Should I buy a Smart TV? Smart TV or Streaming Devices?
The ubiquitous term that you see around in tech blogs and see in your showroom visits these days.
Should you really buy one and go with the craze? OR Should you just buy streaming devices for now and use with your normal TV?
Is your smart TV really Smart?
We will answer all these questions here with examples!
When it comes to watching streaming services such as
- You can either plugin the pocket friendly media Streaming devices on your standard tv
- You can get a Smart tv which has this application natively.
Lets understand the difference between a smart TV and a streaming device.
Consider a Smart TV as a regular TV but with a built-in Wi-Fi and an OS with which it can run popular applications like Netflix prime videos YouTube etc, you can even browse web using the built-in web browser.
Streaming devices on the other hand are like small dongles with built-in Wifi which you can plug it in a HDMI port of a regular TV and that’s it.
I know the difference is hard to tell which is why you need to consider the pros and cons of both over various parameters. So let’s find out whether you should get yourself a smart TV stick with your dumb TV and use a streaming device with it. It’s the Smart TV vs the Big 4 (Chromecast, Firestick, Roku , Apple TV)
Let’s compare them over a bunch of important parameters that we value.
Turning a Smart TV on is painfully slow, can take as long as 30-45 seconds in some cases. This is because it takes computer chip to jiggle between video processing, upscaling multiple scenes and Internet connection.
On top of this, it can also hang! Yes, remember the blue screen of death on PCs? Yup, it can bring nightmares like that back on your TV now!
Eg: If I watched Netflix and decided to open the App Store the screen will turn black for a good 10 seconds. You can’t even tell if the TV is on or not. But that’s just one app. What if I try to open Amazon prime. Well this time it takes more than 10 seconds.
Moreover, there are security risks involved with any Smart TV device these days, the worst of which being the Smart TV cameras can be used for spying on people.
A media streaming device, on the other hand, comes with a dedicated processor and RAM and as you can easily switch between applications pretty quickly. So far I’ve tried C
Also since they come with their own dedicated processor, you can enjoy some really high-end games on fire stick and apple TV. Although they are not as good as PS4 or XBOX, but it’s still close.
On the other hand if you buy a budget smart tv you lose out the gaming options. Overall in our experience, when it comes to multitasking and gaming the streaming device outperform the smart TV.
Another thing to consider is that if you buy a smart TV from Lets say LG or Sony or MI then you will be restricted to their App Store. For instance the web OS running on this LG smart TV doesn’t have the Hulu app in India. Hulu app doesn’t work in India but what if I want to watch it with a VPN. Well, you can’t and for all those who are thinking about using a web browser well, you can’t rely on that as well as the native web browser is too old to play any HTML5 content.
However, Most media streaming devices also have their own app store but it offers
For the sake of comparison let’s take the two most popular TV is on Amazon. A regular 32 inch TCL TV is around 12.5 K INR in India while LG smart TV will cost you back 24,000 almost double the difference of 12,000 INR for this money one can easily get one chromecast, one roku, one fire stick with your regular TCL TV or just one Apple TV which I will highly recommend.
Moving streaming devices is almost like carrying a USB stick in the old days, where you can just pop them in your bags or pockets and you are set!
However, it is difficult to move a 32 inch television round the corner let alone aeroplanes or any other modes of transport.
Convenience & Ease of use
Then there are other advantages of getting a streaming device, like timely update and intuitive interface. For instance it’s so much easy typing on apple tv or fire stick as they come with a slider remote and a voice search, while typing on a smart tv is a nightmare.
In case of TVs, they do pair with your phone so at least there is that. However, the ease of use and typing is still a bad experience.
Looking at most of the parameters, the Smart TV is clearly not that smart and not the best choice for now. Streaming devices are your best option going into 2019!
I won’t recommend getting a smart TV anytime soon instead get a best TV that you can afford for its size and display and not for the software it runs.
Although if you buy a 4K TV with the major brands chances are it will be a smart TV and that’s ok, as long as it comes as an added feature. But don’t buy a smart TV because it smart, because it’s not. smart TVs can still take some time to mature till then use a streaming devices in the regular TV as it offers good value for money.
Decision Scientist. Digital Nomad. Online Business Owner. Tech Blogger. Building online businesses, exploring technology and traveling the world inch by inch, day by day.