Transforming an ordinary TV into a smart one is possible, easy and fits in all kinds of pockets. Regardless of the device chosen to make the conversion, it is necessary that the TV has an HDMI input and, preferably, that the house has a secure Wi-Fi network.
lists the best devices to turn a regular TV into a smart one. Watch Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime and more directly from the big screen.
Chromecast is a streaming device made by Google. It is compatible with Android 5.0 or later and iOS 11.0 or later, as well as computers running at least Mac OS 10.9 with Chrome, Windows 7 or Chrome OS. The most current version on sale in our country is the chromecast 3.
Launched in 2022, it is available in black and white and weighs just 40g. It offers 1080p image resolution at 60fps and 802.11ac (2,4GHz/5GHz) Wi-Fi connectivity. In terms of ports, it has an HDMI output and a microUSB input for charging.
For smartphones or tablets, it is necessary to download the Google Home app to carry out the integration. The apps are downloaded from the Play Store and run on the device itself, being only transmitted to the TV.
Some apps are supported and allow you to use your mobile device normally while the content is displayed on your TV.
On the computer, mirroring is done through Chrome. When accessing certain sites with the device turned on, the Google Cast icon will appear, which indicates the possibility of transmission. Just click on it to start mirroring.
The launch price of Chromecast 3 in our country was R$ 349,00.
To find out which is the best Chromecast and more about the device, check out our guide Understand how Chromecast works and turns your TV into a smart one.
2. Fire Stick TV
O Fire Stick TV Basic Edition is the Amazon dongle available in our country. Unlike Chromecast, it has its own operating system based on Android, Fire OS, and comes with a remote control.
Launched in 2022, it offers 720p and 1080p quality images at up to 60 fps (frames per second) and has two Wi-Fi antennas compatible with 2x2 MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n/ac technology.
The device has 8 GB of internal storage, available for the operating system and 1 GB of memory for running applications and games. The hardware also has a MediaTek Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz processor and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity. Connection to the TV is via the HDMI port.The device also allows you to mirror the screen of smartphones running Android 4.2 or higher, as long as they are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and kept at a distance of less than 10m.
The launch price of Fire Stick TV Basic Edition in our country was R$ 289,00.
3. Microsoft Wireless Display AdapterNovo Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter
O Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter is a device equipped with Wi-Fi Miracast technology. This means you don't need internet to mirror Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 tablets and computers to your TV.
As you may have noticed, the device does not have native compatibility with Android devices. But, if you really need to, you can transmit the screen of cell phones with the operating system to the computer. The process, however, is a kind of digital "gambiarra".
For this, the Continnum application must be downloaded on PCs with Windows 10. Then, the smartphone must be synchronized with the computer program, which will reproduce the mobile screen. In this case, the adapter will stream the mobile screen playback on the PC to the TV.
The launch price of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter in our country was R$ 349,00.
Anycast is a dongle whose look is clearly inspired by the first version of Chromecast. THE AnyCast M2 Plus It is the most popular model of the brand and has built-in 802.11n (2.4GHz) Wi-Fi, which means that an internet connection is not required to perform the mirroring.
The device supports electronics compatible with Miracast and Airplay wireless communication technologies. So it is able to mirror the screen of devices running Android, iOS, Mac OS and Windows 8.1 and 10 (with Continnum program).
AnyCast M2 Plus also has DLNA technology, present in some electronics such as televisions. Through it, it is possible to create a home network to carry out the transmission of contents.
The 18g device promises image resolution of 1080p at 60 and 30fps and 720p at 60 fps. The value of Anycast varies widely in online stores, but it is without a doubt the cheapest option on our list.
5. Apple tv
Launched in 2022, the new edition of Apple TV 4K is the most robust option of the brand's set-top boxes. Compatible with content playback in 2160p at 60 fps (4K HDR), it is equipped with an A10X Fusion processor with 64-bit architecture, the same as iPads.
There are two storage options (32GB or 64GB), 3GB of RAM and 802.11ac Wi‑Fi connectivity with MIMO technology (2,4GHz and 5GHz). Internet connection can also be made via Ethernet.
The connection to the TV is made via an HDMI cable. Despite having a remote control, the user can control it through their own iPhone, via AirPlay 2 technology.
In addition to apps, Apple TV also supports games available on the App Store and the Apple Arcade service. The set-top box supports Bluetooth 5.0, which allows the user to play games using DualShock 4 controllers for PlayStation or wirelessly for Xbox.
The cheapest Apple TV 4K model has a launch price of BRL 1.299,00.
6. Mi Box (Android TV)
Unlike Apple TV, Android TV does not refer to a device. But yes, to the Android-based operating system developed especially for streaming devices and smart TVs.
Like Android for smartphones, the software is used by different brands, in devices with different configurations. THE Mi Box, from Xiaomi, is one of them. The set-top box weighs only 176 g and its apps and games can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
With one of the best price-quality ratios on the market, it supports 4K resolution at 60fps and lets you execute voice commands via Bluetooth. Equipped with Android TV 6.0, it has quad-core Cortex-A53 2.0GHz processor and Mali 450 750MHz dedicated video processor.
It stands out for having 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 8GB of eMMC flash memory. If you need to expand the device's capacity, just connect a USB-proof pendrive and save whatever you want.
In terms of connectivity, it has Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz) and Bluetooth 4.0 and 3.0. The connection with the TV is made through an HDMI2.0a port, which promises transmission speed at 18Gbps.
On the official page of the brand on AliExpress, you can find it for around US$ 60 (about R$ 300,00).
7. Video games
The most modern video games, such as PS4 and the XBox One, are practically computers connected to your TV. It is quite likely that those who have these devices play online games and, therefore, know that they offer connectivity to Wi-Fi networks.
These consoles could make the smart TV dream a little closer. After all, both allow you to download apps from their app stores that don't necessarily have to do with the world of video games.
Among them are YouTube, NetFlix, Amazon Prime Videos and more. The number of programs available varies by platform. But it might be enough for those who don't want to invest in a TV with an internet connection and want to take advantage of the main video streaming apps.
To do this, just download the desired application. Depending on the case, you must have an account and/or subscription to the service. The downside is that while watching a movie or series, for example, no one will be able to play a game of Fortnite, GTA or FIFA.
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