Re: Smart TVs are dumb full stop
Not true - above a certain point, smart TV is standard. It would have cost me more to buy an equivalent smartless TV with a separate box. (It's the same with 3D - I thought there's no point paying a premium for a rarely used gimick, but the TVs I was wanting to get all had it as standard anyway.)
Some smart TVs are actually now done as having upgradeable parts.
Whilst it might be that online TV services stop supporting older smart TVs, I would seriously hope they couldn't disable functionality such as DLNA or web access - if they did, they'd risk a lawsuit. Anyhow, if it's out of date for new online services in a few years, big deal, I'm still free to buy whatever box I like.
And really, this is like saying "Freeview is dumb, you're better off buying a separate Freeview box" - well, that's still Freeview. And whether it's better to get it built in, or in a separate box, depends on the circumstances. For existing TVs, a separate box is better, but it would be mad to go out of your way to avoid Freeview in a new TV, in the belief you'd save money with a separate box. Indeed, I never use Freeview, but my TV still does it - I don't think it would be realistic to get one that didn't, unless it was a low end one. How many people in the UK do you know with recent TVs that don't do Freeview, whether or not they use it?
(And before you say Freeview is a standard - I suspect it won't be long before broadcast TV is entirely replaced by Internet playing.)