It seems like everything is “smart” today. However, there is a growing number of people who are questioning whether smart devices are necessary, especially when it comes to televisions. A “dumb” TV is a television that does not have built-in Internet connectivity or smart features, such as the ability to access streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. There are several great dumb TV options on the market today, including these five top contenders.
Why Buy a Dumb TV?
First and foremost, smart TVs can collect a lot of data about your viewing habits. This includes which apps you use and what programs you watch. This information can then be shared with third parties.
Similarly, smart televisions will subject you to constant advertisements. Some smart TVs may display banner ads that run along the bottom or top of the screen, and you may also see pop-up ads while using the TV. These ads may even be targeted ads based on the data your smart TV collects, which is even more annoying.
These minor annoyances aside, there are more reasons you may not want such a television, and these have to down with how it is built. For example, not all smart TVs utilize the same universal operating system, which means it can take time for you to learn how to use yours. Also, just because smart TVs have preinstalled apps doesn’t mean your user experience will be any better. In fact, many people find that external media players like Android TV boxes offer a better experience.
It’s up to you whether a smart or dumb TV makes more sense, but these options can help you make the more informed decision.
1. Samsung 55-Inch BE55T-H Pro TV
Technically, the Samsung BE55T-H Pro is classified as “digital signage,” as it was primarily designed for business applications, such as airport flight information or restaurant menus. But don’t let that throw you. This is a high-quality TV from Samsung, just without the “smart” features. Usually, “digital signage” commands high prices, mainly because they are made to have extended operating times. However, this TV from Samsung is still very affordable, making it a great option for those looking for excellent image quality without having to connect to the Internet.
- 4K resolution
- High Dynamic Range ensures a wide color gamut
- Multiple sizes available from 43 inches to 75 inches
- Larger sizes can be more expensive than their “smart” counterparts
Good to Know: check out these Blu-Ray players you can connect to your dumb TV.
2. Sceptre UTV 55″ 4K Ultra-HDTV U558CV-UMC
Finding TVs without smart capabilities is becoming increasingly complex, but Spectre offers several solutions that don’t break the bank. The Sceptre U558CV-UMC offers 4K resolution along with ultra-high-definition upscaling. This television is easy to set up right out of the box, but you may want to consider purchasing a separate remote as the one that’s included is basic and not well-rated.
- 4K resolution
- Ultra high-definition upscaling
- MHL transfer
- Limited sizes available (55 inches and 65 inches)
- Basic remote control
- Stand not included
3. Sceptre 50-inch 4K UHD Ultra Slim LED TV MHL
The Sceptre 50-inch 4K UHD Ultra Slim LED TV boasts super slim bezels and a metal frame. It’s a great little set for under $300 and offers a great display for anything from Netflix to your PlayStation 5. Furthermore, the TV supports Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), allowing users to connect their smartphones so that users can use the TV as an extended display for their phone or tablet.
- 4K resolution
- Upscaling capabilities
- Mobile High-Definition Link
- Premium metal frame
- Poor sound quality
Tip: if you aren’t happy with the audio quality of your television, buy a home theater system for enhanced audio quality.
4. RCA 40-Inch 1080P Full HD LED Flat Screen TV
If you don’t need 4K resolution and don’t mind a smaller screen, you may want to consider the RCA 40 inch 1080p LED TV. This set features full 1080p high-definition resolution and a variety of ports, including HDMI, VGA, and even components. You’ll be able to connect a number of devices to this TV, including computers and pretty much any DVD/Blu-Ray player ever made! The video and audio quality is great for the price, and the remote is far better than others.
- Wall-mount ready from the box
- Easy to pair with other remotes
- Variety of ports, including 3 HDMI inputs
- Only 1080p resolution
5. Westinghouse HD 32 Inch TV with Built-In DVD and V-Chip
This relatively small TV is perfect for a child’s room or recreational vehicle. Unfortunately, the picture isn’t really anything to write home about, as the Westinghouse HD 32 Inch with Built-In DVD and V-Chip uses a 720p panel. This isn’t unusual for TVs of this size, but you may be able to notice the difference. But who needs Netflix when you have a built-in DVD player? Additionally, this set comes with V-Chip technology, meaning parents can rest easy knowing the kiddos won’t be watching anything they’re not supposed to.
- Built-in DVD player
- LED display
- Supports HDMI, USB, VGA, Digital TV Tuner connectivity, and HD video game consoles
- V-Chip for parental control
- Very lightweight
- Small footprint
- Only 720p resolution
- Can be difficult to mount due to design
Tip: if you are having issues setting up your new television, you may want to check whether you are getting a signal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is upscaling?
Upscaling improves the quality of lower-resolution video content on high-definition and ultra-high-definition (4K) TVs. This is done by converting lower-resolution content to a higher-resolution format that matches the native resolution of the TV screen.
However, it is important to note that upscaling cannot improve the resolution of lower-resolution content, as upscaling cannot add detail that isn’t already there. Instead, upscaling increases the pixel count of a lower-resolution source to accommodate a higher-resolution display.
What is Mobile High Definition Link (MHL)?
Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) allows mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to connect to high-definition displays, like televisions. MHL uses a single cable to connect the mobile device to the external display, providing power and video/audio signals, so that users can connect their mobile devices to an external display. This allows users to easily share content from a phone or tablet on a large screen.
Furthermore, MHL supports remote control functions so that users can control their mobile devices using the remote control of their TV. This makes it ideal for various situations, such as viewing photos and presentations and watching videos.
What is a V-Chip and what does it do?
A V-Chip allows parents to block certain TV shows and movies based on their content ratings. These content ratings indicate the presence of mature themes like violence, language, and sexual content.
When a program is rated, it is assigned a specific rating code, such as TV-PG or TV-MA. The V-Chip can read these codes and allows parents to set a filter to block programs that exceed a certain rating level. For example, a parent could set the V-Chip to block all programming rated TV-MA to ensure their children could not watch programs with that rating.
Image credit: Pexels
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