If the functionality of a regular TV is not enough, then a 'smart set-top box' on the OS Android will come to the rescue. This device will turn any TV into a Smart TV in just a couple of minutes.
Smart prefix Android
The Smart TV set-top box, powered by Android, allows you to add options to even the most basic and outdated TV. With its help, it is possible to view photos and videos from external media, surf the Internet or watch videos on YouTube. The advantage of such a gadget is its mobility and low cost, as soon as the model becomes obsolete, you can buy a new one for several thousand rubles without updating the TV.
There are two types of such devices: sticks and full-fledged, free-standing attachments. They differ not only in size, but also in functionality. External set-top boxes for Android, connected via a LAN port, have the greatest number of options. Among the demanded and popular models on the market, it is worth noting:
- Xiaomi Mi 4 – a budget option, connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi. Supports 4K video;
- Nvidia Shield TV – multifunctional media player equipped with Chromecast technology, synchronization with the Smart Home system is possible;
- Vontar H96 Max is the top seller on the Aliexpress platform. Supports 4K format, voice control and mini-keyboard connection are available;
- Transpeed 6K – with declared support for 6K and a frame rate of 30 FPS.
Sticks are a compact version of a set-top box for Smart TV with limited capabilities. In appearance, they are similar to ordinary flash drives, but they are connected to the HDMI connector. The advantage of sticks is that there is no additional power source, and therefore no extra wires.
Types of attachments
There are three types of devices on the market. They differ in the level of functionality available for the TV:
- receiver or tuner. This device cannot be fully called a Smart TV set-top box. Its task is to support new broadcasting standards. As a result of connection, the TV will 'learn' to receive several dozen new channels and play files from external drives;
- media players. With their help, it is possible to increase the number of available channels to one and a half hundred (via IPTV), use online cinemas, load pages in a browser or watch videos on YouTube. By analogy with receivers, playback of photos or videos from external media is also available. This option is one of the most affordable and widespread;
- hybrids. Such devices combine the capabilities of a tuner and a classic media player for Android. Their only drawback is their high cost.
How to connect
You can convert a regular TV into a Smart TV in a few minutes. For the correct connection of the set-top box on Android, you need:
- Connect the smart device to the Internet. Depending on the model, the connection is made using a LAN cable or Wi-Fi;
- Connect the set-top box and TV via HDMI connector for newer models or RCA 'tulip' for earlier ones;
- Using the TV remote control, select the signal source in the menu. In this case, it will be HDMI 1 or HDMI 2, depending on the connector used;
- Customize the media player itself as you see fit.
Unlimited possibilities of TV with Android prefix
After connecting the 'smart' set-top box, any TV will be supplemented with new features:
- a variety of TV channels (up to 150). All media players support the ability to view IPTV in HD and FullHD quality;
- access to online cinemas. Here you can find free movies and TV shows without annoying ads, and after subscribing – new movies. A convenient option is to stop playback and resume viewing at any time;
- installation of any applications for Smart TV. These include online cinemas, games, and a variety of add-ons;
- viewing high quality content and reading files from storage devices. When you connect an external drive on the TV screen, you can view not only the usual photos and videos, but also videos in 4K or 6K format;
- support for accessories. For convenient surfing on the Internet, you can connect a keyboard, mouse or gamepad;
- the possibility of regular software updates and online support from the manufacturer.