Surprisingly enough, I just bought my first actual smartTV. Now, I’ve had devices that gave previous televisions smartTV capabilities. My 14-year-old plasma is hooked up to an Xbox One, which gives me access to apps like Netflix and my bedroom TV had a FireTV stick, which also gives me access to streaming services.
My 14-year-old 42″ Dell plasma was such a great TV, I didn’t really need another model… until the soundboard started to go bad.
We almost purchased a new TV at an after-Christmas sale at Best Buy but, and I swear this is true, the sales guy fought us so hard on making the purchase because he wanted to upsell us, I gave up and went home with my money in hand.
That turned out to be a good thing, I got a much larger TV for a couple of hundred bucks less last week. We brought home a 65″ Vizio 4K TV that was compatible with Alexa and Google Home voice assistants and had built-in Chromecast capability.
It’s big and it’s pretty. It was also $1400 less than my non-smart 42″ Dell cost me almost 14 years ago. We paid just shy of $600 including sales tax at our local WalMart. I also have to say, actually purchasing the TV was something of a challenge as well. Getting someone to just take your money and give you a TV is kind of challenging.
Setting it up wasn’t too difficult. As it is a smartTV, you do need to log onto your WiFi network. A SmartTv is really just a big Android tablet. (unless you have an AppleTV box hooked up, then it’s a big iPad)
Alas, for all my smartTV functions to work, I have to let Google all up in my business, so they can target me with ads based on my viewing preferences. This helps subsidize the cost of the TVs and explains why my larger, cooler TV is so much cheaper than a TV was 14 years ago. The remote has buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu right on there and that almost makes up for selling my right to privacy. Almost.
If I want to take full advantage of the 4K capabilities, I’ll have to think about upgrading my Netflix plan to 4K, which is $3 more a month and also considerably more bandwidth.
I am disappointed that, while my TV and Alexa seem to be in sync, I can’t get the voice control to work. Also, the instructions included for syncing the TV with Alexa leave out some major steps. I guess not everyone can write step-by-step instructions. When I manage to solve that Alexa connection problem, I shall write a tip about it.
I’m curious, who out there has a smartTV? What brand do you have and what’s the experience been like so far?