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The Real Deal: Smart TV's

Updated: Wednesday, March 20 2013, 12:56 PM EDT
ALBANY - They're expected to be one of the hot ticket items this holiday season, "Smart TV's" are becoming wildly popular but what exactly do they offer and how much information are you sharing with the TV's manufacturer when you start using all the bells and whistles?

If you're in the market for a new TV, you've got a lot of options and nearly all of them now have what's known as Smart TV technology.  "The original idea was for Netflix and Pandora, listen to music for free, get a Netflix account, make it easier entertainment but now it's becoming a secondary computer to a lot of people," says Paul DeMilio, the store manager of Towne TV in Rotterdam.  

You need wifi to access the Internet through your TV but once it's connected, you've got access to apps like Twitter and Facebook, photos and streaming video.  "Almost every set 40' and above, which is the average size set... 40', 46', 55', 70', 80', even 90' now, they all have it either built in or ready to go and I think this is going to be the wave of the future," says DeMilio.

Samsung now makes a television that can recognize the face of those viewing it and store their program preferences as well as other data. The camera and microphones on the TV can not be disabled which brings up the question of privacy.   Samsung so far, has not said too much about it other than it's not responsible or liable for anything a customer deems "inappropriate."

"Sometimes your router is at one end of the house and your new TV is at the other and it comes on and streams and streaming will lock-up, freeze up or not work at all," says DeMilio who suggests folks with that problem consider a piece of technology that help boost the signal and carry it throughout the home.  

"In the end, in the bigger sizes and the higher models, this is now standard whether you want to access that and turn that information on, that's up to the customer," says DeMilio.  

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