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Should you buy a TV without physical buttons?

A led tv with physical buttons at the bottom bezel

TVs are the next big thing in technological advancement and innovation as new features tailored to improve multimedia entertainment are developed and incorporated for immersive viewing and experience. From Smart TVs to dumb TVs of various sizes, specifications, and features, the design language has took a turn over the past few years for aesthetic pleasure.

The aesthetic and ergonomics have changed over time - today's TVs are slimmer, lighter, and are of larger sizes. Their bezels are thinner and there are wide range of inputs available for users to select from. However, it is becoming rampant nowadays to come across TVs that have no physical buttons. On these TVs, the screen occupied the entire front, leaving just a thin bezel with a power indicator.

Users are made to rely on the remote control to access all the features the TV provides. Nothing can be done without the remote control, and if the remote control got damaged or lost the TV becomes completely useless and inaccessible. The user is locked out until (s)he buys a new remote control (if available).

Also read: How to know if your LCD LED TV is TN, VA, or IPS

Having to rely entirely on the remote control for simple functions such as power on/off, volume +/-, and channels up/down is incomprehensible. The disadvantages are numerous. I cannot think of any advantage or how this benefit users in any positive way. Should you buy a TV without physical buttons? My advice is don't.

For the following reasons:

  • A TV without a physical power button cannot be completely turn off
  • You'll need to shed another extra amount to buy a new remote control if the one that comes with your TV got damaged or lost before you can operate the TV
  • Since the TV can only be put to standby, it consume electricity even when not in use
  • The TV will be unusable and completely inaccessible without the remote control

There are cases whereby the buttons are hidden in the most secluded area of the TV that the user will never thought of, but at least that is better than nothing. Beauty at the expense of important features such as the physical buttons is not a good trade off irrespective of what the TV has to offer or how cheap it is.

Also, the little extra power the TV consumed when in standby adds to the electricity bill at the end of the month since you cannot completely turn it off.

It is of great importance for a TV to have at least the physical power on/off button, vol +/- button, channel up/down button, and a menu button. They serve as backup incase something happen to your TV remote so you won't be left stranded pondering how to watch your favourite TV show at 8 o'clock because your kid dipped the remote control in a glass of water.

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