Want to stream movies from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime TV etc but don’t have a smart TV? You don’t have to invest in an all-new smart TV – instead, you could buy yourself a smart digital player!
These internet-connected players hook into your TV, typically via HDMI, and allow you to stream TV series and movies on non-smart TVs!
Moreover, many of the following devices allow you to download and install additional apps on them, thus turning your TV into a smart-TV without having to replace it.
Interested? Great – below, let’s have a look at 10 devices that can turn a dumb TV into a smart one!
Table of Contents
1. Amazon Fire TV Stick
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is an excellent choice if you want something low-profile and inexpensive. Far cheaper than competitors like the Apple TV 4K, the Fire Stick offers an affordable entry into the world of smart TVs.
- Our most powerful streaming media stick.
- Watch favorites from Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and more. Stream for free with Pluto TV, IMDb TV, and more.
- Launch and control content with the Alexa Voice Remote.
Last update on 2020-11-30 at 22:50 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Fire Stick is its low-profile design. The Fire Stick looks like a slightly oversized USB stick, but it hooks to an HDMI input port.
Amazon offers the Fire TV Stick in several configurations – TV Stick Lite, the regular TV Stick, and Fire TV Stick 4K. The Lite stick is cheaper and more compact than other options, while Fire TV Stick 4K supports resolutions up to, well, 4K. All of these Stick versions also support HDR.
The Fire TV Stick supports popular streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO, and many others. Thanks to the plethora of free and paid apps, you may watch standard TV channels as well, and you may also install games to have fun with friends and family.
One thing to keep in mind with the Fire Stick is that it only supports Wi-Fi out of the box. For wired Ethernet, you’ll have to purchase the optional Amazon Ethernet adapter.
2. Apple TV 4K
- 4K High Dynamic Range (Dolby Vision and HDR10) for stunning picture quality
- Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound
- A10X Fusion chip for ultra-fast graphics and performance
Last update on 2020-11-30 at 23:40 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Apple TV 4K is very similar to the Fire Stick in terms of services and channels. There are some subtle differences in content, so we suggest that you have a deeper look into Apple TV 4K to figure out if it’s a good option for you.
The main difference of Apple TV 4K from the Amazon Fire Stick is size and price. Apple TV 4K is a fairly sizable box and thus could be a better option if you have free space on your TV stand.
Apple TV 4K supports Ethernet out of the box too, though it has Wi-Fi as well. But unless you have really good Wi-Fi, Ethernet will be better for 4K streaming.
The UI of Apple TV 4K is also cleaner and easier to use. It seems to have come straight from the iPhone, so it boasts the same eye-catching icons along with excellent convenience.
The picture and audio quality in Apple TV 4K seem to be better than in the Fire Stick as well, though in terms of technology, the two devices are similar.
3. Roku Streaming Stick+
- New! Peacock is now streaming on all Roku devices
- Wireless that goes the distance: Basement rec room? Backyard movie night? Bring ‘em on. The long-range wireless receiver gives you extended range and a stronger signal for smooth streaming even in rooms farther from your router
- Brilliant picture quality: Experience your favorite shows with stunning detail and clarity—whether you’re streaming in HD, 4K, or HDR, you’ll enjoy picture quality that’s optimized for your TV with sharp resolution and vivid color
Last update on 2020-11-30 at 19:20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Roku Streaming Stick+ is a worthy competitor to the Amazon Fire TV Stick. The pricing and features are very similar, but there are some subtle differences.
When it comes to usability and intuitiveness, the Streaming Stick+ is more pleasant since it’s not as loaded with ads as the Fire Stick.
However, the Fire TV Stick is much better integrated with Alexa. Aside from that, since the Fire TV Stick is Android-based, you may side-load HBO Max, Vudu, or any other Android app that isn’t supported by the Fire Stick natively.
When it comes to streaming, Roku is pretty rich – it offers over 500,000 movies and TV episodes, free TV, sports, and live news.
Technology-wise, Streaming Stick+ supports essentials such as HDR and 4K. However, unlike the Fire Stick, it doesn’t support any Ethernet adapters, so you better have good Wi-Fi at home.
The Now TV Smart Stick is a nice choice if you don’t need fancy features like HDR or 4K. Now TV markets this stick as an excellent choice for travel as well.
Although any streamer stick can be used while traveling, the fact that this stick is limited to Full HD may make your experience better in hotels where the internet speed is subpar.
The Now TV Smart Stick supports a wide range of streaming services, including Netflix and Disney+. Aside from that, the Smart Stick offers fairly affordable plans with access to sports and kids channels, as well as reality shows.
The Now TV Smart Stick is rather inexpensive as well, but that’s expectable given that you aren’t getting things like 4K or HDR.
Google Chromecast with Google TV allows you to watch over 700,000 movies and TV episodes and listen to millions of songs.
Not only that, but with Chromecast, you may stream content from your computer or smartphone straight to your TV.
Now, you may wonder why pick Chromecast with Google TV instead of just the cheaper Chromecast. Well, Chromecast with Google TV supports up to 4K with HDR, and it also allows you to control smart home devices.
What’s also notable about Chromecast and Google TV is that you are getting a bunch of deals out of the box. As of this post’s writing, you could get $60 off your first 3 months of YouTube TV, as well as get 6 months of Netflix for $89.99.
Chromecast with Google TV wonderfully integrates with other Google products and services too. Among other things, it allows you to watch your Google Nest camera stream straight on your TV. Plus, it can be operated via Google Assistant.
The highlight of YouView streaming devices is that they come with over 70 channels for free, including BBC One, BBC Two, HGTV, RT, talkSport, and more.
The free channels are mostly news- and sports-oriented, but perhaps you can find something interesting for yourself among them.
If you are willing to pay for movies and TV series, then you can also get access to mainstream services such as Netflix, Prime Video, CBS Catchup, and more.
When it comes to specs and features, YouView TV features HD and Ultra HD channels, 7-day catchup, and also offers multiple TV + broadband bundles to help you save money.
But if you want, you may buy YouView without any bundles and then decide what you want to watch and pay for.
The most remarkable thing about SkyStream Pro is that it supports up to 8K streaming. Now, this feature will only be practical if you have an 8K TV and if your watched services support this resolution.
Otherwise, you’ll have to stick to 4K or Full HD.
Do note that Netflix or Amazon Prime won’t be streamed in 4K on this device – only up to Full HD.
Another interesting feature is the support of apps from Google Play Store, including games and streaming apps.
SkyStream also advertises that this thing works anywhere in the world, but do keep in mind that the availability and pricing of streaming services may vary from country to country.
All in all, SkyStream Pro could be a nice option if you want to give 8K streaming a shot. But you’ll need a very serious Wi-Fi connection for this kind of load, and also don’t forget that 8K support may be limited.
8. Amazon Fire TV Cube
- The fastest, most powerful Fire TV streaming device.
- From across the room, just ask Alexa to turn on the TV, dim the lights, and play your show.
- Control compatible soundbar and A/V receiver, and change live cable or satellite channels with your voice.
Last update on 2020-11-30 at 23:40 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Amazon Fire TV Cube offers more or less the same features as the Fire TV Stick, but it’s more powerful and perhaps more convenient. If you don’t need the low-profile benefits of streaming sticks, this product may be a great choice.
When it comes to features, Fire TV Cube offers 4K with HDR, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision, as well as Dolby Atmos Audio. This is more or less the same as with the 4K Fire TV Stick.
With that said, the Fire TV Cube has 16 GB of storage space (versus the Stick’s 8), and it also has a more powerful hexa-core processor (quad-core in the Stick). The Cube should thus be smoother and perhaps will handle high-definition streaming better.
Out of the box, Amazon also includes an Ethernet adapter, so you’ll be able to hook the Cube to your wired network without extra investment.
The Dolamee D5 TV Box is based on Android and allows you to side-load various apps and games. Aside from that, the TV Box supports up to 4K, but it doesn’t have HDR.
What we like about the D5 box is that the seller offers multiple power plug options, so no matter where you are, you should be able to use this thing without any adapters.
10. Smart Blu-ray Player
- THIS BUNDLE INCLUDES: *Sony BDP-S3700 Wi-Fi Blu-ray Disc Player * Remote Control 2 x AAA Batteries *High speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet *3 PC Cleaning kit * Xterme Ear Buuds *1 Full Year Warranty By The Manufacturer
- STREAMING FROM YOUR FAVORITE APPS IN FULL HD: Access over 300 streaming services and enjoy endless entertainment including movies, TV shows, music and more from your favorite apps like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Amazon Instant Video, and more. Finding apps and features is simple with a graphical user interface. Browse on your TV screen with easy-to-navigate panels, Everything is neatly organized and quick to launch.
- DOLBY TRUE HD FOR SOUND AS THE DIRECTOR INTENDED: Enjoy peerless audio quality with Dolby TrueHD, which delivers lossless sound across movies and music. By reproducing sound identical to original studio masters, it offers unparalleled audio fidelity for Blu-ray Discs, DVDs and downloaded content.
Last update on 2020-11-30 at 23:50 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Finally, if you prefer to buy movies on Blu-ray discs, you could get yourself a smart Blu-ray player. A smart Blu-ray player can connect to the internet, allowing you to access the services of content providers such as Netflix, HBO, Disney+, Hulu, or more.
Probably not many people buy Blu-ray discs these days, but if you do and if your current player needs an upgrade, a smart Blu-ray player could help you turn your dumb TV into a smart one.