U.S. cord-cutters have long shunned smart TVs as the preferred streaming method. The Roku currently sits as the most popular device. Other devices, such as the Amazon Fire TV and gaming consoles are also hugely popular. However, according to a Techhive article, U.S. consumers should start giving more attention to their streaming-capable TV sets.
According to Techhive, TVs are not what they used to be. “Smart TVs are increasingly becoming first-class experiences, superior to what you’d get with a dedicated streaming box or stick,” says Techhive writer Jared Newman.
Are Smart TVs the Smart Streaming Option?
U.S. cord-cutters have typically avoided smart TVs for two reasons: high price and outdated functionality. Most consumers would rather purchase a lower-cost TV and pair it with a small, unassuming device like the Roku. Meanwhile, smart TVs have notoriously been poor at updating their operating systems. As a result, many users find their streaming apps stop working as the device maker fails to update the TV’s software.
Additionally, despite their size and price TVs have often been less powerful than smaller streaming devices. Newman acknowledges this fact, but states that for newer models, “That’s far less likely to be the cases […] as the often inexpensive chips inside connected TVs have evolved.”
Newman also believes smart TVs offer a simpler streaming experience and more features. Still, he acknowledges users likely shouldn’t go out and replace their current setup with a smart TV just yet. “But the next time you’re shopping for a TV, don’t treat smarts as an afterthought,” he explained.
Sam Cook is a full-time content strategist by day, a part-time freelance content writer since 2015. In another life, he was a high school English teacher for nearly a decade. Based in sunny New Orleans, he writes long-form educational content on technology, including Insurtech, Fintech, HRtech, and content streaming. He loves whittling down complex ideas within these areas that make decisions easier for buyers. When he’s not reading books with his son Miles and playing video games with the family, you can find him immersed in his growing collection of Euro-style board games.
I just bought a Samsung “Smart” TV. When it comes to smart TVs, if it’s Samsung it sucks! Never again.
I received a Samsung UHD “Smart” TV as a holiday gift. The UHD 4k picture is fantastic from almost any viewing angle, it has a great tuner for over the air and cable TV and the sound is fine but the apps… where are they? I would have expected that at least the apps pictured on the box the TV came in would be available, but HULU, HBO NOW, Google Play and even Samsung’s own TV Plus, Sports and Music apps are absent from the Home section of the Smart Hub and unavailable to download at their app “store” despite their being prominently displayed on the box. I wondered why the selection of apps is so pitiful and realized you can find at Samsung’s web site which TV models support which apps and my TV, that does not come with a Smart Remote or bluetooth capability, is blacklisted for the apps I mentioned and many more. No VUDU, no Disney, no Movies Anywhere, no ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, ESPN, et.al. Interestingly I was able to download and activate the Showtime Anytime app which in my case works through a HULU subscription but not the HULU app itself. Fortunately I already have the Amazon Fire TV box that supports 4K as well as an XBox One S console that also streams 4k video plus it plays 4k discs. And I just upgraded to a Roku Ultra but I have yet to install it (my kids get the great Roku 3 that lacks 4k support) so I am able to get all the apps I need from those sources and I can control all that and the TV with a Logitech remote. To sum up, my Samsung UHD TV has a great picture but is lacking so many apps that any Roku TV, Vizio or even my Sony BluRay player beats it easily in that area. Recommended for its second to none 4k UHD picture but not for its Smart Features.