Roku got a jump on the budget smart TV market, but Amazon’s own platform is ready to battle for top spot. The company first introduced its media box product in the form of the Fire TV and then the Fire Stick, and now that same system has been built into select televisions to bring the same features (and more!) without the actual dongle or box. Chief among these televisions is Westinghouse’s new 4K lineup.
Smart TVs are the natural progression of at-home entertainment. For every user who prefers Kodi or their own Plex media server, there are countless others who want something simple and ready-to-use out of the box. Set-top boxes like Android and Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire have filled that void, but tides are again changing.
Is a smart TV worth it?
For every upside that comes with a set top box — the ability to take it with you on vacation, to use it on any TV — there are downsides: it takes up room on your entertainment stand, it uses up one of the HDMI ports on your TV. Beyond that, the integration between box and TV is never quite perfect; you have two remotes to toggle between, an input you regularly toggle back to.
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