Smart TV Lifespan

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by boksbox, Feb 15, 2016.


    1. boksbox

      boksbox
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      Having had my first Smart TV since 2011, I wonder if there is much value in them? My TV is a Samsung, there are less and less features now with the forthcoming withdrawal of the 3D Explorer function, they've recently taken away the social media functions and the Amazon Prime app stopped working on my generation of TVs forcing me to use an external Amazon box (Amazon did did a discount on it).

      It seems to me that manufacturers pay scant regard to the long term support of their platforms, maybe it's better to have all Smart functions via a relatively cheap, easily upgradeable external box.
       
    2. AndyRg4

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      Trouble was smart TV's were in their infancy back then and the hardware just cannot cope with the more modern smart apps. Unfortunately it is beyond the manufacturers control if the app supplier (Amazon for instance with prime video) changes/updates the app.
      On the upside, modern TV's are far more powerful and some (Sony for example) use a very open source platform (Android) that can be updated like phones
       
    3. GadgetObsessed

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      A more widely adopted platform like Android will help. However, personally I think that a well supported external box like a Roku or Amazon Fire, will always have the advantage in terms of longevity.
       
    4. boksbox

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      Another week, another app disappears.. This week Skype, though having seen the avforums tweet it's Skype themselves withdrawing from the Smart TV market, very frustrating for those who use it.
       
    5. CrossyX

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      For me I use both, the likes of Netflix 4k, Amazon Video etc being built in to the TV are currently a bonus as the likes of the Zidoo no longer support it on there boxes.

      But without having a dedicated box I lose the ability to rip films and play them back with DTS-HD, Atmos etc and as mentioned getting to correct refresh rates etc.

      It does get worse though as with the the support of Atmos on Netflix and my current TV (55E6) nto supporting E-ARC i now have to rely on Xbox one X when released for support both Atmos and 4k.

      When will it end. haha
       
    6. BigFoot74205

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      I use my TV for everything... Netflix, Prime, Plex (with two different clients) and YouTube all work nicely. However I've been thinking about getting a dedicated box that can output HD audio.
       
    7. Abacus

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      If you are a serious film buff you have a projector, as a TV is just too small to give a true cinematic experience, so the only way to go is via a separate box, add to this all the advantages mentioned above and it’s a no brainer for the separate box.

      Bill
       
    8. jakimp

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      Best me to it bill. I will watch defenders on Netflix over the weekend and the only way to get 4K and HDR images to my projector is with a separate box. So even though my Samsung TVs has the apps built in I still use my nvidia shield box a lot of the time.
       
    9. JayCee

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      You can be "a serious film buff" without a projector or extremely large screen Tv.
      I enjoy films in so much as the content of the film matters more to me than what it's viewed on as long as you're watching on a half-way decent screen with decent sound.
      In my case an 8yr old 37" Panasonic Plasma, Sky+HD and a 2.1 Sound system.
       
    10. geogan

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      I don't have a smart TV at all, but I do want to use all the modern smart features on both the TV and the projector, that's why I got the NVidia Shield. It's great, slick, configurable and very cool. I also think it's still better than the smart system I saw on my brothers new 65" Hisense TV. And I don't think any TV systems include all the streaming your PC games to your TV functionality either.
       
    11. daveb975

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      I never use the Smart interface on my TVs and have Nvidia Shield boxes in both of my systems.

      There are two main reasons - most of my watching in my main room is done on a projector, and I can never get ARC/HDMI Control working properly in the other system so if I used the Smart interface I'd be left with sound coming out of the TV speakers.

      I like the Shield very much, but I actually prefer the interface on my Samsung TV, so would use that if I could.
       
    12. Deepbass

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      I don't touch any of the smart features on my Panasonic, I only use my Nvidia Shield. It's just a much better experience, definitely worth the additional cost for me.
       
    13. liquidsoap89

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      I've been using my smart TV recently because it has access to the HBO equivalent app here in Canada, an app that isn't available on my Nvidia Shield. That's literally the only reason I ever access the smart features of my TV though. It's slow, prone to crashing, and doesn't look nice; basically the complete opposite of the experience I get with the Shield.

      I might reconsider one day when I can afford a new TV (I've heard the smart features are much improved nowadays, my smart TV's about 5 years old by this point), but in the mean time I think a streaming box is the way to go.
       
    14. dairug

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      I have just retired my 2011 Samsung Plasma and it was always a slow clunky not-particularly-smart TV which pushed me towards external devices - even the Xbox360 was miles better

      The Samsung KS interface from 2016 which is presumably better again for 2017 is unbelievably good in comparison. With a single smart remote similar to a fire stick remote it controls the apps, my sky box (and even adds favourites to the TV home page to avoid typing channel numbers in), Plex, amplifier etc. We only use one remote any more unless I need to tweak the Amp settings. We don't even use the Sky remote.
      I don't need an external box any more as its all self contained with a responsive interface.
      No doubt in 2-3 years the cracks will start appearing and it won't have up to date features versus newer devices on the marketplace but the same could be said for a set top box you buy today........
       
    15. Navvie

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      Got two TVs with "smart" features, an older LG plasma and an 18 month old Hi-Sense LCD. The only app that ever gets used on either is the BBC iPlayer. A MediaPortal HTPC connected to the LG and A OSMC RPi2 provide all the smarts we've ever needed.
       
    16. Yaka

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      i prefer a separate box, loving my shield tv. im still rocking and old panny phd8 plasma along with my PJ ,if there were an oled with zero smart features i'd snap it up
       
    17. SonOfSJ

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      @Abacus You might care to listen to this podcast, from 30 minutes 30 seconds in, for the next two and a half minutes. Mr Steve Withers has the Sony KC-75XE9405 television in for review at the moment. He says that that size of television is approaching the point at which it can challenge a projector, particularly for HDR AVForums Podcast: Episode 189 - 14th August 2017

      But back to this thread, what is an Smart TV? :clap: It so happens that I have never used the Smart functions of my televisions, I'm quite happy with a dumb TV. And I don't have a separate box either, I'm happy to do all my internet on my desktop PC (the output of which as well as to my PC monitor, I can send to all my televisions down 10metre, 15m, 20m and 15m VGA cables.).
       
    18. SLS72

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      I use my Sony XD93 for everything. It has Netflix and Amazon in 4K HDR and YouTube in 4K and has never put a foot wrong so I have no need for an external box.
       
    19. ODB_69

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      Seen too many posts over the years about failed updates, removal of apps, app/smart support ceasing etc etc etc. Only this week a forum topic appeared on the front page about problems with an update causing dark pictures etc

      Smart tv's for me have always been a pointless endeavour. They are totally unreliable on some brands and no guarantees they will last. My sony has it built in and it's slow as hell so I've just used apps built into console or fire tv but a few months back I bought a shield tv and have ended up buying one for another room that impressed I am.

      Until they start guaranteeing length and frequency I don't even bother with built in apps
       
    20. smackos

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      Like anything it's just what fits for individual needs. Only use catch-up or on demand services sparingly then sure use the built in tv apps. I'd suggest if you use them in the main then definitely go for a dedicated box, then just get one that suits your Individual needs.

      In one of the main digital "eco-systems", then grab an Nvidia Shield, Fire Tv or Apple TV to suit.

      If you want a box for playing back personal media with HD audio then go for an Nvidia Shield. It's got by far the single best Plex experience available.

      If you just want the broadest range of catch-up and digital services in one box then pick up a Roku. Netflix, Amazon, UK Catch-up as well as access to Sky's Now Tv service.

      (In truth in our house we have both a roku and an Apple TV. The Roku is mostly used by my partner whilst I tend to use the Apple TV. That so happens to pretty much sum up our respective viewing habits too. She likes a lot of the stuff on terrestrial catch-up, whilst I tend to just watch movies, Bigger tv shows and sport.)
       
      Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
    21. SonOfSJ

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      I had meant to say this earlier, but post #19 by @ODB_69 touches on it: one of the problems with Smart TVs is that you have to leave them connected to the internet, and hence subject to random "Updates" which are supposed to enhance, but often reduce function, such that sometimes overnight something that you used to be able to do, you can no longer do! Each to their own, but none of my televisions (or any other devices apart from my PC, for that matter) have ever been connected to the internet. Which might be why they still work today as they did on day one.
       
      Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
    22. next010

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      The fundamental problem with the crumminess of "Smart TV's" is down to the fact that the companies who make the TV's are often appliance companies, like a toaster or fridge freezer maker, they are not software companies.

      They do not allocate the resources needed to properly maintain and support the system and force obsolescence so you buy next years appliance.


      Look at the difference in Nvidia Shield Android TV and Sony Android TV, Sony put very low end hardware in their £1000 TV that you would find in a low end budget smart phone so it winds up running a lot slower than the Shield, all to save a few bucks.

      Some of these companies are compartmentalized so even though Sony PlayStation group has plenty of software engineers they have nothing to do with the TV division, why don't Sony TV's run a stripped down version of PlayStation 4 OS, why even use Android.
       
    23. BrightonChris

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      What an ignorant thing to say.
       
    24. sneakyweeone

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      I perhaps wouldn't have responded so strongly but it was a bit pompous. I thought post 9 about summed up a reasoned response.
       
    25. Kotatsu Neko

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      Having just bought a new TV I no longer use my PS4 for streaming, and given that the TV supports 4K and a ton of HDR formats I'm hoping it will keep on streaming for many years to come. It feels to me like streaming is settling now, with established formats and standards. DVD for example is still going, and that's decades old now.

      Aside from my PS4 I've also steamed using a Roku 3 and an Apple TV 4, and to be frank both are pretty awful. The Roku ticks the boxes on app selection but the UI is pretty awful and performance is mediocre, and the Apple TV is simply a waste of space outside of iTunes. The app selection on it is positively comical. Even the few apps it does have, such as Now TV and iPlayer, are terrible.

      It will be interesting to see if dedicated boxes continue to exist. I suspect not. Smart TVs are just too good now, and highly convenient.
       
    26. smackos

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      I never get it when people write the Roku 2 or 3 off as being slow. We are talking about the ability to click on a poster on screen and wait literally 5 seconds for it to start playing. Presumably if you are clicking to watch a 43 minute tv show or a 2 hour film then you've got time for the 5 seconds it takes to get you there. For example:
      Quick Demo of Roku 2 in action


      Whilst as far as the Apple TV 4 goes it gives me direct or airplay access to:

      Netflix
      Amazon
      Iplayer
      Now tv
      BT Sport
      Eurosport Player

      That's the only streaming box full stop that does so..

      I've also owned an Nvidia Shield (twice in fact) as well as an Amazon Fire tv 4K box, as well as a PS4 and Xbox One.

      Hence why I say what fits your "needs" best, because all these boxes and streaming platforms have their strengths and weak points.
       
    27. Kotatsu Neko

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      I didn't write the Roku off, I just found the UI to be ugly and apps are a bit laggy. It's not bad, it just has a bit of a low rent feel about it.

      The Apple TV though I genuinely feel is a bad product. Performance is fine by the large, but app selection is truly terrible. Airplay, I'm sorry, doesn't count. When I settle on the sofa to watch TV I want as little hassle as possible, and having some apps on the Apple TV directly, whilst others require my iPad is just ridiculous. Airplay doesn't even work all that well, or even at all sometimes. Some apps simply don't work with it, and of those that do nobody better touch the iPad while Airplay is running or the stream may end. And of the apps the Apple TV does have only Netflix is anywhere near professional quality. BBC iPlayer is incredibly basic and far worse than iPlayer on any other modern platform, and Now TV is so terrible it's difficult to find words to adequately describe its awfulness. And of course there's no Amazon (I know it's finally coming sometime this year, but it's unlikely to be as fully featured as Amazon on other platforms due to Apple idiotic rules), ITV Hub, All 4, Demand 5, or UK TV Play.

      Now that I have a new TV that also rules out both of those boxes as neither supports 4K or HDR.

      The NVidia shield to me is the only box that holds any interest simply because it can be used as an emulation box, but for streaming things my TV does it all and does it very well. As long as it keeps doing that I'll have no need for a streaming box.
       
    28. smackos

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      It's weird how airplay doesn't count, yet there are literally millions of chromecasts flying off the shelves that are essentially JUST airplay equivalent devices. I can say quite honesty I never have had any problems with using airplay, for Amazon or for BT Sport. Pure airplay doesn't require the screen to be active either so "someone touching your phone" doesn't have to be an issue. I do get it though, it would much more ideal to have BT sport directly available. BUT the fact remains if you want BT sport without using a Sky Box/Virgin box etc, then your only options are via Chromecasting or Airplay. That isn't down to anybody else other than BT, but you take what you can get.

      Amazon you are correct will most likely not be the full featured version on say an Amazon fire Tv. (But we don't actually know that yet) It will most likely be the same version that you have on an Xbox One, in that it will Prime videos and already purchased movies and programs. To most people using an Apple TV that'll be all that they actually want anyway. If you own an Apple TV then you'll most likely already have decided to invest in iTunes as your platform. It will be interesting whether it will have full HDR capability as well when the new Apple TV with HDR/Dolby support launches in a few months. It does look like it'll be integrated into the "Tv" app stateside, so that means it should be a fully searchable index along with it for Siri search. (Whether that translates to over here remains to be seen.)

      I liked the Nvidia Shield but it was let down by Now Tv in the same way that the Apple TV was. They just produce a half-assed product and only care about catering for it properly on the Roku/Now Tv boxes, so Chromecasting never worked on the Nvidia Shield for it when it should have done. If Now Tv had ever have bothered updating their app framework to support GoogleCast then it would have been alright. (Again that's IF you are happy not having an app on the box.) At least as far as live channels go on the Now Tv app the Apple TV functions alright, in fact the picture quality has always been 720p as opposed the most devices being limited to SD all this time. If all you want is to watch the latest tv shows on Now Tv and a bit of sport then it's OK. If you intent on delving deep into boxsets and all that jazz then I'd recommend the Roku box by default. At least Apple themselves have mitigated some of the problems with most apps with in-app voice search.

      The Roku situation is a little different. I get the UI looks basic, but that's the whole point. It isn't just a box that's aimed at "us", it's aimed at "mum and dad", "grandparents" etc. It's got big font writing, so it's easy enough to read when your vision isn't 20/20 on a small screen. It's slower than an Apple TV, an Amazon Fire Tv or an Nvidia Shield because it's parts ARE older and more basic. Which is why it's also been a hell of a lot cheaper than those as well. The only one that competes on price is the new fire stick, which Amazon will be selling at a loss to gain More Amazon Instant/Prime subscribers. I'm not going to give them a free pass though, they SHOULD have released both an updated base model over here as well as a Roku 4 equivalent too. I get they could "tart up" the IU but ultimately it's a streaming box. You can't get away from the fact that your splash screen is basically going to comprise of iplayer, Netflix and Amazon logo's, That's the whole point of them.

      The whole point on this thread is exactly that though. How many people on here have already HAD "great" TV's that HAD happily working Smart platforms. But the trouble is, the "smart" becomes quite dumb on most of them after a few years when their tv manufacturer had dropped support and moved on. To put that in comparison the latest Roku Firmware update was pushed out to all boxes made since 2011. You've no chance of finding a tv that'll still function well on that front after that amount of time!

      If your needs are met with the built in apps on your tv then great mate. I'm not knocking you for that at all. It's just that there's a fair few examples out there where a dedicated box fits people's needs better right now.
       
      Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
    29. SonOfSJ

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      Having read @smackos posts #26 and #28, and @Kotatsu Neko post #27, I had no idea that streaming (whatever that is) was so complicated! In any case I don't think that my internet connection is good enough for anything more demanding than the WNBA basketball. Life with only Freeview and Freesat is wonderfully simple .....
       
    30. smackos

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      :D Except that there's plenty of examples of channels available on Freeview not available on Freesat etc too! It's just a similar situation with all these boxes that's all.

      ALL of them give you a mass of entertainment options, it's just the devil in the detail as to what you personally watch as to what box suits best.
       

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