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Smart TVs— Made Up Stories and Mega Urban Legends

Smart TVs— Made Up Stories and Mega Urban Legends

Have you heard some pretty wild story about smart TVs? These high-tech television sets seem to bring out urban legends and false rumors.

Stories spread about TVs spying on private conversations, spontaneously exploding, and other paranoid fantasies.

Before you hide your TV in the attic, let’s explore fact vs fiction.

Do Smart TVs Really Spy on You?

Of all the tech myths out there, fears of being spied on are common. It’s human nature to feel uneasy about an internet-connected camera and microphone at home. We’ve all seen dystopian sci-fi films that make the idea seem scary. But are smart TVs actually recording private conversations in real life?

Here’s the truth behind the myth: many smart TVs have voice recognition features. They respond to commands like “switch to Netflix.” To work properly, the TV listens for trigger words. But big manufacturers like Samsung and LG say this audio data stays on the device locally. It’s not transmitted anywhere externally.

The only time a smart TV records conversations is if you intentionally activate a voice command. There’s simply no proof they secretly spy without consent. Think about it – a huge scandal of illegal wiretapping would lead to massive lawsuits costing billions. Tech companies try hard to prevent privacy violations.

Does that guarantee your TV isn’t listening more than it should? Of course not – no tech is completely secure. If you’re worried, you can mute the microphone or use a separate one. But overall, the risk of smart TV spying seems exaggerated online. It’s best not to assume every rumor has truth behind it.

Can Your Smart TV Get Hacked?

Another widespread fear is that smart TVs are super insecure. This lets hackers spy on you through the camera. Tales spread of creepy strangers watching you through the set. But how likely is this scary scenario in reality?

It’s true nothing connected to the internet is perfectly secure. Skilled hackers can potentially break into devices with sophisticated tools. However, most big brands take security very seriously in smart TVs. Samsung, Sony, LG and others use encryption, two-factor authentication, and other protections to reduce vulnerabilities.

Think about the effort vs reward for a hacker. It takes great skill to crack modern TV security. All to spy on a random person’s living room? Not an appealing payout. Like privacy violations, a widespread hacking scandal would also lead to enormous lawsuits and losses.

Again, nothing is 100% hack proof if you use weak passwords. But updates and strong passwords help a lot. Using an extra webcam cover can provide peace of mind too. While hacking is possible in theory, realistically it’s not worth worrying about for most people.

Are Smart TVs More Fragile?

Many of us have had the headache of a malfunctioning electronic. Televisions themselves sometimes develop annoying glitches over time. So it makes sense some people think “smart” features make modern TVs less sturdy. But is there any truth to the idea they break faster?

In reality, there’s zero proof smart TVs are more failure prone than non-connected sets. Both use similar LCD/LED display panels and components. The processor and operating system enabling smart features are unrelated to display durability. With decent care, a smart TV should last over 7 years typically – similar to “dumb” versions.

Like any appliance, smart TV lifespan varies based on use and environment. Poor ventilation, lots of sunlight, kids hitting the screen – those matter more for durability than being wi-fi enabled. Refurbished and cheaper models may have lower reliability too. But being “smart” does not inherently make modern TVs break down faster.

Do Smart TVs Need Constant Internet?

One common assumption is that a smart television becomes useless without active internet. After all, “smart” sounds synonymous with being online. But much core functionality still works fine offline.

For instance, you can still view live over-the-air broadcasts, use streaming apps, play downloaded shows, and use voice control without any internet connectivity. Of course, features like Netflix recommendations or app updates will be limited offline. But the TV doesn’t turn into a useless brick.

This myth relates to the unease around new technology. The notion that a device constantly mines your data and relies on external computers is creepy. But smart TV makers understand customers want flexibility. Wi-fi is preferable for the full experience, but not absolutely necessary in most cases. Disconnecting the TV from the internet periodically can even improve privacy.

Do Smart TVs Need Frequent Upgrading?

Remember the days when a television set could last 10 or 20 years with little thought? Some long for those simpler times without constant upgrade cycles. Many assume smart TVs need frequent replacement like smartphones. But in truth, modern TVs remain highly usable for years.

Display panel technology still improves gradually, not in huge year-to-year leaps. A 4K HDR television purchased today delivers comparable image quality several years from now. Major apps like Netflix and Hulu also support older smart TV models for a minimum of 3-5 years typically. Buying a 1-2 year old smart TV won’t cause much sacrifice.

Of course, companies want you to upgrade constantly. But you can easily get 5+ years of enjoyment from a smart TV before considering a replacement. Choosing a timeless design also keeps your set looking modern longer. Frequent upgrades may satisfy tech thirst for some, but are unnecessary for most viewers.

Do Smart TVs Use Lots of Electricity?

Another common myth is that smart TVs waste huge amounts of electricity from advanced hardware and always-on wifi connections. People imagine their new set guzzling power nonstop. But in fact, modern smart televisions are very energy efficient.

A typical 40-50 inch LED smart TV only uses 30-50 watts while running. Comparable to electricity use of non-smart versions. New 4K models with HDR use a bit more power, but remain quite efficient overall. Your TV also won’t pull maximum wattage unless you’re blasting sound and brightness settings.

Smart TVs further conserve energy with automatic shutoff and low power modes when inactive. Unplugging the set when unused can additionally trim electricity costs. There’s simply no proof smart capabilities drain way more power. You can enjoy the convenience without feeling guilty about your electricity bill.

Should You Believe Every Smart TV Myth?

Nope! Some people repeat scary rumors without researching facts. Tech myths tap into human anxiety about change.

Of course, smart technology has downsides like privacy concerns to weigh thoughtfully. But it’s unwise to assume every urban legend is valid. Major brands have little incentive to spy on users or build shoddy products. Your new smart TV is unlikely to transform into a creepy villain from a sci-fi movie.

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