Entertainment Smart Home

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Smart TV

Ben Stegner Updated 11-12-2019

Smart TVs have gone from being a luxury item to the standard. When you walk into an electronics store or shop online for a new TV, there’s a good chance that you’ll find a smart TV for an affordable price.


While they have a lot of benefits, you shouldn’t buy a smart TV without thinking about it first. Let’s look at several reasons why you shouldn’t buy a smart TV…

What Is a Smart TV?

Essentially, smart TVs are regular TVs that have the built-in capability to connect to the internet. This means that your TV itself goes online, instead of having to use a connected device like a Roku box or gaming console to access online services.

Because smart TVs are connected to the internet, they usually let you download apps just like you would on your phone. Most smart TV platforms have apps for major streaming services like Netflix and YouTube, plus offerings for major TV networks and more niche services. You can also use them to browse the web and access other resources on your home network.

Having your TV online is definitely useful, and their now-affordable pricing means that you don’t have to shell out extra for these features. But we still think non-smart TVs have their place in your home. Here’s why.

1. Smart TV Security and Privacy Risks Are Real

When you consider buying any “smart” product—which is any device that has the ability to connect to the internet—security should always be a top concern. Every internet-ready device contributes to the “internet of things,” which is arguably one of the worst security nightmares of our time.


As it turns out, smart TVs are one of the worst offenders. They put your privacy and security at risk in several ways; even the FBI has warned of the risks of smart TVs.

Nearly all smart TVs use automatic content recognition (ACR) to track what you’re watching. They use this information to show you more relevant ads. While you can often limit the collection of this data, it can be difficult to find or reverse. Do you really want to share everything you watch with your TV manufacturer?

Another major security problem with smart TVs is a lack of updates. Every individual platform is dependent on its provider for app and OS updates. If you have a TV that no longer receives updates or takes a long time to receive software patches, your TV could be a vulnerable point on your network.

Finally, some smart TVs have integrated cameras, and most have a microphone. Malicious actors could take advantage of the above security vulnerabilities to spy on you through your webcam. And it isn’t just hackers abusing this: in 2015, CNN reported that Samsung’s privacy policy mentioned transmitting your conversations to a third party.


Whether from a hacker or your TV manufacturer, that’s a lot of data up for collection when you just want to watch television.

2. Other TV Devices Are Superior

The main draw of smart TVs is that you can access Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and similar services right from your TV. While this idea is great, those services aren’t exclusive to smart TVs. And in fact, you can get a lot more from an alternative platform.

Options like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, or Chromecast are far better platforms. They offer less convoluted interfaces that are much easier to navigate than your smart TV. The app selection is likely far smoother than what your smart TV’s app store offers. And depending on what ecosystems you already use, these devices offer greater convenience and integration with your devices.

For example, the Amazon Fire TV has an Alexa-enabled remote control, allowing you to play your favorite shows without fumbling through menus. If you have a lot of Apple devices, the Apple TV makes it easy to share media from your iPhone or iPad. For most people, these perks are far better than suffering through what’s included on your smart TV.


In short, set-top boxes like the Apple TV and streaming sticks like the Chromecast do everything your smart TV can do, but better. They’re inexpensive and much more flexible. Since you can add them to any TV, your television set itself remains a simple display while the device handles what you’re watching.

While a smart TV may become obsolete after a few years, you can easily replace your streaming device or take it with you to a new TV. See our comparison of the best 4K streaming devices Chromecast Ultra vs. Apple TV 4K vs. Roku Ultra vs. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K: Which Is Best? Between the Chromecast Ultra, the Roku Ultra, the Apple TV 4K, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K: which is best? Read More to see which is best for you.

3. Smart TVs Lack Smart Interfaces

smart TV reasons poor interface
Image Credit: Remote Closeup by Rasulov via Shutterstock

Smart functionality requires a smart interface. Smartphones and computers are great because they both support two important input methods: typing and pointing. Smart TVs are terrible at both, and this can lead to a lot of frustration.


In other words, when you want to sit down and watch something on a smart TV, it’s actually a lot more work than you’d expect. It’s not overwhelming, but makes what should be a fun experience inconvenient at best.

One major example is when you want to search for a particular TV show or movie on a service. With a regular TV remote, typing is a hair-pulling affair that could take up to a dozen button presses per letter typed. While most smart TVs have microphone support, the stock solution is often spotty.

On the other hand, most streaming boxes come with remotes that have superior voice assistants. Some of them also have mobile TV remote apps The Best TV Remote Apps for Android and iPhone To control your TV using your smartphone, all you need is one of these TV remote apps for your Android or iPhone. Read More , which support typing out your searches on a smartphone or tablet.

And that’s only one issue. Many smart TVs are plagued with generally poor interfaces that take a lot of button presses to get anywhere and hide important settings where you might miss them. Even the remote control can be confusing, hiding some functions behind colors or letters that aren’t at all evident.

If you have an older smart TV that no longer receives updates, you could be stuck with these poor interfaces for a long time.

4. Smart TV Apps Are Often Unreliable

muo finance smart TV decoder

Using smart TV apps to watch content is convenient, but the apps are almost always inferior to what you use on your phone or computer. In addition to the interface issues discussed earlier, this is also because smart TVs don’t have nearly as much processing power as other devices.

Poor performance and neglect from app developers is common. Most smart TV users have experienced input lag when pressing buttons, freezes and crashes when apps try to do something intensive, and other performance-related issues. This leads to you having to kill apps and restart them, which is never fun.

Smart TVs also run into glitches. For example, the YouTube app on my TV had an issue for weeks where video titles overlapped with the one below, making them near-impossible to read. I have to re-pair my Bluetooth headphones with my TV several times per week. And when I disconnect an HDMI cable and reconnect it, the TV forgets the name I set for that input and makes me replace its shortcut icon.

These issues aren’t really a surprise. Content providers have to juggle compatibility with a lot of outlets these days, including web players, smartphone apps, tablet apps, third-party devices like the Roku and Chromecast, and smart TVs. Which one do you think has the lowest priority?

This brings up another potential issue: the usefulness of your smart TV is limited by the apps that are available for it. If content providers stop updating their smart TV apps for whatever reason, your smart TV loses a big chunk of what makes it “smart.”

In just a few years from now, your smart TV might end up becoming a dumb TV through no fault of your own. If that happens, you’ll have to rely on set-top boxes and other streaming methods anyway.

Should You Buy a Smart TV?

Smart TVs definitely have a lot of advantages, so we aren’t necessarily trying to dissuade you from buying one. However, it’s important for you to know why smart TVs aren’t always everything they’re cracked up to be.

The security and privacy issues are one of the biggest drawbacks, but clunky interfaces and glitches are hindrances too. It could be argued that smart TVs have dropped in price because they’re a ripe platform for data collection.

If, after reading all of this, you still want to buy a smart TV, go for it. It’s becoming more difficult to find a quality TV that’s not smart, so if you want to you can avoid connecting it to the internet to keep it “dumb.” You can always supplement the TV with a streaming box if you decide to go online later.

For anyone still in the market for a smart TV, take a look at the best smart TV operating systems What Is the Best Smart TV Operating System? When buying a smart TV, there's one question people often overlook: which smart TV operating system is best? Read More to find which one will be best for you.

Related topics: Buying Tips, Media Streaming, Smart TV, Television.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Jim Potyoposin
    March 6, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    why is smart ? what makes them smart? is a set of unfinished stupid things

  2. Howard J Allshouse Jr
    December 18, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Maybe buy a monitor, just don't know if I can get a 65" 1080p 4k or 8k for a reasonable price, or at all. Probably don't make any like that with the proper interfaces.

    • Robert
      December 20, 2019 at 11:45 pm

      I have looked the TV industry is Pushing "Smart TV" because they can Make more money by adding the "Smart features" to the TV's, where as the non Smart TV's would cost 1/3 the price of the "Smart" counterparts PC companies need to Push Larger Monitors like 50"+ so the people who would rather use a Nvidia Shield for "Smart features" like Apps, my 58" Hisense UHD "Smart" Android TV was just Bricked by the Manufaturer Pushing an un tested update to the TV, All it does is show the hisense slpash then the Android Splash then Shuts off.

  3. Eddie G.
    December 18, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    So then, the perfect scenario is to buy a SmartTV,......refuse to plug it into the home network....get a Roku an Amazon Firestick...or Chromecast, and connect THAT to the Internet, and then connect THAT to the TV?......isn't the fact the Chromecast/Roku/Firestick is connected to the Internet and then attached to your TV kind of negating the fact that your TV isn't connected?.....I dunno...somehow the whole "smart technology" is all beyond my understanding. At WHAT point do you even WANT your refrigerator connected to the INTERNET?....what benefit is that to you!? The fact that you can get a text from your fridge that says you're low on 1% Milk? WON'T YOU DISCOVER THIS INFORMATION OUT WHEN YOU GET HOME AND OPEN THE DAMN FRIDGE? And does being "low" on milk mean that its absolutely mandatory that you stop for that ONE item on your way home from work?...tired aching and frustrated?.....couldn't the milk thing wait until your regularly scheduled trip to the grocery store? Somehow human beings have gotten this notion that being connected "all the time" is a GOOD thing? I mean......I guess its because I'm not a "Millennial"?.....that it's because I was born in the late 60's and grew up in the 70's and 80's that I find this reliance on the Internet for everything a bit worrisome? I mean......its one thing to go online to get the weather, but these new-age idiots are allowing and AGREEING to having their MEDICAL INFORMATION, their PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP INFORMATION, their CHILDREN'S PRIVATE INFORMATION, all stored, collated, sorted and just HELD in "the cloud" thinking that somehow.....that makes their data safe?......but if you think about it....the cloud?....is the digital equivalent of TIMES SQUARE. would any of you be ok with plastering your private data right in the middle of the street?.....on a billboard, or along the sides of buildings?....than why would you (not anyone here of course just speaking metaphorically!) why would you agree to "plaster" it along the innards of computers that aren't even under YOUR control?......for all you know the PC's that hold your data could be in the middle of CANADA.

    Like I said, just seems that people are too quick to "agree" to the Terms & Conditions without really reading the fine print, then?...in a year's time when its been "discovered" that some manufacturer has been SPYING on people for years, than.....that's when they want to feign surprise and shock.

    Just sad,

    • Deirdre Johnson
      December 20, 2019 at 8:14 pm

      People are forgetting: nobody is OBLIGATED to give out any information they don't want to.
      The urge to tell everybody everything, comes from a need to be recognized, and all a person has to do to accomplish that, is their best.
      I don't tell everybody every thing, and when I'm asked personal questions that I feel is nobody's business, I counter back with: "Why would you ask me a personal question, such as that?"
      Answering the person's query with that particular question--if the "askee" has any common sense--will think to themselves, "Well, why AM I asking? Maybe I shouldn't be," and changes the subject, and goes on to something else.
      If they persist in wanting to know something that has nothing to do with them, it shows how much or how little character they possess.
      I would never allow anyone into pressuring me to give them information. If they don't like it, it's not my problem.
      People might call me "anti-social" for that, but those are the ones who--from my own experience--like to run others' lives, and think nothing of "taking over," when a person is in the middle of accomplishing something.
      People are beginning to forget: You are your own Boss. You are the one who decides what you're going to do with the rest of your Life, and there are so many others out there, who are quite willing to stop you from succeeding.
      When you forge ahead, and do what you have to do to succeed, those who (in the past) tried to stop you, won't be aware of what you're doing until after you've succeeded, and will be "beating themselves up" once they find out. Enjoy the ride.

    • Cautious Boomer
      December 21, 2019 at 7:42 am

      You are so correct, I think those of us pre millenial don't understand the need nor desire to be constantly plugged in. I find it hilarious that appliances are "connected". For what reason exactly, all this smart technology is creating a very dumb human. I came here looking to see if non smart tvs were even on the market as I have had no luck in finding one. I begin to read the reviews and your was closest to my own views. I can also tell which ones are coming from a different generational gap as well.

    • dragonmouth
      December 30, 2019 at 5:48 pm

      The kicker is that very few of the "smart" devices are really smart on their own. They depend for their "brains" on mama's servers. If you disconnect these devices from the Internet they turn into inert lumps of ironmongery. They become as smart as a box of rocks.

      "for all you know the PC's that hold your data could be in the middle of CANADA. "
      Or China or Russia or anywhere else in the world. Putting data into the cloud is summarized very well by the first line of a poem by Longfellow: "I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I know not where."

  4. Anthony
    December 18, 2019 at 5:18 am

    The solution is to get something like a Roku or Fire, hook it to the HDMI port and use that for your content, and then just don’t connect the tv to the Internet in the settings.

  5. Who Cares
    December 18, 2019 at 3:07 am

    You can't get a dumb TV now,.

  6. Who Cares
    December 18, 2019 at 3:06 am

    I have two of them. No big EE. They work just great.
    And really. You can't get a dumb TV now.

  7. mike
    December 17, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Well, as things go the horse is out of the barn. Most of the masses will be gulled into all the shiny objects and get them without pondering the long term issues. So, the industry will stampede to provide them to the detriment of "just a TV" and you won't be able to get "just a TV."

    To bad, really, I hate all the electronic garbage being shoe horned into cars, toasters, refrigerators and etc. Pretty soon we will be spied on even in the bathroom. Years ago I saw some show like the Outer Limits that seems to have predicted this surveillance society.

  8. Paco
    December 17, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    OK! You've convinced me NOT TO BUY A SMART TV!
    Did I miss where you mentioned WHERE to buy NON-SMART TV?

    • Clovis Fernandes
      December 18, 2019 at 5:22 am

      You buy a smart TV but don’t connect it to the Internet!

      • Robert
        December 20, 2019 at 11:53 pm

        Good luck with that, they require you to connect to the internet now! my Hisense Just pushed an untested OS Update to my 58" TV and now it is Bricked! and they say someone will call me back with in 24-48 hours to talk to me, not to come out and replace my TV cause "I know whats wrong with it" , to scedule an appointment to have a tech come out and find out what I already know, then go from there.

  9. Dale King
    June 20, 2019 at 2:26 am

    The real problem with Smart TV is that even if they aren't obsolete when you buy them, they will become obsolete over time. I bought an LG TV with WebOS several years ago. Problem is now more and more services are dropping support for the model which is WebOS 2.0. There were huge announcements for a Sling TV app 4 years ago and no Sling app was ever delivered. This year MLB At Bat and now Hulu are dropping support for the model.

    So little by little a smart TV will get dumber and dumber. I am having to rely on Chromecast more and more. I am contemplating buying a Roku to hook up to my "Smart" TV

    • T
      July 8, 2019 at 8:45 am

      I agree with the writer smart TVs suck and people get ripped off everyday. I buy and sell tvs and they asked me about is it smart I just want to hang up on them.
      People are getting scammed by these crappy companies that are not even supporting the smart feature for the price that you pay for a good TV if you get a smart feature on it you have to pay almost $100 more for that price you can get a really nice Android box and do way more with it than this crappy smart TV. at the end of the day people can pay for what they want but when you want junk you'll get ripped off and people that decide to buy smart crappy tvs deserve to get ripped off..

  10. Mike Taz
    June 12, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    I have a Toshiba fire TV edition smart tv 55"and only paid 400 on black Friday with insurance
    and it's awesome I've side loaded like a firestick and I get everything!!

    • T
      July 8, 2019 at 8:46 am

      Good luck with that when the LEDs burn out in about a year you'll be spending about three to four hundred dollars just replace them.

  11. Moe Curly Howard
    March 4, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    The article is a bit dated.
    In case you haven't been keeping up, this generation of "SMART TVs" is amazingly cheap.
    Because your data is the moneymaker. It has come out now that selling your future data over and over is subsidizing the price.
    My Sony TV has the wireless internet disconnected.
    Yet it shows up on my network.
    I had to block it on my router.
    They want that data, bad.

    • T
      July 8, 2019 at 8:46 am

      Well people that buy smart TVs skeleton pants for you buy junk LED TVs are junk smart TVs are junk anybody that wants to buy it waste your money throw it away might as well throw your money down the toilet

  12. Jeff
    November 11, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Thank you for pointing out the necessary information. As an IT professional, I had already come to some of the same conclusions, so obviously we agree. I possibly don't watch a great deal of TV, but the surveillance concerns when it comes to my family are actually quite real and pertinent, and the last thing I need is an overcomplicated television bringing those same connected device concerns. Thank you for the article.

  13. paul fleming
    March 9, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks for the article . Presently i'm looking to cut cable tv out of my expenditures ; more because Direct tv is driving me crazy . Sometimes i get a bill for things i didn't order , then have to spend an hour ( at least ) on the phone with people from Jamaica , Philippines , etc. trying to correct the amount . Ridiculous and it has happened 15 or 20 times .
    So where i'm at now is this ; keep my old tv , see if i can get a ROKU ( 3 wire type ) , ditch Direct tv , sign up for Netflix and Sling and wait patiently for technology to improve towards what people really want .
    Wouldn't it be great if one could buy could buy a Flat screen , like a modem . Hook the Flat screen ( which is just a modem ) up to your tv & bang you have what i want .

  14. Lora
    February 26, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    If I don't get a smart tv, do you recommend a device/dvd player over another that has the capabilities of accessing the apps such as Netflix etc?

    Thank you.

    • Robert
      December 20, 2019 at 11:59 pm

      Nvidia Shield! the Absolute Best money can buy. and its not limited like the Fire stick/box, or the Roku, or the AppleTV. I recomend the Nvidia Shield.

  15. qaz
    February 16, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Yeah, I think the technology for smart/internet TVs is just not "there" yet. Amazon has gotten smart by putting Firefox and Silk on their latest fire players (so web browsing is allowed I assume, haven't bought one). We need that, with a keyboard, and a good service like Roku that just fleeces the inet looking for video content. I was just using a cord from my PC to TV, but after recently buying a Roku, I see the benefits of a good media compiler - stuff I probably couldn't find by doing a search - that will eventually be on smart TVs. Generally speaking, I want my smart TV for my movies, series, sports, etc. watching and my laptop/desktop for my reading, writing, pics, docs, drawing, etc. (I.E. So, the need for a smart TV is there. Which is probably why Roku got into the smart TV business.)

    Oh, just a sidenote, why does everybody talk about streaming their Pandora, Spotify, iHeart, to their television? I prefer to stream it to my STEREO (and use my laptop/desktop PC for music selection).

    And smart TVs will probably get "perfected" before smart watches. I think we will be waiting a while on good smart watches.

  16. john
    February 8, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    This article is the funniest article I have ever read. This technology is implemented in almost every TV above 250 dollars. This article was and is so wrong. I enjoyed the laugh. Thanks for the free entertainment.

    • NuNYa Biziness
      April 6, 2018 at 8:45 pm

      Agreed. This article is a bunch of nonsense. The work of someone who knows nothing but maybe had trouble adapting from turning knobs on their old tube TV to running apps on their smart TV.
      Smart TVs are not only here, but are here to stay. One person's bad experience doesn't mean everyone else will agree and to follow suit. Smat TV Technology has evolved and matured. But even if it hasn't reached it's potential, it does not mean it's a failure.
      Wanna talk about poor functionality that has never reached an acceptable level of maturity? Let's talk smartphones. Android can't even settle on 1 version across the entire platform of in service devices, including phones, TVs, Tablets, etc.... how about the fact that THIS of all things is a MAJOR fail when compared to Smart TVs, yet you don't see anyone writing off their smartphone and refusing to buy the next new model.
      In fact, in general, pretty much ALL Smart devices are major trends, and smart TVs are near the top of that list

  17. Mike
    January 21, 2018 at 12:58 am

    We purchased a new 55" TCL 4K Roku smart TV for $299.00 because the box had a dent in it and $299.00 was less than other 55" Dumb TV's that didn't get as many positive reviews. We understand this is a cheap TV but so far TV works and looks delightful. TV's built in Roku is not quite as feature friendly as our Roku Ultra 4640 players but has been streaming perfectly and for $299.00 we have not been disappointed and could always connect a Roku Ultra into an HDMI input.......

  18. Michael Carter
    December 22, 2017 at 5:49 am

    Dumbest advice I have seen on the web since bill gates was supposed to have said 640k of ram is enough. My hisense 75 inch 4k 60hz tv's netflix is brilliant and easy to use. What security problem you idiot? This isn't iot it is a tv. There are many small tvs up to 55 inch tvs for little money which are also smart tvs and easy to use. Joel Lee you are an idiot. The examples you point at by other idiot mud authors are 1 offs and irrelevant. You guys and gals dribble rubbish. Regularly. A Google search brought me here. I wonder how much you pay for that. My wife regularly points me to you and I have to tell her thanks but they are giving out wrong info.

  19. Jack Stuurm
    December 1, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Sony 4K Update: My tv works better with WIFI turned off in the house!
    Still has problems syncing with the sony bluray player, following this though, so turning tv power socket off and on helps.
    Why should we have machines we have no control over in the house - I have to sign in with a pass to use house Wifi with fone or computer, but with the new tvs it does itself, which is disturbing. You don't have access to turning off the connection either, whether or not you 'agree' to allowing Sony to read your tv habits and stuff you watch!

  20. Jack Stuurm
    November 24, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Sony 4k - slow on start up; slow with responses to remote buttons; sometimes no tv guide working; sometimes it loses sync with a Sony! BDS 7200 player (I took 1 unit back when first bought, thinking it was the player - remedied by cutting power to tv!)

  21. Courtney
    October 22, 2017 at 3:39 am

    OMG, I read your article at the perfect time! I literally was browsing for TVs and am buying one today! I definitely am buying a "dumb" tv! I've already got a Chromecast that I was using on my old TV that has crashed so am gonna save money thanks to you. Thankyou so much!!

    • Michelle
      November 1, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      so was I Courtney, and decided to just read up on smart tv's before purchasing one. I've completely changed my mind, they don't seem to be worth the money.

  22. Srikanth
    September 25, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Yes exactly, Smart TVs are not really worth of their price.

  23. lissa
    August 7, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    i recently a vizio smart tv and for some odd reason the remote quits and i just used it the day b4. checked into a tech and they want $40.00 for an answer thats a rip off when the tv and all is on a 2 year plan. i like my smart tv it frees up my computer for other things :) i still plan to get another smart tv when on sale again ty

    • drb00t
      August 21, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      can't you just buy a programmable remote at walmart for like 15 bucks?

    • Virginia
      October 3, 2017 at 11:48 am

      The warranty should include the remote?!

  24. Frank
    July 30, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Good day. We purchased a Samsung 42 inch smart tv. I thought I would be able to cruise the internet. Nope.... you can look stuff up but don't try to play a video, I guess it does not have enough memory. Just lost Youtube, I think you tube changed and my smart TV cannot process it. I still like it. It is the first flat screen TV we have owned. But early on I learned its not that smart.....

    • drb00t
      August 21, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      it could be that you don't have enough internet speed/bandwidth...does it look like it's buffering?

  25. DPChurch
    July 24, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Instead of avoiding TV with 'Smart TV' features, just ignore the Smart TV features when shopping for a new TV. The components are so inexpensive, it's basically a standard feature in all but the cheapest, bare bones TV which don't have the picture quality features you do want.

    From Wirecutter.com's latest review and recommendations for buying a TV:
    "Many people want a “dumb” TV that forgoes smart-TV features, since they plan to use a media streamer of their choice. Unfortunately, at this point almost any TV left available without those features is lacking in other important features. If you don’t want to use a set’s smart-TV features, you don’t have to, but actively trying to avoid a smart TV will give you a dumb TV with poor image quality. Also, since we were looking for the best TV, apps do matter, since few streaming devices support Ultra HD or WCG—integrated apps are often the only way to watch such content, especially if you’re streaming in Dolby Vision."

  26. s.p yonzon
    July 2, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Thanks buying smart tv I drop it

  27. Mike
    July 2, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you for this very informative article. I was thinking of buying a smart tv, and I wanted to know something about it when I came across your article. I am not very tech savvy, but was looking to upgrade the media center for the grandkids. I think I will just go with the ROKU stick for now. I do appreciate the fact that you were not trying to disuade me from buying a smart tv only to sell me something else.

    • drb00t
      August 21, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      i just got a nice tv w/ the roku built in...enjoying it so far

  28. Joyce
    June 24, 2017 at 1:25 am

    Actually bought smart tv because it had ruko built in and I needed a new tv. Now, I'm sooo disappointed at the menu differences on amazon vs. the old ruko device. I'm thinking of purchasing a newer usb ruko and using it instead. The searching on the smart tv of amazon menu is quite different than the old one - its maddening. Has anyone else complained about this? Not sure I'm explaining it right; example: On my old ruko - Amazon menu let me search for mysteries, foreign films, etc. On my tv ruko now it can take hours to go through limited genres. etc etc

  29. Dorothy L. Sinkler
    May 21, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    I went to buy a TV for our bedroom. The store had a 32 inch "smart" Roku on sale and I succumbed and bought it, and that was an extremely BIG MISTAKE. The TV stops mid program and I have to turn it off, turn it on again and the program again stops mid program and freezes. Since I purchased this TV I can count on one hand how many times I am able to watch a program completely to the end without the program stopping mid program and freezing. I was watching 60 Minutes tonight and the TV stopped and "froze" five times and I just gave up and went into the living room and watched TV on my "dumb" TV. I have learned my lesson and now I plan to buy a "dumb" TV for my bedroom and ditch the "smart" TV forever. I learned a valuable lesson - Never buy anything until it has been on the market for several years where it can be perfected. The Roku TV that I have is ready for the dump heap as far as I am concerned and I can't wait until I am financially able to replace it within the next couple of months. I cannot sell the "smart" TV because that would not be fair to anyone purchasing it, so I will just give it to charity but being honest and letting the recipient know WHY I am ditching it. .

  30. Doug
    May 14, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    So if you don't get a smart tv you have to get this Roku thing, right? I guess that has the wireless connection in it?

    • drb00t
      August 21, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      roku is a company that started making little boxes to turn a tv into a smart tv...now you can buy the tv with it built in..mine works well...streams fine in HD.

    • Tin-Tin
      September 29, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Roku is not the only content provider. I use a little Blu-ray box which provides internet connection, I can watch both blue ray and dvds and on TV I can choose from Netflix, YouTube, Crackle and a variety of others, plus there is a web-browser with the bluray box where I can set up curiositystream, etc.

  31. Mr Mike
    April 9, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    When buying a TV, I want the money to go towards the quality of a the picture entirely, not some of it towards an onboard slow computer I don't need. I have a computer plugged in and PS4 for that. And there's many other options for people. Even if they start making smart TVs that don't have slow as hell menus, they will be still no better than the things people have plugged in already.

    I've just read as well that some smart tvs are inserting adverts into menus, and even into movies people own.

    There c**ts will try and get away with whatever they can. It's only after public outcry they say 'oh sorry, we were just trying to improve the user experience' - not they're not, they're just trying to make extra cash, at the expense of annoying us.

    And lets not forget the TVs that were spying on people (and will continue to do so.) They will keep doing it, and when enough people complain, they'll say 'sorry, we were just trying to improve the user experience', and then put in some 'opt in feature' that they should have done in the first place. And then in their next generation of tvs, they'll do the same thing all over again to see what they can get away with.

    I can understand if some people literally have nothing to plug into their tv, they might find a smart tv useful. If this is the case, then maybe there is a market for some smart tvs - I'm just hoping there's always a choice for a non-smart tv - a tv where everything one is paying for, is the size and picture quality itself.

    Many of us don't buy a tv to have an additional slow computer with adverts that spy on us. It's for the picture, and then we can plug what we want in to it.

    • Cautious Boomer
      December 21, 2019 at 7:32 am

      Well unfortunately I can not find a dumb tv anywhere. Was thinking about upgrading in size and I have all the stand alone devices I need. Guess I will have to make do with current size as I refuse to purchase a surveillance device knowingly. Now for some FYI, all tvs from a certain year have internal tvs. Thank goodness for dear friends who work at Intel. Big brother is getting just a little to nosey for my tastes.

  32. Doc Hollywood
    March 16, 2017 at 1:31 am

    Although you sound like you know what your talking about techniquly.... I disagree with most of what you said. Smart TV is where it is at is you want a no headache time Everytime watch you tv.. all those box suck and fall way short and you waste a lot of money. I have a Samsung and the tv is simple and quick new remote is simple and great. If you add a cable box, or tv box, bluray, surround sound you are jumping all over the place trying to get shit to work so you can watch somethimg. Everything is always resetting itself... Half the time the blue ray which was getting us online freezes, buffers, etc.... Basically.a pain in the ass. Samsung TV one remote can switch you to everything you need most of the time and it is instant and for 55 now going for 500 who's cares if it only.last 5 years go buy a new one with all the new technology for 500 again. I don't know
    But I feel like others you were paid to give this advise because it sucks honestly I feel your trying to get people to buy them crappy tv boxes that change constantly and are a waste of money and always leaving you feeling you want your cable back.

  33. Carlos
    March 1, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Very good article: didactic, objective and very useful. Congratulations.

    • drb00t
      August 21, 2017 at 10:31 pm

      a year later and i think a lot of the problems mentioned have been greatly improved. i guess it might matter which type/brand of smart tv OS you have.

  34. matt
    February 24, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    100% agreed.

    I purchased an LG tv with WebOS a year or so back, my first smart TV.

    It is *anything* but smart. I don't use any of the apps, because they are so poorly implemented and, I admit, because I purchased a cheaper model. That means the CPU power really isn't up the task.

    Frequently I've switched on in the morning to catch up with the news and the software decides to update - great - no morning news with my breakfast.

    Then there's the fact that it can take 10 to 15 seconds to just switch to 'live tv' mode - text appears on the screen telling me to wait while it boots up.

    I'm old enough to remember ancient CRT TV sets that 'warmed up' when you turned them on - a white dot in the middle of the screen. It would take 5 to 10 seconds for the picture to 'settle'

    My 'smart' TV takes me right back to that space - but not in a funky retro way, just an annoying way.

    My next TV purchase will be a "dumb" "monitor" - lots of HDMI and audio inputs and outputs, NO apps, NO internet - I'll rely on my apple tv, amazon stick and chromecast for streaming needs, plus my home built PVR.

  35. Glenn
    February 17, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    So.....Who are you....You sound all knowledgeable and full of advice, but what qualifies you to give such important advice. You put me off as soon as you mentioned people will hack and watch through your TV. Like another commenter mentioned, nobody cares enough about you or me to sit there staring at us watching TV. Self opinionated fraud with no more experience then sitting in front of a TV. Probably not even experience in electronic retail. My advice to novices would be talk to a few honest sales people from several stores.

    • Youaredumb
      April 24, 2017 at 12:59 am

      Honest sales people? Those exist? Idiot.

    • Professor27.edu
      July 14, 2017 at 6:36 am

      What a dumbf*&k I AM an expert 40 years of electrical exp......and you are stupider than these called smart TV's....WTF, just google why should you Not buy a smart tv...you might gain some insight!

  36. Bruce Kriner
    February 15, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I'm glad i read this.i have 2 roku express hooked up to my tv's. I was going to buy a smart tv but now I'll let that thought go. My roku sticks i have about 800 different shows,movies,cartoons,music.ect. I'll buy a 1080 lcd,another stick and enjoy.thank u very much for your help. Oh hula,netflix,hbo go, got em all.

  37. Lily
    January 24, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    How much did ROKU pay you to write this biased post? I had Roku and now I have an LG smart tv and the smart tv is so much easier to use in every way. The remote is smarter and I don't have to switch to a new "source" on the tv if I want to go stream instead. The only downside for me is that I don't have access to HBO go yet.

    • Suraj Meena
      February 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Bro still external media players are good way to get updated apps and rather more smooth interface like Now Retv is providing very good streaming player

    • Sonja
      January 8, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Let something go wrong with that smart tv and see how LG does everything they can to NOT do anything for you even if you have an extended warranty. I bought a 55" smart tv that was a floor model (only paid $225 after all the discounts) and the store have me the wrong remote (it was "lost") I bought a recommended universal remote that didn't work so I found that only a very specific remote had to be purchased for my particular model and that took 2weeks to get. Them found that the store had locked the tv so I couldn't use more than half the features and when the LG customer service reps (I spoke to 11 reps and 2 executives for 3 1/2 months) they told me they would not be helping me because I didn't pay enough for the unit. I had to threaten a law suit and filing reports with the AG office, the BBB and going to the news networks to get them to honor their own policies and warranties. The smart part of the tv isn't worth the great deal I got because I have had every issue mentioned so I booked up Chromecast and stream from my phone and/or laptop with way better results. No 2 situations or tv's are going to be the same and I hope that anyone choosing a smart tv gets what they desire. Muy only recommendation is to not buy LG for their absolutely disgusting attempt at customer service. I have posted my experience on many sights hoping to help others as I've read so many similar stories.

  38. Luis
    January 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Yes, I purchased a top of the line 55" Samsung Smart TV. Of course I hate the "smart" and "Intelligent" words nowadays used to describe any device having a microprocessor and some ROM/RAM, but among my "smart" devices this is the dumbest. In my opinion smart tv's are designed by people without imagination. First the remote control is a piece of crap. I expected something better featuring an included keyboard and touchpad, then the browser is as crude and worse than the first Netscape browser. I even tried to use my iPhone to tame the beast: I quit. In short, I bought an expensive dumb TV.

  39. Denise J
    January 5, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    I have Xfinity for TV and internet. I want to keep Xfinity and the main box in the living room for recording shows, watching OnDemand, etc.
    I utilize the computer app and actually using right now and watching TV as I work. XFinity has raised the price of additional adapters to $5.99 /box per month. I am thinking of replacing an older tv by the bar and an older tv in the guest bedroom with smart tvs. Could I use the same Xfiinity app on the smart tvs as I am on my computer to watch tv. I can't see paying the $5.99 x 2 per month for the 10 times or so a year we watch/utilize these extra tvs. Thus, smart tvs to replace our older ones may be the way to go. Thoughts please...and I appreciate it!

  40. Anthony Davis
    December 29, 2016 at 7:43 am


  41. Chris M
    December 26, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I think you have done a great job explaining that Roku or Amazon Firestick or other streaming devices are better and more powerful and secure than the internet connections in the smart TV. Plus the upcharge of the Smart features for the TV are more than the Roku Streaming device per TV. We need 6 TV's in the new house we are building so this article was very very handy and helpful.

  42. dorene
    December 21, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    You forgot to mention the radiation that is constantly emitted from the Wi-Fi TV, even when it is turned off. That is the real danger and drawback of a smart TV. I've heard that even when the Wi-Fi is turned off, the radiation is still emitted - constantly.

    • TJ
      December 26, 2016 at 5:25 am

      Wifi radiation....hm... Is it different on set-top box such as roku? I don't get the point here.
      Aren't we talking about whether the smart TV is worthy or a monitor and set-top box is better?

      • Suraj Meena
        February 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm

        Yes, buying a amazing monitor is much better

    • Dorene'sGrievingBrain
      February 8, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      Dorene, absolutely everything constantly emits radiation, including your own body. Not all types of radiation are harmful.

  43. Alex
    December 16, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Previously I had a Sony 40" television that I bought in 2007. I had a chromecast hooked to it, along with a ps3 and had to exchange the hdmi cables whenever I wanted to use one or the other since the set top box was plugged into the only other hdmi slot. On black friday weekend my wife and I went out shopping for a new TV and ended up with a 55" LG OLED 4k smart tv on sale for $1800 which is far less than my 40" had cost me years ago. Having a smart tv has been a super convenience in my opinion. I can watch YouTube in full 4k as chromecast only supported 720p. 4k YouTube content looks just awesome with the OLED screen. With smart share I can access all my home movies on the pc without having to turn on the play station to connect through TVersity. There is voice activated search so I can just say the name of a movie and it will find all the sources for it that are available. We also got 3D by accident. I mean the salesguy never mentioned it, but I noticed the 3D button on the remote and it came with a set of 3D glasses. Some 3D looks pretty stunning. Got to say, I'm very pleased with my new Smart TV!

    • LG guy
      December 26, 2016 at 5:41 am

      Thank you for nice feedback!
      I am working on content discovery of LG TV, and I am very happy to hear this kind of opinion. I wonder what your TV exactly is. 2015 model? 2016 model? E6? B6?
      Is there anything more you want from the TV? Please let me know.

  44. Tiffany F.
    December 15, 2016 at 2:06 am

    I just bought 2 smart tvs after using roku sticks for a couple of years. I love my roku sticks and all the apps but i was trying to decrease remotes needed. One tv i got was a roku smart tv the other a samsung smart tv. I like my roku tv better because there are so many more apps to choose from than samsung. I got a great deal on both so i'm not upset, but i will be adding a roku stick to my "smart" samsung. There goes using only one remote!

    • Joyce
      June 24, 2017 at 1:41 am

      my experience also. have smart tv and going to get a plug in roku stick asap. much better search on all apps...amazon, netflex etc. bummer.

  45. Mark
    December 6, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    This article is ridiculous link bait. It was written as an "assignment " to catch your eye and get you to scroll down and give the advertiser more ad impressions , as well as ad to yrou "online behavior profile". It is not "advice".

    • Joyce
      June 24, 2017 at 1:42 am

      to each his own- I felt it was a good well balanced review. matched my experience exactly after switching to smart tv.

  46. Sean Welch
    December 3, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    I feel like this article would have made a good amount of sense in 2013 or earlier. But in 2016, SMART TV's are rarely more expensive, and are often cheaper than the "dumb-TV" alternate. If they are more expensive, it's by a very small margin. Also, if your SMART TV has issues with running apps and crashing, that's has nothing to due with SMART technology. That most likely just means you bought a crappy brand. I have a 40in Samsung SMART 4K UHD TV that I bought for $300 this year (2016) and the apps work perfectly, the app center is seamless and intuitive. And I don't need to spend an extra $50 on a box that has the same functionality, but also takes up one of the HDMI outputs.

    As for the "They are watching" mentality, most likely nobody cares to watch you. Those aren't valid concerns for the average person. Maybe if you were a millionaire or a political figure you would have to worry about people hacking your devices and spying, but since you most likely aren't, there would be no reason for someone to hack your tv to watch you stare at the screen, while you binge Netflix for hours.

    As with most things, If you are looking for a TV there are brands to avoid, and brands to look for. LG, Samsung, Sony, Vizio, Panasonic will all do you some good. If it is not one of these brands, There is probably a reason it is cheaper, and should be avoided if you expect it to be a great TV that lasts for years.

  47. Chungyee
    November 26, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Well, I sure appreciate your candid commentary on this subject. COMING from someone who knew absolutely nothing about smart tvs, but a burning desire to learn, I thank you. Simply explainable and best of all, practical and realistic. My other half is old school. so u know what I'll be getting! ALONG with the stick, of course, thanks again.

  48. Alex
    November 26, 2016 at 6:00 am

    I ended up getting a smart TV because it was on sale, and there was no comparable dumb TV that was similarly discounted. I haven't bothered with the smart features though, since I prefer the Roku.

  49. Barbara Machado
    November 23, 2016 at 3:50 am

    So, what kind of tv do you recommend to use with the intel computer stick? And even if the intel computer stick just have 2 ram of memory, still better then the chromecast? To transform my tv in a computer, what should I have (kind of tv and computer stick)?
    Thank you and I hope you can help me

  50. Bob K
    November 17, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Wow, this is such a smart article, no pun intended. I bought a "smart" Sony DVD player only to learn that it provides access to an extremely small number of Internet channels, excluding many that I subscribe to via ROKU (hooked up to a different TV). So I have been looking to avoid that same problem as I shop for a new TV. It's nigh onto impossible to learn what the true "smart" capability of a particular TV is in the product write-ups on the internet. Which led me to your site. Your advice to buy a dumb TV and add a ROKU makes perfect sense, and as a ROKU owner already, I should have figured that out. Thanks for pointing me in a smart direction!

  51. Sylvester
    November 13, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Well done. But after you impressive comments/information about smart tvs, you did not suggest an alternative better tv.
    In other words, if smart tabs are not worth buying for the price, what other tvs should one buy?

  52. Anita
    November 9, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    I hate my smart TV for all the reasons listed. They have made it impossible for me to walk in turn it on go to what ever I want, such as U tube to go to a exercise video, when I have only a certain amount of time and I need to be there, do it, and be done, because I have other things to do with my life. And I don't have the patience to figure out all the tech y things I need to do to make all these things work. I thought that was the point of a "Smart TV", they were suppose to do it for me. I want to get rid of my Stupid TV now and go for the Smarter DVD-streaming box on the side again. It works in a reasonable amount of time, and I don't have to know how to do all those computer wiz kids skills to do it.

  53. Roger Roger
    November 2, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Thank you for that advertisement for Roku and other streaming services. It almost had some useful information on why we shouldn't buy a smart TV in 2016. Almost.

  54. Monqiue Laramée
    October 28, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    I can't agree more on how the word smart is mis-used.
    I have no patiance to read through the whole thing here = time and my electrosensitivity issue with screen..... but another IMPORTANT reason to mention is the microwave frequencies these t.v.s give off without the option of turning the damn thing OFF.
    For an electrosensitive person and for the making of future hypersensitive people this is the worst nightmare.

  55. cooper
    October 21, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Unless I missed it, I assume that that you are forever locked-in with the capabilities of your Smart TV, saving for any updates you may receive. Of course, if you do not get updates your Smart TV is soon passed-by as the streaming technology continues to evolve. Probably not a big deal to people who don't watch a lot of TV, but it's a big loss to those who do watch a lot of TV.

    If you buy a powerful "Dumb-TV", however, you can keep upgrading your set-top boxes, sticks, what have you, "AND" you are free to go to different providers such as Roku, Amazon, and what ever else comes along, during the life of your TV, not to mention that all those devices are still free to be used on new TV's you subsequently acquire. Those are huge advantages right there that can't be ignored.

    I will stay with the utility of buying products from new generations of steaming technology and connecting them to my "Dumb TV", and yes, I have cords, boxes, and plug-ins, here and there, but I'm kinda of a slob anyway.?

  56. Jason
    October 10, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Who the heck wants another stupid box and the cables running all over the joint? I'd much much rather Smart TV be further developed, including smart phone interface or make them bluetooth keyboard capable. Cram the extra box. We've had it all and love our Samsung smart TV, connected to the wall outlet and no other wires.

  57. Sissy
    October 9, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    I cast from my smartphone to a regular HDTV and it seems the same as anything a smart tv can do. Plus my roku is so much easier and full of apps to use.

  58. dawn
    October 9, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    i agree on a non-smart tv. the problem is, where do i find one?

    • doug
      October 25, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Yeah, agreed! I took a look for a 60-69" hd 4k tv that was just a dumb screen - couldn't find one. I agree with the jist of the article, but I do not think you can get a high quality big screen tv with out it being "smart". I already have a Apple TV and amazon tv, so I do not need the tv to offer even more options that I already have on another device.

      So who offers such a thing - no-one as far as I can tell.

      I think TV's are in a really frustrating spot currently and I hope do not need to replace the thing for a while, because no one is offering a real good option.

    • sally
      May 12, 2018 at 6:22 am


  59. Kristian
    October 6, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Whoa, this is an obsolete article. Everything in this article is wrong and plainly stupid.

    • Jorde De La Verga
      December 1, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      you are stupid!

      • Swordswish
        December 7, 2016 at 10:00 am

        No, you are!

        • Tim
          December 26, 2016 at 7:29 pm

          No, I am!!!

          Oh, wait.....

        • Tim
          December 26, 2016 at 7:30 pm

          No, I am!!

          Oh, wait a second....

  60. Heather
    October 2, 2016 at 12:25 am

    I came across this page because I'm trying to find a solution to accessing my Safari bookmarks (favorite websites) from my iMac to my TV and Airplay is too painfully slow to cut it. I thought a Smart TV would be the solution? After reading this, not so sure :/

  61. guy wellman
    September 26, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    The ONLY Smart TV app that I found that worked flawlessly was Skype. If I was ever watching TV, friends and family around the world could see I was home and "available".
    I would set up any contacts needed via my laptop where I could type with ease. The remote was only ever good for "accepting" calls... but that was all I ever needed to do with it!
    Sadly, Microsoft in their wisdom decided to withdraw Smart TV support and it was forceably removed from my Samsung TV.
    Smart TV's will go the way of 3D & Curved Screens... just a FAD!

    • Joel Lee
      September 29, 2016 at 12:53 am

      Haha, that's funny because Skype tends to be buggy and problematic on other platforms (including desktops and mobile devices), at least in my experience. But yeah, I've noticed several apps on my own smart TV have been discontinued since I wrote this article, so that doesn't bode well for the future of Samsung smart TVs. Thanks for sharing, Guy.

  62. Angela
    September 12, 2016 at 10:08 am

    This is a rather negative view with many sweeping generalisations. Shop around - there are bargains & great features to be had depending on your own needs & specifications. Prices vary wildly & so do the features available and the quality of them on different brands.
    We have a brand new smart tv which is amazing. We didn't go out looking for a smart tv specifically but it came with the model that suited our needs.
    There is no camera so no "peeping" concerns - this is the case on many models now.
    The remote is voice activated and works well so no lengthy fiddly typing.
    The apps work perfectly - Amazon Prime & BBC iPlayer in particular work brilliantly.
    The extra features are definitely worth it - 3D is going out of fashion seemingly & is dismissed offhand here as a gimmick. We had 3D on an older tv and thought it was great. We now have 3D cinema in 4K on a 55" screen and it has completely blown us away - it is an absolutely stunning feature & the picture quality is jaw dropping.
    We've had fire sticks and other streaming solutions but this particular smart tv is brilliant for us - very impressed. Thought I'd put an alternative point of view to anyone still deciding on a new purchase.

    • Debbie
      October 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      Angela, what brand/model smart has voice activation? Thanks. Debbie

      • Amelia Gomez
        November 25, 2016 at 6:52 pm

        Samsung 55 inch UH6300 series has a smart voice activation remote

  63. CJ
    September 3, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    I agree with you..but it's almost like you're forced to to get Smart TV 4k etc..they leave u no options when you're at top tier..they force it upon you..like I find tvs I like and their curved gimmick or 3d don't care..I'll get the 3d and hardly use it if doesn't jack price up and it didn't..I don't see 3d lasting..picture quality is getting better and better..OLED pretty cool..but ppl are nuts unless they have cash to burn.
    Way too flawed and in its infancy..why do you think LG only ones who are over their heads imo..great article..just don't think it helps most ppl who are now buying 4k..I don't think you can get 4k wo smart..coz it Has become cheap and assembly lines have been using it for yrs now..it's not new..bought Samsung 47 inch smart tv 1080 for 800 in 2009..that's ridiculous deal..it was ebay..but that was price no auction..

    • Ovidiu
      September 19, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      I haven't understood almost nothing you said there... you said nothing coherent to make any sense. Sad.

  64. Shawn
    August 29, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    I'm in the market for a replacement tv for my liv rm and was actually curious if I needed to spend the extra cash for the "smart" tv. I bought one for our kids playroom last year and was so disappointed with the menu and interface in general for Netflix, etc, that I donated our Apple TV 2 to the playroom and bought the ATV 4th gen for the liv room.

    This article simply confirmed what I suspected, that smart tvs don't have a place for many of us, though based on a few comments I can see they have a place for some, though I would also argue that they are near useless when it comes to interface, which for me is what my experience is based upon. Those of us who have other streaming devices like Rokus and Apple TVs realize quickly that "smart" tvs really aren't worth the trouble.

    Thanks for the well written article.

    • Joel Lee
      August 29, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      Yes, smart TV interfaces leave a lot to be desired (at least the ones that I've seen). Good call on going with a Roku. If I didn't have a smart TV, that's definitely what I'd get! Thanks Shawn. Glad you liked the article.

    • Gurdeep
      September 2, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Thanks for writing this Joel!

      After wasting my money on a so called 3D "smart" TV a few years back, it was a hard job for me to decide on the smart equipment that I really wanted for my already aging "smart" TV based on Netscape OS.

      After researching a lot, I settled on the Apple TV 4 and Im glad that I made the right choice!

      It just fits all my specific requirements quite well. For example:

      -- It can connect to the internet via a more reliable ethernet port which is just amazing for me since it can stream saved content directly off my Seagate NAS in a faster way with no hickups or pauses or freezes.

      -- The HDMI out from it is capable of carrying DTS data which means no problem forwarding it my 5.1 AV through optical SPDIF.

      -- It is able to send the audio feed to an alternative audio equipment. A pair of my BT JBLs in this case. It really helps when I have to project the video out on a larger screen through my Sony LCD projector.

      -- It is capable of connecting to my BT Logitech Keyboard. A sigh of relief when I have type out those long passwords or search queried! Though the updated phone remote app does it equally well too, I just prefer it over the phone anyday as it is way more handy in my case.

      -- Its portable. I can connect it to any TV in my home.

      -- The provided remote has all the sensors embedded for that awesome TV watching, gaming experience which is just amazing! Its only wonderful that I can control all my three devices (the ATV, TV and HT/AV) with a single remote!

      -- The interface is very clean, easy to use, fast and very smooth!

      -- The last but not the least - the major one though! This device is App Store ready so there are tons of tons of useful apps that I can install on it everyday with more and more adding up daily! Cool!

      I hope this helps someone who really wants to decide between a "smart" TV and a standalone streaming component, and still please stay away from those "smart" TVs in year 2016.

      Happy watching!
      A user from Asia/India

  65. Wilbur Kookmeyer
    August 29, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Look for the article called "The Best Five Dumb TVs on the Market". (Hint: There isn't one).

    • Bob K
      November 17, 2016 at 1:42 pm


  66. Aziz
    August 27, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    1. Yes of course there is security concerns.. as you said our phones and pcs are also at risk. Why are you trying to scare us so much? Not everyone would have a webcam on their tv and not everyone would keep it powered on all day long.. my laptop has an inbuilt webcam, do I stop using that as well?

    2. Yes, the interface is not so great.. but not everyone is worried about the interface all the time. The question is, does it get the job done? Don’t forget, the primary job of the tv is to play videos, rest (apps and other things) is just additional functionality. And fyi, the latest smart tvs have beautiful interfaces. Not all of them suck. Infact it sounds even more cumbersome to use your smartphone all the time instead of a remote. You would want to do other shit on the smartphone instead.

    3. Refer point 2

    4. Stop cribbing about the damn apps.. they are just an additional feature. And most of your points are very subjective.. not all smart tvs face these problems. They have tons of simple intuitive apps and games that are worth it.

    5. Your Roku and chromecast are not compatible with everything and have tons of glitches itself.

    6 (bonus). If it is wifi enabled and can stream videos, it's a smart tv. That's why it's called a SMART TV and not a COMPUTER or a SMART BIG PHONE. You wont get all the features of a phone or a pc on it.. IT'S A TV DAMMIT !
    Roku sponsored article it seems.

    • Jimmy Smits
      September 28, 2016 at 2:00 am

      Phone manufacturers are under much more scrutiny, so they get regular security updates. TVs do not. And even if it doesn't have a web cam, the manufacturers collect and sell your viewing habits, and if it has voice control, they even can listen in on your conversations. And even if you trust the manufacturers, the lack of security updates mean hackers can access your TV and turn on the microphone, capture your Netflix password, etc.

  67. Cindy
    August 27, 2016 at 5:00 am

    I can buy a 40" smart tv at target for $229. Even if the benefits are only for a couple years it doesn't seem too high a price for the convenience.

  68. Rajesh Kumar
    August 10, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Very nice article. It saved me a lot of money.

    • Joel Lee
      August 19, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      Great! Glad we could help out, Rajesh. :)

  69. John
    August 9, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Do they even make non-SMART TVs anymore? Maybe this article would have been more useful if they had given some recommendations on what to buy instead. Rather, the article is like "Well, these suck, don't buy 'em.....okay bye!".

  70. Raj
    July 24, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I'm pretty sure every TV that is sold today is SMART..

    • Ian
      August 10, 2016 at 11:08 am

      No , more non smart TVs are now available from various manufacturers though you have to search for them as they want to sell you expensive smart TVs

  71. Esteban
    July 23, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    "That’s a difference of $33. The more expensive you go, the greater the difference will become."

    Wait. Really?

  72. Andy Kane
    July 6, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Advice please? I was looking at putting in a smart tv into a kitchen diner on ground floor as a second tv and don't want to pay 2nd tv fee to tv company and also no cable going to that part of house.
    If I don't go for Smart tv, what dongle / stick would be best to use on a regular tv?

  73. Alex
    June 25, 2016 at 2:58 am

    This makes some interesting points. Im looking at a smart tv for my elderly parents as free to air is very lacking in shows for them. There is no way they will ever get a smart phone or tablet for Chromecast. I tried showing mum how to send a text with an S2 and she had no idea.
    They now have high speed internet in the area, so Im thinking Net flix and other shows will be the way to go... also streaming youtube as I currently download youtube videos for them to watch on USB on their 32 inch LG tv... eg the Two Ronnies... (thats how old they are :)
    Im in Australia BTW
    Cheers for the opinion piece...

  74. Javier
    June 16, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    The only point I see in buying a smart, is 3d. Does anybody know whether it´s possible to have that feature with a plain tv and some kind os STB or Stick ?

    • Joel Lee
      June 19, 2016 at 3:55 am

      Interesting question, Javier! My gut tells me that it won't be possible but I'd love to be wrong about that.

  75. Azungu
    June 16, 2016 at 1:29 am

    Are big screen "dumb" TV still available?

    • Joel Lee
      June 19, 2016 at 3:55 am

      These days, the bigger the screen is, the less likely you'll find "dumb" models. Unfortunately it seems like smartness is just a feature that we'll have to pay for regardless of whether we want it or not. :(

  76. nik
    May 6, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    I agree about segregated smartness. That said, in May2016, find me a 4k tv with best video quality that is NOT smart. Its default now. Use it or Not.

    • Joel Lee
      May 13, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      Ahhh, you're right, nik. It seems like non-smart TVs are becoming harder, even impossible, to find. That kinda sucks but I guess it doesn't make sense for manufacturers to make two types for all of their newer models...

  77. Craig L Rainey
    April 22, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    I have owned a Samsung smart TV for a few years but will never buy another. I agree the price is just not worth it. I can do more with a Samsung streaming Blu-ray player attached to a plain TV so why pay so much for the same built in to a smart TV?
    Great article.

  78. Anonymous
    February 27, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    The problem is that almost all smart have better picture quality than those without.

  79. Anonymous
    February 9, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    So , i will not be buying this TV for sure . Does anybody know why people hack things ??

    • Craig L Rainey
      April 22, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      Because they can and they have no real purpose in life. Or to just plain rob you.

  80. Dude
    February 9, 2016 at 12:54 am

    These are all reasons I don't want a smart TV besides I have a PC for anything else that is "smart".....
    The issue I'm having is finding newer tech TV's that are not smart TV's. It is really disheartening to know that that uhd TV is $1100+ and for some reason. are only available as smart... Why can't I get all that goodness without the nonsense bloatware that comes with a Smart TV? I bet prices would drop a lot and they could get more buys. It's annoying really.

  81. diode
    February 7, 2016 at 4:43 am

    I own a Sony Bravia x8500c Android smart Tv.
    I put a HDD on it with all photos, movies and music.
    Then installed Kodi
    With this I got rid of my Desktop PC and my XMBC box. I think the result is ace.

  82. Harald
    February 5, 2016 at 6:14 am

    I wonder if the author ever got further than the first generation smart TVs. My LG and its WebOS2 is amazing, its apps are pretty much flawless, input inside the Netflix and other apps are just like the roku. I have a chromecast as well, but never use it anymore because the TV has chromecast tech on itself.
    The apps never freeze on me, update by themselves and I have plenty of options in the app store.

    Also, the link software mentioned allows for a single remote to control blueray,audio set, etc. This is NOT minor point.

    Honestly, this article reeks of resentment of having bought the wrong TV and failing at it.
    Enjoy living in the past.

  83. Mike Sierra
    February 2, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Amazon sells chinese android sticks for almost nothing.
    stick it on hdmi, put a usb hub (with own power suuply) to have a wireless mouse, an external hdd, and even a ethernet/usb converter if you want to avoid wifi-
    Not as good as chromecast, I guess, but good enough for youtube and your dwnloaded movies, etc...

    Smarts TVs not really good, that's sure

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:22 am

      Can't really vouch for the Chinese Android sticks (never used one myself) but yeah, lots of relatively cheap alternatives to smart TVs. Thanks for sharing, Mike.

  84. Mosi
    February 2, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Are ads still a concern?

  85. Keith
    February 2, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Gotta agree with the author. I've witnessed all this first hand and will never buy another smart TV or BlueRay device with the intention of using its' smart features. Worthless crap. Get a TV settop box or Chromecast, much better money spent. If you already have a PC or phone, a Chromecast is all you need.

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:22 am

      Thanks Keith! It's amazing how useful the Chromecast is, and so cheap!

  86. wmcnair2
    February 2, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I agree with this analysis. The good parts of flat screen TV's (great picture, great looking on a wall) are buried in worthless Smart TV software applet features that do not really work but set expectations. To make matters worse, every peripheral you buy now (BluRay, DVD players, etc., etc) has managed to duplicate these next to worthless applets, creating even more confusion and the illusion of unsatisfactory performance.

    If an android operating system can be put in a cellphone, it can be put in a flat screen TV. Why is this not being done.

    I get the issue with the Microsoft Windows 10... that is the metro apps that have so far been developed (as opposed to the desktop apps) are even worse than the Smart TV apps. And the Microsoft apps like their Media Center have been abandoned. So no one would want Windows 10 in their flat screen TV. But a Samsung flat screen with an android operating system interface would be pretty exciting!

    • Annie
      September 26, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      Thanks for the detail about using players etc. I intend buying a smart tv plus a blu-ray dvd player and hd definition recorder. Due to what you stated I will certainly forget about a smart tv, as using both will very complicating - for me anyhow.

  87. Smart TV Worth it
    February 2, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    If you have DirecTV, and want to use their RVU technology without purchasing another Genie Mini at a tune of $99, and a $69 fee for the tech to come out and set it up. A DirecTV Ready Smart TV is worth it. There are not a lot of models to choose from is what I found out, but if you get one as I did in a 32" Samsung LED Model which is all the bigger I needed at this time, it works great. Now you have to have a hard wired connection so that it picks up the RVU DirecTV server from the main Genie system box, but aside from that it has played great, with a clear picture. One key thing they stressed is make sure that you update the firmware before connecting. I did that, and things have been working great, with a clear picture, a little 3 to 5 second delay when it is connecting to the RVU server, but other than that it has worked great. We have even watched a few movies from Amazon and had no issues with it playing. For my intent and purpose this was just as cost effective as buying the same TV as a dumb TV at about the same price only saving would have been about $50 to $60. Bottom line do your research, and know what you are looking at and what you plan on using it for.

    • bukzin
      September 25, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      What is RVU? Is it part of all DirecTV Genie boxes, or is it an add-on?

      Which model DVR are you using?


  88. Anonymous
    February 2, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    I agree with all of your reasons for the deficits that the so called smart tv's have along with the privacy concerns. However even if they are in your words obsolete which is true the simple fact is that they like a lot of things say your smart phones, Windows 10 etc not going any where. The biggest reason is that they all regardless of what OS they run have a app stores as a key feature of their interfaces. In the case of smart phones, that would be Android and iOS and the big push for universal usage of Windows 10, the Mac OSX does not really count because of its very small user base in comparison to the use of Windows. If you are in the market for any of the TV's that are in the high end of the spectrum regardless of brand are all smart TV's. I am saving up for an LG UHD OLED TV and these simply are not available in a so called dumb configuration without 3D tech built in. Your recommendation to simply not to buy a smart tv in 2016 is just plain miss informed and silly. The only limitations and security vulnerabilities that the so called smart tv's have is only a problem if you connect them to the internet. Given the popularity of all of the various streaming set top boxes that are flooding into the market place I bet that most if not all of them are connected to a smart tv because the owners realize the limitations and poor implementation of the smart features that are on their TV's I have not done an in depth study of what it available in the whole tv market but I bet that anyone interested in getting a 4K UHD TV will be hard pressed to find one that is not a smart TV.

    I personally use my HDTV's in a non standard way, I have a Yamaha AVR connected to my older Vizio 1080P TV. I am an avid gamer and have the following connected to the AVR, a PS3, PS4, a new gaming PC that dual boots between Wiindows 10 and the Steam OS, an older PC workstation/gaming PC running Windows 7 Ultimate and an Nvidia Shield Android TV set top box. Along with my older Vizio purchased back in 2007 which does not have any smart features I also have a 32" LG HD 3D TV that is used as my workstations primary monitor. The LG is a smart TV but it has never even had my Verizion Fios connected to it let alone being connected to the internet. I am connected enough with all of the other devices. My current 1080P TV's are still working well in spite of being on almost 24/7 since they were new and have served me well but I now am interested in enjoying 4K replacements.

  89. WhooHaa
    February 2, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Just get Apple TV

    • alex
      February 2, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      $35 roku stick vs ~$100 Apple tv.

      BTW just take a raspberry PI and create your own using kodi.

  90. Andrew
    February 2, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Complete falsities. Mt Vizio 60" 4K smart tv is a joy to use. Single button on the (full qwerty remote) to get to YouTube/ Netflix. I have the Android box on my lesser TV's, and what a buggy POS that is.

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:21 am

      Wow, that's awesome that your remote is full QWERTY. I guess it must be a high-end-only thing. It should really be for all smart TVs though.

      • Andrew
        February 4, 2016 at 3:28 am

        Vizio is considered mid range at best. But I have to say having owned three of them now they really perform quite well. And the QWERTY thing really was surprising. The front of the remote looks like any regular, but when you flip it over it looks like a mini BT kb.

  91. waicool
    February 2, 2016 at 11:42 am

    smart tv's are noisy

  92. lott11
    February 2, 2016 at 4:53 am

    Smart TV’s are just a waist of time and money.
    That only thing that I look at when purchasing a TV is what is the response time and screen type.
    As this is the monitor for a PC's, and most of this are not even so called top brands.
    There is no LG nor Samsung or even Panasonic,
    I have vizio, sceptre, TLC, and Proscan, what do all of this TV's have in particular they all have 4 Millie second response and 476-592 DPI.
    All but one have cost under $589.00 the vizio cost $1290.00 7 years ago and it is still working.
    As for watching the net they are using PC, all but one that uses an android box that cost $44.00.
    The box is used with xbmc now kodi, I had purchased a roku but it did not work when I moved to south America.
    I Had to return roku it was a waist of time a money.
    And to that other bad point would I buy a 4k TV, that would be a no.
    on less you make your movies at 4k it is not worth it, plus at this time there are so few TV's that will display at or over 60 FPS.
    And most of all there is no stander for 4k TV's.
    And to top it of all smart TV's where supposed to be up graded, none of then ever got a firmware up date.
    There are at least 2 points to my use, first is cable cutting a second is no need for a monitor.
    Plus I get to pick what I want to view, and have my choice of OS and how secured it is.
    There are no restrictions of content, nor what country can I use it in.
    In other words no limitations.

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:20 am

      Thanks for sharing, lott11. It's good to hear other people's stories. Every bit of input helps spread awareness that smart TVs aren't all they're cracked up to be. :)

  93. LM
    February 2, 2016 at 2:12 am

    My LG "smart" TV became a dumb TV after about a year. Now, I use an Amazon TV which is what I was expecting when I bought this particular TV.

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:19 am

      How do you like your Amazon TV?

  94. Col_Panek
    February 2, 2016 at 1:37 am

    I bought a 39 inch Philips "smart" TV for $229. It was cheaper than a dumb TV. We seldom use any smart features, so who cares?

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:19 am

      If it's cheaper than a dumb TV, then yeah, go for it. :)

  95. Anonymous
    February 2, 2016 at 1:35 am

    Interesting stuff but I feel written for readers in the UK / Europe / USA or highly developed Far Eastern markets. The TV coverage for people like myself in SE Asia can be very limited and of poor quality without IPTV so why not go for one built in especially when Android based smart tv's are no more expensive than others now and with 4k tv there is virtually no difference in one with or without android smart capability.
    I have an android set top box at the moment, it is good but better operated with a mouse than with a remote, an all in one may be better.

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:18 am

      Hi Alan, you're right. This was written from the perspective of a U.S. smart TV owner and I wouldn't be surprised if some (or all) of it didn't apply to the Far East. Do you not have things like Roku or Chromecast over there? I guess there's an issue with service availability (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc)?

  96. rk
    February 2, 2016 at 1:16 am

    The technology is moving faster than most people are able to keep up. For simple TV viewing, SMART TVs are not so bad. I bought one only to replace an older Panasonic which had class action suits on that model! The price for the reg vs smart was insignificant and I wanted to dump my cable. Despite me working in IT, I find it impossible to keep up with all the gadgets to control the TV and the corresponding learning curves (not to mention the amount of research I end up putting into each little darn device I have to buy) and then troubleshooting issues etc. I am lately feeling like all this is only complicating my life and taking away the pleasure of just relaxing with a TV for a short while! I love computers and am savvy and yet, when they break, I end up researching/fixing, again my precious time taken away from other fruitful hobbies I have. Sorry for the ranting, basically I just wanted to say that I have got no time to keep up with all the gadgets and if I can stream Netflix (albeit the interface is clunky) on my SMART tv and settle down with family, I am fine with it! I don't want to control my TV with ipad or iphone etc. all of which I have.

    • alceste
      February 2, 2016 at 6:32 am

      Very wise and eye opening comment

      • rk
        February 4, 2016 at 7:59 pm

        Thank you alceste :) Weren't computers alone supposed to make our lives so much easier and would leave lots of time to enjoy other hobbies etc? lol!

    • UK IT Chap
      February 2, 2016 at 9:10 am

      I agree, whilst I am in IT also, I like to know that my non-tech savvy wife can sit down to watch streaming media etc without having to ask me how to do it every 5 minutes!

      I think that's the main appeal of the smart TV, it's for all those people who don't have the time or inclination to go searching for the best media player, USB stick but who just want a TV they can stream stuff from....

      I have set up plex at home & with our samsung smart TV it couldn't be simpler for the wife to watch whatever she wants without ever having to hassle me :)

      • rk
        February 4, 2016 at 8:02 pm

        @UK, I am the wife here that sets up wireless routers and fixes PC issues etc, :) I just don't want to spend hours of my time buying gadgets/fixing gadgets etc. adding to the complexity of life anymore.

  97. fred
    February 2, 2016 at 12:49 am

    Agreed with the Smart TV comments, I have a Samsung and the "smart" part is pretty "stupid" :-) I'm looking into a Roku box in time. The "smart" part is totally useless...

  98. David
    February 2, 2016 at 12:22 am

    We bought a LG Smart TV in 2011 -- there aren't many smart apps left since apparently LG doesn't want to support them on a 4+ year old TV. This is off topic but cars are even a bigger problem - automakers do not seem to be interested in maintaining or upgrading their smart software either.

  99. ameliahoward45
    February 1, 2016 at 7:37 pm


  100. Sonic Jensen
    February 1, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I like my smart tv. But i think it could be much better 2

  101. Rozdev
    January 31, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I got a Sony smart tv and would not do without it. First theres no camera or microphone on the tv, and i would not do without Netflix.
    The above artickel is some strange "I could not find better things to write"
    Smarttv`s are great.and in my country they are not much more expensive than a plain tv.

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:17 am

      Well, in my case I feel like the smart TV offers no benefits over a dumb TV + streaming device, and I want people to know that there are better alternatives to the smart TV. It does change depending on your country though. I only have U.S. experience so that's all I can speak on.

  102. Sacha Howard
    January 30, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    I agree in many ways, but there are some smart TVs which are okay.

  103. Anonymous
    January 29, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    "smart TV cameras could be used to spy on innocent people."
    As can the smart microphones that listen for voice commands.

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:15 am

      True that! How scary. Ugh.

  104. Anonymous
    January 29, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    You are 100% right. I was duped into buying one. The tv is great but the smart stuff isn't worth a dime. EXACTLY as you detailed it.
    Thanks for the info. Others should heed it.

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:15 am

      Thanks, glad you liked it. Please share and get the word out. :)

  105. Anonymous
    January 29, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I have been using Zotac Box, with my 27" LCD monitor for past 3 years, now I switched to Raspberry Pi with Kodi on it and my "TV" can do far more than my friends 1200$ Samsung Smart TV. Now I am just thinking about buying bigger screen, so some 50" TV will be enough.. All I need is good image quality, the rest is taken care of. In a few years when many today's smart TVs become obsolete, I can just swap the Raspberry Pi, which is 50$ item, and I am future proofed again, no need to buy new TV.

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:15 am

      It's amazing what can be done with the RPi. Not everyone knows how to use one, but it's not that hard to learn and certainly worth the effort. You're doing the smart thing. Keep it up, Jerry. :)

  106. Anonymous
    January 29, 2016 at 2:16 am

    The problem is that the higher end TVs often don't offer you a choice.

    Buy a TV based on the screen size and picture quality. Pay extra for that, not for other bells and whistles. Everything else can be done better by external gadgets if it needs to be done at all.

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:13 am

      That's true. A lot of the higher-end (or maybe all?) only come in smart varieties, which is a shame. I guess the takeaway is that whenever you have a choice between smart and dumb TV models, just go for the dumb one unless they are exactly the same price. Thanks hildyblog!

  107. Anonymous
    January 28, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    I prefer to pick a normal TV (which often cost less than a smart TV), and choose myself the smart device that will power it. The price difference between a normal and smart TV will often be more than the cost of the device and won't be left unsupported for at least a while longer than TV apps.

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:13 am

      I agree, I think that's the best way to go these days. Thanks for the input, m-p. :)

  108. Whitenight12
    January 28, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    My plan for my next tv is to get one with roku built in and save the hdmi port.

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:12 am

      That's a better plan, but be careful. If Roku ever goes under (for whatever reason), you'll be left with a "dumb" TV again. I don't think that's a big risk, but still a risk.

  109. bart
    January 28, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Chromecast sorts all of your smar tv problems, right from your phone or tablet.

    • Janus
      January 29, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      Yes... Chromecast is exactly what a smarttv does, it is just called Chromecast instead. Never let a 3rd party device access your network without you knowing in details what it is sending back and forth.

    • Anonymous
      February 1, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      Problems with the Chromecast as a media device:

      1. You have to use another device to control it. That's fine if you're already married to your phone, tablet or PC in your living room or bedroom, but it's fairly lame if you want a simple experience. It's also problematic if someone who doesn't have one of those things wants to use it for some reason, or for slow-on-the-tech-uptake folks.

      2. It absolutely requires internet access to function. Granted, so does Netflix. But if you have media files and you just want a way to show them on a TV, Chromecast isn't the way to do that.

      3. Chromecast doesn't support some audio formats. I hope you didn't really want to hear anything encoded with DTS. Chromecast also doesn't support alternative audio outputs, which may or may not be acceptable for people who have sound bars, bluetooth speakers or A/V receivers lacking HDMI inputs.

      4. Chromecast doesn't support proper Ethernet. I hope you like occasional dropped connections because your neighbor is using their microwave.

      5. Chromecast is a level of vendor lock-in with Google, just as Apple TV is for Apple. Some Chromecast features are a lot less useful or interesting if you aren't already a big fan of Google software or services.

      I try very hard to steer people toward FireTV or Roku boxes rather than any form of "stick"-style device. There's no perfect set top box, but at least the box-style devices have real remote controls and some options for network and audio connectivity rather than being "one size fits some" like the Chromecast.

  110. Andrew
    January 28, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    The only thing I would say is that more and more TVs are getting built with Roku guts built right into them. We picked one up and it's great.

    Our Samsung's 'smart' features...useless. In fact all it does now is annoyingly pop up to say it needs yet another firmware update.

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:11 am

      Roku is such a great piece of technology. I wasn't aware that there were TVs with Roku built in, that sounds pretty cool. Might fall into the same troubles as smart TVs in a few years though, depending on how well Roku does. The smart TV firmware updates are pretty annoying! And slow. So slow.

  111. Na Me
    January 28, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    we did buy a Smart TV about 2 years ago. all above is absolutely correct. The only thing I would potentially value for having TV connected to the Internet is to make use of Netflix. but for the price difference I could have bought an Apple TV, have same and better futures. Smart TV is instantly outdated anyhow. So I do not suggest a Smart TV

    • Joel Lee
      February 4, 2016 at 3:10 am

      Yeah, Netflix (and occasionally HBO GO and Amazon Prime) are the only things I use the "smart" functions for, and those can easily be replicated with a cheap media stick. Definitely outdated, imo. Thanks Na Me!

    • Nancy Russell
      March 13, 2017 at 6:52 pm


    • Nancy Russell
      March 13, 2017 at 6:53 pm