Do Dumb TVs Still Exist?

These new-fangled “Smart” TVs are confusing! There are so many menus, interfaces, and apps. Plus, they are probably spying on people and reporting everything back to Google or Elon Musk. Doesn’t anyone just make regular TVs anymore? Do “dumb” TVs still exist?

Answer: Not really. But you can dumb them down.

Dumb TVs Really Aren’t a Thing Anymore

Dumb TVs still exist, but you probably don’t want to buy them. A “dumb” TV is one without any apps or other convenience features. It will only accept inputs from external devices (players, streaming boxes, cable boxes, antennas) and display a picture. There are dumb TVs on the market but they are generally from B-tier manufacturers, they come in smaller sizes, and they are overpriced for what they do. Most importantly, they lack all the best features of modern TVs. These include the higher resolutions, gaming features, and any feature that requires an Internet connection.

Nearly all TVs are labeled “Smart” these days because most people want access to at least some of those features. They may not use them all, but they use some. To have the widest appeal, manufacturers make sure they have as many features as possible.

Dumbing Down Your Smart TV

A Smart TV is one that has access to the Internet and all the apps and streaming features. This gives users the ability to use their TV as the hub for their system using HDMI ARC (or eARC) to connect to their soundbar or AV receiver. Therein is the answer to the dilemma. No one says you have to connect your Smart TV to the Internet.

Don’t do this

If you want all the best parts of a Smart TV without giving potential access to your TV from outside sources, you can just choose not to connect it to the Internet. No device can automatically connect to your home Internet without you connecting a cable or giving it the password to your WiFi. This gives you all the features of a Smart TV (best resolution, largest sizes, lowest prices). Poof, you’ve just transformed your existing Smart TV into a Dumb TV!

You may be concerned about updates. Many TVs and other electronics are occasionally updated, usually from an online source. Don’t worry! Nearly every TV we can think of can be updated from a USB stick. Just download the update from the Internet (use your local library’s computers if you don’t have access at home) and update from the stick.

There Is One Solution

If you really want a “dumb” TV, the last display that exists that could fit the bill is a home theater projector. Nearly all of these would be considered “dumb.” While some of the business-class and budget projectors have started integrating Smart features, most dedicated home theater projectors don’t have access to apps or the Internet. Just grab yourself a screen and enjoy!

Do you have a Smart TV? How do you use (or not use) its Smart features? Let us know in the comments!

3 Comments on Do Dumb TVs Still Exist?

  1. Don C

    It isn’t true that “No device can automatically connect to your home Internet without you connecting a cable or giving it the password to your WiFi.”

    My Visio tv has updated itself multiple times despite never being connected to the internet or home WiFi.

    The technology shown to us is dumbed down to make it look like we have control, but we don’t. Even if you don’t have internet service, they can connect and apply updates.

  2. Ben

    Why are people so offended by the fact that some of us don’t want to be under constant surveillance? Tom, do you really need to jump to personal insults when someone points out that your statements are blatantly false? The reason companies make smart tvs cheap isn’t to give you neat features, it’s because they can collect and store your information. Eat a digital dick, Tom.

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