The prices of large flatscreen televisions have nosedived in recent years – and the reason is a little alarming.
Many ‘smart’ TV sets are effectively spying on their owners, and selling their data so that TV manufacturers can earn money from their customers.
Smart TV sets are taking note of which shows you watch, which ads you see, and even where you are.
That data is then transmitted from your set on to other companies – meaning that ‘bargain’ TV manufacturers can sell sets for far less than they’d otherwise go for.
In a podcast for The Verge, Vizio CTO Bill Baxter said, ‘The greater strategy is I really don’t need to make money off of the TV. I need to cover my cost.
‘This is a cutthroat industry. It’s a 6% margin industry. It’s not just about data collection. It’s about post-purchase monetization of the TV.’
‘You sell some movies, you sell some TV shows, you sell some ads.’
Many brands of smart TV collect significant amounts of data about their users, including premium brands.