Are Smart TVs Worth It? Why Are They So Popular?

Are Smart TVs Worth It? Why Are They So Popular?

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So, I was looking through Best Selling TV’s List, as you do when it’s a Wednesday and feeling kind of, under the weather. I found out that 9 out of the 10 top best-selling TVs on Amazon are Smart TVs. Seven of those are Roku TVs, sold by TCL. Now, we’ll get to all those in just a second. Now there is one more, there’s the one that’s not a Smart TV, that’s a Specter, I want to say, and it’s the cheapest 40 inch TV that I think, I’ve ever seen in my life, so that’s probably why that’s on the list. But why are 9 out of 10 Smart TVs? Well, that’s what we’re going to find out today. So, I’ll hope you’ll stick with me. Now, I know what you’re going to say, “Smart TVs are not a new thing.” That’s true. But they are kind of marching their way toward ubiquity. So, I figure it’s worth questioning now, whether you should jump in and join the Smart TV trend or if maybe, you should hold off for a while and stick with your old dumb TV. Let’s find out.

 Now, we really should start with the most basic of basic questions, what is a Smart TV? If you feel like you’d like a little primer on precisely what Smart TVs are and how they work. Then stick with me, we’ll go check it out right now. Now, Smart TV is just a TV with an operating system. It is not a Smart TV, by the way; we just thought it looked cool. Anyway, think of it a bit like your phone. Your phone is still a phone because it makes phone calls, which makes it a phone. Your phone now also has apps that let you play games, do your banking, browse the Internet, play games, or maybe play some games. Whatever you want to do on there, it can now do. Your TV works on a similar principle. So it is still a TV, it does everything that the old TV can do. But Smart TV is now run by apps. A Smart TV works much the same way, except you don’t carry it around in your pocket. When you turn on a Smart TV, the interface that you see there is the operating system. But what matters are the apps that you have in there because those apps are how you’re going to, you know, watch stuff? So you can use your cable or your satellite subscription just like you used too. But where Smart TVs shine is with cord-cutting. 

Cord Cutting

Now, cord-cutting is where you take those old cable and satellite subscriptions, get rid of those, and just start streaming all of your content. Everybody’s heard of Netflix, Hulu, doesn’t matter. The point is, with all of these things, you can stream your content to your heart’s content or your wallet’s content anyway. So, the question is, how do you get these apps on your TV? Well, with an old TV, what you would do is just grab something like this Apple TV or like a Chromecast. You plug this into your old, dumb TV, and suddenly, it becomes a lot like a Smart TV. It runs all these apps and lets you watch content. So the question is, why wouldn’t you just get a $30.00 Chrome Cast and this into your old TV if it can do everything that a Smart TV can? Why am I even talking about Smart TVs today? Why don’t you just grab one of these and make your old dumb TV a Smart TV? It’s a good question. And the answer is, maybe you should just do that, honestly. It’s very slick, and I like the interface. If you’re an Apple person, these are great. But the only problem with these is that you can’t get an Apple Smart TV. It is not built into any TV’s, and we’ll get to why you might care about that in just a moment. If you are getting a new TV then, you will probably just consider going with Smart TV for a couple of reasons.

 First of all, most of the new TVs out there are Smart TVs so you may not have many choices. But, if you do and you want a couple of reasons why this is a good idea. Here is a couple. First of all, let me tell you I’ve got two TVs in my house. One is a Smart TV, and it’s a Roku TCL TV. The other one is an older Samsung that I’ve plugged a Roku device. Now, when I use the older TV, I’ve got two remotes to work. I’ve got the Roku and the TV remote. On Smart TV, it’s just a single remote. Does that sound like a big deal? Well, it’s not. But, day in and day out, it can get annoying to deal with two remotes. I’m sure we’ve all worked with many remotes at one time, and it gets annoying after awhile. The other thing to consider is HDMI ports. On an older TV, you usually have fewer HDMI ports, to begin. Maybe one or just two.

 Let’s say you’ve got two, and I’ve got to plug that Roku device into one of those. Suddenly, I only have one HDMI port left. And if I’ve got a DVD player and game console that I want to plugin. Suddenly, I’m continually changing out those HDMI connections. And that’s going to get annoying after awhile. Believe me. Ultimately though, either way, you go. Whether it’s with one of these little devices that you plug into an older TV or getting a new Smart TV, you’re going to have a much more modern experience capable of doing the streaming that people are doing nowadays. So it’s going to be better for you either way. So, is there any reason why somebody purchasing a new TV would not get a Smart TV? Well, I’m glad you asked. There are a couple of reasons that I can think. First of all, Smart TV …As I said, it’s a TV with an operating system built-in. 

With all that significant beautiful software that’s included in that, are significant beautiful opportunities to crash. What does that look like on a Smart TV? Freezing apps, randomly resetting the TV, that sort of thing. It can get pretty annoying after a little while. Spotify had an app on Roku, they took it away so that they could fix it and now it’s back, and it’s better. But, for a long time, I knew that if I clicked on the Spotify app, it would start to load, and then it would crash. Take me back to the home screen. And then I would have to do it again, and it wouldn’t work the second time.

 I don’t know what that little bug was, and I’m glad they fixed it. But those are the little things that can, kind of, ruin that day-to-day experience with your Smart TV system. Now the second reason you might not get a Smart TV is, if you’re just really, really resistant to change, I guess. If you’re delighted with how all of the old stuff works and you just want to hang onto that cable subscription, go for it. A dumb TV can do that for you. But, I would just caveat that by saying that, a Smart TV can do everything that an older, dumb TV can do. But it can do so much more. Yes, you can play games on there. But you can also do screen mirroring or integrate voice assistance like Alexa or Google Assistant, things like that. So, Smart TV As I said, it can do everything else the old one’s can. And ever so much more. So I do recommend it.

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I’m here at Indian Home Appliances to illustrate the point because check this out over here. It is a 55 inch, 4K UHD TV for 350 bucks. Three hundred fifty bucks, this isn’t exactly rocket science here. Think of it this way, in the year 2000, to get the same amount of screen real estate; you’d have to pay $9,000.00, which’s for crappier picture quality. So yeah, it’s kind of a no brainer these days to go with Smart TV. So, if you’ve decided to go for a Smart TV that a Smart choice, first of all, But now the question is, which one? So, let’s talk about the 800-pound elephant-shaped gorilla in the room, TCL.

Now, not every single TV on this row is TCL, but a good chunk is. Like I said, with the top 10 Amazon Best Sellers, seven of those top 10 are TCL Roku TVs. It’s got shockingly good picture quality considering its $350.00 price tag. And why is Roku that great? Well, in a word, yeah. It kind of is. TCL is simple; it’s easy to use for a beginner. Plus, one of my favorite things about it is that it’s brand-agnostic, which means if you’re searching for something to watch and unsure which platform to use. It’s not going to favor Google or Amazon or anyone else. It’s just going to tell you where you can watch that thing for the cheapest. IF you want to step it up even further from there, because like they say, “You get what you pay for,” you can get some premium level … Premium quality TVs. Think Samsung, LG, Sony they sell TVs in the $1,500.00, $2,000.00, $3,000.00 range. These are the nice picture quality TVs. One thing to know with those is that they’ll often have a proprietary operating system. And so, it’s not going to be the same thing as an Amazon Fire TV or a Roku TV like we’ve been talking. Their operating systems work great, though. Often, they work on a Google platform, but they kind of make them their own. 

Suppose you are all in on a platform, though. If you’re all in on Amazon, you can get an Amazon Fire TV. They sell many those at Best Buy if you want to run and grab one of those at a Best Buy near you. You’d think they’d sell better on Amazon itself, but whatever. Or if you’re into Google, you use that Google ecosystem almost exclusively. Then yes, there are Google integrated Smart TVs out there. The only exception to this would be Apple, as I mentioned earlier. Apple TV is fantastic; I love it. But there is no Smart TV with the Apple ecosystem integrated there. 

So you have to get a box like this and plug it into an existing TV. That $350.00 TCL TV, that 55 inches. That is their 2016 model; it’s perfectly acceptable, I think, for most people. Most of us are going to have a pleasant experience with that. Suppose you do want to step it up, though, in terms of picture quality. You can just spend about 100 bucks more and get their 2017 or 2018 models. Those are going to be a step up from that older 2016. Yes, you do pay a little bit more, but you do get more if you’re concerned with that. With those TCL things, one last note on that. How do they make their TVs so freakin’ cheap? Well, in a word, sound. They have crappy sound. So you may want to add a $75.00 soundbar to your Amazon order if you’re purchasing one of those. Either way, I’ll go ahead and link to a bunch of that stuff down below. So make sure you go check that out. I’ll have links to all those TVs, a soundbar that we might recommend for you, as well. So you can get a new Smart TV setup that way.