Smart TVs are stupid. Unless they are evil, that is! No, this is not some conspiracy theory proclaiming to give you some alternate perspective of reality. It has been known for some time now that the potential dangers of owning a smart TV are very real. Of course, there are a lot of things that are potentially dangerous, but they offer enough value to make up for pitfalls. However, as it turns out, smart TVs may not pack that much punch in the value department either. If all this feels confusing to you, let us explain to you more clearly.
Major Security Flaws
The security on these things is abysmal at best. Let’s look at the reasons behind that. What is a smart TV? It is a TV that is connected to the internet. A smart TV is part of the entire environment of internet-of-things. As we know, anything that is connected to the internet is exposed to a host of risks. These could be anything from hacking, virus, illegal monitoring, and what not. The security layers that are protecting today’s smart TVs are a joke. TV manufacturers focus more into the hardware aspect of their TV, and hardly bother about the security. As a result, it is actually incredibly easy to break into these things. Thus, even a half-decent hacker can access and steal your private information.
We have seen in case of webcams that people have used the webcams of their own victims to spy on them, and obtain compromising information on them, including their naked pictures, videos, and so on. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Hackers are always finding innovative ways of capitalizing at your costs. So, there is no telling what horror they will unleash on you. Bottom-line, stay away from smart TVs at least until they get powerful security systems.
The Promise that Never was Never Delivered
When people learned that they could now own a TV that was connected to the internet, and they could watch any video they want from the internet, they believed that it was revolutionary. To be frank, in theory, it is. But, the TV manufacturers and content streamers really messed up this golden opportunity big time.
When people calculated their expenses on the cable connection, they realized that it is much cheaper to cut cords and enjoy entertainment on smart TVs. This was the promise of the smart TVs. But, the interfaces of the smart TVs have so far been pathetic. Users often find it confusing to navigate the interface. Sometimes, they don’t even know what all features and entertainment options are available in their smart TVs. Therefore, it is not difficult to see why users have not been able to use their smart TVs to their fullest potential. A majority of them have never used the features like browser or music streaming. Most of the time, they are simply watching videos on their favorite streaming apps such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, and this is where lies the biggest pitfall of smart TVs.
Smart TVs offered access to the content on streaming services, which were not available on cable services. But, as it turns out, you don’t need a smart TV to access such content. By using devices like Roku Streaming Stick, Chromecast, Fire TV Stick, and so on, people can enjoy the content on streaming services, even on a regular TV. So, what is the point of having a smart TV after all?
No, not the illegal type! We mean the kind that has spooked the world lately – governmental and corporate spying. The ubiquitous prevalence of ads on the internet has forced the people to use ‘ad blocks’ on their browsers. That is why advertisers are experimenting with new ways of advertising that are less intrusive, and more effective. One of the next frontiers for advertising is the smart TV scene. With you always using your voice commands, don’t doubt for a second that the TV manufacturers will be listening to you soon, if they aren’t already, which is highly unlikely. They will use this information they gain from your interaction with your smart TV to direct ads to your television. As if the ads on the television were not enough, you will soon be dealing with these new types of ads too. Who knows, they make it impossible for you to escape them at all.
You might have your own stand on the issue of government-sponsored surveillance NSA-style. But, you have to agree with the fact that if the US government is doing that, then possibly other governments are doing that as well. With the TV having been manufactured from different countries, you can never be sure of who is watching your actions.
Typically, consumers want their TVs to last for anywhere between 5-10 years. A normal TV from manufactured by a decent brand usually lasts even more than that. But, smart TVs are a completely different thing altogether. First of all, the operating systems on the present series of smart TVs are terrible. They are very difficult to navigate, confusing for the users, and have been designed very poorly by the manufacturers. Adding to your woes, smart TVs are not like smartphones. Your manufacturer won’t be sending you a series of updates to improve your experience. This is advantageous to them, because within a matter of 2-3 years, your smart TV is stupid TV; it is obsolete. The software they carry provide you an irritating experience, and there is nothing you can do about it. But, it is the hardware that is going to be a bigger problem.
Today’s smartphones and tablets have amazing processing power. In fact, they pack more power than the ones in your smart TV. This is a huge problem. Granted that the newer TVs will have more processing power, but they will still not match the ones on smartphones. All those apps – Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and others – will be undergoing tremendous changes every few months to be able to tap into the increasingly powerful processors of the latest smart TVs. Within a year of you having bought your smart TV, its hardware will be obsolete. Your apps will start freezing when you are using them; some of them may never operate at all; some apps may not even support your TV. Do you still think it is a smart decision to go for a smart TV now?!