PC Doctor March 23, 2021

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Dear PC Doctor:

I was thinking about enabling my smart tv’s voice recognition feature. What does it do? Is there any reason not to?

Signed, Chatty Cathy

Dear Cathy:

The voice recognition feature allows you to control the TV by using commands such as “Channel up/down” or “Volume up/down.” It also allows you to search for content – for example “Basketball games” so that the select Smart TVs can make recommendations.

Most smart tvs have disclaimer information associated with their voice recognition feature that indicates that, if you have it enabled, some talking other than tv commands will be captured by your tv, kept as data, and transmitted to third-party users. Most will also say that the data is encrypted when transmitted. The third party mentioned is the server queried by your tv when it is looking for the programming content you’re asking for.

If you see the little microphone on your tv screen, voice recognition is on. It’s a terrific feature from an accessibility standpoint. If you feel uncomfortable about any of this, take the time to read the privacy statement that came with your tv, and see what you think. You also have the option of going into your tv’s settings menu and disabling the voice recognition capability.

I hope this helps!
Until next time,
Happy computing!
PC Doctor

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