Why are TVs so complicated and remotes so terrible?
— kailey lampert (@trepmal) March 11, 2017
It’s hard to buy a TV these days without it being a “Smart TV”. With build-in apps and other connected features it seems to be a great way to add content to your TV. But is it?
With companies such as Samsung dropping support on their devices as soon as they’re no longer the latest, shiniest product they sell, it buying a TV – something that should last you many years – with build-in redundancy a good idea?
I bought a Sony Smart TV a few years ago – at the time it was the latest model and was quite expensive. But only a year later, they were pushing out new features to their TVs, such as PlayStation Now and YouView. But not to mine. Already it was ‘too old’ for these features (even though the hardware would have supported it).
And, can I say, the experience isn’t the best anyway. It’s slow to refresh its list of apps each time you switch it on and the built-in EPG is incredibly clunky. For my main, living room TV, I have a much older, non-Smart Samsung. It has a FireTV stick connected for the Smart features I want and a PVR for Youview, with a recording function. Everything is quick and easy to use and, more importantly, easy to change, if required.
And let’s not forget this revelation this week…
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 7, 2017
But try buying a modern 4K, HDR TV without the smart features. Personally, I’d love to buy one – they would be cheaper to manufacture (and hopefully sell) and would be just a screen with lots of USB and HDMI connectors. I could then chop and change my own smart devices as and when. Chances are the TV would last a good long while. But maybe that’s why the manufacturers don’t do this – built in obsolescence is a blessing for a device that can be expensive but, equally, normally lasts many years.
But I’d love it and it would probably prevent Kailey (quoted at the beginning) and many others from having to struggle so much. And it would make the life of the CIA a lot harder too.