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Living in an era of smart devices and extreme dependence on the internet, you cannot be without a solid Wi-Fi connection to your TV set. But while a great many electronic devices like your smartphone, laptop, tab or gaming console, come internet enabled off the assembly line, not all TV models are yet smart. Because fortunately TVs can still work perfectly fine without the internet if you are running your in-home entertainment via a cable connection. Plus there are ways to connect non-smart TVs to the internet if you’re in the mood to stream content on the big screen and enjoy with the whole family.

After all, with the growing popularity of video-on-demand streaming services, it is only natural that you’d want to stream Netflix shows and movies on your home screen, or enjoy family time with funny YouTube videos. But here is the million-dollar question: how do you connect a non-smart TV to Wi-Fi?

Well no need to spend a huge sum of money on a smart TV set. Here are easy ways you can save, and still stream video on your home screen via a high-speed internet connection.

Connect via Streaming Device

Streaming devices make for an extraordinarily convenient and efficient way of connecting a non-smart TV with Wi-Fi. A streaming device helps you access content via a variety of streaming apps on a TV set that does not have built-in capability to connect to the internet. And all you need for it to work perfectly with any non-smart TV is an HDMI port, and a stable high-speed internet connection.

Largely speaking, streaming devices deliver a better user experience compared to most smart TVs out there. Plus smart TVs do not come with that wide a range of apps as media streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast or Roku.

Generally, you will find a good number of streaming devices in the price range of $30 to $50. The price may vary, based on the features each has to offer, and whether or not it supports 4K/UHD. capability. Albeit, a 4K capable media streaming device won’t be any good unless you have a 4K TV.   

Here is how you can use 2 of the top most popular streaming devices to connect your non-smart TV to in-home Wi-Fi.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon Fire Stick is another streaming device you can use to connect your non-smart TV to Wi-Fi. The platform is essentially a tweaked version of Android which focuses on providing easy access to all your Prime content. The Fire TV Stick comes with Amazon Prime media, Prime Video and Prime Music built-in, while other content streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube are also available via individual apps. Just like Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick is also equipped with a voice activated remote. The Amazon Fire TV Stick for older 1080p TVs is priced at $39.99 on Amazon.

To setup the Amazon Fire TV stick follow these steps:

  1. Plug in your Fire TV Stick into an available HDMI port on your TV.
  2. Connect one end of the USB cable to the Fire TV Stick, and the other to the power adapter.
  3. Plug the power adapter into a power outlet.
  4. Make sure your Fire TV remote has batteries in it.
  5. Now turn on your TV and choose the correct HDMI input.
  6. If the remote does not pair automatically, press the Home button on it and hold it down until you see a prompt message on the screen.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions to connect to Wi-Fi and download the latest software update.   

After the device is successfully setup, sign in with your Amazon account. You’ll have to use your phone or PC to verify your Amazon account by vising the on-screen web address. You can then follow the on-screen questions to setup equipment control for devices like soundbars. To download apps and games you can also add a default payment method to “Your Payments”.

Apple TV HD

Apple TV HD is one of the best out there, and the affordable option for those who cannot do without the Apple ecosystem. Even when it is about connecting their non-smart TV to Wi-Fi. While it is the pricier option in the market, that is Apple’s hallmark, and thus understood. With that said the value it gets you in terms of features more than make up for the expense.

The 5th Gen device comes with the A8 chip for great gameplay and app experiences. It supports 1080p HD picture format and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound. The new Siri remote comes with touch-enabled clickpad. Supported services include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney . The device makes for a seamless private experience with AirPods. A plus is the device has a Gigabit Ethernet port. Which means for the best experience you can connect it to your router via an Ethernet cable and enjoy a seamless wired connection.

Here is how you can go about setting up Apple TV and connect your non-smart TV to Wi-Fi:

  1. Using the power cable, connect the Apple TV device to a power outlet.
  2. Then use the HDMI cable to connect the device to your TV.
  3. Turn the TV on and select the input you have used to connect it to the Apple TV device.
  4. The setup screen should appear. Follow the on-screen prompts for language settings and choose whether or not to use Siri.
  5. To connect to your in-home Wi-Fi choose to “Setup Manually”, and follow the on-screen prompts to connect the TV to Wi-Fi. Now you can sign in with your Apple ID.

Roku Streaming Stick

The Roku Streaming Stick is one of the best at delivering high-performance portability, brilliant picture quality, seamless streaming with its long-range wireless receiver, and a user-friendly experience with its straightforward interface. If you are planning to purchase a 4K TV in the near future, you’ll be all set with the Roku Streaming Stick as it lets you find and enjoy 4K movies with the 4K Spotlight channel. While the device came out in 2017, software updates have kept it the fine piece of equipment it was then.  

Roku Streaming Stick is available for $39.99 on Amazon. Full MSRP is $49.99. The device comes with a voice remote, AC power adapter, long-range wireless receiver, batteries, and a quick-start guide. 

Here is how you can setup the Roku Streaming Stick and connect your non-smart TV to Wi-Fi:

  1. Find the HDMI port on your TV and make a note of which one it is so the TV can be later tuned to the same input.
  2. Insert the streaming stick (If it does not connect to TV due to space restrictions, there is an extended cable available on order).
  3. Tune to the TV to the same input as you used for the Roku Streaming Stick .
  4. Now power up the Roku Streaming Stick . For this, connect one end of the power cord to the stick, and the other to the included power adapter. Plug the power adapter directly into a wall outlet (You can also plug in the other end of the power cord into a USB port on your TV). Roku logo will appear on the screen.
  5. Now, put the batteries in the remote. A light inside the compartment will flash telling it is ready to pair.
  6. After the “Lets Get Started” screen the remote would pair automatically. If it does not, press and hold the pairing button for 5 seconds (you’ll find it next to the battery compartment). The light inside the compartment will flash to indicate its ready to use.
  7. Next select the language and follow the on-screen prompts to connect the TV to your home WiFi.
  8. The Roku player will download the latest software, and you’ll be prompted to set picture quality in line with your TV’s capability, and like the device to your Roku account.

Connect via Gaming Console 

If your old TV does not have built-in Wi-Fi, your gaming console, even one as old as a 2003 model, is most likely to be internet enabled. Again, it is cheap to get your non-smart TV to stream content via your gaming console. All you need is an HDMI cable and a high-speed internet connection to make sure the audiovisual quality is up to the mark.

  1. Connect your TV with a gaming console through an HDMI cable.
  2. Set up your gaming console and connect it to your home Wi-Fi.

Once your device is connected to the internet, you can stream online videos on your home screen. Older gaming consoles maybe limited in terms of app support and other features. However, newer models work with streaming apps like Netflix and HBO Max, as well as TV provider apps.

Connect via Screencasting

Casting your Android screen is in a way like mirroring. But different in that when you cast content, from let’s say your Android phone to your non-smart TV, you’ll only see the content display on your TV screen. Like so you can enjoy content streaming on your home screen from your Android device.

Google Chromecast

Chromecast from Google is amongst the best and most popular devices you can get to connect your non-smart TV to the internet. It lets you cast content from your Android device onto your non-smart TV. You can buy the device from Google starting at $29.

The device comes with a USB cable, a power adapter and a quick-start guide. Follow the steps below to start streaming on your non-smart TV screen quick and easy:

  1. Plug one end of the USB cable into the Chromecast device, and the other into the power adapter.
  2. Next plug the Chromecast device into the available HDMI port on your TV. And make sure to make a note of the port number as you’ll need it a little later.
  3. Now, plug the power adapter into a power outlet.
  4. Turn on the TV and tune it by selecting the same input as the port you used for Chromecast. The screen will show you instructions to download the Google Home app on your phone to begin setting up Chromecast.
  5. Make sure your phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Chromecast would.
  6. Download the Google Home app, launch it, and click on “Get Started”. From here onward follow the on-screen instructions to complete the set up.

Keep in mind a few things as you run through setting up the Chromecast:

When all is done, Chromecast will update and restart. You can now link it to other services like Google Assistant, video streaming services, radio etc., so that you can just ask Google Assistant to launch a service. Once Google tells you the Chromecast is ready to use, you can use the cast button in any of the apps on your device such as Netflix, HBO MaxTM, or YouTube. All you need to do is choose the nickname you gave Chromecast during the setup, and start watching the stream on TV!

Connect via HDMI Mirroring

The cheapest alternative to a streaming or screencasting device is to connect your non-smart TV to Wi-Fi using an HDMI cable and mirror the screen of a Wi-Fi enabled device onto your TV. Almost all laptops now come with an HDMI port. And all you need to mirror the laptop’s screen onto your TV is an HDMI cable.  

Follow these steps to connect your TV with Wi-Fi using an HDMI cable:

  1. Connect your device and TV using an HDMI cable
  2. Change the input settings on the TV and choose the right HDMI input
  3. Select the content you want to mirror on your TV screen
  4. You can select the display settings once connected

Summing It All Up!

Now that you know the various ways you can connect your non-smart TV to home Wi-Fi, take your pick. Consider each in terms of features and price, and judge which one does the job for you. After all if you are going for a streaming device instead of just mirroring via an HDMI cable, it’d be only prudent to make sure you get the best value for your money.

With that said, make sure you have a reliable and fast internet connection before you try any of these methods to connect your TV to Wi-Fi. Only a good internet speed and a strong Wi-Fi signal can let you enjoy Wi-Fi on your TV. For instance,  Cox Internet which has been rated #1 for streaming by Nielson data. Or fiber-based cable broadband from Spectrum, Optimum and Suddenlink, with the most attractive starting plans in the market. And, if you are under the AT&T Fiber network coverage, there should be no second guessing as AT&T offers one of the cheapest Fiber plans with the highest starting speeds. For more information on these provider offers, you can speak to experts at 1-855-349-9328 and determine availability in your area.

 

FAQs

1.    How do I connect my non-smart TV to Wi-Fi?

You can connect your non-smart TV to Wi-Fi in these ways:

2.    Why is Wi-Fi not connecting to TV?

There can be many possible causes of TV not connecting to Wi-Fi. Here are some things you can do to troubleshoot this issue.

3.    How can I connect my Android phone to my non-smart TV?

You can use Android dongles like Google Chromecast to mirror your Android Phone onto your non-smart TV. The Google Chromecast device comes with all the bits and pieces you need to cast your Android screen onto the TV.

4.    What is a Wi-Fi dongle for TV?

Dongles look very similar to regular USB flash drives. However, with technological advancements, dongles are now available in various shapes and sizes. The devices connect to a non-smart or a smart TV through an HDMI or USB port. Once connected, the dongles allow access to Wi-Fi. These devices are compact, user-friendly and much more cost-efficient than a whole new smart TV set.