When the internet is crawling because everyone is working from home, why not kick back and play Candy Crush on your TV?
If you shelled out big time for a gorgeous high-definition TV just days before smart units became the order of the day, don't despair. As long as your set has an HDMI input, you can connect a standalone media player that will give your TV 'smart' functionality at a very affordable price. But how does it all work, and what do those flashy-sounding features actually give you?
Air mouse functionality lets you use your remote like a mouse, by pointing it at the screen to move around the cursor. You can also get a separate air mouse remote as an extra accessory for an existing smart TV, giving you keyboard input and voice-command options.
App support allows you to install games and other apps on your media player, in addition to the applications that are preloaded on the device.
Audio output is usually provided as analogue 3.5mm and SPDIF coax, allowing you to connect your media player directly to a sound system.
File explorer lets you browse onboard or removable storage for movies to watch or music to listen to. This is particularly useful because it means you can use your subscription service overnight to download movies to watch or music to listen to. You can then enjoy this media directly from the player instead of getting frustrated by buffering breaks during times of slow bandwidth.
LAN port lets you use an Ethernet cable to connect the media player directly to your router.
Onboard storage means you can upload movies, games, music and other files directly to your media player.
Smartphone control allows you to operate your media player using an app on your phone or tablet, as long as it's on the same Wi-Fi network as the player. Not all media players include this function, so check your manual.
USB host allows you to plug in a USB drive, and play movies or music stored on it.
USB OTG (on-the-go) lets you connect a keyboard, games controller or other input, making it easier to play games or input text.
Voice control is a feature of some media players, allowing you to search for media and control various apps by speaking into the remote control.
Wi-Fi connectivity does the same thing as a LAN port, except it connects the unit to your home's Wi-Fi network.
-Updated October 2020