How to turn your TV into a smart TV

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MOST TVs nowadays are what’s known as smart TVs so you can enjoy all your streaming platforms without hassle.

For those with a regular telly, there are simple ways to turn your current TV into a smart TV.

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You can convert your regular TV into a smart oneCredit: Getty

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Sometimes the best option is to hunt for the best 4k TV deals and find a brand new smart TV.

If you’re looking to purchase a TV make sure you know which TV size you should buy and how to measure a TV screen.

But you don’t have to fork out for a new OLED screen to access all your streaming hubs.

Most converters offer you a way to access the internet through a streaming hub, which makes your regular TV, a smart one.

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You can convert your old TV into a smart TV with lots of different devices so we’ve cut through the confusion and explained all the different options.

1. Amazon Fire TV Stick, £39.99

Amazon's Fire TV Stick is their flagship model

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Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is their flagship model

Amazon offers a range of prices for their Fire TV Sticks, from just £29.99 all the way to the Fire TV Cube at £109.99.

The Fire TV Stick balances budget and streaming ability as it is able to handle HD streaming without a high price tag.

The sticks – and cube – work by plugging into your HDMI port as well as a power source and linking to the wifi.

This creates a streaming hub for all your services, such as Amazon Prime, as well as gives you internet access and other apps.

Amazon’s Lite version of the stick will save you £10 but you will lose the HD quality of the stream, while the 4K and 4K Max versions offer Dolby vision and 4K definition with a higher price tag.

Topping out the range is the Amazon Fire TV Cube, which has Alexa voice control, higher storage and a faster Hexa-core processor.

You’ll often find the Fire Sticks discounted so check out our Amazon device deals page for the latest offers.

The classic Fire TV Stick is still the best for simple and cost-effective streaming – although the 4K version is an excellent choice for more avid watchers.

Other devices available from Amazon:

2. Roku Express 4K, £32 (save 18%)

The Roku media device lets you stream TV, films and music

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The Roku media device lets you stream TV, films and music

Coming in slightly cheaper than the Fire TV Sticks and currently on offer too, is the Roku range of streaming devices.

The Roku Express 4K is just £32 at the moment on Amazon – down from £39, saving you 18%.

Similarly to the Fire Sticks, the Roku devices work by plugging into your TV, connecting to the internet and setting up a Roku account.

All the streaming services can be found using your Roku homepage, including Netflix and Disney+.

If you have a wall mounted TV you might want to opt for the Roku Streaming Stick+ which is also on offer at £46.99 – saving you 22%.

Roku also has a Streambar which doubles as a smart device and a soundbar, saving you space on your TV stand.

Other devices available from Roku:

3. Google Chromecast, £30

Chromecast is one of the most affordable options

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Chromecast is one of the most affordable options

A great budget streaming device to convert your old TV is the Google Chromecast.

This cheap little media streamer will support up to 4K resolution and can be paired up with your Google Home devices for voice control.

Chromecast can be used by anyone in the room to cast videos from their phones to the TV, even if they’re not connected to the WiFi.

Using the HDMI port for both power and to connect to your TV, this is easy to conceal with no wires hanging down.

Chromecast is a great affordable option for people who are already using Google in their homes.

4. Apple TV HD, £139

Apple TV comes in two versions and has a max storage of 64GB

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Apple TV comes in two versions and has a max storage of 64GB

While it can be confusing, these are not the same as or limited to Apple’s streaming platform Apple TV+.

Apple TVs are one of the more expensive streaming devices on the market, starting at £139.

This is because they also come with a lot more storage on them – while most devices have around 8GB, Apple TVs begin at 32GB.

The 4K version comes with 32GB or 64GB options, meaning there’s more room for all your apps, films and TV shows to download.

This little box connects via HDMI to your TV so you can access all your favourite streaming shows with Dolby surround sound.

For the price hike, Apple’s TV doesn’t offer a lot that even the most expensive Amazon TV Cube wouldn’t.

Although Apple does include three months free of Apple TV+, their own streaming service, with any purchase including their TV boxes.

Other devices available from Apple:

5. Facebook Portal TV, £94

The Facebook Portal TV is great for anyone who frequently video chats

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The Facebook Portal TV is great for anyone who frequently video chats

Meta’s video calling device is not just for chatting with friends, you can also stream your favourite shows through it.

The Facebook Portal TV attaches to your TV and is a camera which allows you to video chat directly from your telly – rather than holding up a tablet or phone.

It also has the ability to download streaming platform apps, meaning you can watch your favourite films too.

Portal will also connect to your Alexa devices to call someone or watch a TV show with just your voice.

Even better this is discounted on Amazon right now, from £149 down to £94 – a 37% saving.

6. DVD Player – Panasonic DMP-BD84EB-K, £69

Blu ray players can accommodate streaming services to give you the best of both worlds

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Blu ray players can accommodate streaming services to give you the best of both worlds

The humble blu ray player can be the key to converting your old TV into a smart TV.

Many modern blu ray and DVD players allow you to connect to the internet via an ethernet cable or wifi.

This Panasonic is a slimline blu ray player with internet capabilities and a USB port if you have any films on a memory stick.

7. Gaming Consoles – Xbox Series S, £242.99

Xbox Series S is an affordable option if you're looking at consoles

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Xbox Series S is an affordable option if you’re looking at consoles

Both the Playstation and Xbox consoles will allow you to stream TV and film through their interface.

You can download the apps for all your favourite streaming platforms directly onto your Xbox home screen.

The cheapest on offer is the Xbox Series S, you can get up to 8K quality if you use an 8K capable HDMI cable.

The Xbox Series X is the high-end version, with 8K capabilities built in, 4K gaming and a bigger processor – it is also nearly double the price.

This is an expensive way to turn your old TV into a smart TV but if you are looking into a gaming console anyway it could kill two birds with one stone.

Xbox Series S console is also slightly discounted on Amazon at the moment.

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