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5 Best Dumb TVs (Without Smart Features) For Every Need In 2021


What if we tell you that you do not need a smart TV after all? That’s right; dumb TVs work just as well if you’re on a budget.

A dumb TV can fill your movie and gaming needs as well as a smart one. You can get smart features anytime by connecting a dongle or a streaming stick.

A dumb TV does not come with an internet connection, operating systems or apps like Netflix. It is like a simple monitor with many connectivity options.

Are the clunky apps causing your smart TV to lag? Are you tired of the frequent software updates for your smart TV?

Smart TVs have obvious advantages. Still, they also come with some difficulties that we do not see in dumb TVs.

Many smart devices collect data on their users. Getting a dumb TV will erase any concern over your privacy and lend you other benefits.

The global move to smart devices has made dumb TVs unpopular. However, they still exist and in this article, we will review some of the best in the market.

IN A HURRY? HERE’S OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Samsung BER Flat 43-Inch Full HD LED TVSamsung BER Flat 43-Inch Full HD LED TV
  • High clarity, crisp details and vibrant image quality
  • Come with built-in speakers of high quality
  • 3-year warranty
Check Price On Amazon
Komodo by Sceptre KU515R 50Komodo by Sceptre KU515R 50″ 4K Ultra Slim LED TV
  • Beautiful ultra-slim design
  • Image quality is life-like, colorful and crisp
  • Provide 4K resolution quality
Check Price On Amazon
Sceptre 65Sceptre 65″ 4K UHD LED TV
  • Bright LED display and sharp contrast
  • 65-inch 4K UHD, HDR and MEMC120
  • HDMI ports, component ports, optical and line audio outputs
Check Price On Amazon

5 Best Dumb TVs

1. Komodo KU515R Ultra Slim LED TV by Sceptre

Komodo by Sceptre KU515R 50" 4K UHD Ultra Slim LED TV 3840x2160 Memc 120, Metal Black 2019
  • Memc 120 with a MEMC 120 (Motion Estimation and Motion Compensation), all action-packed sequences...
  • Superior 4K Picture Enter an unrivaled world of color variation, impressive contrasts, and image...
  • HDCP 2. 2 HDCP 2. 2 ensures that all the 4K content that is transferred from a source (Blu-Ray...

Sceptre has manufactured TVs for about 30 years. The Komodo is a testament to how well they perform.

If you’re a gamer who is looking for a budget TV monitor, this Sceptre TV is a good option for you. It’s dumb, but it’s a smart choice!

It provides a 55″ display. This is quite large compared to other available options in the market.

The Komodo features an LED screen. This type of screen usually has richer contrasts and superior picture quality.

Using 8 million pixels, the Komodo delivers high-quality pictures in 4K (3840 x 2160). Its native resolution is about 4 times that of a full HDTV.

What’s a dumb TV without its ports? The Komodo comes with 4 HDMI 2.0 ports.

With these, you can connect your game consoles, set-top boxes and computers to the TV. You can stream multiple devices at once.

The Komodo has a USB port for further connectivity. It also has MHL for streaming pictures or audio from your smartphone.

What we like: 

  • It has a beautiful ultra-slim design. 
  • The image quality is life-like, colorful and crisp.
  • It promises to upscale SD, HD and FHD videos to 4K without loss of quality.

What we don’t like:

  • There’s no mention of a warranty from the manufacturers.

2. Sceptre X438BV-FSR 43-inch LED TV

Sceptre X438BV-FSR 43 inches 1080p LED TV Machine Black
  • 43 inch 1080p LED HDTV
  • 3 x HDMI (HDMI 1 shared with MHL)
  • Acts NTSC and clear QAM

As far as dumb TVs go, the Sceptre X438BV-FSR is a good choice.

This TV comes with a 43″ display. It is a flat screen and will do well in a wall-mount position.

If you’re looking for a dumb TV for a small space, try the Sceptre X438BV-FSR. It is great for an office or bedroom space.

The TV comes with an LED screen that ensures good color and contrast. It has a high native resolution of HD 1080p.

The connectivity options include 3 HDMI ports and USB. You can connect your devices including a Roku stick and get smart features anytime.

Using the USB port, you can listen to music or view a slideshow of pictures. You can also use the HDMI 1 with MHL for streaming from your mobile device.

What we like about it:

  • It has a narrow frame
  • The picture quality and HD display give a pleasant experience. 
  • It comes with materials for easy setup.
  • Reviews describe the audio quality as ‘great’ and ‘exceeding expectations’.

What we don’t like:

  • Many people now prefer larger display screens.

3. Samsung Business BER 43-Inch Flat Screen

Samsung Business Samsung BER Flat 43-Inch Full HD 1080P Direct-Lit LED TV with HDMI, USB, TV Tuner and Speakers, 16/7 runtime, 300 nit...
  • 43-Inch Display features full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080, delivering crystal clear detail; 3-year...
  • Integrated tuner and speakers provide high-definition broadcasts and immersive sound experience...
  • Diverse connectivity options, including USB, DVI, HDMI, RS-232C, and RJ45

Now, this is a good one! The Samsung Business BER TV —like the name implies— is the best dumb TV for your business.

This TV is great for businesses concerned with hospitality or entertainment services. For instance, bars, coffee shops, fitness centers and office waiting areas.

This Samsung Business BER Flat TV has a 43″ screen. Its size is suitable for medium to small business spaces.

The Samsung BE43R has a built-in TV tuner. This means you have access to live free-to-air channels in your area.

The Samsung Business BE43R provides rich details and colors. It displays pictures in a full HD resolution (1920 x 1080).

This TV comes with a business-friendly USB auto playback feature. It allows you to continuously replay informational or advertising content on the screen.

In addition, the BE43R has a wide range of connectivity options. It has HDMI, USB, DVI and other ports for connecting to various devices.

What we like about it:

  • It has high clarity, crisp details and vibrant image quality.
  • The TV comes with built-in speakers of high quality.
  • It has USB auto playback for digital signage.
  • It can be wall or table mounted. 
  • The manufacturers offer a 3-year warranty.

4. Sceptre 50” 4K UHD (U518CV-UM)

Sceptre 50" 4K UHD Ultra Slim LED TV 3840x2160 MEMC 120, Metal Black 2019 (U518CV-UM)
  • 50” LED 4K UHD TV
  • Superior 4K Picture Enter an unrivaled world of color variation, impressive contrasts, and image...
  • UHD Upscaling Enjoy all your videos with UHD upscaling. With an advanced video chipset, Standard...

Sceptre sells quite a number of dumb TVs as well as smart TVs. This particular one has a large 50-inch screen that supports 4K UHD.

It also comes with Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) that allows you to stream videos from your smartphone. Sceptre also boasts about its stunning colors and image contrast.

5. Sceptre 65 inches 4K LED TV (U658CV-UMC)

Sale
Sceptre 65 Inche 4K UHD LED TV 3840x2160 MEMC 120 Ultra Thin HDMI 2.0 Upscaling U658CV-UMC, 2018
  • 65 Inch LED 4K UHD TV
  • High Resolution 3840 x 2160
  • 4x HDMI Input: HDMI 2.0 & HDCP 2.2

If you want to step it up, you can opt for the 65-inch 4K UHD TV from Sceptre. It is going to cost you more, but it also comes with additional features.

It has a bright LED display and a sharp contrast. Its UHD upscaling will enhance your SD or HD videos so they display excellently in 4K. It also comes with HDR and MEMC120 to give you the best viewing experience.

This particular TV also has great connectivity options. HDMI ports, component ports, optical and line audio outputs. You won’t be needing additional ports with this TV.

What is the dumb TV?

When you walk through the video section in an electronic shop, you’re going to find an array of different TVs. Most of the newer ones will have large high-definition screens. And almost all of them are going to be smart TVs.

Smart TVs have taken over the home entertainment industry by storm. To the point where it has become more difficult to find one that does not have smart features. TVs lacking smart features are also called dumb TVs.

Dumb TVs are display screens with a built-in TV tuner. They also come with different input ports where you can input video information from an HDTV antenna, Blu-ray player, etc. The most common input ports are HDMI and AV.

What makes a dumb TV “dumb”? The difference between a dumb TV and a smart TV is that the former does not come with an operating system. It relies on external devices to convert data into video information that it can display.

All televisions that were manufactured before the invention of smart TVs are dumb TVs. Dumb TVs are still being manufactured today for various reasons, although they are less popular.

Smart TVs, on the other hand, are more like smartphones or computers. They come with an operating system and a handful of pre-installed apps. You can connect them directly to the internet and stream videos on YouTube, Netflix, and other popular platforms.

What to look for in a good dumb TV?

1. Screen size

The biggest challenge you will face when you’re looking for a good dumb TV is getting a good screen size. You will soon realize that there are not a lot of dumb TVs that come in the latest size standards for home entertainment.

A lot of dumb TVs only have 30-40-inch screens. If this size works for you, then you are in luck. However, for today’s standards, 30-40 inches is not enough screen real estate.

You may want to find something with at least a 50-inch screen. The good news is that they do exist and, according to our research, you can even go up to 65 inches.

2. Input ports

Another thing that turns a regular dumb TV into a good dumb TV is the number of input ports. Since your dumb TV relies on external devices for display content, you will want several ports to ensure that you can plug in all your devices.

Having several input ports will allow you to switch between devices without physically unplugging and plugging them. Reaching behind your TV to do this can be very inconvenient.

HDMI ports are what most external devices use today. You will want at least 3 HDMI ports on your dumb TV. Having more HDMI ports will be better, especially if you’re thinking about getting a few more external devices.

3. Monitors

When looking for a good dumb TV, people often make the mistake of looking in the monitor category. A monitor may work for you, but there are a couple of reasons why they may not work as well as a TV.

Monitor displays are relatively darker than TV displays. This is because monitors are designed for people who sit up close.

It may not be a problem when you’re watching a movie in a dark room. If you watch with the windows open during the day, however, your monitor won’t be able to produce enough brightness to give you a pleasant viewing experience.

Monitors also do not come with a TV tuner. This will be a problem if you’re thinking about watching local channels.

Why do people need a dumb TV without smart features?

As you learn more about what smart TVs offer, you may start to wonder why anyone would want to settle for a dumb TV. Smart TVs are more convenient, and they offer so many useful features.

While the popularity of smart TV increases, there are quite a few people who still prefer dumb TVs. There are a few reasons why you might opt to get a dumb TV. Let’s take a closer look at each of those reasons in more detail.

1. Security and privacy

When it comes to the internet, security and privacy are huge topics. There have been countless horror stories that resulted from having personal devices connected to the internet. If you’re connected, there is always going to be some sort of risk.

Smart TVs are vulnerable to hacking and data theft. The FBI has even issued warnings on the risks.

One of the reasons for this is that smart TVs use automatic content recognition or ACR. ACR gathers information about what you watch and sends it back to the manufacturer. With this information, more relative ads can be shown when you’re browsing for something to watch.

Unfortunately, there are times when a third party receives the information captured by ACR. These third parties can do whatever they want with that information.

Many newer smart TVs also come with webcams and microphones. These can be used by hackers to spy on you while you’re watching your favorite show.

Many people are aware of these dangers. This is one of the main reasons why there are still quite a few people who opt to get dumb TVs instead of TVs with smart features.

2. Better set-top and stick options

Another reason why people purchase dumb TVs is that they prefer to use other TV stick and set-top devices. These devices don’t cost a lot of money and they often work better than smart TVs.

A few of the more popular ones are the Roku Streaming Stick+ , and Amazon Fire TV Stick . There are many more options in the market to choose from.

These devices connect to your WI-FI and allow you to stream content on popular platforms such as Netflix and YouTube.

All these devices have seamless UI’s and tons of different apps and features. They also come with remote controls that support voice commands.

One feature many people find very useful in these devices is the casting feature. It allows you to use your TV as a larger display for your smartphone. You can play videos, view images, and browse the web on your smartphone and have it cast onto your TV.

You should also remember that technology is advancing a lot quicker than ever before. Your brand-new smart TV will be outdated in just a couple of years. The only way you’re going to be able to keep up with new features and security fixes is to buy a new TV.

You won’t need to replace your dumb TV to stay updated. All you need to do is purchase the latest stick or set-top device. You can get brand-new ones that already come with voice control for an affordable price.

Check out this video to learn more about stick and set-top devices.

4K Streaming Device Round Up 2019: Apple TV vs Chromecast vs Roku vs Fire TV, Which is best for you?

3. Interface issues on smart TVs

When you use your smartphone or computer, you have two main input sources: pointing and typing. You don’t have either of those in a smart TV interface.

For the most part, you will use your TV’s remote to click through menus and an onscreen keyboard for typing. It will take you quite a number of button presses to type something into your TV’s search service.

Some smart TVs also come with poorly designed interfaces. It will take a lot of time trying to navigate around the interface.

On the other hand, the interfaces that come with newer sticks and set-box devices are more seamless. They also include voice commands and many support keyboard input from your smartphone.

4. Unreliable apps on smart TVs

App developers today need to work harder when it comes to compatibility. They need to make sure apps work well with smartphones, browsers, stick and set-top devices, smart TVs, and more. Unfortunately, smart TVs are often the last priority.

This leaves smart TVs with unreliable apps that may crash or freeze. Older smart TVs may also not be compatible with app updates.

Conclusion

Although smart TVs are the most popular choice, there are still a few reasons why you might opt to get a dumb TV. The good news is that there are still quite a few of them being manufactured.

It may be more challenging to find a good dumb TV, but there’s a good chance a few of them are being sold at your nearest electronics shop. If you want more options, finding them online will be your best bet.

You can check out online shops such as Amazon, BestBuy, Walmart, and Costco. You may also visit manufacturer websites and look through their catalogs. Sceptre, Panasonic, and Samsung have a few dumb TV options on their websites.

Last update on 2021-04-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


5 thoughts on “5 Best Dumb TVs (Without Smart Features) For Every Need In 2021”

  1. Thanks for this great article on dumb tv’s. The reason you should always choose a dumb tv is because you will get a better quality panel for the same price. With smart tv’s you are paying for all the licenses of the bundles software and operating system, to google, sony, samsung, netflix, app makers and the like. This all adds up to increate the cost of the TV, and when the licenses expire and Sony decide to no longer support your TV’s Operating System, you’re left with virtually a dumb tv anyway. It’s a scam. If enough people seek and but good quality dumb tv’s the makers will make them.

    Reply
    • The cost of the electronics is actually very low considering Nvidia Shield and Roku’s are all under $100.

      The licenses from Google/Apple and others is actually really paid in information farming.

      My 2 year old Sony Bravia Android TV just got its latest update and still runs Android 8.0.0, not even upgrades to Android 8. Its interface is so clogged up with “Suggestions for you” and other marketing crap, watching streaming services like Netflix or Prime Video or Hulu actually take FOREVER to switch channel, pause/play, search, etc.

      My $79 Nvidia Shield Pro blows it away in performance, and runs a newer Android.

      Dumb TV’s need a comeback.

      OR

      Smart TV’s need an option to make it dumb and not complain about no internet when you disconnect them.

      And, finally, there are plenty of “monitors” that have distance viewing brightness in mind, they are sold mostly as IOT/Electric Signage type monitors. They are more expensive though.

      Reply
  2. “HDMI ports are what most external devices today use. You will want at least 3 HDMI ports on your dumb TV.”

    You can solve this by getting an AV receiver. They have gobs of inputs.

    Plus, it’ll have coax/optical/phono/5.1/component/composite/… inputs for all the other old devices you have sitting around. I bet everyone has at least one non-HDMI audio or video device at home somewhere.

    Plus, this opens the door to drastically improving your audio quality. You talk about optical/line audio as features (HDMI ARC is much better), but you’ll need something to plug it into. Get a receiver.

    “Monitors also do not come with a TV tuner. This will be a problem if you’re thinking about watching local channels.”

    TV tuners are cheap. Get the panel you want. Then, if it doesn’t have a TV tuner, buy one and plug it in. Problem solved! The recommended TVs don’t seem to come with antennas, either, so it’s not like you get free viewing out-of-the-box.

    You rightly say that a “Smart TV” isn’t worth the hassle, and you’re better off getting a “Dumb TV” and whatever set-top box you want. True! But then instead of using this same logic to avoid tying yourself to the built-in input ports, built-in speakers, and built-in tuner, you keep those as requirements of the video panel. Why?

    Reply
  3. You find didn’t give us a selection you mentioned two TV’s both Sceptre models. You could have fun new better by naming a few other brands.

    Reply
  4. my receiver, (Yamaha) with all the hookups I need for everything is in it, with a 70″ smart tv hooked up I can’t get anything to work right, except the built in roku, firestick does not work. I want a tv that is nothing more than a monitor

    Reply

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