Is There Such A Thing As A Barebones TV? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 26 Old 11-10-2019, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Is There Such A Thing As A Barebones TV?

I wasn't sure where to ask/discuss this question, but my question is, do they make any high picture quality tvs that don't have all the extra bells and whistles (ie. smart functions etc) and why not? It seems like they could easily make a high quality image tv that could be a great size (70"+) and would results in being made quite a bit cheaper. And by barebones I mean essentially all it would have would be something like one hdmi port, a coaxial connection perhaps, no built-in speakers, and no smart features of any kind, and all you could do in the tvs menu wouid be adjusting the picture settings.

I guess it sounds like a dumb question, but to me, if it took some $1,000 off the price, it would be great for people such as myself that have all the equipment that make all those extras totally worthless. If the answer is because it would be such a small niche of people that would buy such a thing, then I guess I answered my own question.
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post #2 of 26 Old 11-10-2019, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dece870717 View Post
I wasn't sure where to ask/discuss this question, but my question is, do they make any high picture quality tvs that don't have all the extra bells and whistles (ie. smart functions etc) and why not? It seems like they could easily make a high quality image tv that could be a great size (70"+) and would results in being made quite a bit cheaper. And by barebones I mean essentially all it would have would be something like one hdmi port, a coaxial connection perhaps, no built-in speakers, and no smart features of any kind, and all you could do in the tvs menu wouid be adjusting the picture settings.

I guess it sounds like a dumb question, but to me, if it took some $1,000 off the price, it would be great for people such as myself that have all the equipment that make all those extras totally worthless. If the answer is because it would be such a small niche of people that would buy such a thing, then I guess I answered my own question.
They do, they're called "monitors". Many of them are for business and kiosk purposes.
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post #3 of 26 Old 11-10-2019, 11:49 AM
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And they are usually more expensive.
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post #4 of 26 Old 11-10-2019, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dece870717 View Post
I guess it sounds like a dumb question, but to me, if it took some $1,000 off the price...
It would not take $1,000 off the price. All of the "smart TV" hardware in a modern TV adds less than $100.

It's the same guts as an inexpensive smartphone, minus the screen, minus the case, minus half the radios, much less memory (max 4 GB flash and <=1 GB RAM). Since you still want a remote and at least a basic TV input, not all of that can be removed.

Given the costs of carrying an extra SKU - consider the supply chain, the ordering, all the shelf space it's going to take, that's not free - it's cheaper for the manufacturer to eat the cost of the smart TV hardware for the people who don't need it than to forcibly expand their line with a C-item.

Unless they permit the retailers to treat it like a C-item (currently, distributors generally require some parts of the lineup to be displayed, even if the stores don't like it). If they do, it will only be available in a dozen B&M stores across the country. These stores will be slow to match others on price and rarely do promotions, because they have so many more SKU to manage than stores with just the AB-items. The result is, it will cost less in MSRP, but popular TVs will go for less in street pricing.

And even if the manufacturer ate the costs, it's still cheaper for you to pay $2,100 for a smart TV than $2,000 for a display-panel-only. When time comes to upgrade, the former will sell for $700 in a week, the latter will take months to find a buyer around $300. Ask me how I know.
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post #5 of 26 Old 11-10-2019, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogHD View Post
It would not take $1,000 off the price. All of the "smart TV" hardware in a modern TV adds less than $100.

It's the same guts as an inexpensive smartphone, minus the screen, minus the case, minus half the radios, much less memory (max 4 GB flash and <=1 GB RAM). Since you still want a remote and at least a basic TV input, not all of that can be removed.

Given the costs of carrying an extra SKU - consider the supply chain, the ordering, all the shelf space it's going to take, that's not free - it's cheaper for the manufacturer to eat the cost of the smart TV hardware for the people who don't need it than to forcibly expand their line with a C-item.

Unless they permit the retailers to treat it like a C-item (currently, distributors generally require some parts of the lineup to be displayed, even if the stores don't like it). If they do, it will only be available in a dozen B&M stores across the country. These stores will be slow to match others on price and rarely do promotions, because they have so many more SKU to manage than stores with just the AB-items. The result is, it will cost less in MSRP, but popular TVs will go for less in street pricing.

And even if the manufacturer ate the costs, it's still cheaper for you to pay $2,100 for a smart TV than $2,000 for a display-panel-only. When time comes to upgrade, the former will sell for $700 in a week, the latter will take months to find a buyer around $300. Ask me how I know.
Thanks for the information, I figured there was a bit to all of it. One of the things that prompted me to think about this question was because of my TV, Ipersonally love my simple 73" Mitsubishi WD-73C9, I paid $1,200 for it back in 2010\2011 I believe, I've done picture calibration on it since the beginning, and I believe it still has quite good/satisfactory video quality especially considering its age and what's out there now. Changed the light engine once, dlp chip once, and the bulb a few times, and it's still going strong. I just wish they had the kind of superb video quality of today's TVs but at the price range of DLPs of the past.
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post #6 of 26 Old 11-10-2019, 03:39 PM
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Check out this similar thread. Poor guy got ripped apart.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/166-l...-smart-tv.html
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post #7 of 26 Old 11-10-2019, 05:43 PM
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Not shure about the ''something like one hdmi port''. When a TV gets older such port could stop working...Maybe better to have several HDMI ports (my monitor TV does have two HDMI ports btw).
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post #8 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRAYB View Post
Check out this similar thread. Poor guy got ripped apart.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/166-l...-smart-tv.html
An interesting thread, but yeah, that's definitely not something I was thinking about as reasoning for not wanting a smart TV, I was just thinking it would make a difference perhaps cost wise, but thanks to AnalogHD, it was explained that it didn't really matter much.

The main reason I could care less for something like smart TV features or something like multiple hdmi ports is the fact that I've have a home theater receiver, a Roku 4 and a HTPC for quite some time. Also, the reason I could care less for something like a tvs built-in speakers is I have my own high end audio setup.

Side note: And speaking of the audio, I have found it strange that in many TV reviews today, the built in speakers have a mention in a such a way as if it really mattered, in my mind, it makes zero difference, as I can't understand why people get super nice big tvs, and then are sufficiently happy with subpar audio.
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post #9 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dece870717 View Post
An interesting thread, but yeah, that's definitely not something I was thinking about as reasoning for not wanting a smart TV, I was just thinking it would make a difference perhaps cost wise, but thanks to AnalogHD, it was explained that it didn't really matter much.

The main reason I could care less for something like smart TV features or something like multiple hdmi ports is the fact that I've have a home theater receiver, a Roku 4 and a HTPC for quite some time. Also, the reason I could care less for something like a tvs built-in speakers is I have my own high end audio setup.

Side note: And speaking of the audio, I have found it strange that in many TV reviews today, the built in speakers have a mention in a such a way as if it really mattered, in my mind, it makes zero difference, as I can't understand why people get super nice big tvs, and then are sufficiently happy with subpar audio.
Do you mean you couldn't care less?
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post #10 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by MRAYB View Post
Check out this similar thread. Poor guy got ripped apart.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/166-l...-smart-tv.html
"Poor guy"?

I suppose that I should have more sympathy for the mentally ill.

(The thread was started by someone who wanted a TV that couldn't spy on him. Not connecting the TV to the Net wasn't good enough for him.)
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post #11 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 12:03 PM
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You don't have to connect a smart TV to the internet, but you still have to live with the user interface of a streaming app platform.

It does get a little silly when every piece of electronics in your home theater has a network connection, whose presence is justified by including streaming apps and firmware downloads, and every device transmits usage data even if you're not using its apps. How many different ways do people need to play Netflix? I've got 6 different devices that can do it.

I get the argument that it's a cheap thing for manufacturers to add on, and maybe they get a little revenue back from the data mining, and maybe a few more sales because there's always some customer who wants to use their device like a Swiss army knife. So I don't see the market changing. But in my ideal world, displays would just be displays, disc players would just play discs, streamers would play over the network, and AVRs and pre/pros wouldn't do any video processing.
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post #12 of 26 Old 11-13-2019, 08:26 AM
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Is it possible to buy a flat panel tv that is not Smart enabled?

I am looking for a new 4K screen. ~55-65” that is not web Alexa chrom or google enabled. Every consumer tv I can find says “Smart”. Is there a way to search for one without unnecessary features. my priority is Screen size res and thin (2.5”< ). Any buying advice is appreciated.
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post #13 of 26 Old 11-13-2019, 08:38 AM
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All you have to do is to not hook the "smart" TV up to the internet and it is not a smart TV. If you want a quality TV then you will more than likely have to buy a smart TV and just not use its bonus features.

They still make some non-smart TVs, I know LG does for sure. The ones that I have seen are low quality TVs as far as picture quality goes. These are their low tier TVs. So you can save a few bucks by not having the smart features, but then you are stuck with a bottom of the barrel TV.

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post #14 of 26 Old 11-13-2019, 10:02 AM
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Given the TV needs a processor to manage it (handle remote control input, swithing modes, settings, etc) there is no reason not to also allow other apps to be installed and run on that processor. So removing the smart apps would not change the hardware requirements at all, so no cost saving. And as mentioned already removing ports on some models would mean the model appeals to less people so it would cost more and no longer be able to share parts with the models that have the extra ports. So again, no saving, rather the contrary. Smart TVs are the way things are these days and that isn't changing. You are not paying for it at all.

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OP didn't only ask about stripping the smart tv features, he said also no speakers, having 1 hdmi port etc. If you remove all those things, would result in a noticeable reduction to price. But a bit hypothetical, because no tv manufacturer makes or is going to make such a tv.
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post #16 of 26 Old 11-13-2019, 10:49 AM
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OP didn't only ask about stripping the smart tv features, he said also no speakers, having 1 hdmi port etc. If you remove all those things, would result in a noticeable reduction to price. But a bit hypothetical, because no tv manufacturer makes or is going to make such a tv.
Well it might loose $20 in parts, but then due to lower demand and lower volumes the price would have to go up.

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Well it might loose $20 in parts, but then due to lower demand and lower volumes the price would have to go up.
Not if you have an oled with a bowers and wilkins speaker or an oled with a technics soundbar+ upfiring atmos speakers, then those 'parts' would cost significantly more.
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post #18 of 26 Old 11-13-2019, 10:59 AM
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Not if you have an oled with a bowers and wilkins speaker or an oled with a technics soundbar+ upfiring atmos speakers, then those 'parts' would cost significantly more.
Well that is obviously not the one you would be looking at if you were looking for one without speakers at all.

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post #19 of 26 Old 11-13-2019, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by sandboks View Post
I am looking for a new 4K screen. ~55-65” that is not web Alexa chrom or google enabled. Every consumer tv I can find says “Smart”. Is there a way to search for one without unnecessary features. my priority is Screen size res and thin (2.5”< ). Any buying advice is appreciated.
Advice?

Read the whole thread. (It's not long.)

Mass-market TVs are all smart, as far as I know. If one of your goals is cost savings, you're out of luck.

If you're looking for foolproof operation, you're also out of luck. It's difficult to impossible to find a TV that is immune to pressing a wrong button on the remote. (I had some frustrating experiences with my late father, who, in his 90s, never could understand that his flat panel TV had multiple inputs. Anything beyond on/off, volume, and changing the channel was beyond him.)

An LG OLED C9 is less than 2" thick, in both the 55" and 65" sizes.

If you want crazy thin (at a price), the LG OLED W9 is less than 0.25" thick. (That's fudging things a bit - it has a separate electronics box. The W stands for "wallpaper".)
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post #20 of 26 Old 11-13-2019, 11:14 AM
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Sceptre makes dumb TVs. Probably not a tv you want to buy though.
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post #21 of 26 Old 11-13-2019, 11:36 AM
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Sceptre makes dumb TVs. Probably not a tv you want to buy though.
I quite forgot about Sceptre. There may be a host of other low-end makers that are completely off the radar for me. (I mean makers that make Hisense look like a luxury brand.)

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=sceptre+t...price-asc-rank

I wonder if any of these do HDR? A quick look suggests no. I mention HDR because I think I'd rather have a 1080p TV that did HDR (no such TVs exist, AFAIK) than a 2160p TV without it.
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post #22 of 26 Old 11-13-2019, 11:40 AM
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Advice?

Read the whole thread. (It's not long.)

Mass-market TVs are all smart, as far as I know. If one of your goals is cost savings, you're out of luck.

If you're looking for foolproof operation, you're also out of luck. It's difficult to impossible to find a TV that is immune to pressing a wrong button on the remote. (I had some frustrating experiences with my late father, who, in his 90s, never could understand that his flat panel TV had multiple inputs. Anything beyond on/off, volume, and changing the channel was beyond him.)

An LG OLED C9 is less than 2" thick, in both the 55" and 65" sizes.

If you want crazy thin (at a price), the LG OLED W9 is less than 0.25" thick. (That's fudging things a bit - it has a separate electronics box. The W stands for "wallpaper".)
It looks like my post was moved to this thread (thanks mods), it's pretty much what I was searching for in response. summarized: "The tv can operate without enabling extra apps or wifi, but otherwise suck it up."
Yes, I am trying to keep it simple - it's for the family use tv and it basically just runs the PS4 for all media.

That wallpaper screen is a little extreme but thanks for the rec'; I was aiming for "picture frame", not poster. Plus, by tomorrow I will likely see the perfect screen in my email, since I posted about it in a forum. You see, it's not paranoid if you really are being watched.
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post #23 of 26 Old 11-13-2019, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Menarini View Post
Not if you have an oled with a bowers and wilkins speaker or an oled with a technics soundbar+ upfiring atmos speakers, then those 'parts' would cost significantly more.
The B&W badge is very expensive. And they have solid engineering and sound expertise to back up that price.

But when you're buying B&W, you're paying for the highly-compensated engineers and sound experts, to design a compact lightweight system that still produces decent sound, plus for the brand's presence. The speakers themselves don't cost more than 20% of their MSRP to produce, at least not the ones built in China.

The same thing goes with Atmos speakers: they cost even less to produce than bookshelf speakers, but you're paying for a newer design manufactured in smaller qualities. Soundbars similarly are expensive to design, fairly cheap to build.

$20 for all the parts was perhaps an exaggeration on @lsorensen's part, but for the basic speakers found in a modern TV like the C9, you're certainly not looking at more than $30. The HDMI ports are a couple dollars each, though 2.1 might cost more. The R&D cost is much higher, but it's a sunk cost, because you have to do it all for the higher-end models anyway.


Anyway, the ultimate reason is always a comparison of the marginal cost of adding the basic features (speakers, ports, etc) to 1 more TV unit versus the risk of losing the sale of 1 TV unit for lacking these features.

Suppose you're building a TV with 1 DisplayPort input, no speakers, and nothing else, for those users like me that just hook it up to a PC. Sounds good? Great! Was awesome in 2018, especially because DisplayPort is so much better than HDMI 2.0. Except that now, in 2019, I want to send uncompressed HDMI audio to my receiver, for which I need eARC. So now you've either lost my purchase, or you actually need to add 2 HDMI ports, both of them 2.1.

I also have a habit of gaming without headphones, so I send voice chat audio to my TV, actually making some use of the speakers. No deal-breaker, but I'd be less eager to upgrade annually if the next model lost that. So will you add a $10 speaker that will satisfy me, but not anyone using their TV without an AVR, or a $30 speaker that will satisfy both?

Never mind - the fact that I play games on a burn-in prone OLED TV means you'll have to build in burn-in compensation and prevention tech. There are three ways to do it: use the SOC from your full-featured TV, use a cheaper SOC and adapt the firmware to it, or write PC drivers that will have my GPU do all the work, with its comparatively infinite power. Guess which way is the cheapest and which the most expensive?

I 100% agree that it would be great to have minimalist TV models, but only if the advantage was something more than saving 1% of the price. Say, if the minimal model was just a panel with a hardwired Displayport (it's a common interface for communicating directly to the panel) and a power input, mounting flush with the wall, or attaching to a stand. You would then have various stand models, bought semi-separately, that range from a simple power brick with inputs to a Sennheiser Ambeo.

But today, that kills your W-model, because mounting flush with the wall is currently still a luxury that commands a premium. I think it's just a matter of time, similar to how smartphones, then thin smartphones went from a luxury to the only option, now all-screen phones are following suit. We recently got thin and almost bezel-less monitors for the office, and these were selected solely on the basis of being the cheapest. Thin TVs with separate stands/soundbars might come en masse too, at least at the high end, once they become too common to use as a price differentiation tool.
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post #24 of 26 Old 11-13-2019, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogHD View Post
T(snip)

Suppose you're building a TV with 1 DisplayPort input, no speakers, and nothing else, for those users like me that just hook it up to a PC. Sounds good? Great! Was awesome in 2018, especially because DisplayPort is so much better than HDMI 2.0. Except that now, in 2019, I want to send uncompressed HDMI audio to my receiver, for which I need eARC. So now you've either lost my purchase, or you actually need to add 2 HDMI ports, both of them 2.1.

(snip)
A minor niggle: eARC is a feature of HDMI 2.1, but there are a number of current HDMI 2.0b AVRs that include eARC.
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post #25 of 26 Old 11-13-2019, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by yogi6807 View Post
Sceptre makes dumb TVs. Probably not a tv you want to buy though.
I quite forgot about Sceptre. There may be a host of other low-end makers that are completely off the radar for me. (I mean makers that make Hisense look like a luxury brand.)

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=sceptre+t...price-asc-rank

I wonder if any of these do HDR? A quick look suggests no. I mention HDR because I think I'd rather have a 1080p TV that did HDR (no such TVs exist, AFAIK) than a 2160p TV without it.
The one I saw was Sceptre 65" Class 4K Ultra HD (2160P) HDR LED TV (U650CV-U). It says hdr. It’s on Walmart.com.
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The one I saw was Sceptre 65" Class 4K Ultra HD (2160P) HDR LED TV (U650CV-U). It says hdr. It’s on Walmart.com.
At Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sceptre-Class.../dp/B078HM2CBP

It's listed as an 8 bit + FRC (frame rate control; temporal dithering) panel. Not as good as a native 10 bit panel, but it's still HDR.

Maybe their other UHD TVs support HDR as well. I won't check.
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