Routersnetwork is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How Do I Know If I Have A Smart TV? [4 Ways to Turn TV into Smart TV]

How Do I Know if I Have a Smart TV?

Televisions have evolved in much the same way as mobile phones. Back in the day, we had regular TVs and mobile phones. But the evolution of technology has made gives us smart electronics and gadgets.

The majority of the TVs manufactured today are smart TVs. The easiest way to find out whether you have a smart TV is by checking your remote control and menu options. If it has apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu, you have a smart TV. Also, check if you have connectivity options such as an Ethernet port, Wi-Fi on the back of your television. However, if you are still not sure, you have Google to help you. Just search the TV model number and check.

If you are intrigued to more about a smart TV or how to turn your TV into a smart one, you should give this article a read.

What is a Smart TV?

To define it in simple terms, a smart TV is a digital TV set with built-in computer technology that is designed for entertainment applications. Smart TVs are advanced than regular TVs. They combine the internet and the integration of apps to give you an enhanced user experience.

A smart TV is more than just a live broadcast. You can use it to connect to the internet, browse features, and stream movies and shows. Smart TVs come with their operating system and graphical user interface just like in the case of a computer.

Aside from accessing the internet, a smart TV can also access music, videos, and images from your other storage devices on the same Wi-Fi network. The most popular entertainment apps you will find on a smart TV are Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video. You can also customize your TV the way you like.

What Features Make A TV Smart?

Certain features separate a smart TV from a regular one. In this section, we will look into the features that make a TV smart.

  1. Operating System: A smart TV has its operating system. For example, if you are using an Android TV, it will have an android OS. Whereas an Apple smart TV will come with TvOS.
  2. Internet Connection: You can use your smart TV to connect to the internet and browse features as you do it on your computer.
  3. Streaming Apps: One of the best features of smart TVs is the availability of streaming apps. A smart TV comes with streaming apps like Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc.
  4. Games: You can also use your smart TV to play games. Some of the advanced TV models can access the PlayStation Now game streaming service.
  5. Music Streaming: When you can stream movies and play games on your smart TV, then why not stream music? A smart TV comes with music streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, etc.
  6. App Store: A smart TV will also have an app store. This allows you to download various applications on your TV without having to use your smartphone.
  7. Social media: Yes, you can even access your social media accounts from your smart TV. From Facebook to Twitter you can access the major social sites using your smart television.

Methods to Know if My TV a Smart TV or Not?

So you want to know whether you have a smart TV. Since you cannot ask your television whether it is smart or not, you will have to find other ways to conclude.

  1. One of the best ways to check if your TV is smart is to check the menu options. Check if your television has an app store. If it does, then you are certainly the owner of a smart TV.
  2. You can also check your remote control for buttons that say Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video on it. If you find these buttons on your remote, you have a smart TV.
  3. Another way is to check the back of your TV. If it has an embedded LAN port and HDMI port, then it is a smart television.

A smart TV should have all of these features. Look out for these features and you will know if you have a smart TV or not.

How to Make Your TV a Smart TV

There are various ways in which you can turn your regular TV into a smart TV. We will be discussing some of the popular methods in this section.

Method 1. Smart Media Player

One of the most popular ways is to use a smart media player and hook it up to your TV’s HDMI input. You will find smart media players in different sizes, shapes, and operating systems. This is why you should get a media player that will work well with other devices in your home such as your tablet, computer, smartphone, smart speaker, etc. 

Let’s say your family members use Android-based smartphones and tablets. In this case, you should go for an Android TV-based smart media player. Similarly, if you are a hardcore Apple user, then you need an Apple-based media player and so on.

Here are some of the popular streaming devices you can use:

#1. Fire TV Stick 4K Streaming Device with Alexa Voice Remote

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of the most preferred smart media players out there. This small device can be plugged into your TV’s HDMI port and connect to the internet via your Wi-Fi connection.

Why Did we Like it?🤔

First of all Amazon Fire TV Stick has a simple setup that works similar to any other Fire TV device. You don’t have to struggle much to set up your Amazon Fire TV. Just plug it into your TV HDMI port and follow the instructions.

Another thing we like about Amazon Fire TV is that it has an Alexa voice assistant. Just press the microphone button and ask Alexa to do things for you. This is to give you a hands-free experience.

The best thing about using Amazon Fire TV is that it can stream 4K media. With this media player, you can stream your favorite apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vevo, etc., in ultra-HD 4K. 

What Could Have Been Better?

Few things could have been better. For instance, Amazon Fire TV Stick lacks an Ethernet adapter port. This could be a problem for some users. Another issue is the absence of Google Play apps. Apart from this two, we don’t have any more complaints about this device.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • 4K streaming
  • Supports Amazon’s Alexa
  • Quick Wi-Fi streaming
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • No Ethernet port
  • No Google apps 

#2. Apple Streaming TV 4K HD Media Player

Apple TV is a kind of streaming set-top box that needs to be plugged into your TV and connected to the Wi-Fi. By doing so, you can access streaming apps and other content.

Why Did we Like it?🤔

After a long time, Apple made a move to 4K HDR streaming and we very much appreciate that. The best thing about Apple TV 4K is the interface and features. It gives you access to an app store where you can find dozens of apps such as Apple TV+, Netflix, NOW, YouTube, Disney+, Spotify, and so on.

With Apple TV you can select video streaming in 4K. It also supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10 with compatibility across various streaming devices.

Apple TV is linked to your Apple ID which allows you to access music, games, and movies through the iTunes store.

What Could Have Been Better?

Compared to other similar services Apple’s selection of streaming apps is still small. Also, they haven’t updated some of the apps for 4K streaming.

Pros

  • 4K and HDR support
  • Strong & powerful performance
  • Supports Siri

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Some apps are not updated for 4K streaming

#3. Google Chromecast (3rd Generation)

The Google Chromecast with Google TV is quite similar to Amazon’s Fire TV Stick. All you need to do is plug it in your TV’s HDMI port and connect it to the Wi-Fi wirelessly. It comes with an intuitive interface that allows you to access all your favorite streaming apps from a single screen.

Why Did we Like it?🤔

First of all Google Chromecast is one of the most affordable streaming devices available in the market. Plus, it is easy to use and allows users to cast content from their mobile, laptop, or tablet.

Another great thing about Chromecast is the amazing picture quality. It is one of the best streaming quality available out there. It supports streaming in 4K, HDR, and 1080p.

What Could Have Been Better?

We don’t have any complaints regarding Google Chromecast. However, we would like to point out one thing is that the Live TV tab is only supported YouTube TV.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • 4K video streaming
  • Intuitive interface
  • Supports Google Voice assistant
  • Can be connected with Google Home

Cons

  • Missing some streaming apps

#4. Roku

If you choose Roku, you can either get a Roku streaming stick or box. Regardless of what you choose, you need to plug it directly into your HDMI port and connect it to the Wi-Fi. Roku has more than 2,000 apps that you can access for your entertainment.

Why Did we Like it?🤔

The best thing about Roku is that it has a huge selection of streaming apps. You will find all the big names like Netflix, NOW, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Hulu, along with other niche apps and services for sports, movies, news, etc.

With Roku, you can enjoy 4K streaming and HDR10 support. The company may not has its TVs, but they have pushed the television market to incorporate Roku into their screens.

What Could Have Been Better?

There’s hardly anything that we don’t like about Roku. We think it is a great streaming device for all types of users.

Pros

  • Lots of Streaming Apps
  • Supports 4K and HDR10
  • Great interface
  • Everything in a single unit

Cons

  • Bit expensive

Method 2. Set-Top-Box

Set-top boxes are yet another great option to go for. Almost all set-top boxes give you access to apps and players, so you can stream content on demand. With a set-top box, you can access services like ITV Hub, and iPlayer.

Why Did we Like it?🤔

The best thing about using a set-top box is that it eliminates all sorts of disturbances that you usually face with other streaming devices.

With a set-top box, you can select the channels as per your choice. Plus, they have also improved the picture quality.

What Could Have Been Better?

The only problem with a set-top box is that it restricts free to air channels.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Lots of channels to stream
  • High picture quality
  • Can choose channels as per your choice

Cons

  • Expensive

Method 3. Gaming Consoles

If you own a gaming console like PlayStation or Xbox, you can use that to turn your regular TV into a smart TV. These gaming consoles have access to apps like Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Besides that, they have a lot of storage space as well. You can use the storage space to store your physical audio/video files on the device.

But there are certain quirks with these gaming consoles. For instance, the controllers are not easy to use. You will have to buy a multimedia remote controller for an extra price. Another problem is that these consoles will not work with your smart home products. If you are ready to deal with these issues, then you can use your gaming console to turn your dumb TV into a smart TV.

Method 4. HDMI Cable

If you don’t have a gaming console or don’t want to spend money on a smart media player, you should put your good old cables to use. It is the most affordable way to turn your dumb TV into a smart one.

All you need to do is take an HDMI cable and use it to connect your laptop to your TV. This way you can extend or mirror the laptop screen onto the TV. Buying an HDMI cable will hardly cost you any money.

What’s the Difference Between a Smart TV and a Regular TV?

To choose between a smart TV and a non-smart TV, you need to first understand the difference between the two.

A smart TV is an evolved form of a regular TV set. They come with much more features that you won’t find in a normal television.

With a smart TV, you get a sharper display, internet connectivity via Wi-Fi, streaming options, and more. It also comes with USB ports to connect your other devices like phones, digital cameras, tablets to your smart TV. That’s not all; you can also play games and access your social media accounts from a smart television.

Most smart TVs are equipped with voice control features and some of them are also compatible with Google and Alexa. All of these smart features are added to give you an enhanced user experience.

With a smart TV, you can stream your favourite Netflix series on a much bigger screen than your computer. In other words, smart TVs are changing the face of home entertainment. A smart TV is not an Idiot Box anymore. 

One of the best things about smart TVs is that they are not dependent on a set-top box connection. You can straightaway access everything online. From movies to series to music, you can stream it on the internet.

You can enjoy all of these features only on a smart TV. Unlike a normal TV set, a smart TV doesn’t give you limited options. You can have full control over your smart TV and entertain yourself the way you want.

Why Should you Convert Old TV Instead of Buying a New Smart TV / Android TV?

Many people are converting their old TVs into new smart TVs. We will tell you why it is a good option.

Smart TVs come with a plethora of features, which automatically makes them expensive. If you are unable to invest in a smart TV at the moment, you can turn your old TV smart. Buying a smart media player or an HDMI cable is any day more affordable than investing in a new smart TV.

If you want a smart TV but don’t have the budget for it, you can follow the methods mentioned above to turn your old TV into a smart one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Which Companies Make Smart TVs?

Ans. Almost all major companies make smart TVs. If you want a quality smart TV, you can opt for companies like Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Philips, LG, and Panasonic. These are all leading electronic brands in the market.

Q2. How do Smart TVs Connect to the Internet?

Ans. A smart TV uses your home network to internet services on your TV. They use wired Ethernet and built-in Wi-Fi to stay connected to the web. With a smart TV, you can browse the internet and enjoy streaming services.

Q3. Can a Smart TV Hang or Crash like a Computer?

Ans. Just like our computers and smartphones even a smart TV can hang or crash. But the good news is that manufacturers are using more powerful processors, memory, outfitted systems, and components to prevent these issues. They have also refined the software platforms so that they can handle apps and TV functions better.

Q4. Is it Worth Adding a Google Chromecast to a Smart TV?

Ans. If you want to cast your computer local files to your TV or you want to mirror your phone’s screen to your TV, Chromecast will be a good choice.

Q5. Why Should you Have a Smart TV?

Ans. Smart TV sets come pre-loaded with interactive interfaces to facilitate ease of use. This makes it easy for you to switch between streaming services, apps, and other options.

Q6. Why Should you Have a Smart TV?

Ans. Yes, your smart TV can work even without the internet. You can watch TV channels using an antenna or cable box; connect it to Blu-ray/DVD players, etc. In short, you will be able to use it like a regular TV.

Closing Word on Smart TV & a Regular TV

Having a smart TV is like using 2-3 devices at once. You can use it for streaming, accessing the internet, play games, reach social media, and whatnot. Smart TVs are any day better than a normal TV. However, if you don’t have the budget to buy a smart TV, you can turn your old TV into one. All you have to do is follow the methods mentioned in this post. It is a cost-effective way of getting the services of a smart TV.

Leave a Comment