Is a Smart TV Worth Your Money?

There are a number of choices you make when it comes to viewing what you want on your television. Along with cable, satellite, and TV boxes, there’s one newcomer that should be considered: Smart TVs. This relatively new technology comes at a price, and it remains to be seen how they will continue to evolve.

Smart TVs: Advantages and Disadvantages

Wouldn’t it be great to check your email on your TV? TVs can now stream content, plus deliver email and social media notifications. Smart TVs are an all-in-one device, removing the need for other components. The convenience of a Smart TV is a plus and its intuitive programming is helpful for people who aren’t tech-savvy. However, there are some notable disadvantages that make the case for avoiding smart TVs.

  • Price: Expect to pay a bit more for the “smart” part of the TV. Also, if your Internet connection is limited, you might have data allotments to worry about.
  • Complexity: As a sort of electronic Murphy’s Law, the more complex something is, the worse things will be when it breaks. You could be at the mercy of the manufacturer for updates.
  • Content: According to MarketingWeek, it’s not the technology creating separation – it’s the content. Some smart TVs are outmatched by alternatives.
  • Security: The leads in web-connected TVs are prone to viruses, scams and bot campaigns. As ZDNet writer Ellyne Phneah observes, smart TVs are at the forefront of a “new Web threat frontier.” Manufacturers that don’t offer security updates could put their customers at risk.

Smart Alternatives

If you’re looking to save money, there are plenty of alternative options for web-capable TVs. You certainly don’t need a smart TV to get the functions it offers.

Many consumers enjoy HD cable and satellite offerings from their provider. Providers such as Cable.tv, Cox, and Comcast provide a wide range of high definition TV and movie channel packages. Offering better picture quality than HD cable, with most movies in 1080p HD, satellite providers provide an alternative that can be superior to services like Netflix or Hulu.

Another popular alternative to a smart TV is a TV box. These devices have HD cable and satellite-quality pictures that work well for streaming content. Many gaming consoles and other TV boxes serve the same function as a smart TV.

BusinessInsider.com’s Kevin Smith cites the following devices as major industry contenders:

  • Roku
  • Apple TV
  • Nexus Q
  • Boxee
  • PlayStation 3
  • Xbox 360
  • Google TV

For a lower overall price, you can enjoy streaming media the same way you would with a smart TV. The market is filled with impressive options that give any television a boost, without the need for a new TV.

The Bottom Line

While Smart TVs offer many interesting perks, it is up to you to decide if it is worth the price. Powerful content subscriptions and TV boxes offer a lot to compete with this new trend in television viewing technology.

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