- Apr 12, 2005
- San Francisco area, CA, USA
- 2015 Mazda 3 S GT, 2015 VW e-Golf
My 2015 Samsung started dropping apps as they got updates due to no longer being a supported device starting at around 2019. Pluto and HBO Max both were deactivated, uninstalled, and removed from the app store. Pluto just disappeared, and HBO Max sent out a notification that it was going to happen a few months in advance, but it was just to tell people they could buy a streaming device to continue watching their content. This TV also never got newer apps like Disney, Apple, or Paramount+. Additionally, it's grown more and more sluggish over time. I've been using an Amazon Fire Stick for the last little while, and while it's shit, it was still better than the TV's built-in OS because I could get all of the apps I wanted, the cross-platform search functionality was much better, and it was generally a *tiny* bit snappier...when new. I'm replacing it now, though, but don't feel too bad because all it cost me was a 6-pack of cheap beer in trade. It's gotten SO unstable, and now the UI feels like I'm operating it over dial-up.How can there be so many variants of a product that is arguably defunct when every modern TV has all the apps built in?
My bedroom TV is a Vizio from 2018 I think, and the UI is trash. But, I'm the only one who uses it, and I only use it for two apps, and only at night when I am possibly going to be falling asleep soon. I'm fine putting up with its shortcomings...and the only reason I use it for only 2 apps (Pluto and YouTube) is because there's no Vizio version of the MST3K or RiffTrax apps. And if I got an external streaming device for those apps, the included remotes wouldn't let me lower the screen brightness or set a sleep timer. I imagine there are universal remotes that can control both, but if I even looked into it, I'd be tempted to spend money I don't really need to.
Also, not all of the TV-version of apps can support fancy features like Dolby Vision, and there's a certain percentage of people who say the video processing of the TVs is shit even compared to relatively low-end external devices. That I can't speak to, as it's beyond my media consumption standards.
And finally, with a Roku, there's a couple of ways I can use headphones/earbuds for audio instead of the TV speakers. Maybe there are other ways this could be done, but it's super easy with Roku, and it's a feature I will absolutely use. Some of their remotes literally have a headphone jack, or you can use the companion phone app and sync it to the unit, and then you can use wireless earbuds or headphones with your phone (which also acts like a remote for the Roku). Neither of my TV's have built-in Bluetooth capabilities. On my main TV, I have a soundbar with Bluetooth, but it's only to use the soundbar as a speaker from another source like a phone...no Bluetooth output to wireless earbuds or headphones.