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Can I make my Dumb TV Smart?


So, you visited your friends or family over the weekend and realize after seeing their home theater set up that you are stuck in the Stone Age with a Dumb TV.

They flip through their numerous apps, show you their ability to stream shows and movies, and even turn lights on and off in their home directly from their TV.

Your TV simply turns on and off, and you have to watch whatever is playing, without the ability to pick and choose.

To buy a new TV is out of the question as yours isn’t that old or you can’t justify spending the money on another one.

The problem is you can’t unsee the vast array of features that the Smart TV had, and you must have it, so you now have to determine:

Can I make my Dumb TV Smart?

how to make a dumb tv smart

Luckily for you, people have been asking this of home theater companies and television manufacturers since the debut of the first Smart TV in 2007. 

Now companies like Google, Roku, and Amazon have been coming up with ways to add a little intelligence to those who had purchased or continue to purchase Dumb TVs.

We have the best 3 ways to make your Dumb TV function like a Smart one. 

1. HDMI Connect to a Computer/Laptop

This is the quickest, easiest, and arguably the most powerful way to make your Dumb TV Smart. 

It does require that you own a laptop or a computer which you would be able to connect to your television via HDMI cord.

You can buy an HDMI cord from any electronic store and the setup once connected to your TV is zero, this is because you will be mirroring your computer screen onto your TV.

connect a laptop to a dumb tv using a HDMI cable

So anything you were able to do on your computer you will now be able to do on your TV, this limits you only to the restrictions of your computer and not a difficult-to-navigate menu that a Smart TV might offer.

The picture will project almost instantaneously, and you should not experience any lag or buffering that you wouldn’t expect from the computer itself.

Read more: How to connect my smartphone to a dumb TV?

2. Connect a Game Console or Blu-ray Player 

Now, this would be done in the same manner as connecting your PC to your TV. The fortunate aspect of this method is if you have purchased a game console in the last decade, there is a very good chance that it came with its own HDMI cord.

If you game regularly there is a chance that you are already doing this, as many consoles have operating systems similar to that of a Smart TV.

connect a game console to a dumb tv using a hdmi cable

The main difference between choosing to use your laptop versus using a game console or Blu-ray player, is that you will be limited to the operating system which the device uses.

This system could offer you the same apps and features as a Smart TV, there is just the chance that it could be slower, more difficult to navigate, or even uglier than the sleekness offered by recently released Smart TVs.

3. Purchase a Streaming Stick or Box

Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote (includes TV controls) | HD streaming device | 2020 release
Click image for more info

If it is important to you to really have that Smart TV look and feel, then you most likely will want to go out and grab yourself a streaming stick or box. 

It’s as though everyone who had the ability to create an external operating system for Dumb TVs did, the market is flooded with tons of great options from well-known manufacturers such as:

  • Amazon
  • Roku
  • Apple
  • Google
  • TiVo
  • Xfinity
  • Nvidia

With all these massive companies competing for your TV’s intelligence, there are dozens of viable options and this gives the consumer the ability to choose which device best suits his needs.

It is even a common practice for owners of a Smart TV to purchase an external streaming device, as they are able to get the exact features and functions that they desire, while still having the Smart TV platform to fall back on if needed.

These little machines are usually very portable, and many don’t require any form of eternal power, drawing what they need from the TV itself.

I have a Smart TV but want a Dumb one…

unplug the internet

Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

While there are many benefits to having a Smart TV or buying an external streaming device, sometimes people just want to get back to the basics.

With the large television manufacturers trying to slowly phase out Dumb TV’s, the price gap between the two continues to dwindle, and buying a Smart TV will soon become the only reasonable option. 

But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are stuck navigating through all those unused apps just to put on your favorite show.

If you have a Smart TV but you have no desire to use the features provided you can simply choose to not sync your Wi-Fi to the television.

If your intention is to buy a Smart TV but use it as a Dumb one please do your research beforehand, as some televisions will not allow you to get past the initial set up without connecting to your Wi-Fi, essentially locking you out of your television.

To Conclude

With technology moving so rapidly it is hard to tell what is next for the “average” television set. Smart TVs have been around for just over a decade and their capabilities are immense.

From streaming basically any show or movie ever made to controlling all your synced gadgets around your home, to even checking who is at the door via your doorbell camera stream, the possibilities seem endless.

Even the poor souls who purchased a TV prior to the release of the first Smart TV have the ability to enjoy the same features as a person with one.

Do not be envious of your family members or friends with Smart TVs because there are many options out there for enjoying the same features, and they will only continue to improve.

Pick which options best suit your needs and see if you can have some envious looks shot your way as well.


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