DIY Smart TV
We haven't had cable for over 9 years. I didn't have cable for 3 years before that. I have never owned a smart tv and I have all the features a smart tv needs (without spending too much). I watch youtube videos on my TV, Netflix all of it. Let me tell you how I've managed to avoid the brouhaha of the cable TV world and still enjoy my content.
It began with my laziness to re-set up my set top box (which I inherited from my grandmother's home when she passed) after I moved to Gurgaon in 2010. I had bought a DVD player with a CD/DVD/USB option as well as a LED TV (which I bought in 2009) with a HDMI port (much much before people even knew what HDMI port was). Over time, we were happy with using pen drives to get our content and we had plenty of friends who were generous to share their movies with us too. But I remember being happy to get a HDMI port because I could sync my camera with the screen and see my raw footage (using the camera as a player and the TV as a monitor). Who would have thought that the HDMI plug would be the key to accessing the internet to my non smart tv. I had a theory that if you connect your TV to an internet accessible device it may relay things on it. So, if you connect an Apple TV or a Firestick to it, the TV becomes a monitor and your streaming media players become like mini dish antennas catching the internet and streaming it onto your non smart TV. My first purchase was Apple TV and it worked. Recently we got the Fire Stick and that too worked but because my TV wasn't 4K and just HD I bought the non 4K devices. Voila I was right! And we got a DIY Smart TV! I had successfully created a Smart TV without buying a new one and just 'investing' in streaming media devices. Aside: The only reason I didn't opt for Chrome Cast was because I thought iOS would clash, but in recent times, there are ways to apply android and iOS into one device like Anycast Wireless WiFi 1080P HDMI Display TV Dongle Receiver Supports Windows iOS, Android - Black Price: ₹ 1,650.00 which universalises things.
So here's a STEP BY STEP : DIYSMART TV
Number 1- Buy a TV set with two HDMI ports and a USB port (I've given you a list below). My TV plays avi files and nothing else (that was 11 years ago) but any upgraded non smart TV version do play MKV, MOV, MP4 files too. I missed that, but its ok.
Firestick costs: ₹ 3,199.00 (deal of the day price) otherwise the price can go up to ₹ 3999. I would even recommend if you have an Apple tv, this is a good investment to add to your 'content experience' because it's a cheaper way to get free downloads from international apps. And of course Prime content may cater to a lot more people in your home than Netflix would (I Love them both). Firestick allows you to use any and every app to steam content into your TV. Many are paid memberships, but logging in is never an issue.
Apple TV 4K (64GB) costs: ₹ 19,480.00 or Apple TV 4K (32GB) costs ₹ 17,430.00 so this makes sense if you have an iMac at home because the desktop becomes a VCR and syncs your content to your TV and even your phone can airplay content. I personally have both Firestick and Apple because I use my computer as a method to give my child an array of shows and content she would want to enjoy. I drop the content/movies etc into iTunes videos on the studio computer, while she can access and choose from the content from the remote on her TV which is in the bedroom! Love that. I bought Apple tv 2nd generation and didn't pay too much for it and it still works so I'm happy. They've stopped all generations of Apple TV except the 4k one.
Number 3- And finally, get a fantastic internet plan. Most of us have excellent internet but getting a crazy speed for your interest that your whole family can enjoy things makes it easier (Less buffering). And that's it. Three steps to a DIY SMART TV
Cheap Non Smart TV Options
LG 60 cm (24 Inches) HD Ready LED TV 24LJ470A (GOLD) (2017 model) Price: ₹ 8,999.00
Sanyo 109 cm (43 Inches) Full HD (2019 Model) Price: ₹ 16,990.00
eAirtec 81 cm (32 inches) HD Ready LED TV 32DJ (Black) (2020 Model) Price: ₹ 6,899.00
Media Streaming Devices
Fire TV Stick 4K Price: ₹ 4,799.00
Fire TV Stick HD Price: ₹ 3,199.00