Unlike phones, you don't buy a new television set often. So, if your TV is few years old, there's a good possibility that it is not that "smart" by today's standards. With most hip people now enjoying Netflix on their Android or WebOS TVs, it is obvious to feel left out. Fret not though, you don't have to buy a new TV to catch up these folks. As long as your TV has an HDMI port, you can easily make it smarter with an external Android TV box or a stick. As opposed to investing in a new smart TV that will likely cost you over Rs 30,000 to 40,000, these gadgets can do the trick for less than 5k.
Price: Rs 2400
If you download tonnes of downloaded videos on your phone or laptop, then Teewe is a way to go. This dongle is easy to setup and doesn't require an Internet connection to mirror local content. The Teewe app plays plenty of popular videos formats. In short, it is quite friendly with your torrents. It also offers free access to many Hollywood and Bollywood blockbusters. The only drawback is that it lacks Netflix support.
Google Chromecast 2
Price: Rs 3400
When it comes to streaming devices, you can't go wrong with Google's Chromecast 2. The latest Chromecast improves upon its predecessor in many ways. For starters, it is more compact and better-looking. With Chromecast, you can explore and stream content from your smartphone, tablet or laptop to your TV's screen. With the goodness of Google's app repository, you get access to apps such as YouTube, Netflix, and Hotstar. The only drawback here is that even for mirroring local (offline) content, you require a working Internet connection.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Price: Rs 4000
Amazon has quite a different take on smart TVs. It is ideal for people who like to explore content. Amazon offers a large catalogue of apps including Hotstar, Eros Now, Gaana, YouTube, and its own Amazon Prime service. It doesn't even discriminate with its biggest rival Netflix. It relies heavily on its fancy voice-enabled remote controller. You can download the Amazon Fire TV Remote on your smartphone. However, if you are planning to beam videos from your phone to TV, then you are out of luck.
Xiaomi Mi Box
Price: $69 (approx Rs 4500)
Xiaomi knows how to offer more features to stay at the top of the game. The Chinese company's Mi Box combines the goodness of the Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast. What's more, it delivers it in a sleek body with Apple-esque aesthetics. The Mi Box has a voice-enabled remote much like the Fire TV and can also explore and stream content from your smartphone. It edges out the competition with flawless 4k playback and HDR video support. The only problem here is that you need a relative abroad to own this machine.
Honorary mention: Apple TV box
Price: Rs 13,500 for 32GB and Rs 17,900 for 64GB
Apple’s version of a smart TV box brings Siri to your big idiot box with polished video experience. It runs on Apple’s tvOS that easily mixes up with Apple’s ecosystem, offering a seamless multimedia experience to someone owning other Apple gadgets. Siri’s voice search makes it convenient for the viewer to search for content. Apart from the costlier price tag, the only drawback is the lack of dedicated third-party video apps on the platform.
by Chandrakant Isi. The author has been covering all-things-tech for over 10 years. He is a sci-fi aficionado, wannabe space explorer, and Content Lead at MySmartPrice.com....