Tag Archives: Television

Best TVs for those on a Budget

TV’s have become a staple item for every household and with the average British adult consuming over 2 hours of TV a day last November alone, it is evident that televisions aren’t going to be losing their popularity any time soon.

Gone are the days where TVs cost a fortune to purchase. With advances in technology, TVs are evolving all the time which has caused the new models to become more desirable and the older ones to depreciate which makes for a wonderful price for your new TV.

With this in mind, you’ll need to know what TVs are available on a budget for you and which one you should ultimately go for. Here are our top TVs for any budget.

Toshiba 50UK3163DB
Toshiba 50UK3163DB

Toshiba 50UK3163DB

This 50 inch LCD TV is a great choice for any household. Offering you a 4K HDR picture, watching anything from the likes of blockbuster movies to the news will be crisp and clear making your TV watching experience all the more rewarding.

As well as this, this television includes three HDMI inputs which makes hooking multiple gaming consoles like the PlayStation 5 or Nintendo Switch easy; why choose between which ones you have plugged in when you can plug them all in making for easy switching between consoles.

If 50 inch isn’t the size for you then the Toshiba 50UK3163DB can also be purchased at 43in, 58in and 65in.

Samsung UE43AU7100
Samsung UE43AU7100

Samsung UE43AU7100

Samsung is notorious for making beautiful technological creations but this might be one of their best. This LCD television comes in eight sizes from 43in to 85in so depending on your budget, there’s plenty of room to choose from.

Displaying a 4K picture with a Tizen operating system, this Samsung television is one of the best budget TV’s that money can buy. Coming in comfortably under £500 for the 43-inch model, this TV will bring any room to life with crisp imagery on anything you watch.

TCL 55RP620K
TCL 55RP620K

TCL 55RP620K

If you’re wanting a TV that is smarter than most then look no further than this TCL television. Fitted with an incredible smart platform, this TV is easy to navigate making it suitable for families of a range of ages sharing the TV.

The TCL 55RP620K tackles complex colours on screen expertly well displaying them to the viewer to watch on in awe of what they are witnessing. Bring your favourite films and TV shows to life on a budget with this magnificent TV.

Getting TV’s on a budget is a fantastic way to save money but there is more than you can do to bring the cost down further. Use things like employee benefits to get an added discount on your budget TV. For example, people who work for the NHS have access to the Currys NHS discount as a perk for working there. Many companies will have a benefits scheme of their own so check with yours today and start saving.

Samsung isn’t listening to your private conversations after all

There’s been quite a lot of coverage in the UK media overnight regarding the supposed ability for Samsung Smart TV’s to listen in to our private conversations. It all makes great headlines I guess, but after being prompted to comment on BBC Radio Suffolk about the story, we decided to look into the matter a bit more closely.

The story was originally brought to the media’s attention after publication on the online news site The Daily Beast (view) which highlights a particular portion of the Smart TV Privacy Policy (view). The specific section states (important bit in bold):

  1. Voice Recognition
    1. You can control your SmartTV, and use many of its features, with voice commands.
    2. If you enable Voice Recognition, you can interact with your Smart TV using your voice. To provide you the Voice Recognition feature, some voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service that converts speech to text or to the extent necessary to provide the Voice Recognition features to you. In addition, Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features. Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.
    3. If you do not enable Voice Recognition, you will not be able to use interactive voice recognition features, although you may be able to control your TV using certain predefined voice commands. While Samsung will not collect your spoken word, Samsung may still collect associated texts and other usage data so that we can evaluate the performance of the feature and improve it.
    4. You may disable Voice Recognition data collection at any time by visiting the “settings” menu. However, this may prevent you from using all of the Voice Recognition features.

Again, we looked into the technology behind the TV and found the that these specific Smart TV’s work in two modes of operations

1) The viewer can operate basic features of the TV by saying ‘Hi TV’ out loud. The TV wakes up and can be told to “Change Channel”, “Volume Up” etc. These commands are very basic and no online communication takes place at all.

2) This mode of operation can only be triggered by depressing the ‘Mic’ button on the remote control. whilst depressed, the view can ask natural language questions such as ‘What shall I watch tonight?’. It is at this point that your words are being recorded, when you finish talking those words are transmitted securely to third party natural language translation company Nuance (You might have heard of Nuance as they make the very popular dictation software Dragon Naturally Speaking). Upon arrival at Nuance’s servers, the spoken phrase in converted to text, the recording discarded and the text returned back to the TV for processing. Using a 3rd party means that the accuracy of the translation is much higher and less errors are likely to come about due to difference accents or dialects being used.

So, put simply. Unless someone with very advanced decryption abilities is permanently listening in to your internet connection on the vain hope that you might (whilst asking your TV to find you something to watch) divulge some deeply private secret, the chances of any kind of security breach is very low indeed.

I contacted Samsung for comment and a spokesperson issued the following statement:-

Samsung takes consumer privacy very seriously and our products are designed with privacy in mind. We employ industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers’ personal information and prevent unauthorized collection or use.

Voice recognition, which allows the user to control the TV using voice commands, is a Samsung Smart TV feature, which can be activated or deactivated by the user. Should consumers enable the voice recognition capability, the voice data consists of TV commands, or search sentences, only. Users can easily recognize if the voice recognition feature is activated because a microphone icon appears on the screen.

If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature, voice data is provided to a third party during a requested voice command search to execute the command. At that time, the voice data is sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV.

Samsung encourages consumers to contact the company directly with any product concerns or questions.

So, should we be concerned? Well, yes we should always be concerned about our privacy and where possible take every step we see fit to ensure it is maintained. We are at constant threat of having our privacy interfered with under the veil of protection by companies and possibly governments, so we should shown caution.

However, an obvious legal statement to protect a manufacturer from litigation is perfectly acceptable in our over litigious world and I think in this case, it has been taken out of context.

I would be very interested in what you think, so please feel free to comment as you see fit.