You CAN Use Roku, Amazon TV, Apple TV with Your Ancient Television. Here’s How.

You CAN Use Roku, Amazon TV, Apple TV with Your Ancient Television. Here’s How. March 24, 2015


I recently bought Amazon’s new Amazon Fire TV.

I’m an Amazon Prime user, and they sent me an offer to buy it for a lower than listed price. You know how it goes. I clicked and made off with it.

Part of the sell line on the Amazon Fire TV is how easy it is to hook up. However, for those of us who are using Lazarus tvs from early in the century, that’s not exactly true.

We have a newish big-screen tv in our master bedroom. This is my husband’s tv. He uses it with Roku.

Me? I tend to watch tv late at night after he’s asleep. I also tend to stay away from the bedroom except when I’m ready to go to sleep. That means I watch the ancient big screen tv in the living room; the one that we bought way back in 2001

We paid a lotta dough for that thing. But it has been a good investment simply because it wears like iron. Fourteen years into its life, it’s still plugging along without a problem.

I like to buy techie stuff, but I also have a significant cheap streak. I almost can’t make myself replace a perfectly good whatever when it’s working. Even when time and technology pass it by, I hesitate to give it the old heave-ho.

I handle this with computers by passing them along to my kids. It’s always amazed me how short the life span is for a computer when one of my kids gets his hands on it. The same laptop that will grind on for years for me, falls apart — usually literally — under the full torque gaming and being lugged absolutely everywhere that is life for one of my kid’s computers.

But that is another post.

This post is about my brand new Amazon TV and my lazarus television. The problem is that Lazarus doesn’t have HDMI ports. And the Amazon Fire TV requires HDMI ports.

If you waste your time calling “experts” at Best Buy and your cable company and such, they will tell you in a condescending tone that reminds you quite clearly that you are an old woman and old women don’t know nothin’, that your old groaner of a tv is dead to today’s technology.

You can not use your new fangled Roku/Apple TV/Amazon Fire TV with a dead as a rock old-fangled tv from the past they say while doing everything but rolling their eyes.

You. Can. Not. Do. It.

Fortunately for me, I’ve raised male children and am not intimidated in the least by the pretentions of sneering young men at techie places. I know they’re mostly full of self-congratulation and testosterone.

Long story short, here’s how you rig up your old school big screen to work with today’s channel surfer.

Go to Amazon (where else?) and buy one of these. Toss a couple of RCA cables into the cart along with it.

Then, when your order comes in, plug it in. The RCA cables are color-coded, so it’s hard to go wrong. If you find the process intimidating, get a young y chromosome geeky person to do it for you. Most neighborhoods have several of them and, in my experience, they work for praise.

Be sure to turn off Dolby stereo on your Roku/Apple TV/Amazon TV.

You’re good to go.

I just saved you the cost of a new tv.

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6 responses to “You CAN Use Roku, Amazon TV, Apple TV with Your Ancient Television. Here’s How.”

  1. Yay! Love it. Funny thing is I’ve hooked some stuff up and fixed stuff myself with YouTube videos and my husband says, how did you do that? My kids just roll their eyes.

  2. The writer needs to do research. The Roku 2 has HDMI and The old cables Red Yellow and White cables built in for $69. Why would you buy a streaming device plus a converter for $48. Plus the cables are included in the roku 2. This is the worst article I have ever read. Also the roku 2 has a amazon app on it already

  3. I checked on Amazon, and it appears that the Roku2 does hook up with analog tvs. However, the Roku3 requires an HDMI outlet.

    So, if people with old tvs want to have streaming without the hassle I outline in this post, they should be able to go the Roku2 route.

    If they want to use the Amazon Fire TV or Roku3 with an old tv, they can go the route I outline.

    I’m not a tech expert. I wrote this post to pass along what I learned so that other people in the same situation could take advantage of it.

    Thanks for adding to the information in the post Bob.

  4. None the less the author makes a good point. Converters are available to convert TO devices that don’t accept HDMI. Another application might be plugging your laptop into the TV. Same thing applies. Old laptops don’t have HDMI.

  5. Your statement doesn’t make sense. In your example If you have a old TV no hdmi and your computer doesnt have HDMI. why would you agree with the writer that yoy need a HDMI coverter? If you wanted to plug in your old computer most have svideo or vga Port. You would need to buy a different converter for those ports to Yellow red white.