Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off.
Today I’m going to rant about planned obsolescence. In 2016 I bought a 65″, flat panel, high definition Samsung TV. It was, at the time, a state of the art, 4k TV. I mounted it on our wall and added a surround sound system. The TV included the ability to access a number of streaming channels, like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
Flash forward to 2021, just a mere five years later. The TV is still working great. The picture is fantastic, the sound system is primo, and I can still stream movies and shows from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
Now for the fly in the ointment. My wife loves watching HGTV, which is one of the channels of the Discovery network. HGTV has been, for years, available on basic cable.Recently, though, Discovery introduced a streaming service called Discovery+ and they decided, as an incentive to get people to subscribe to it…for a monthly fee of course…that they would be moving a number of the shows that were formerly available on HGTV via cable, to their new streaming service. They would also be adding new shows that would be exclusively on Discovery+, rather than on the basic cable HGTV channel.
So, as a Valentine’s Day present for my wife, I signed up for a one-year subscription to Discovery+. She loved it. Yesterday I turned on my 2016 65″ Samsung high-def TV and tried to add Discovery+ as a streaming channel. But I couldn’t. I went to the Discovery+ website to check on compatible TVs for streaming and saw Samsung on the list. Yay! But then I read the fine print and saw that the Discovery+ streaming service would only work on Samsung models from 2019 or later. Boo!
WHAT? My five year old Samsung HDTV is obsolete?
I contacted Samsung and asked them if there was a software update that would accommodate newer streaming services. The short answer — and by short, I mean curt — was “no.”
In order to be able to watch Discovery+ on my TV, my choices boiled down to buying a new, 2021 model HDTV, which is not an inexpensive proposition, or to buy a separate streaming device that I could plug into my TV. The downside of that latter choice is that I would have yet another remote control device to deal with and I’d have to reset the source (i.e., cable verses streaming device) each time my wife wanted to watch anything on Discovery+. But because it was the cheapest and quickest solution, I ended up ordering a Roku Streaming Stick+, which is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow.It’s only $50, but I still resent the fact that my very expensive, five-year-old flat panel high-def TV can’t accommodate virtually any streaming service that is available.
I hate the fact that planned obsolescence seems to be a feature built into nearly every technology device these days.