Budget-Friendly SMART TV Upgrade You Have To Know

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

With binge-watching getting more popular over the years, owning a Smart TV is now a necessity, especially if you have kids at home. Even owning a cable TV, it’s still not good enough as time is usually an issue, don’t you think? We’ve all outgrown that phase where we can allocate a specific time to watch our favourite TV programme on TV. Now, most of us binge-watch everything on our smartphones, which is more convenient; however, it would be unhealthy for children. They’ll quickly get attached to smartphones, and that would create a problem in the future.

Having a child at home, I found it hard to always say no when my child asks for screen time when he hasn’t been able to go out and play like he used to. I’ve been in lockdown mode ever since the first wave of the pandemic, one of the biggest problems I faced at first was entertainment. I know parents should spend more time with their child, but I’m spending time with him 24 hours, and I surely need some ‘me’ time too. It’s a struggle to juggle entertaining your child and working from home, which doesn’t include never-ending house chores too. So one of the ways I could get some work done was by giving him some screen time, but after a while, I got worried.

Last year when the pandemic started, I owned a decade-year-old hand-down TV from my dad which is still functional, but we rarely open it because our TV signal is so bad. My husband and I were rarely at home before, and my son spent most of his time at my parent’s home, so we didn’t care much about the TV. But ever since we’ve been spending time at home every day, I knew I needed a working TV because my son is used to having the TV always on at my parent’s home. That’s why he kept asking for screen time at home, and we could only give him a smartphone for it.

To fix this problem, I had to come up with a solution that didn’t require me to spend a lot because I thought this would be a short-term problem. My first solution was to get that old TV working correctly again, so I bought the MYTV TV box for the free digital TV. Well, that only worked for a short while, but then I couldn’t use it again, and it was no help either as my son kept asking to watch cartoons on Youtube Kids and Netflix. So my problem still wasn’t fixed.

So I thought I should buy a SMART TV, but after surveying the price, I didn’t seem to want to spend that much because I still thought it was not worth it. We’re going to go back to our everyday lives, and that TV will dust away, LOL… how wrong was I back then. I also did not think opting for cable TV was a good idea either as we’re already on Netflix, Viu, Disney Hotstar, you name it, I’ve subscribed.

Then I finally came across a solution, a quick fix to upgrade my old TV, and it’s cheap too! It is way more affordable than buying a SMART TV. It converts any TV to an ANDROID TV, and it was the proper fix for my problem. Below is a list of products that could change your TV to an Android TV:

Xiaomi TV Stick / Mi Box

Picture Credit To Seller

The Mi Stick & Mi Box are the most popular devices that are viral on TikTok. It seems like everyone is buying this on Shopee and upgrading their old TV to a SMART one. The Xiaomi TV Stick and Mi Box are pretty much the same things, only that the specifications of the Mi Box are better than the stick.

Purchase: https://shp.ee/be7r5b5

Google Chromecast

Picture Credit To Seller

If you don’t want a China brand product, you can go for the Google Chromecast. It’s the same as the Xiaomi Stick, but most say it’s an upgraded version of it. I’m not so sure about that, but it should be good since it’s a product from a giant company.

Purchase: https://shp.ee/ti888qm

Android Boxes

Okay, I couldn’t specify a specific brand to highlight as there are just so many available. I’m not a tech pro, so it’s better if I don’t advise, but you can get the idea that these Android Boxes would certainly upgrade your TV. They could do way more if you study a bit about these, as some people are offering services to install channels like you own a cable TV but without having to pay monthly. That’s as far as I know.

Options to Purchase: https://shp.ee/rmz9eh5 | https://shp.ee/w6tkeg5

So what was my choice? It was Xiaomi’s TV Stick as that was the cheapest of all. I didn’t want to buy an expensive one because I wasn’t sure if it would work on my TV. And another problem we faced was that my home didn’t have wifi; we depended on our mobile hotspot as we had unlimited data. The reviews for the Mi Stick back then weren’t as much as now, so I was certainly taking a risk when I bought it.

It has been a year since I’ve been using the Xiaomi TV Stick, and it was indeed worth my money. We are still not back to our previous life before the pandemic, so I bought a new TV. LOL… Not that the stick didn’t work with my old TV, it worked great! I couldn’t believe that a 10-year-old TV could play Netflix smoothly. I changed to a new TV because the old TV film plastic was peeling off and it was hard to see the screen. And guess what, I still didn’t buy a SMART TV.

I bought an LCD TV instead to get a bigger and quality-looking screen instead of a cheap smart TV for the same price. Besides, my Mi Stick was working fine, and all I had to do was plug it into my new TV. I didn’t have to set up anything again as everything was installed inside the Mi Stick. Best purchase ever! And did I forget to mention that the Mi Stick works well with data hotspot too?

My son’s screen time problem is now not an issue anymore. I’ll open the TV and run his cartoons in the morning, but he doesn’t watch it, though. I guess he wants to hear sounds. A great thing about having an operational SMART TV is I can control easily what he watches on TV. He rarely asks for his phone anymore unless he feels like playing his cat game on the phone.

So for RM100 back then, I solved my problem with not having a SMART TV. Now the price has increased, but at least it’s still cheaper than buying a new TV, right? It’s a quick fix solution, but note that the Mi Stick lags a lot if you install too many apps. If you’re the type that wants to use the smart features fully, get a better device than the Mi Stick.

I hope this helps; till then, peeps!

Surimoden is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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Author: Surimoden

Sharings of a modern housewife