Smart TVs in 2022 have improved in functionality, operating systems and WI-FI integration. However, TV manufacturers have spent billions to convince consumers that they need to buy a new Smart TV. But, do you really need a Smart TV or are there better options? Does the mention of “Smart TV” make you apprehensive or confused? Or maybe you bought a Smart TV and find it intimidating? If any or all of these apply to you, read on to get wise on Smart TV.
What makes a TV a Smart TV?
We all know that TV manufacturers come out with something new every few years to entice consumers to buy a new TV. Over the years, these manufacturers use terms like “HD,” “3D,” “Plasma,” “LCD,” “LED,” “4K,” and “Smart” to sell their latest TV models.
Smart TVs in 2022 serve the same purpose as Streaming Media Players (SMPs). It hasn’t always been the case. Simply, a Smart TV allows you to connect your TV to the internet (by Ethernet or WI-FI) so that you stream things like Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, etc. TV hardware and software has improved, but for this to work properly, you should have:
- 50MB or higher Internet Service
- a good WiFi router/mesh network
- a high quality Smart TV or Streaming Media Player
What are Roku TV, Fire TV, and Google TV?
Roku, Fire, Google and Apple make Streaming Media Players (small boxes or sticks) that you can connect to any TV with an HDMI. However, Roku, Fire and Google also make Smart TVs. These new Smart TVs have similar software, user interface and streaming capabilities as their Streaming Media Player counterparts, but this software is built into the TV itself. So if you buy one of these newer Roku TVs or Amazon Fire TVs, you don’t need a SMP device.
Do you need a Smart TV?
It depends on your situation. It can even vary from home to home and even room to room within a home. You do not need a Smart TV if you only want to watch Free TV from an Antenna or play DVDs. However, over 85% in the U.S. now stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube etc. To stream effectively, you will either need a Smart TV or a Streaming Media Player.
Having a hard time deciding? Talk with our experts.
The Pros-Cons of Smart TVs vs. SMPs
Smart TV Pros
- Easier to use since most Smart TVs will allow you to use 1 remote control and require less TV input changes.
- Most Roku and Fire Smart TVs include a nice integrated TV Guide for Antenna channels.
- If you need a new TV, prices have come down a lot and most new TVs have Smart functionality built into the TV.
Smart TV Cons
- More expensive to buy a new TV versus a Streaming Media Player.
- Some Smart TVs do not have all the apps nor do they update them as frequently.
- Some Smart TVs cut corners and they have weak WiFi receivers built in.
- For #2 & #3, if you have an existing older Smart TV, this will be more of an issue.
Streaming Media Player Pros
- Streaming Media Players cost less, even top quality ones can be $40 or more.
- They will have more apps and will update them more often.
- Some will have better and stronger WiFi 6 receivers – see the Fire TV Max.
Streaming Media Player Cons
- For most situations you are adding 1 new remote control and will need to change TV inputs.
- #1 can be solved by adding this Integrated TV Tuner/DVR for Antennas.
Smart TV, Streaming or Cord-Cutting advice from friends or neighbors
You have probably heard advice from your friends, family and neighbors on streaming, Smart TVs, and cord-cutting. While they all mean well, what is the best option for them might not be best for you. After all you are totally different families with different needs. Unfortunately its not as easy as recommending a favorite restaurant. In the world of Streaming and Cord Cutting you have to live with the result every day for the rest of your life.
The complexity of content and hardware options combined with bringing it all together in an easy to use fashion with potential streaming, WI-FI and Internet issues make Cord Cutting complicated and confusing. Save your time, money and sanity, schedule a free consultation with one of our experts first!
If you need a new TV or have an old TV that is on its last leg, then low prices of new Smart TVs make it worth buying a new Smart TV. We typically recommend buying the bigger, newer TV and putting it in the main TV watching room – it’s where most TV is watched. Move your smaller and older TV(s) to the rooms where you don’t watch as much TV.
All new TVs on the market now are both Smart and 4K. We recommend buying a new TV based on size, price and picture quality (4K, 120+ refresh rate, etc.). If you have an Antenna and want the best audio and video available, then it’s worth checking out the latest NextGenTVs.
I do not see any reason to pay more money for any specific Smart TV features, as they are basically all the same. I wouldn’t be concerned about the type of Smart TV either, unless you already have a certain type in your home (Roku, Fire, Google) or a certain brand (Sony, LG, Samsung) – then it might make sense to keep things the same for simplicity.
If you have a 5-10 year old flat screen TV that is not Smart, but has a good picture and is working well, then no need to buy a new TV. You can simply buy an inexpensive Streaming Media Player (Fire TV Max, Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast ) and hook it up to your old TV to make it Smart!
Get help from the experts in a FREE Consultation
The team at StreamWise Solutions can help with:
- Making sure you are ordering the best hardware and streaming services.
- Hooking your new Smart TV or Streaming Media Player up correctly to your Internet and streaming services.
- Mounting your new Smart TV on the wall and professionally running any needed wires to it.
- Ensuring you have the right internet speed and best modem/router/mesh WI-FI hardware so you don’t have streaming issues.
- Saving you money every month on TV, WI-FI and Internet!