7th December 2023 9:19 am
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Always wanted to try smart TV features without breaking the bank?

As smart devices become cheaper, more feature rich, and easier to integrate into the home, the TV once again becomes the centre stage of any living room or workplace. If your TV, PC display or even digital banner still works great, but didn’t ship from the factory as a smart device, there’s one simple way to bring it into the future.

That simple solution is offered by Xiaomi and its Mi TV Stick or Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen. We introduced you to these devices in an earlier article, so today let’s get a closer look at these devices and how they can bring the smart TV experience to you for very little money, all without the need to replace your still functioning TV.

Mi TV Stick

With a RRP of just R949 from places like Takealot, Incredible Connection, HiFi, Game, and Makro, you’d be shocked by just how transformative the Mi TV Stick is for less than a grand.

Plug it into a free HDMI port, connect to the internet and get going with the included remote control. Your display, no matter its age, is suddenly a modern media platform running Android TV.

You’re ready to enjoy all the smart features this has to offer thanks to the Google Play Store. Any app from the store can now be used through your Mi TV Stick which can now flawlessly integrate into your smart home / smart work setup, thanks to the ubiquity of Android.

One of our favourite integrations is Chromecast – which you can see in use in the header image above – which also comes built in here. With Chromecast you can stream content from your phone or tablet right to the TV to enjoy it on a bigger screen. Show the family those videos you took while on holiday, stream instructional videos at work or even play native Android games with the benefit of the larger screen. All of this is enabled through Chromecast.

Pushing the smart integration is voice search, finally fulfilling the sci-fi fantasy of controlling all your electronics through speech alone.

All of this ignores that this is, at the end of the day, a product focused on enjoying movies, TV and more in the best possible way. That Android support means that the latest streaming apps work out of the box and there’s improved playback through Dolby and DTS.

Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen

The Mi TV Stick is the king of full HD 1080p, but upgrading to 4K doesn’t cost as much as you may think. The Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen costs only R1 199, also from Takealot, Incredible Connection, HiFi, Game and Makro.

While other manufacturers charge insane prices when you make the jump from 1080p to 4K, Xiaomi instead keeps the pricing way down here in South Africa where we love a bargain, and for improving your TV experience, this may be one of the best bargains out there.

The Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen brings you all the aforementioned features of the Mi TV Stick, plus more, and now in 4K.

Even if your 4K TV already has smart functionality, Xiaomi brings your entertainment under one unified banner with Google TV, and avoids the downfalls of odd and non-standard operating systems that some manufacturers ship their TVs with, even with the newest models.

Older models on the other hand (4K early adopters especially) can now keep enjoying their screens with this update, all without replacing the entire TV or seeking more invasive steps like custom firmware. Both the Mi TV Stick and the Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen want to make your TV as smart as possible, so you can enjoy it for as long as possible, all for less money than the competitors.