Don't Buy a “Smart” TV

Don’t buy a smart TV, even if you don’t care about people being able to listen in to your house, because it won't be “smart” forever. When you buy a smart TV, you’re buying a screen with a special built-in computer. The moment the company behind that computer decides to stop maintaining it, you’re stuck. Maybe in 6 months, there's a new competitor to Netflix, and you want to use it, but the smart TV manufacturer doesn’t want to include that service (maybe because Netflix is paying them for exclusivity). Now you’re stuck! Or there’s a bad update and it breaks everything and now you just have a “dumb” TV. 

This is what “those in the industry” call “The Internet of Shit” instead of the “Internet of Things” buzzword. The same mentality applies to microwaves with computer screens, fridges with computer screens, etc. Another layer that makes things even worse is that it’s another thing that advertisements can, and will, be displayed on.

From a financial and environmental point of view, it’s much smarter to buy a normal/dumb TV. A normal TV will maintain its usefulness much longer, because the you didn’t buy it for the “smart” features. If you want those “smart” features, there’s plenty of options as set-top boxes, like the Roku, the Apple TV, or a game console. If systems change and you want to get new “smart TV” functions, you can just get a new set-top box, instead of throwing away the TV and buying a new one.

Buy a “dumb” TV, and you’re buying a screen that you can connect to any computer and swap out that computer whenever a better one comes out, and you’re not buying a piece of expensive-to-replace electronics that will become obsolete way before the screen itself does.