Back in the day, dumb TV benefits were watching television simply for entertainment. You had seven channels and all you had to do was cycle through them and have your dose of it.
If there were issues, you fiddled with your antenna, and all used to be well. But now with the advancement of technology, TVs have become a much more complicated device. Smart TVs in particular are the norm.
So-called Smart TVs share your data with third parties. This doesn’t come as a surprise because smart TVs require an internet connection to work. And everyone cans see what’s on the internet. Unless you take control.
Internet connectivity is essential because Smart TVs offer to browse, watch Prime Video, or download apps from compatible stores like you would on your smart devices, etc. but why should you settle for some dumb TV benefits?
Allow me to indulge you.
Freedom from ads and privacy protection
Smart TVs by definition serve the ultimate experience. But the manufacturers aggressively share your data. A smart TV UI shows ads and it helps to build a profile based on watch history. They mine data per your viewing habits.
Today a smart television comprises pre-installed apps and you will find nagging ads everywhere. They bury settings to turn off or opt-out of those ads deep in the menu (navigation) so that before you got to them, you’d settle for leaving things as is.
Not sure why folks take privacy seriously because it’s no small issue. If you meet a stranger and found out they knew exactly:
- Your name
- Annual income
- Family members
- Mobile info
- Carrier, Mobile data
- Apps and brands you use daily
Wouldn’t you be afraid? Then why aren’t you afraid of tech companies?
Normally when you power on a Smart TV a legal agreement pops up and you scroll down and hit “Agree” because nobody reads them. But by doing it, you have consented to let the TV manufacturer monitor your activity on their device and create an advertising profile about you.
Targeted ads anyone?
Not only a faceless organization now knows that you’re a Squid Games fan but they’d weaponize that information. There’s news of TV manufacturers experimenting with shoving ads to you while watching live TV. All this is in addition to what cable or broadcast channels are already serving you (ads).
Live ads calibrate when you turn on your TV for the first time. These models are not myths. Samsung’s takeover ads are a testament to this fact.
Dumb TV benefits to look for when buying
Dumb TV benefits include that it lets you hook up your streaming boxes such as Roku, Apple, Chromecast, and others. If any of the devices ever start mimicking Smart TVs aka show you targeted ads, you can switch to another. Another drawback that Smart TVs entail is their software goes obsolete.
Because manufacturers let their models decay since they don’t roll out updates to the preloaded apps, Netflix, for example, doesn’t get updates or any other app for that matter. This is also because TV manufacturers are not software developers. Once they release a model, it’s a wrap.
They don’t bother with the apps’ updated versions. So that’s a security concern. Your TV connects to the internet after all with your data linked to your home wifi or router. Imagine Microsoft not rolling out security updates weekly. It doesn’t happen. Yet your TV hasn’t had an upgrade in two years, and you’re fine with it. Hello? There have been zero software patches!
A dumb TV doesn’t have this loophole. Sure Smart TVs offer 4K high definition display and audio. And you can always buy a new TV that provides an 8K viewing experience. But no amount of newness can cater to the outdated apps over time.
Dumb TV benefits are flexibility over security
As stated, with a Dumb TV you can connect any of your streaming devices such as an Amazon Fire Stick or an Apple TV box and it becomes a “Smart TV” with the same options and features. However, the bonus is, that you can switch the streaming device any time you want. With a default Smart TV, a user’s locked with the company’s interface and platform. A poor design can make it frustrating to interact with.
The truth is dumb TV benefits are not a priority today. Not at all. But you can get one. To get the right size, resolution, etc., try business TVs displayed in stores or offices. Another option: outdoor TVs, which and as the name implies you don’t use them indoors. You can get your hands on them as a last resort. 4K monitors can act as a substitute. Hook your streaming device to it and it’s as good as a TV. Yeah, finding one that’s bigger than 50 inches is a challenge.
Just putting it out there.
With Smart TVs over dumb ones, you make a tradeoff for your privacy.
Points for you to consider:
- You might have to pay around double for a dumb TV, and they lack a lot of other features that come standard on TVs now. That Samsung and Sceptre you linked don’t have HDR, for example. The ad revenue subsidizes the cost of the smart TV. Just keep your smart TV unhooked from the internet, and attach whatever devices you want via HDMI. Of course, if you’re going to go ahead and get a Roku or Firestick or whatever for it, you’re still opening yourself up to the usual vulnerabilities.
- Why not just go into the router and block “samsungads.com” or the equivalent for your manufacturer? Seems like the most straightforward route and you get all the features HDR or Dolby Vision, etc. you miss out on with a monitor alone.
- Buy a regular Smart TV and don’t connect it to your wifi, and boom! Done. Disregard if they know your viewing habits because EVERY company collects some kind of information about you, and it sucks sure, but it will NEVER NEVER EVER go away.