How is your Smart TV dreamed? For years the various TV manufacturers have been looking to provide extra features and applications to their best models. Along the way there have been individual attempts, partnerships with giants like Google and in the last year, a battle of advanced operating systems.
Despite these attempts, the most common to most advanced TV and have a complete reproduction such as local content or streaming services with applications still connect an external device and the TV options multiply regardless of model or brand of your television that we have.
Today the market options are very numerous, powerful and sufficiently different so that there is considerable uncertainty when it comes to choose the model that best fit what we seek. Touch analyze major products and set-top boxes in the market and offer our shopping guide set-top boxes for a Smart TV to our liking.
Simple, powerful and quite affordable. This could be a perfect definition of Chromecast, one of the most successful products in the market to turn your television into a Smart TV.
What makes Google and now in its second generation. It is basically a stick that connect to one of the HDMI ports on your TV (also need to feed via your microUSB port) and get a direct, simple and fairly complete link between our smartphone (or Chrome browser of your computer) to the TV. Simply select the application and content and throw the TV one click.
Its strong points: very cheap, no space, we can take comfort from side to side and is very simple to configure and use.
Its weak points: what you can do with it exclusively concern the smartphone or the Chrome browser on your computer. And only you can send content from supported applications. His fluency depends on the quality of your home WiFi connection.
Price: 39 euros in Fnac.
After years of waiting, the content streamer Apple has improved in its latest version to be much more powerful thanks to the arrival of native applications for the Apple TV. Its users have the advantage of huge ecosystem and quality of many of the major applications you want to use a Smart TV.
The new Apple TV, and fourth generation, remains closed for playing local content directly from an external memory, but it is perfectly integrated between the world of the company's products (we can double screen smartphones or tablets) and assistant Siri voice becomes even more powerful intuitive interface.
Its strengths: ecosystem of applications, integration with Apple products, interface control games using Bluetooth and Siri.
Its weak points: No expansion ports, you can not play content from external storage directly, without support UHD content.
Price: 179 euros in the English court.
One candidate to conquer the living room TV is Android version for Smart TV. With the Nexus Player we can bring that experience to any TV with an HDMI input for only 99 euros. As with the Apple TV, here users Google applications and services will be in their field.
Although we can set you apps from Google Play, not all the media dependence on streaming services is almost complete, so in this section for now nothing but a fuller Chromecast but without excessive advantages (one of which is the voice assistant) to justify the price increase. We are not facing a DVD of content that we can connect an external hard drive and move on, but streaming.
Its strengths: design, integration with Google services like YouTube or store applications, including command.
His weaknesses: fair internal memory, limited native applications, microUSB OTG port easy to use.
Price: 99 euros
More than 2,500 channels of on-demand content is what promises to put on your TV the most complete model of Roku, 4. It is compact, powerful, and integration with the smartphone interface directly. It also allows through its own channel playback content from USB memory directly and via DLNA.
Good details of a reproductive specialist content noticeable on things like command buttons with direct access to the headphone or the button on the Roku 4 to find the remote when we lost.
Its strengths: there are different models to choose from (prices and very extensive features), the remote controls are complete and very practical, they are virtually all services and channels and VOD streaming that matter.
His weaknesses: its main markets are the US and UK now, the interface may seem less attractive than the others.
Price: $ 130
Amazon, which has its demand content service, also has a streamer of content that makes more advanced your TV. It is the most powerful on the market, compatible with 4K content.
Its strengths: integration of streaming services, power, no one (but more limited) version stick more affordable and quality compatible applications and games.
His weaknesses: limited to US market (especially if you're Amazon Premium user), expensive for what it offers.
Price: $ 100
Sticks HDMI Android
One of the most sought after devices in recent times are the HDMI sticks with Android. With them you can turn any TV into a Smart TV with Android based, but with applications, interface and operation identical to what we have on a smartphone or tablet Android.
Here it is important to look at connectivity, and see what support content delivery protocols are supported. Some of the most notable models are the MK902 Rikomagic 100 Floureon MK808B euros or about 50 euros.
Its strengths: options for multimedia playback applications, connectivity, Android games.
His weaknesses: interface and applications not suited for use in TV overwhelmingly, need control for better interaction.
Price: from 40 euros
If you are sure you have the player always connected to the TV console. The new generation models focus part of its appeal in the entertainment, and the Xbox One, tuned TDT included, is the advanced student. Netflix, TED, Skype, Twitch, YouTube, or RTVE Xbox Video on demand are some of the services and applications that complement local content playback.
You can also use your Sony PS4 to more advanced your TV. It goes a step behind Microsoft model, but includes some of the main protagonists of video on demand (Wuaki.tv, Youtube, TotalChannel, Clan ...) and applications such as Plex.
Its strengths: powerful voice interface and wizards.
His weaknesses: dependence on short ecosystem of applications, use the console command.
Price: 329 euros
Combining different solutions connected via DLNA playback with NAS is one of the most common to have demand content directly on your television. What if the same NAS player could serve us and even use Android applications?
The last Qnap NAS, CAS-268, does just that. This server combines the QTS and Android operating systems, so you can use it as a classic and powerful NAS, but also as a multimedia player with support for 4K content and especially as an element which run Android applications that can be installed directly from our Google account Play.
Its strengths: A powerful device for various uses, up to 2 TB capacity, connectivity, good design.
His weaknesses: Smart TV functions depend Android applications that are not optimized for use in a television requires control or keyboard.
Price: 250 euros
In the event that your idea of Smart TV mainly include access to local content and media player with streaming services but from the computer, there are different solutions that can avail yourself.
The most affordable, compact and interesting for their possibilities is a Raspberri Pi. With Kodi we can have not only a very complete multimedia player quite a Smart TV with the help of additives, including mirroring our smartphone (PiCast).
Its strengths: potential to turn the device into whatever we want, size, price and upgrade options.
His weaknesses: Requires knowledge to install additions and focuses too much on multimedia playback.
Price: 66 euros (full pack with housing and card)