New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
User avatar
Topic Author
susa
Posts: 599
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:30 pm
Contact:

New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by susa »

So, the recent thread New YouTube TV Service $35 per month inspired me to ask the following

We need to add for frequent guests a new smart TV and have excellent internal WiFi (Netgear Nighhawk routers and repeaters) with Comcast 75mbs on our own modem (soon to become 100+mbs with docsis 3.1 modem).

It is easy to connect any make/model smart TV with internal WiFi to our network and stream live network TV, Amazon Prime, that part works fine as we occasionally use our in-house laptops and desktops to watch "live TV" over the web.

Since this "guest TV" would not have a settop box (ie. cable box or connection) it would always be used in streaming mode, that means, it would always have to use a stored userid/password to connect to tv.xfinity.com (works fine on our Android tablets at home and on the road while traveling) or it would have to always connect and start in "Web Browser mode" since no HDMI cable or antenna will be connected.

Is the above description clear? Think of it as an oversized tablet, sitting on a dresser and handled via a Remote On/Off but no keyboard. We do not have any use for games so this device would strictly be used to connect to existing Comcast service. Perhaps there is a Comcast app version Smart TV?

What I am wondering about is, would it add any value to get a smart TV "with Roku" vs. latest and greatest from Samsung/Sony but no Roku ? What about any other "features" on the smart TV that I am not aware of but should consider?

In case it matters, this would be at most a 40 inch size.
Da5id
Posts: 2232
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:20 am

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by Da5id »

I don't have a good answer, but I'd argue for making as much of the "smarts" as possible external. May not be quite as smoothly integrated, but if you get a TV with a nice picture that will last very much longer than your built in applications stay current. External Roku/Chromecast/whatever really feels to me to be the way to go...
User avatar
Topic Author
susa
Posts: 599
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:30 pm
Contact:

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by susa »

All the smart TV's appear to have auto updates built-in for all apps.
User avatar
knpstr
Posts: 2890
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:57 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by knpstr »

Our Samsung smart TV (5 years old) doesn't have an app for SlingTV (the service we use), so we have a roku to run through it and love it.

:beer
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius
Da5id
Posts: 2232
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:20 am

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by Da5id »

susa wrote:All the smart TV's appear to have auto updates built-in for all apps.
Glad to hear that. I personally have no faith that companies will continue to update older products when it is strongly in their interest to encourage you to buy newer TVs, but perhaps I'm just cynical? Honestly, after x years (5?) it becomes a pain for companies to keep pushing updates on their older models. Cell phones are notorious for this (my Nexus 5x will end of life next November, no more updates after that). I personally have a ~10 year old 1080p TV that still has a picture I'm very pleased with. As a bigger TV won't fit there (this is 46 inch, "small" by modern standards), the benefits of 4K are marginal at best to me. I'm pleased to just by the TV for the picture, get the smarts elsewhere, and get new TVs less often. Each to their own though!
User avatar
Topic Author
susa
Posts: 599
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:30 pm
Contact:

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by susa »

We normally get 3 years of life from our laptops and tablets (Linux, Android, etc) and I would not expect to get more than 3 years from a smart TV in the price range 165-365. Don't need a "forever Sony", those Tv's of yonderyears that are still running at 25+ years age with excellent picture :)
Da5id
Posts: 2232
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:20 am

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by Da5id »

susa wrote:We normally get 3 years of life from our laptops and tablets (Linux, Android, etc) and I would not expect to get more than 3 years from a smart TV in the price range 165-365. Don't need a "forever Sony", those Tv's of yonderyears that are still running at 25+ years age with excellent picture :)
Got it. I tend to prefer to buy a higher end TV and keep it for as long as possible. I treat it differently than phones/laptops/tablets/etc (where I generally don't buy the highest end, as their lifespan is short and depreciation rapid). But again, different people, different strategies.
User avatar
jhfenton
Posts: 4670
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:17 am
Location: Ohio

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by jhfenton »

The TCL TVs with built-in Roku are at a nice price point, especially for a guest TV. We bought a 55" 4K TCL Roku set for $399 for Christmas, and it's been great. A 40" 1080p set would be a lot less than that. You can control the Roku TVs with the included Roku-style remote or (once it's connected to wifi or ethernet) with the Roku app on a tablet or smartphone. The built-in Roku software and its "app store" gives you the best shot at having access to new streaming services that come on board in the future.
surveyor
Posts: 304
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:05 am

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by surveyor »

Be aware that some TVs sold today are sold as "Displays" since they do not have internal tuner. Likely fine for your use but if OTA is a consideration make sure it's sold as an HDTV.
User avatar
Midpack
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:34 am
Location: Chicagoland

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by Midpack »

Like others have said, no smart TV will be as capable as an external streaming device - just make sure you buy a TV with several HDMI ports and at least one (or more) with HDCP 2.2 to future proof yourself for 4K.

Apple TV is more/overpriced but most streaming devices, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, are $35-100 dollars - so don't focus on the "smarts" of the TV. Buy a decent TV, and if/when streaming technology improves dramatically you can update the TV with a relatively cheap streaming device then. Roku is good, but I would not lock in on a Roku TV, it might limit your future options.
You only live once...
User avatar
jhfenton
Posts: 4670
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:17 am
Location: Ohio

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by jhfenton »

Midpack wrote:Like others have said, no smart TV will be as capable as an external streaming device - just make sure you buy a TV with several HDMI ports and at least one (or more) with HDCP 2.2 to future proof yourself for 4K.

Apple TV is more/overpriced but most streaming devices, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, are $35-100 dollars - so don't focus on the "smarts" of the TV. Buy a decent TV, and if/when streaming technology improves dramatically you can update the TV with a relatively cheap streaming device then. Roku is good, but I would not lock in on a Roku TV, it might limit your future options.
I agree if you're buying a large high-end TV, but if you're buying a $199 40" 1080p guest TV set, adding on the cost of an external box is not insignificant. (And the 4K Roku box retails for $129, so having it built into our $399 4K set seems significant.)
User avatar
Midpack
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:34 am
Location: Chicagoland

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by Midpack »

jhfenton wrote:
Midpack wrote:Like others have said, no smart TV will be as capable as an external streaming device - just make sure you buy a TV with several HDMI ports and at least one (or more) with HDCP 2.2 to future proof yourself for 4K.

Apple TV is more/overpriced but most streaming devices, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, are $35-100 dollars - so don't focus on the "smarts" of the TV. Buy a decent TV, and if/when streaming technology improves dramatically you can update the TV with a relatively cheap streaming device then. Roku is good, but I would not lock in on a Roku TV, it might limit your future options.
I agree if you're buying a large high-end TV, but if you're buying a $199 40" 1080p guest TV set, adding on the cost of an external box is not insignificant. (And the 4K Roku box retails for $129, so having it built into our $399 4K set seems significant.)
The 40" Roku TV is not 4K, it's 1080p - so referring to their most expensive $130 4K Roku Ultra streaming device for comparison is a non-starter (they have an $80 4K streamer anyway). Roku's 1080p devices start at $30, that's what you're getting with a 40" Roku TV. He can buy a 40" Roku TV for $270-350 or an equivalent smart TV for $199 (your number) and a Roku Express for $30 - save money up front and have the option of inexpensively updating the streaming device in the future. What am I missing?
Last edited by Midpack on Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:25 am, edited 3 times in total.
You only live once...
User avatar
Topic Author
susa
Posts: 599
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:30 pm
Contact:

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by susa »

Not to get myself off the path here... but, it just occurred that I could also connect a late model Linux laptop which already has a HDMI connection, then connect it's cable to a 40 inch LED monitor. When laptop is powered on, it would of course need to reboot, load the OS, load via XFCE a browser and startup page tv.xfinity.com --- the logon userid/password can be stored and would appear as obscure ****** so any guest could just click OK and voila !
User avatar
Midpack
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:34 am
Location: Chicagoland

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by Midpack »

Duplicate
Last edited by Midpack on Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
You only live once...
Broken Man 1999
Posts: 5320
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am
Location: West coast of Florida, inland on high ground!

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

jhfenton wrote:The TCL TVs with built-in Roku are at a nice price point, especially for a guest TV. We bought a 55" 4K TCL Roku set for $399 for Christmas, and it's been great. A 40" 1080p set would be a lot less than that. You can control the Roku TVs with the included Roku-style remote or (once it's connected to wifi or ethernet) with the Roku app on a tablet or smartphone. The built-in Roku software and its "app store" gives you the best shot at having access to new streaming services that come on board in the future.
Another vote for the TCL TV. :thumbsup :thumbsup

I have a 40" TCL TV in my garage. Great wireless streaming, and I robbed the guest bedroom of the set-top box so now I have cable as well. Hey, you can't make your guests too comfortable, they might not want to leave! :happy

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain
User avatar
jhfenton
Posts: 4670
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:17 am
Location: Ohio

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by jhfenton »

Midpack wrote:
jhfenton wrote:
Midpack wrote:Like others have said, no smart TV will be as capable as an external streaming device - just make sure you buy a TV with several HDMI ports and at least one (or more) with HDCP 2.2 to future proof yourself for 4K.

Apple TV is more/overpriced but most streaming devices, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, are $35-100 dollars - so don't focus on the "smarts" of the TV. Buy a decent TV, and if/when streaming technology improves dramatically you can update the TV with a relatively cheap streaming device then. Roku is good, but I would not lock in on a Roku TV, it might limit your future options.
I agree if you're buying a large high-end TV, but if you're buying a $199 40" 1080p guest TV set, adding on the cost of an external box is not insignificant. (And the 4K Roku box retails for $129, so having it built into our $399 4K set seems significant.)
The 40" Roku TV is not 4K, it's 1080p - so referring to their most expensive $130 4K Roku Ultra streaming device for comparison is a non-starter (they have an $80 4K streamer anyway). Roku's 1080p devices start at $30, that's what you're getting with a 40" Roku TV. He can buy a 40" Roku TV for $270-350 or an equivalent smart TV for $199 (your number) and a Roku Express for $30 - save money up front and have the option of inexpensively updating the streaming device in the future. What am I missing?
You're missing that I was talking about two different TVs. The $399 was the 55" 4K Roku TV that I said we bought at Christmas. (And I've seen it at that price at Target in the last month.) The other TV was the OP's hypothetical guest TV, and $199 was the price I saw for a 40" Roku TV around Christmas. (A quick search shows a few models at $229-269 right now.)

My main point was that you need to compare the prices of built-in and separate, and that when you're talking about lower-price TVs, you're not too worried about it being future proof.
User avatar
Topic Author
susa
Posts: 599
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:30 pm
Contact:

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by susa »

Broken Man 1999 wrote:I have a 40" TCL TV in my garage. Great wireless streaming, and I robbed the guest bedroom of the set-top box
If you had NOT robbed the GB of the box, what would "streaming alone", if left in that state, meant ? That is, does it mean, only something from "yesterday" could be watched over an internal Roku app but not "current Channel 4 news from downtown..." ? Or, no live late night host show at 23:30 but otherwise, on a delay, these could be seen the "next day" ?

Or something else?
User avatar
Topic Author
susa
Posts: 599
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:30 pm
Contact:

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by susa »

jhfenton wrote:The $399 was the 55" 4K Roku TV that I said we bought at Christmas. (And I've seen it at that price at Target in the last month.)
Likely this model or perhaps this Walmart model

I see it has a "HBO Now" icon -- if it were NOT connected via a provider box, can I logon via my Comcast account over just WiFi and authenticate myself as "HBO current customer" ?
User avatar
jhfenton
Posts: 4670
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:17 am
Location: Ohio

Re: New Smart TV without antenna or cable

Post by jhfenton »

susa wrote:
jhfenton wrote:The $399 was the 55" 4K Roku TV that I said we bought at Christmas. (And I've seen it at that price at Target in the last month.)
Likely this model or perhaps this Walmart model

I see it has a "HBO Now" icon -- if it were NOT connected via a provider box, can I logon via my Comcast account over just WiFi and authenticate myself as "HBO current customer" ?
When I follow your Amazon link, it says "You purchased this item on November 24, 2016." So it was a Thanksgiving TV, not Christmas. :beer

I don't have an HBO subscription, but it should work that way. Other streaming cable channels like ESPN do work that way through the Roku app. Roku doesn't have single sign-on yet, but once you authenticate each streaming app, they should be good to go for guests.
Post Reply