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Ask Arthur

Ask Arthur: How can I stream on old TVs?

A reader wants to know how to repurpose an old TV for new apps. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK has some suggestions.

Q: My old TV was supposed to be a smart TV, but it is so old most streaming apps don’t work with it. I don’t want to buy a new TV. Is there some way to adapt the old one?

A: The short answer is, Yes.

The good news is that, even if your TV predates the age of smart TVs, you don’t have to miss out on streaming. There are a few solutions:

1 Streaming devices

The most user-friendly option is a streaming device like Apple TV, or a mirroring device like Google Chromecast, which you plug directly into one of your TV’s HDMI ports, instantly turning it into a smart TV. We used Chromecast to play Showmax on a 2016 TV which no longer supported the new app. The Chromecast cost R865 from Takealot – far less than the cost of a new TV..The connecting and downloading process was seamless.

2. Repurpose your laptop

If you have an old laptop lying around, chances are it has an HDMI port, which means you can connect it directly to your TV with an HDMI cable. The laptop screen can then be used as a remote control, while the streaming service feeds into the laptop, and from there onto the TV.

3. Use a gaming console:

Many current gaming consoles, like Playstation and Xbox, have built-in streaming apps. Since they connect to a TV, they can also transmit the streaming service onto the TV.

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