Are you shopping for a new television? If you are, there are vital things to keep in mind. You need to consider its screen size, as well as picture and sound qualities. Connectivity is also important to some people.
In the past years, however, people are looking for one important factor when buying a TV. And that’s how smart the gadget is. Nowadays, smart TV had dominated the store shelves. But have you asked yourself if you need it?
What does a smart TV do?
Smart TV, as we know it, is a kind of television that incorporates a platform. This platform or operating system enables consumers to manage, access or view the Internet content without having to connect it to another box.
But you must connect it to a WiFi. You can also connect it to an ethernet to have a stable connection. However, if the television is in a different room than your router, then WiFi is more convenient.
Connecting it to the Internet requires login information. Once you’ve signed in, you can now see its on-screen menu. It includes a list of Internet channels that are pre-installed. But you can download and add some apps to your app library. Navigating your smart TV menu will depend on its brand and model.
What are the advantages of a smart TV over a traditional television?
Its primary benefit is to give you access to a significant number of channels that offer movies, music, and TV programs without the need for a cable subscription or TV antenna. Some models let you browse the web, play and access media content on your PC.
More and more TV viewers are abandoning cable subscription services and choose Internet streaming. Some smart TV models can receive TV programming through an antenna. However, other models eliminated built-in tuners and antenna connections. Instead, they have an integrated streaming platform.
Another benefit of having a smart TV is that other users can view content from a compatible smartphone or tablet on a TV screen. In some models, they allow content to be viewed from the TV to a compatible smartphone or tablet. That case, you can continue viewing a show or any media content on your smartphone while you’re away from the TV.
What are the costs?
Smart TVs do offer tons of benefits that are extremely compelling. However, you must also consider their additional costs and some limitations.
It’s true that it gives you access to free channels and services. However, most channels require a monthly subscription. That said, you could end up spending more than when you have a cable subscription. Then again, you’ll only pay for the channels that you want, uncle a cable or satellite service.
Furthermore, the brand of smart TV you choose will determine the kind of features that you can access. All smart TVs can give you access to a lot of services. However, there are niche channels that you wish to access but are not accessible to the platform you choose. For example, if you’re using Apple Music for streaming audio or video, you may still have to purchase an Apple TV box to access it.
Does it have privacy issues?
There’s a good chance that your smart TV is spying on you. In a Wikileaks release, it revealed that among the smart TV owners, the most vulnerable are those with Samsung smart TV.
But Samsung isn’t the only smart TV that can spy on you. Most brands can track your viewing habits to give you viewing suggestions. For instance, it’ll give you shows that you’ve seen recently and provided recommendations for related movies that you might be interested in watching based on your recently watched videos.
Although it seems harmless as it cuts down the time it takes for you to search for movies, this device can do more than just monitor your viewing habits. Keep in mind that it has a webcam and a voice control. In that case, anyone can hack in or see you.
Furthermore, credit card purchases through your TV can be tracked by third-party companies. In that case, be cautious when you’re using your credit card on smart TV, just as you would with your computer or laptop.
Are there alternatives?
You may be tempted to give in and purchase the latest smart TV because of its most significant features. However, you should remember that your current TV may let you add some smart features to your TV viewing experience without investing a lot.
For example, you can use Blu-ray player. Most players can give you access to some Internet streaming channels. But it depends on the brand of Blu-ray Disc player you have. Of course, the list of channels isn’t that extensive. However, it’s still convenient because you don’t need to connect it to your TV.
Apple TV is another alternative. Released in 2007, this device can play contents from various video streaming websites, such as Netflix, iTunes, Disney Junior, etc.
Furthermore, it connects and streams photos and videos, as well as music from your computer. With Airplay, you can share and stream content wirelessly from your iOS devices to your TV. In that case, you’ll mirror your current display of a device to let you play and enjoy an app using a larger screen.
When you shop for a new television, you should realize that most brands and models have smart functionalities that can widen your viewing options.
But you must remember that there are variations in accessing some content. Furthermore, you may have to pay an additional fee for certain subscriptions.
Getting a smart TV can be a good choice if you don’t have other devices that let you access Internet streaming content. If you have a smart TV, but you can’t access some streaming channels, you can just buy an external media streaming, rather than purchasing a new smart TV. It’s also true if you have a TV without smart features, but its picture quality is perfect.