Smart TVs Aren’t That Smart


If you’ve gotten a new TV recently, you may have seen the number of “smart TVs” on the market. For a higher price, these units claim to let you easily access the Internet and stream your favourite shows and movies.

Unfortunately, smart TVs aren’t always that smart. You might experience a variety of problems trying to use them to go online. Discover why your smart TV might be having connectivity issues and what you can do to better access your streaming services.

What Is a Smart TV?

Smart TVs have their own pros and cons

Understanding what smart TV means is the first step. A smart TV is a television that includes hardware and software so that it can connect to the Internet. You can use the apps on the TV to stream television shows, movies, listen to music, and more.

Many smart TVs also include voice controls so that you can speak into your remote and access the apps and channels that you are looking for. The brands that make smart TVs in Canada include RCA, Samsung, Sanyo, Roku, TCL, and others.

Everyone loves being able to stream television and access apps, so shouldn’t everyone get a smart TV? There are smart TV pros and cons, but generally, it’s better to have a regular television and use a device like a Firestick or Roku Box for streaming. Here’s why:

The Smart TV Software Isn’t That Great

Smart TV capabilities are only as good — or smart — as the software included. Unfortunately, these software manufacturers aren’t at the top of their game. A smart TV’s interface is often very difficult to use, and you’ll need a remote to access on-screen buttons to make the choices you need.

This is clunky and difficult and can be very frustrating. One of the other big disadvantages of a smart TV is that the software will become outdated the longer you own the TV. This is somewhat intentional since the TV manufacturers would like you to buy new TVs often rather than keep your current one.

Outdated software — and even poorly-written current software — can cause significant problems with connectivity even if your Internet connection is perfect. Wondering “Why is my smart TV constantly buffering?” You might think the Internet connection is causing television problems when it’s actually the smart TV itself.

Will Your Smart TV Have the Services You Want?

If you buy a smart TV that’s brand new today, you might have all the services you want. But as we’ve seen in the last year, new streaming services are being created and released regularly. Disney+ was released in 2019, and 2021 saw the introduction of both Paramount+ and Discovery+.

What else is coming? A lot! 2022 streaming trends include new shows, the possible consolidation of streaming services as the market becomes overloaded, and weekly shows instead of full-season binges.

If you want to be able to keep up, you’ll need a device that’s updated regularly, and that’s not a smart TV. They often intentionally let their sets become obsolete so you have to buy another one to continue to enjoy your shows.

New video services generally don’t work on old TVs, so as new services become available (and current ones consolidate into new apps), you’re going to be missing out. 

Of course, you probably don’t have the money to buy new TVs every couple of years to help their profitability. You deserve longer-lasting equipment, and you get that when you buy a regular television and use a connected streaming device like a Firestick.

Who’s Listening to You?

Another reason to be wary of smart TVs has to do with their voice-command software. You might not realize it, but voice-command devices are listening to you all the time. That’s how they know when you say the command word, like “Hey Alexa.”

The information they hear can be used to serve you advertising — have you ever noticed getting an ad for a blender right after you talk to your spouse about making smoothies? That’s not an accident!

Samsung has this statement buried in their privacy policy: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”

So you can’t even speak in your own home!

Knowing that your television is listening to you is creepy and invasive. But it goes further — many of these televisions also collect data about what you’re watching, the streaming services you use, and more. While this can be turned off, it’s hidden in the options with the cryptic name “smart interactivity.” 

Devices Like a Firestick Give You Better Connection


Now that you see why smart TVs aren’t so smart, what are some alternatives to a smart TV?

Having a device like an Amazon Firestick or Roku box is better than having a smart TV, to the point that many online articles recommend them even if you have a smart TV.

An external device will have more options when it comes to streaming services and other online uses of your TV screen. That means you’ll be able to better take advantage of your high-quality Internet connection.

A Firestick or Roku box is also less expensive than the extra amount you’ll pay to buy a smart TV compared to a regular one. Finally, you’ll have fewer problems with connecting to the Internet and they will be much easier to troubleshoot.

Devices are also portable, allowing you to easily take all of your fun with you when you travel. You won’t deal with slowdowns during updates, and your device won’t become obsolete in a year or two.

Take Advantage of High-Quality Internet By Skipping Smart TVs

As you can see, smart TVs aren’t that smart. Their software is poorly designed and hard to use, you’re not quite sure how much data smart TVs consume, they become outdated quickly, and they don’t have the wide variety of options you’ll find on an external device.

Most importantly, an external device allows you to get the full value of your high-quality home Internet. If your smart TV is slow to connect, it might not be your Internet — it might be the TV itself. 

Are you ready to get started with excellent home Internet even if you live in a rural area of Saskatoon? We’re here to help. Contact us to talk with a reliable Internet provider in Lloydminster today! Dial +1 (306) 825-7111 for a no-obligation survey today!