Sometimes the mobile or the computer can do something small when it comes to watching series or movies. Especially at the end of the day, when we want to avoid locking ourselves directly in the room or, simply, we want to share watching that entertainment on Netflix, Filmin or HBO together with another person.
At present, and as we have seen in ConsumptionClear, the Smart TV They are televisions that are already prepared for this assumption, by incorporating an internet connection. But it is also true that the audiovisual streaming sector has evolved a lot, and very quickly, in recent years.
That is why it is not surprising that some people do not have this type of television, even if they want to enjoy services such as Netflix or YouTube on them. Do you need to buy a Smart TV for this? Nothing is further from reality.
TV Boxes or Smart TV Boxes
The TV Boxes or Smart TV Boxes They are devices made to, specifically, give that connectivity to a traditional television. In this way, it is not necessary to invest in a new equipment, but through this tool we will be able to have a Smart TV on our old television.
In most cases, the only requirement is that our “TV” has an HDMI port to connect the TV Box. Now, what specifically do these devices offer?
It depends a lot on the model we choose. The cheapest can just work like a “projector”; that is to say, to reproduce the contents that we are seeing in the mobile. Others are much more complete and allow you to play video games, have music apps, etc.
The latter not only serve to be able to use the television with our mobile, but they usually have their own operating system – to find out what types of operating systems they use, visit our Smart TV quick guide. This turns our old TV into a completely new device.
What must be taken into account in a TV Box
These devices do not usually require a great deal of knowledge to install or use. But it is good to keep a few points in mind when buying one:
- Resolution. Most TV Boxes have a resolution of 1080p (Full HD) or 4K. This is important to take into account for our television: if its resolution is 4K, a 1080p TV Box will not take advantage of the screen. While in reverse, there could be some funnel effect.
- Connectivity. As we have said before, most of these devices have an HDMI output to connect it to the television. But it is also important to see what internet connection it allows and if you can connect it via Ethernet and save some bandwidth.
- Stick or Box? There are two types of models: stick-type TV Boxes or set-top-boxes. The first ones are small and usually go in the back of the TV, as hidden as possible. While the latter are “boxes” that will have to occupy a space.
The Chromecast is, of these devices, the simplest of all, although not the cheapest: 40 euros (although on sale it can go down to 20). It is a light equipment that does not take up space, and that only has an HDMI output and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.
Why is it the simplest of all? Because it works as a “projector” of our mobile: it only plays content that we are broadcasting from the mobile, although not all platforms are compatible with it.
There is a version, Chromecast with Google TV, with its own operating system: Android TV. It maintains simplicity in design, but gives a new life to the television that we have at home. In addition, you do not need to be connected to your mobile all the time. Of course, they are 70 euros.
For the same price as the Chromecast, that is for 40 euros, Amazon offers the Fire TV Stick. Supports resolutions of both 1080p and 720p with 60fps and 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz band wifi; which ensures a good connection and better reproduction.
In addition, it is included with a remote to control the interface, since this TV Box has an operating system (AOSP), and compatibility with Alexa. The main advantage is that it accepts all the streaming services that one can imagine: Prime Video, Netflix, Apple TV, Disney +, etc.
For 67 euros (60 on sale), this is the first set – top – box type. Xiaomi offers a very complete TV Box with a resolution of up to 4K, something very striking for its price.
It also has its own remote and uses Android TV as its operating system, so we won’t have any problems when it comes to enjoying both games and streaming content applications. In addition, it has 8 GB of storage, Ethernet port and compatibility with Google Assistant.
The best option for those who like, in addition to series and movies, play a game or enjoy a game, without the need for a console or a PC: the Nvidia Shield TV. It is a much more expensive device, 150 euros for the Lite version and 200 euros for the Pro version, but that brings great improvements.
First of all, it resizes the original resolution to which it is output, so that if you are receiving a video in 1080p, you have the ability to resize it to 4K. It has both Ethernet ports and Wi-Fi connectivity (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and Bluetooth and both options have a remote control and Google Assistant.
The standard version has 2 GB of storage, while the Pro has 16 GB; in both cases, it can be expanded with a microSD. In addition, it is compatible with the GeForce system, which is basically a streaming service for video games.
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