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu.

In addition to this, you can also access Apple TV plus which is a subscription streaming App by Apple. Here, you can get all of Apple’s original TV shows and movies. The Apple TV remote is as good as they come. It supports Siri voice control and comes in-built with a touch pad for easier navigation.

Since it is part of the Apple ecosystem, you get access to other Apple services such as Apple Fitness plus, Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple Cloud Plus and Apple News Plus all under one subscription. It is a good deal especially if you are already in the Apple ecosystem.

Apple Tv

With the Apple Tv, you can connect your Iphone and Apple Watch to the TV. You can use both of them as remote controls for your Apple TV. Apple takes this a mile further with the calibration feature through your iPhone. Using the front facing camera of your iPhone, you can calibrate the colors on your TV accurately, to give you the best possible picture quality.

Once you sign in with your Apple ID, all your data is synced for a more personalized experience. With Apple Arcade, you get access to 200+ games. Since Apple TV supports sync with game controllers, you can use your PS5 controller to play games from the Apple Arcade. Apple TV is the perfect choice for you if you are deep into the Apple ecosystem.

Amazon Firestick.

Amazon Firestick

The Amazon Firestick is a viable option due to its compact formfactor. As the name suggests, it is a HDMI stick with a micro-USB port for power. It runs Fire OS, which is based on Android. This simply means you can sideload most Android apps even if they are not in the Firestick App store.

Since it is an Amazon device, it comes pre-loaded with Amazon Prime Video which is a movie and TV subscription service by Amazon. It has a wide catalog of shows but if none of them interest you, it also supports other streaming apps like Netflix.

It comes with a compact remote which support voice control through Amazon Alexa. Although its interface is not as appealing as the one in Apple TV, it is still good nonetheless. Although there are many versions of Firestick in the market, you should choose the Firestick 4K. This particular one supports 4K HDR10 which translates to vivid and lifelike colors provided the content is supported.

Amazon Firestick Interface

It is also important to note that for features like 4k and HDR10 to work, your TV must also support them. As mentioned earlier, the you can access thousands of Apps and Games since the Fire OS is based off Android. Although they may not be in the Firestick App store, you can sideload them through an App called Downloader.

You can find lots of tutorials on this online. All in all, the Amazon Firestick is a solid choice for most people. Its price starts just from under $50, which is very affordable rather than buying a new smart TV.



Roku is one of the OGs that has been used to make TVs smart for quite some time. It runs off Roku OS which is built off Linux OS. There are different versions of Roku ranging from $30 all the way to ($100). Each of them comes with different features but the sweet spot device is the Roku Streaming Stick which has the same formfactor as the Amazon Firestick but a bit smaller.

It retails at $50 just like the Amazon Firestick. It supports most of the popular streaming apps such as Apple TV, Prime Video, Netflix, HBO Max and so much more.

It supports 4K content and if you have Dolby Atmos speakers, you can enjoy one of the best audio experiences in a Streaming device. It comes with a compact remote that supports input through voice commands. As an additional feature, you get Roku Private Listening.

This feature lets you use your Bluetooth or wired headphones as your only output audio device. To access this feature, you need to download the Roku mobile app, connect your headphones to the phone and activate the feature through the app.

Roku interface

As a bonus, it comes with Roku Channel where you can access over 300+ free live TV channels ranging from news, sports, kids’ channels to science fiction channels and so much more. In addition to this, you can also access TV shows and movies for free. The downside to Roku Channel is that it is limited to certain regions. Here is a list of supported countries United States, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama.

Final thoughts.

Smart Tv

There are other ways to turn your TV smart such as using Gaming consoles or even using your old laptop. But the methods above are the best, reliable and most suitable methods. Among the four listed above the best option if you are in the Apple ecosystem is the Apple TV. It just goes without saying. With the other three, you can weigh in your options but personally, the Google Chromecast with Google TV is the best option. Its interface is just cleaner and much more intuitive to use. Comment below your thoughts on any of these devices.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Caroline Njeri

    This is super-interesting. I’ve been wondering what to do with my digital Samsung tv. But I have a question. Does the Google Chromecast only work for Google tv? as you’ve pointed out? Also, the HDMI cables. I learned that there’s something like male to female when it comes to cables. So, I’ve had a tough time finding a cable that would fit my old laptop.

  2. Lyda Dorcas

    Thank you for the enlightenment

    1. kelly Junior

      its good, i like it its really available

  3. Ashley Munyasia

    Never thought there is so much to consider when purchasing a firestick and the Apple tv has so many interesting features. This was a very informative article.

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