Smart TVs are discussed with quite hype. Since it is a new technology and a really different form of internet usage and its mobility in TV devices, TV buyers are quite impressed with it on the whole. Only a few of them are judging justly. In an era where a new improved and updated device or gadget is being introduced every day, it is quite normal for us to be attracted to Smart TVs as well, but if one wants to make better use of their money, we would suggest to look closely at the Smart TV features and then decide if it is worth buying. The idea of a smart TV may sound appealing but it becomes appalling at some point in the future. It is really not the idea of them, but the TV themselves that are not so smart. Let’s discuss why not.
Reasons behind Not Buying a Smart TV
There are many reasons why we would suggest connecting your non-smart TV to a set-top box rather than buying a smart TV. For example, smart TVs cannot be upgraded thus new apps cannot be used as introduced with time, they record and send your voices and everyday conversations as a part of voice recognition to third parties, although they mean no harm but the function is not too smart or safe. Boring interface is a rather small turn-off but it does matter to many buyers.
Smart TVs in Theory VS Smart TVs in Practice
Theoretically, smart TVs sound like a perfect TV to put in the lounge. It has connectivity feature which means it can be connected to the internet, for which a number of apps are built-in in the TV like video playing apps to play videos streamed from either YouTube or Netflix. They also usually have other socializing apps like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn etc. It sounds great to have it all in a single TV with no need to access a Smartphone while you are watching, or accessing, TV. Smart TVs generally have a built-in browser too, all integrated in the TV providing high-level comfort to the buyer with no need to connect clutters of other wires and cables. Now let’s talk about the practicality of smart TVs.
Practically, smart TVs are not as great as they sound. The menus and on-screen buttons to select from all by using a remote is not very comfortable. No matter how much they advance a smart TV, they cannot replace the usage of a remote controller. The interface is also quite confusing, sub-menus are not so clear after all it is still just a TV, no matter how smart.
They Ask for Replacement with Time
Last year, an NPD report reported that only 10% of the Smart TV users actually use the web browser in their TVs while only 15% listen to music from services that are online. On the other hand, one good thing about internet connection in smart TVs was the online streaming of videos from either YouTube or Netflix, which also seems to be in danger by the fact that they will eventually get old. Unlike our Smartphones, where apps and software are automatically updated, the apps in TVs do not get updated. The software manufacturers of smart TVs like Samsung and LG only make the software available, not upgradable. It means that over time, when the software get old and new video services are introduced, these smart TVs won’t remain too smart. The only way to upgrade them will be to sell them and buy a new, updated one, for which good amount of money is needed.
Unneeded, Annoying Ads
Don’t we watch videos and movies online so that we don’t have to watch all the annoying and disturbing commercials? The Smart TV manufacturers do not seem to understand that. They are embedding more and more ads into local media, which means a pop-up with an ad will disturb you while you watch a movie on your smart TV. So smart, isn’t it?
Smart TVs Spy on What You Watch
Smart TVs by Vizio are keeping an eye on the things you watch, collect that information and according to that data, they send you ads on every device connected to that internet connection router in your house. Samsung and LG do the same. Although there is an option to turn the ‘smart interactivity’ option on the Settings menu off, but turning it on by default is nothing but a way to spy and that is not cool and safe at all.
Voice Recording Safety Issues
Some smart TVs make it clear in their privacy policies that some sensitive information may be recorded while the Voice Command option is enabled and be sent to third parties. IT clearly means that while one is voice commanding and even while one is not, anything said will be recorded and sent to ‘third parties’. Now where does a person talk about sensitive things if not in their house?
The smart TV manufacturers are looking forward to make every TV a smart TV because it is good for them. The reason why it is not so good for TV buyers is that these smart TVs need to be replaced every two to three years as that would be the only way to upgrade them. The features will get old and software will lag with time, you may tell yourself to be happy with what you’ve got but once the software is outdated, there will be no other option but to sell it and buy a new one.
An alternative or a better way for a smart TV experience is to connect your normal TV with a set-top box. They are not too expensive, work for long and are upgradable. Even if you get bored of one box you can buy another one and swap the old one out, at least you will not have to replace the whole TV. Set-top boxes are actually more fun and even smarter than smart TVs. They have nice interfaces and offer a better range of apps and video streaming options. Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV etc are all set-top boxes that provide large streaming content and are not too expensive. An average set-top box costs not more than 60$ which is way too less compared to smart TVs.
featured image credit: techforanyone.com