How To Make A TV A Smart TV?

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Updated January 21, 2023

Many consumers use “dumb” TVs regularly. As screen sizes get bigger, it may seem like these TVs are becoming less and less common. The number of smart TV users is forecast to grow to 119 million by 2022, representing about 58.3 percent of all connected TV users—however, some people still have dumb TVs and find themselves asking, “How do I make my TV a smart TV?” Lots of top-tier TVs are smart TVs, but you can also find a good selection of non-smart TVs if that’s your thing. Additionally, if you are going to make your TV smart, you might as well add Bluetooth to it as well. If this sounds like a good idea to you, we have a guide on how to make a TV Bluetooth. Also if you have a smart TV, don’t forget that you need to periodically update your smart TV to help prevent some software related problems.


  • Many devices capable of streaming use an HDMI cord to connect to the TV.
  • Consumers may find adapters for AV cords to HDMI cords.
  • Buy a digital media player to stream your content through.

Check for an HDMI Port to make your tv smart

Many streaming devices require an HDMI port to connect to the TV and show the images on the screen. Although many TVs have HDMI ports now, some older TVs may not have an HDMI port. People with these older TVs may still connect their streaming device to TVs with AV cords, which feature three ports in red, white, and yellow each. Many electronics retailers sell converters for people who need them. However, if you are looking for a new TV, check for HDMI ports ahead of time. HDMI ports should be labeled as such around the place the cord plugs in. Additionally, if you want to connect your computer to your TV, find out how you can make your computer fit your TV screen. And if you are like most people, you will have many devices connected to your TV and may run out of HDMI ports. If this happens, don’t worry you can check out our article on how to add more HDMI ports to TV.

Purchase a Digital Media Player

Several online retailers offer streaming sticks or boxes. These devices work when plugged into your TV and controlled using a designated remote. For some, you can even use your phone once the device is set up on your network. Each device will walk you through the set-up process, which will include connecting to your WiFi. Keep your password on hand for this setup. There are numerous options to choose from, including Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV stick, and the Roku streaming stick.  

Once the device is ready to go, you simply use the remote to scroll through the available apps or content. Most options will allow you to use a mobile device as a remote control as well.Some devices have the apps first, and then after going into the app you select the content. Other devices allow you to search for content across all of the apps. Most likely you will have to enter the app to watch either way. Devices put the content first to make it easier for you to find. Sometimes, the device will even have recommendations or watch lists. Additionally, some will allow you to use your voice with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control certain aspects of the device.

Access a Streaming Service

After setting up your device and TV, you will need to log into your streaming services. Many of these services require an account, and some need a subscription. However, there are a lot of streaming services available that do not cost anything. If you do a quick Google search, these services should become readily apparent. Additionally, you may discover new services through your streaming device. For the major streaming services, you will likely need a subscription. These subscriptions let you access new content and, sometimes, live TV. Make sure you have a good, solid internet connection if you are going to use streaming apps and the like to ensure you get high-quality streaming and not a choppy picture.

Many streaming media devices offer a variety of ways to access content. Some streaming services have content that was previously on other networks, like Netflix. Other services offer current TV with or without ads, like Hulu. Many streaming services also include content produced by their company. You should look for HDMI CEC-compliant devices for your peripherals if possible. These devices will allow your TV remote to control parts of the device as well, so you don’t have to have a bunch of different remotes at hand at all times. To learn more, you can read about what is CEC on TV. And if you are interested in improving the sound from your TV, consider mounting a soundbar to your TV. This will improve your streaming experience.


Can I Save Money by Buying a ‘Dumb’ TV?

You may be able to save some money by buying a non-smart TV. However, you may find yourself wanting to watch streaming services on the TV and buying a digital media player.

What is a smart TV?

A smart TV is a TV that can connect to the internet, access, and watch streaming content.

How do you turn a standard TV into a smart TV?

You can watch streaming services on a normal TV through the use of other devices. However, you will not be able to connect to these websites using your normal TV on its own.

STAT: The good news is that they do exist, and, according to our research, you can even go up to 65 inches. (source)

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