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z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
1/2/19 2:51 p.m.
Duke said:

In reply to Stefan :

Damn.  Samsung TVs look great and I was figuring that would be my first stop when we eventually upgrade from our 10-year-old Sony 52".  But witnessed by the fact that I have a 10-year-old TV and probably won't replace it in the immediate future, I want something I can keep for a while.

So who do we like for great picture quality and long service life these days?

Sony is always a good bet. 

I think all the panels, regardless of brand, only come from like 2-3 manufacturers. 

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
1/2/19 3:12 p.m.
Duke said:

In reply to Stefan :

Damn.  Samsung TVs look great and I was figuring that would be my first stop when we eventually upgrade from our 10-year-old Sony 52".  But witnessed by the fact that I have a 10-year-old TV and probably won't replace it in the immediate future, I want something I can keep for a while.

So who do we like for great picture quality and long service life these days?

Just use it as a Dumb TV once Samsung stops updating the internal software.  The tuner will still work as will the HDMI ports.  Add the external box of your choice (Amazon, Apple, Roku, Homebuilt, etc.) just understand that the software will eventually stop being updated going in and you'll be fine.

My Panasonic Smart TV has a couple of Apps provided, but I've never used them as I have a Roku 4K, a Raspberry PI, a Wii and a 4K BluRay player connected to it.

If the Smart aspect of the TV is provided by Roku, then the support will last longer, provided you enjoy the Roku platform.

There are also some aftermarket firmware that have been developed for some of the Smart TVs that can extend their capabilities.

The concern really is about the number of HDMI ports and the picture quality.  If it can be integrated into your existing hardware family, then all the better.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
1/2/19 3:23 p.m.

In reply to Stefan :

OK, thanks.  We typically use the console du decade to stream Netflix or AP anyway.  It's OK if the native apps go out of style.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Reader
1/2/19 4:39 p.m.

Can someone explain the Kodi thing ?

The guys selling them say you get everything "free" , does not sound right.....

Then they say sometime you need to bring it back to be re-coded ?

These seem to be the same guys who sold satillite dish's years ago

Thanks for the info

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
1/2/19 5:13 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

Can someone explain the Kodi thing ?

The guys selling them say you get everything "free" , does not sound right.....

Then they say sometime you need to bring it back to be re-coded ?

These seem to be the same guys who sold satillite dish's years ago

Thanks for the info

Kodi is the most recent name of the old Xbox Media Center software that was built to run on the original Xbox to extend its Media Center capabilities (since they were just customized PCs for the most part). 

Basically its a Media player front end that runs on various Operating Systems (there are versions that are built to run specifically on Raspberry Pi for example).  Its completely free to download and run and it is open source.

There are plugins available for Kodi to stream content from various sources online.  Many of these more illegal sources and plugins were purged from the web a few years ago, but there are still some legal streaming sites and plugins available.  Youtube being one of the major ones, but Crackle is another popular one.  I'm sure some of the more illegal sources are still available, but I've been out of the loop since going to a Roku was just much, much easier.

There are some "Kodi" boxes available to purchase online, but those are technically illegal and vary in quality as they are mostly just Android desktops with butchered firmware and goodness knows what plugins/customizations installed.

Save yourself some headaches and build one yourself, buy a Raspberry Pi 3, a MicroSD card, a RPi case of your choice, a wireless media center remote (Old HP ones on eBay are stupid cheap and the long USB cable allows you to put the sensor where you want it and keep the Pi tucked away), HDMI and power cables.  Download the Kodi/Raspbian build, install it on the MicroSD card, put it all together, power it on and go through the brief setup.  Now you can add your own media, customizations and install plugins to extend its capabilities.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodi_(software)

https://mediaexperience.com/raspberry-pi-xbmc-with-raspbmc/

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
1/2/19 5:56 p.m.

To be fair, even playing local content on the Kodi is illegal for the most part.

Kodi is great for digitizing your DVD library.  Illegal but handy.  If you are going to go the Pi3 route, install Emulation Station then Kodi, so at least it will dual function as a media player and a pretty solid game emulator.

 

It is not a replacement for any of the other smart tv functions or media boxes.

Donebrokeit
Donebrokeit SuperDork
1/2/19 6:24 p.m.

Based on what has been posted I will take a free dumb TV that was offered to me and give Roku a spin and go from there.

 

Thank you for all the input. Paul B

 

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
1/2/19 6:51 p.m.
ProDarwin said:

To be fair, even playing local content on the Kodi is illegal for the most part.

Kodi is great for digitizing your DVD library.  Illegal but handy.  If you are going to go the Pi3 route, install Emulation Station then Kodi, so at least it will dual function as a media player and a pretty solid game emulator.

 

It is not a replacement for any of the other smart tv functions or media boxes.

??

Are you confusing Kodi with VLC?  I'm not aware that Kodi can rip DVDs.  I know VLC can, but both are merely media players and as such it isn't illegal to watch content that you own.

Also, it can do many similar things to the other SmartTV solutions, its just hampered by legal content.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
1/2/19 7:23 p.m.

Sorry, Kodi doesn't do the ripping, but I meant playing a DVD library you've ripped.  It is illegal to rip a DVD you own.

 

It can't do Netflix, Hulu or Amazon, which are the primary apps most people use.

The0retical (Forum Supporter)
The0retical (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/3/19 9:27 a.m.

Didn't read all the responses but dumb TV's are pretty hard to get a hold of.

I have a 4k TCL 5 series Roku TV downstairs (This one) mounted to one of these (mount). It's been pretty great for the last year or so.

The analytics domain for Roku is blacklisted on my Pi-Hole so I don't worry about the TV spying on me. I'll also occasionally check the logs to see make sure it isn't getting chatty on another domain.

jaybird
jaybird New Reader
1/3/19 11:15 a.m.

I have an Insignia + Roku and I love it. It works much faster than my Amazon Prime Stick

Woody
Woody MegaDork
1/3/19 11:32 a.m.
Tom_Spangler said:
GameboyRMH said:

I generally recommend getting a dumb TV and then adding the smarts in the form of some kind of external device, so that there won't be a hilariously obsolete computer stuck in your TV after a few years.

I used to say this as well, but lately it's not so true. For one thing, it's getting really hard to find a TV that doesn't have any smart features, especially in bigger sizes. For another, the smart apps in the TV, and even the OS itself, can be updated for years to come, so you don't really need to worry about obsolescence like you used to. And finally, even if the smart features are there, you don't have to use them, you can just plug in a Roku or Apple TV or game console or whatever and use it.

As for picking one, I like the ratings on Rtings.com. For value-for-money, people seem to love the offerings from TCL.

I will second Tom’s recommendation of RTings.com when choosing a tv. They can help you find the best deal on the best TV for the type of viewing that spend the most time doing. You can learn a lot there. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/3/19 12:35 p.m.

A "dumb" TV is essentially a really bid HD video monitor.  Those are surprisingly expensive. 

Regardless, as long as the TV has something like an HDMI input, then you can use it as a big computer monitor and whatever "smarts' it has are bypassed.   That is typically what I do when watching YouTube since I prefer the web browser over the Vizio version.

Brian
Brian MegaDork
1/3/19 3:05 p.m.

In-laws have multiple Vizios and even the oldest one is still going after 10 years or so. Counter point is only the newest one is smart and their satellite internet can’t handle much streaming.

My dumb Panasonic is 9 years old and is still great. It has a matching smart BR player that is now 6 years old. It has two issues. Several buttons on the remote have died from too much use.  First the dedicated NETFLIX button and now the enter button inside of the arrows.  I need to replace it.  It also would freeze when loading frequently watched shows.  Similar issues when streaming through a Wii that it replaced were solved by clearing the cache, but I have had no such luck finding how to do it with the BR player. 

Lastly I have an LG smart that is now 5 years old, along with a matching BR player, and initially a chrome cast for the apps the TV wouldn’t support, like HBO Go. The TV hasn’t missed a beat, the BR is never used, and avoid stand alone streaming devices that cast or mirror off of another device like a phone or tablet. 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/16/20 10:50 a.m.
z31maniac said:

You don't have to use the apps on the TV if you don't want to. I would bet it's nearly impossible to find a TV that doesn't have a wired and WiFi connection, so it can be updated.

Many of the cheaper brands like Sceptre don't.

Hackaday had a rather amusing article on a security expert who bought a Sceptre TV after concluding it would be a very difficult one for hackers to break into. He then proceeded to see if he could hack into the TV himself. Answer: Yes, but it took physically taking the TV apart and desoldering a memory chip from it. He was able to give it a Blofield approved bootup screen eventually:

ebelements
ebelements Reader
9/16/20 1:15 p.m.

When asked by friends/family I generally recommend picking a Samsung/Sony/LG/Vizio and either shop by features(really big or really crisp?) or shop by price, and make sure you check some reviews. Generally, if you follow that, you'll do fine. 4k isn't really necessary as content isn't what I would call ubiquitous, and the content that is available requires more monthly cost with a streaming service (at least regarding Netflix) as well as really beefy internet service. I'd say it starts becoming a real nice-to-have around 65-70 inches, but below that most people can't tell the difference.

Hate to say it, but Apple TV 4k is the best streaming box at the moment. If that doesn't sit wll with you cost-wise, an Amazon FireTV 4k stick or Roku 4k stick are usually available for half off around Black Friday. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
9/16/20 1:25 p.m.

In reply to andy1111 :

What type of monitor do you recommend for Xtreme Canoe 2020?

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
9/16/20 1:30 p.m.

The andy guy seems more canoey'.  Ebel seems like he is just trying to provide useful info (no specific links etc)

As a note on 4K:  I would not say the 4K signal on Netflix or Amazon is a huge jump from 1080.  The 4K is still compressed.  No reason not to get a 4K TV, but reason to maybe save a bit on the service.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/16/20 1:32 p.m.

Smart TVs are quickly approaching the point where they'll be cheaper than dumb TVs.  It costs more to make them, but they get all sorts of other income from Netflix, Amazon, and other platforms that pay-to-play on the smart ones, so you can often get them for the same price as a dumb one.  Same reason a Dell is cheaper than a Lenovo.  Dell is kind of a whore for bloatware profit.

I have a TCL Roku 55" TV that I got a few years ago for $399.  It had a brief period of glitchy-ness after one update, but TCL must have come out with an update pretty quickly.  About the time I had enough and was going to complain, I got a firmware update and the problem disappeared.  It's UHD and 4K and I've loved it.

I also have a bloody expensive Samsung smart Blu-Ray that I detest.  The smart part of the player is stoopid slow.  It's like running Black Ops on Windows Vista with 2gb memory.  You click the arrows to select something and three seconds later it actually does it.  I think I paid more for the Samsung blu ray than I did for the TV and its awful.

I agree that a dumb TV and a smart stick is the way to go, but I ended up with the smart TV simply because it was cheap and it has turned out well for me.  Roku is a platform that at least gets love and updates from mother, and I don't see it going away any time soon.  I have one of the first Roku boxes ever made and it still works fine.  Not sure there is firmware support, but it has the latest apps.

Roku also seems to be one of the mainstream smart platforms that isn't too picky about what content they include.  SWMBO has a [brand name that escapes me right now] smart TV and she is supremely limited in what apps she can get.  Pandora, but not Spotify.  Disney, Netflix, and Prime, but not Hulu or Vudu.  Roku seems to play well with others.  It's the Switzerland of smart TVs.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
9/16/20 3:00 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

Roku also seems to be one of the mainstream smart platforms that isn't too picky about what content they include.  SWMBO has a [brand name that escapes me right now] smart TV and she is supremely limited in what apps she can get.  Pandora, but not Spotify.  Disney, Netflix, and Prime, but not Hulu or Vudu.  Roku seems to play well with others.  It's the Switzerland of smart TVs.

Well, it was. Peacock and HBO Max are not on Roku yet. IMO, the neutral-est smart TV platform at the moment is Android TV.

In any case, I'm in the "I never use the smart features on the TV camp". Separate box or dongle all the way. 

ebelements
ebelements Reader
9/16/20 3:11 p.m.

Damn, I forgot to check the timestamps. Ugh.

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 UberDork
9/16/20 3:28 p.m.

Our 2015 model, mid-tier 32" Samsung in our bedroom is allegedly a "Smart TV," and while I'm usually a Samsung fan, I've been disappointed with this TV since we got it.

The OS and apps, are so slow and clunky, it's got Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and 100+ other things I've never heard of, but it's just old enough that it doesn't have and won't be getting Disney+, and I doubt HBO Max will be offered either.  There were about 18 months where we had to use the Wii hooked to it for Neflix, because the Samsung Netflix app was so buggy.  An update finally fixed that.

The slow apps, having to wait 3-5 minutes after turning the TV on before being able to use the apps, (I guess the computer has to boot up?) and the lack of some streaming services, caused me to finally buy a $30 Roku Express.  The Roku is exponentially better than the built in Samsung "smart" features.

Aside from the smart features, just plain sucking, despite the TV's good reviews on Amazon, the picture quality is terrible.  It's an edge-lit LCD, and has terrible light bleed through around the bezel, so you never get a dark black, it's light gray around the edges to a dark gray in the middle.  I spent a month tweaking all the color and contrast settings before getting it to the least objectionable picture quality I could kind of tolerate.

It was < $300, which at the time was pretty cheap for a "name brand smart TV," I guess this is a lesson in, you get what you pay for.

m4ff3w
m4ff3w UberDork
9/16/20 4:12 p.m.

I'm all in (and have been for 10+ years) on Roku.  I've had a couple of RokuTVs (went with wife in divorce) and liked them well enough.  Both were TCL brand.

I mostly just use Plex, with some Netflix & ESPN app.  I'm back to each TV having it's own Roku now, all my TVs are old and dumb but they were free from when my company moved from 90k sqft to 20k sqft and got rid of tons of conference rooms.

thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter)
thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/16/20 5:33 p.m.

We just bought a new TV for the basement and I didn't see a single dumb TV in the 55-66 in size. Tried to get this TCL 65" for $470 but it was sold out so we ended up with a 65" samsung smart tv for $500. $30 wasn't worth it for me to keep shopping and go to a different store. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/17/20 7:27 a.m.

Sigh.

I just want a simple, moderately-high-performance 70" 4k TV I can use for general viewing and console gaming.

I want it to have good image quality and last for 10 years and cost under $2000.

Go to rtings.com, go to avsforum, go everywhere, and immediately get bogged down in the weeds with specs and stats and 12-digit model numbers.  It seems like every major manufacturer makes 5 different TVs that are all remarkably similar but not quite the same.  Let alone the differences between manufacturers.  And seemingly each one has some fatal flaw.

I did a lot of shopping and took a lot of advice when I replaced my 5.1 a/v receiver a few months ago and ended up with a Denon unit that I don't like overmuch.

I don't want the same result with a new TV.

Sigh.

 

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