Discussion: “I want a simple box, not this all”

Smart TVs have become mainstream, but the craving for functional minimalism has only intensified. Few people want to deal with complex interfaces, and many even prefer a modular approach: when TV is just a screen and nothing more. We analyzed more than 600 commentsHacker News residents left on this topic and highlighted key points of this discussion.

Photo: Aleks Dorohovich.  Source: Unsplash.com
Photo: Aleks Dorohovich. Source: Unsplash.com

Smart is better

there is opinionthat smart TVs are cheaper than classic TVs. For many, price is a key criterion, not the presence or absence of a particular operating system, applications or features. In such situations, the television “mind” with its advantages and disadvantages very often gathers dust offline – together with TV they simply use their home media server

This approach also excludes some of the threats to personal information security associated with the transfer of personal data to a third party. “I don’t think that manufacturers will embed hidden LTE modems in smart TVs just for the sake of collecting analytics. Therefore, it is enough not to connect such a TV to your home Wi-Fi network, ”one of the residents of Hacker News shares his thoughts on this.

“I agree, but this is not the only question. If you take classic TV, the picture will be worse”Replies another member of the community and explains that older video content prefers to watch on the Pioneer LX6090 KURO, and Blu-ray editions in 4k – on OLED from LG. According to him words, the products of this brand are suitable for games, and when watching movies, models from Panasonic and Sony show themselves well.

Those who prefer to connect an external storage device or set-top box with content to their smart TV while traveling are return discussion to Cybersecurity issues… Not everyone agrees with the adequacy of this approach, and many do refuse register purchased TVs, even if we are talking about classic models without “smart” functionality and simple purchase notification.

Still others are not ready to keep several STBs for various streaming services and considerthat it is more convenient and safer to watch them using smart TV: “I do not think that the conventional Apple and manufacturers of similar TV devices treat our data better than others.”

Photo: Daan Stevens.  Source: Unsplash.com
Photo: Daan Stevens. Source: Unsplash.com

At this point, the discussion turns into an argument, but the comments remain balanced, even when those who are willing to share their criticism of everything “too smart” join the discussion.

But not always

“If you buy a smart TV at a low enough cost, the manufacturer is surely taking the lost money somewhere else – for example, selling your metadata to advertisers. The scheme is somewhat similar to what we see on social networks. If you don’t pay for something, they make money on you personally, ”say those who disagree with the residents, whose opinions we have discussed above.

“Conventional Apple TV will not leak your data to just anyone, but smart TVs, I guess, can. Therefore it is better take a separate attachment – there the responsiveness will be higher, and the speed will be higher, ”those who disagree with the criticism of the modular approach continue to deal with the interlocutors.

Most of the residents pay attention to the slow interfaces of operating systems for smart TVs: “Just remember how quickly you switched channels on your old TV!”

“If there is no code, then the system works faster,” recall the phrase of Kevlin Henney (Kevlin Henney), an advisor to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), better known for books and publications on software engineering.

“Automation makes life better, but here it all turns into a bunch of bells and whistles. The situation is similar with IoT devices, ”critics persist. At this point, the discussion smoothly turns to the topic of choice … wait for it … home microwaves

AT thread Microwave ovens are mentioned more than a hundred times about smart TVs. The fact is that a huge number of models have simply terrifying UX / UI-specifications. Some saythat only one of the fifty buttons is used. Others, on the contrary, make laudatory comparisons with cars from the early 2000s, when “everything – from the air conditioner to the media system – worked perfectly on buttons that could not even be memorized, and there were simply no displays.” Still others – can’t understandwhy does a microwave oven need smart functionality and a Wi-Fi module at all?

“The first thing that I saw after the launch of the new smart TV was user agreements. By rejecting all proposals and negative responses to requests to agree with numerous clauses of the conditions, I managed to get rid of all smart features, ”residents are once again trying to return colleagues to discussing TVs.

Photo: Simone Daino.  Source: Unsplash.com
Photo: Simone Daino. Source: Unsplash.com

Many remain dissatisfied the fact that smart TVs have become the standard, and “a simple box for 4k” is no longer to be found. You have to live with slow and unintuitive interfaces, when even the simplest actions require dozens of clicks: “setting the sleep timer – 21 steps, switching the sound source – 6 steps … the inability to reassign individual buttons … and so on. “

How to live with it

A significant proportion of those who took a smart TV admitted that they prefer to supplement it attachments and programmable remote control… Those who decide to confront everything “smart” are limited to computer monitors. Others go their own way and take home projectorbut recognize that for background viewing of YouTube shows or TV programs, it may not fit

Another finding from the discussion is that a number of the site’s residents chose to take on “televisions for advertising”. Those that are used in office centers and retail. If interested, in thread there are about a dozen models. But it is important to understand that this is only an opinion, which was also found criticism

We have on Habré:

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