Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bob_super on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:00PM (52 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:00PM (#790172)

    Buy the "smart" TV, don't ever connect it to the web.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:12PM (15 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:12PM (#790178)
      It might find an open channel and connect.
      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:24PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:24PM (#790184)

        It's actually getting harder to find wide open WiFi ...
        Since Vizio doesn't make enough margin to pay for cellular access behind your back, that should be pretty safe, too.

        But more importantly, they are talking about offering services to make extra money, not just spying on you. You can't offer services to someone who treats you as a dumb HDMI panel.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:25PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:25PM (#790185)

        ..Or your Samsung might connect via its own private wifi hotspot (defined by Samsung) to other Samsungs in your neighbor's houses who have connected theirs to the Internet, and slurp all your data over that way..

      • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:39PM (1 child)

        by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:39PM (#790196)
        I think you might be overestimating how smart a "smart" TV actually is.
        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @09:50PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @09:50PM (#790315)

          The TV? Not so much. The marketers on the other hand...

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by fyngyrz on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:56PM (3 children)

        by fyngyrz (6567) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:56PM (#790207) Journal

        It might find an open channel and connect.

        Just connect it to any old router you can dig up; don't connect the router to anything. Then it's not hunting for a network. It's unlikely to go off LAN-hunting on its own if it's already connected to a LAN.

        Although there is some humor in the TV reporting what channels you've selected... via the IP assigned to someone else. "Neighbor: Why the hell do I keep getting sports brochures???"

        Anyway, the best use of these is as an HDMI monitor. Feed it from whatever you like. Then all it's really got to say about anything is "HDMI port x active."

        Even if you're using Netflix or something with a Fire or other device, Netflix (and Amazon, in the case of the Fire) already knows you're a Netflix user, and what you like. There's no need at all for Samsung to know as well. Or at least, if they want to know, make them buy the info from Netflix / Amazon, etc.

        Me, I prefer DVD / Blu-ray media as opposed to streaming. Much higher quality, immune to network problems, and the ability to replay the content anytime I like. The whole "no one knows what we're watching" thing is a side effect, but a pleasant one.

        --
        Cashier: "Did you find everything?"
             Me: "Why, are you hiding stuff?"

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Ken_g6 on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:25PM (1 child)

          by Ken_g6 (3706) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:25PM (#790361)

          Anyway, the best use of these is as an HDMI monitor. Feed it from whatever you like. Then all it's really got to say about anything is "HDMI port x active."

          You didn't read TFA, did you?

          [reporter:] And then you are in fact collecting your data. You do run [automatic content recognition].

          [Vizio CEO:] Absolutely. So it’s what the glass on the TV sees, just to be really straight. Whatever the TV sees.

          He goes on to say you have to opt in to automatic content recognition with Vizio. No guarantee other platforms do the same.

          • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:09AM

            by fyngyrz (6567) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:09AM (#790435) Journal

            And then you are in fact collecting your data. You do run [automatic content recognition].

            Not without a WAN connection, they won't be.

            --
            It's not really how I look that reveals my age.
            It's using complete sentences when I text.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:45AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:45AM (#790427)

          Me, I prefer DVD / Blu-ray media as opposed to streaming. Much higher quality, immune to network problems, and the ability to replay the content anytime I like. The whole "no one knows what we're watching" thing is a side effect, but a pleasant one.

          Not me. DVDs look like total crap, and Blu-Rays are expensive. The best solution is to just download Blu-Ray rips on BitTorrent: you get very high quality video, no network problems (after the download is complete), the ability to replay anytime you like, not having to pay for anything (aside from your ISP fee, plus it's smart to pay a few $/month for a VPN), and as a bonus, you don't have bookshelves full of optical discs wasting space in your home, and you can instead fit your entire video library on a single hard drive.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by zocalo on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:10PM (1 child)

        by zocalo (302) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:10PM (#790220)
        In that case you could either manually configure an IP address on it that is technically valid, and maybe even connects to a gateway, but has no further onward route. Or even setup a dedicated SSID/subnet on your router that silently drops any outbound packets onto the floor giving every appearance of a valid config but with an Internet outage. Vendors might want to try a few trivial workarounds, but something like that is going to put you so far into diminishing returns I doubt you'd need to worry about them breaking out of the sandbox.
        --
        UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
        • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Tuesday January 22 2019, @10:37PM

          by NotSanguine (285) <NotSanguineNO@SPAMSoylentNews.Org> on Tuesday January 22 2019, @10:37PM (#790333) Homepage Journal

          In that case you could either manually configure an IP address on it that is technically valid, and maybe even connects to a gateway, but has no further onward route.

          Which is just what I did with my Vizio TV. I also did network captures to see which domains the TV was attempting to contact and used my local DNS server to point requests to those domains right back at the Vizio TV.

          Good times!

          --
          No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
    • (Score: 1) by marknmel on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:33PM

      by marknmel (1243) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:33PM (#790191) Homepage

      Create a vitrual wireless network sans default route. For bonus points, firewall egress policy.

      --
      There is nothing that can't be solved with one more layer of indirection.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Pino P on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:39PM (25 children)

      by Pino P (4721) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:39PM (#790195) Journal

      "Don't connect it" doesn't work with a product that doesn't operate as a TV until activated. After you've opened the box, you discover that this model won't allow use of even the ATSC tuner and the composite and HDMI inputs without an Internet connection to download "system software updates", and then you have to ship it back. Even if the seller offers free return shipping, you still pay with your time while riding the bus to the UPS Store and back.

      Next time, you resolve to do more research before buying, after which you discover that several other competing brands of home TV are also locking out basic functionality until activated.

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:49PM (2 children)

        by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:49PM (#790201)

        We keep buying cheap 4K TVs at work as monitors/displays, and have never encountered this problem.
        I am angry to learn that it exists, though not surprised, and happy to know to check for it before it bites me.
        Any specific brand I should avoid ?

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by captain normal on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:20PM

          by captain normal (2205) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:20PM (#790225)

          Looks like Vizio is one. :-)

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RS3 on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:39PM

          by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:39PM (#790244)

          Likely any/all new larger / higher resolution TVs are spy boxes. Avoid new!

          If you already have new, get into the settings menus and look for any IP settings. If it has them, it wants to spy. As others have suggested, hard-code gateway IP addresses that go nowhere.

          That said, I'm sure the TV manufacturers will smarten up too and make the network software disregard your settings if it can find an actual Internet connectivity.

          Comcast's Xfinity hotspots are more and more common and I wouldn't be surprised if Comcast makes deals with TV makers to include Xfinity WiFi accounts. The TV could do that on its own and your only option (if you care) is open the thing, find the WiFi antenna, and disable / remove it.

      • (Score: 2) by insanumingenium on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:01PM (9 children)

        by insanumingenium (4824) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:01PM (#790209) Journal

        Is this a dystopian theory or experience? Cause I haven't' heard of this yet.

        I would gladly rack up the return trying though given how terribly sensitive even large vendors (and therefor the manufacturers) are to return rates, especially in brick and mortar. While we are at it start writing some one star reviews literally everywhere I could (I wonder if you are still a verified purchaser if you return a product on Amazon, never had the occasion to find out), as that is another very sensitive point for vendors and manufacturers.

        I would also add that just about anyone here can probably firewall or otherwise disconnect the device once "activated", though that just leads us down the road to a device that shuts down if it hasn't checked in in "x" days. At that point I would suggest you find a lawyer who wants to waste a year on a slam dunk class action.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Pino P on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:26PM (8 children)

          by Pino P (4721) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:26PM (#790230) Journal

          Is this a dystopian theory or experience?

          In the case of TVs, it's "a dystopian theory" as far as I'm aware. In the case of computers, it's experience. In 2002 or thereabouts, a Dell desktop computer displayed a full-screen message requiring assent to EULAs of bundled proprietary software before I could even get to BIOS Setup to wipe and Linux the thing. Though that isn't quite Internet activation, consider that until the release of Windows XP in fourth quarter 2001, Internet activation of home computer software was "a dystopian theory".

          I would gladly rack up the return trying though given how terribly sensitive even large vendors (and therefor the manufacturers) are to return rates, especially in brick and mortar.

          Until you hit the return limit of multiple sellers, or sellers start sharing data about the ID you present when you return something. At one time, Amazon allowed only five A-to-z Guarantee claims in a lifetime; that was later raised to fifty before being removed from the written policy. Brick-and-mortar stores such as Best Buy have been known to ban "demon customers" [arstechnica.com] as well.

          • (Score: 2) by insanumingenium on Tuesday January 22 2019, @08:16PM (7 children)

            by insanumingenium (4824) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 22 2019, @08:16PM (#790267) Journal

            Funny, I didn't see the same thing with computers, and I don't know of it being the case today. At least not in the "hardware is totally unusable until connected to the internet" sense. Yeah, they (usually) come preinstalled with windows, but I have never seen a Dell machine put up any resistance to me blowing it away.

            Not that I am sold on this being apples to apples, but that speaks against the viability of total takeover fears.

            As far as banning me over honest returns, they are more than welcome to turn down my business, I will learn where I didn't want to shop in the first place.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by jmorris on Tuesday January 22 2019, @09:39PM (5 children)

              by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @09:39PM (#790307)

              iPad. From the box or factory reset you boot to a screen asking you to connect to Wifi (no captcha portals allowed) and then for your AppleID. If it doesn't connect and validate you stay right there on that screen until it does. No Internet, you got a pet rock.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:29PM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:29PM (#790363)

                iPads no longer require connections to WiFi fresh out of the box, instead they just nag you all the time until you do. Factory reset ones that have previously been set up with Find my iPhone through an AppleID do though. The reason is to deter thieves, as you can no longer steal an iPad, factory reset it, and then sell it without having the proper AppleID information.

                • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:39PM (2 children)

                  by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:39PM (#790371)

                  Interesting. So factory reset isn't a full reset. So I guess somebody needs to figure out how to do a full erase?

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @12:41AM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @12:41AM (#790387)

                    You can at an Apple store. The "Genius" desk there has access to insider tools that the common folk don't. My Grandfather was locked out of various things when his spouse died. After we couldn't make headway in getting into the iPad due to the restrictions, we went to them, explained the situation, proved his identity and ownership to the person there, the store manager, and the HQ guy that was called on the phone. The one on the phone was eventually satisfied and gave an all-clear to the person helping us. He plugged in a lightning cable, clicked a few buttons on his computer, it reset and restarted, and no more nagging for the Apple ID. We finished setting it up there so Gramps was sure it would work and waited to do the new Apple ID at home when we had access to a computer.

                    Of course, that started the long process of trying to get access to the Apple iCloud of her account, considering we didn't have her email password. That was another "fun" process.

                    • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:08AM

                      by jmorris (4844) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:08AM (#790434)

                      That is a problem we are all going to face at some point. Google is at least thinking ahead of the pack on that one, you can dead man trigger their account. Set an email address to trip after you don't access Google for X days and it will receive some sort of code to allow them to take over everything tied to your Google account. Which is a start. But I set mine to the Mrs, what if we both get taken out in a traffic accident? Who knows. The industry was created by 20 somethings who are of course "immortal" so we are all still figuring that stuff out, hopefully some generally accepted practices get hammered out and they are eventually even sane ones. Yeah, right.

              • (Score: 2) by insanumingenium on Wednesday January 23 2019, @12:47AM

                by insanumingenium (4824) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 23 2019, @12:47AM (#790389) Journal

                True, all iOS, tvOS, and watchOS devices don't work until activated which has to be done against Apple's servers (and perhaps yours as well if you are an MDM user). That is how the much vaunted activation lock works (and why there is no activation lock on MacOS devices). And I had mentally excluded Apple from all previous conversation because people are trying so hard to be in their ecosystem.

                Though I would argue that it is in the nature of those device to be online, and activation lock has been a very successful program on the whole. Kind of a world of difference from a TV which you don't want smart apps on.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @11:29AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @11:29AM (#790569)

              I tried to install lineageOS on a Samsung phone, it was necessary to unlock the bootloader with a special code obtained from Samsung website upon sending them the serial number of the phone.

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:02PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:02PM (#790211)

        What the fuck is a bus?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @09:05PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @09:05PM (#790292)

          It is a box with wheels and a motor, and multiple rows of seats used by humans to transport their physical bodies where their mind wants to be. It is slow and primitive, but still faster than jogging.

      • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:05PM (4 children)

        by fyngyrz (6567) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:05PM (#790214) Journal

        "Don't connect it" doesn't work with a product that doesn't operate as a TV until activated.

        Since you're not using the smart features — which of course you would not if it wasn't connected to a network — then you can activate it, let it download its updates, then lock it out at the router (or pull the cable if you're using ethernet.) It'll probably keep running.

        But also since you're not using the smart features, even if you do leave it connected, all it'll ever have to say about your habits and person is "connected to HDMI port x" or "watching channel 2" so, really... meh.

        Camera? Tape.

        Microphone? Savage it with a screwdriver {md} or just squirt a buttload of epoxy on it.

        --
        The spawn and grandspawn say I never listen to them.
        Or something like that.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:30PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:30PM (#790233)

          Which will work great until a year or so later when the software mysteriously "breaks" and insists that it needs to update again.

          Or better yet, it was working fine, you accidentally connect it to a network, it downloads the latests updates, and then features you were used to using disappear. And/or you get more UI embedded advertising. Most likely scenario really. That already seems to happen quite a lot these days.

          I'm just waiting until one set of models gains enough marketshare for someone to unleash a distributed AI virus that pretends it is Max Headroom or something equally annoying.

          And eventually you won't be able to buy a Telescreen, I mean "Smart TV" that won't spy on you or fuck you over.

          Just kill me already.

          • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:46PM

            by fyngyrz (6567) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:46PM (#790636) Journal

            Which will work great until a year or so later when the software mysteriously "breaks" and insists that it needs to update again I make something up to counter your position

            FTFY

            Or IOW: You can imagine all kind of things. Until/unless they happen, they're still just your imagination.

            --
            Knowledge is strength. Unless the opposition has more money.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Pino P on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:37PM

          by Pino P (4721) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:37PM (#790242) Journal

          then you can activate it

          Provided you subscribe to home Internet in the first place. A growing number of people have Internet access only through a smartphone after having cut off cable or never subscribed in the first place, and not all plans (at least in the United States) include mobile hotspot usage. This echoes a problem when Half-Life 2 came out: it required Internet activation, even if you had activated Windows using the toll-free telephone call because of lack of Internet access on the gaming PC (or at all).

          It'll probably keep running.

          Albeit in reduced functionality mode, with the following displayed over the picture:

          /!\ Action Required: Check for Updates

          Important software updates may be available.
          This $BRAND Smart TV has not checked for
          updates in 30 days.
          To troubleshoot the Internet connection,
          press MENU on the remote control.

          Likewise with Half-Life 2. Early versions of the Steam software were notorious for losing the "receipt" information that allows a purchased game to play in offline mode. Some reported having to explicitly choose "Go Offline" while connected to the Internet in order to get the receipt to stick.

        • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Tuesday January 22 2019, @10:43PM

          by NotSanguine (285) <NotSanguineNO@SPAMSoylentNews.Org> on Tuesday January 22 2019, @10:43PM (#790337) Homepage Journal

          then lock it out at the router (or pull the cable if you're using ethernet.)

          If you pull the ethernet cable, it will generally attempt connections through WiFi. Better to leave it plugged in and block it at your firewall/give it an IP address with no gateway/etc.

          --
          No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
      • (Score: 2) by physicsmajor on Tuesday January 22 2019, @08:19PM (1 child)

        by physicsmajor (1471) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @08:19PM (#790268)

        Honest question, because I don't own a TV and consume media when I choose via computer: is this parody or reality?

        Because if I bought a TV and it didn't perform basic functions out of the box as advertised, I would be suing.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Arik on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:30PM

          by Arik (4543) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:30PM (#790364) Journal
          Unfortunately it's not worth your time to sue. Unless you have an excess of money in which case give it to me not your lawyer :P

          I'd definitely return it for a full refund, at least, but once you've done that it's pretty much over. They'll keep doing what they're doing because you and I are statistical noise to them and the majority of the population has been successfully conditioned to accept that this is just how things work.

          Consumer electronics has become an absolute cesspool. Products that anyone with any sense would still want to purchase after doing due diligence are like hens teeth. Everyone expects you to pay them $$$ for whatever trash they made and like it, and enough people do just that they have no reason to change.
          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
      • (Score: 2) by everdred on Wednesday January 23 2019, @12:52AM (1 child)

        by everdred (110) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 23 2019, @12:52AM (#790391) Homepage Journal

        I actually have a new Vizio that's working happily without a wifi connection. (Unless I needed the clock set correctly for some reason, or accidentally pressed one of the "smart" buttons.) Tuner, component/composite and HDMI inputs all work.

        I did let it connect once to download system updates, but since it wouldn't let me remove the wifi connection I just ended up doing a factory reset. I will definitely think twice before doing this again, given that an update could change the behavior around offline activation.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by fyngyrz on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:53PM

          by fyngyrz (6567) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:53PM (#790640) Journal

          I actually have a new Vizio that's working happily without a wifi connection.

          Same here, only it's a new LG.

          I also have an HD projector that's working fine, and probably will keep working fine as long as I keep feeding it a new bulb every few years (and I have five bulbs, so not too worried about that.)

          If people are really convinced that the "TV-must-have-net-connection" apocalypse is upon them, then I guess they'd either better get after buying one now, decide to quit watching the tube (now there's a productive idea), or bite the bullet and put up with it.

          Because I'm pretty sure that should said apocalypse actually manifest, no one will be talking the TV manufacturers out of it. Too many people just don't care, or are all for the network connectivity in the first place.

          --
          On the Canary Islands, there isn't even one canary.
          On the Virgin Islands... still no canaries.

      • (Score: 2) by Hyper on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:27AM

        by Hyper (1525) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:27AM (#790420)

        Sounds like the Playstation / Xbox debacle.
        Imagine opening up a new console on Christmas Day in the country side where dialup is the norm. Kids tend to be unhappy when toys don't work. Not fun to watch.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Ken_g6 on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:07PM (4 children)

      by Ken_g6 (3706) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:07PM (#790217)

      I suspect that, one of these days, TVs will either come with a cellular network connection or use the "Dedicated Return Channel for ATSC 3.0".

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by RS3 on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:43PM

        by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:43PM (#790248)

        > I suspect that, one of these days, TVs will either come with a cellular network connection

        Yup, just like cars do.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by jmorris on Tuesday January 22 2019, @09:43PM (2 children)

        by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @09:43PM (#790309)

        Nah. HDMI has an option for ethernet. Your cable box has a cable modem in it so it can report your viewing habits. Connect the dots.

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by PinkyGigglebrain on Wednesday January 23 2019, @12:50AM (1 child)

          by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @12:50AM (#790390)

          cept I don't have a cable box :)

          --
          "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
          • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:11AM

            by jmorris (4844) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:11AM (#790437)

            Me neither, but I do have a CableCard. Thankfully Suddenlink (whatever they call themselves now...) is too clueless to make the bidirectional part work, it is still in the waiting to be activated state. So I am one of the lucky few who can watch scrambled digital cable without all viewing habits being logged. On the downside I can't watch anything by Comcast since it is all marked "precious."

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:09PM (#790218)

      Besides WIFI, I think there already are industrial cellular plans so that shiny things only need a SIM module and a modicum of civilization to upload their precious to the mothership.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday January 22 2019, @08:09PM (2 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 22 2019, @08:09PM (#790262) Journal

      Make the Smart TV element be functionally separate from the TV Monitor element. This would enable consumers to come back and spend more money by upgrading the Smart TV part.

      Connect the Smart TV part and the TV Monitor part by some newly developed industry standard interface. This would allow Brand-X smart boxes to work on Brand-Y TV Monitors. In fact such a standard interface could be given a new name, like, oh, say, HDMI.

      --
      In order to make Halloween scary this year, children are ordered NOT to wear masks.
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday January 23 2019, @05:48AM (1 child)

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @05:48AM (#790470) Journal

        Make the Smart TV element be functionally separate from the TV Monitor element.
        You mean, like a TV stick connected to a dumb TV?

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:03PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:03PM (#790612) Journal

          Basically, yes. But it's got to look more technical than that. There must at least be a cable to the stick / box. And that whole arrangement must be under some kind of cover, box or flap that requires a screwdriver to open. That way this superior "smart" tv can be sold for cheaper, but you can still use it as a dumb tv, or use your own smart box as you see fit.

          --
          In order to make Halloween scary this year, children are ordered NOT to wear masks.
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:29PM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:29PM (#790188)

    I and many other people who actually use their brains don't want to be SPIED ON.

    If you don't mind being spied on, that's fine for you, but if you want to spy on me, you'd better be ready for the consequences, and they involve blood, which
    will be yours.

    • (Score: 2) by bobthecimmerian on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:30PM (7 children)

      by bobthecimmerian (6834) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:30PM (#790236)

      Just to be clear, it's overwhelmingly likely that Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Playstation, Roku, Tivo, and just about any other service that provides video tracks what you watch and sells it. So your choice isn't "Be fucked by SmartTV vendors or not." Your choice is: watch media through physical disks, rips, and fully open source options or else some company somewhere is fucking you.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by RS3 on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:45PM (6 children)

        by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:45PM (#790250)

        Or do like me- antenna only. I'm proud to say I've never paid for cable TV.

        The switch to digital (ASTC) was quite painful for me- indoor antennas no longer work- had to put up amplified outdoor ones. But now I get probably 75 channels- mostly garbage, but at least I'm not paying for garbage. :)

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @08:36PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @08:36PM (#790274)

          Where'd you find a free antennae?

          • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:19PM

            by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:19PM (#790355)

            The end of a driveway of someone who wishes they'd kept it when they got their most recent CATV price increase.

        • (Score: 2) by bobthecimmerian on Tuesday January 22 2019, @08:46PM (3 children)

          by bobthecimmerian (6834) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @08:46PM (#790281)

          I have an antenna instead of paid television service, but I have a Tivo for the schedule and the convenient DVR features. So they can still screw me. I prefer to buy media and rip it, so I can stream to my Kodi box. But I still watch some regular TV.

          For your antenna, do you have something else set up for scheduling?

          • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:17PM (2 children)

            by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:17PM (#790354)

            Scheduling? You mean Zap2It and my remote? Oh, you mean recording? Good old fashioned VCR. It ain't broke, so... I'm an EE, it should all add up... (you know, crazy practical.) Oh, I'll even divulge that inspite of owning more than one 48" flat-screen TV, I mostly watch on a 14" CRT. You flat-screeners are missing out on therapeutic X-rays you know. Oh, sure, I miss the fine print and I can't count people's nose hairs, but then real-life is so much more real. :)

            And frankly, I don't watch much TV, like really zoned in focused on it. And I almost always find a clip on youtube of something I missed, so I've never bothered to set up one of my many fine NTSC video capture thingies. And I have use of a VHS -> DVD dubbing deck and it does pretty much as good a job as you can do from VHS. And that's about as much as I care about the whole thing, but it's interesting to observe all the fray over cable TV costs, Netflix, etc.

            • (Score: 2) by bobthecimmerian on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:34PM (1 child)

              by bobthecimmerian (6834) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:34PM (#790601)

              I watch too much television, good for you for finding other ways to spend your time. I wasn't aware of Zap2It, I'll check that out before my next Tivo service renewal.

              I grew up watching and recording shows on DVR, but I've become fond of Blu-Ray/full HD video quality and I can't imagine going back. I have Shawshank Redemption, The Running Man, and a few other old films converted from VCR to digital and the picture quality bugs me.

              If you ever want to do something fancier with recording but without giving a corporation data to sell, there's always MythTV. Our experience with Tivo has been decent - minus all the privacy violations - but I'd rather do something fully open source.

              • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:27PM

                by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @03:27PM (#790627)

                Well, in general I have some significant hobbies / interests / projects / goals and entertainment isn't helping them along. :0

                Yeah, MythTV is great but you have to get the video into the computer, which will require an investment in some kind of hardware, although I admit it's gotten very inexpensive. Nice ASTC -> USB tuners are cheap and you're inspiring me to think about it, but I need a big hard disk to go with it. And I don't generally leave computers turned on 24/7. As I mentioned, my VCRs are Good Enough for me. :)

                Right now my resolution is limited to 480. I'm using the free "digital" (ASTC) tuners you got with govt. vouchers when they went to ASTC, and by definition (punny!) they were limited to 480. You can buy better ones, but right now $ and interest are limited. Most of my flat-screen TVs have built-in ASTC tuners, so they'll receive whatever is being broadcast: 1080p in many cases, I don't know.

                Since I grew up with analog TV, and never really very good TVs except some Sonys I had back in the day, high def. isn't really in my blood. I was at a high-end tech. store a few weeks ago and some of the TVs (brands I've never heard of) had mind-numbing picture quality. I remember one being an LG with curved screen. It was amazing, but too visually immersive for me, and I very rarely watch movies. Too much time invested for big disappointment. I do have 2001 A Space Odyssey on DVD.

                Thanks again for all of your encouragement.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @08:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @08:20PM (#790269)

      TV vendors can safely treat their target demography as essentially brainless

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:34PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:34PM (#790192)

    and other malware, nigh impossible.

    • (Score: 2) by Ken_g6 on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:04PM (1 child)

      by Ken_g6 (3706) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:04PM (#790212)

      Yeah, but I can replace Windows on the computer I buy with Linux.

      Can I replace the OS of the TV I buy? Is there something like DD-WRT, except for TVs, not routers? I doubt it.

      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:48PM

        by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:48PM (#790254)

        As the microprocessor hardware gets better and better, more and more companies are running standard OSes like Linux, which are easier to hack, so more and more hackers will give us the control we should have.

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday January 23 2019, @05:54AM

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @05:54AM (#790474) Journal

      Well, given that all computers I've bought since the year 2000 came without Windows, it's not that impossible.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by physicsmajor on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:35PM

    by physicsmajor (1471) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @06:35PM (#790193)

    Title.

    Be suspicious of smart appliances as well. Really anything that tries to connect to a wireless network you didn't build and program yourself.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:35PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:35PM (#790238)

    Smart TV: An appliance that is smarter than the person that bought it.

  • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:37PM (1 child)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 22 2019, @07:37PM (#790241) Homepage Journal

    And this is why we use a beamer, hooked to a dumb tuner and a Vero 4k. Also a lot cheaper than an equivalent sized TV, plus the screen rolls up out of the way when you don't want it.

    I don't understand why anyone would pay nutty prices for a TV, even if it didn't spy on you.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @10:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @10:54PM (#790344)

      Can I do that with my Toyota?

  • (Score: 2) by Apparition on Tuesday January 22 2019, @09:29PM (2 children)

    by Apparition (6835) on Tuesday January 22 2019, @09:29PM (#790298) Journal

    ... Difficult to avoid as HDMI cables add built-in Ethernet. Technically, Ethernet over HDMI was built into the HDMI 1.4 spec, but I've noticed more and more HDMI cables include it over the years.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22 2019, @11:05PM (#790350)

      Pins, connection pins. So goldned shiny and fragile,

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @07:08AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @07:08AM (#790493)

      I have literally never seen an hdmi cable that has pin 14 unconnected. Since that pin was "reserved" in HDMI versions prior to 1.4 I suppose in principle a cable could omit wiring that pin and things would work. The same pins used for ethernet are also used to implement the ARC feature.

      Probably a "with ethernet" cable is required by spec to meet certain signal integrity characteristics; pins 14 and 19 are a differential pair and would probably need some care in assembly. But in practice since HDMI cables tend to be quite short and the 100Mbit ethernet standards work on almost any kind of crap wiring, I expect a cable that merely has pin 14 connected will support ethernet perfectly fine, even if it's not marketed as a "with ethernet" cable.

  • (Score: 2) by Arik on Wednesday January 23 2019, @12:05AM

    by Arik (4543) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @12:05AM (#790377) Journal
    This was a few years ago but seems apropos still: https://www.investors.com/news/technology/click/tv-maker-vizio-files-for-ipo/

    "By outsourcing all of its manufacturing to Asia and focusing on design and marketing, Vizio keeps its overhead low. The company has just 407 employees.

    In 2014, Vizio reported a gross profit margin of only 6%. It had net income last year of $45 million, up 75% year over year, on sales of $3.14 billion, up 5%.

    For the first six months of 2015, Vizio had net income of $31.4 million, up 24%, on sales of $1.34 billion, up 7%."

    Anyone have more recent figures on that?
    --
    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday January 23 2019, @01:23AM (2 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 23 2019, @01:23AM (#790398) Journal

    Why is any of this nonsense with the hardware worth putting up with when there is so little left on tv to bother with?

    For what little is worth watchng, stream it on any device you want. If you want a home cinema experience, hook a projector up to your laptop. Aren't there about 50 different ways to skin this cat without smart/spy TVs?

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2) by Hyper on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:30AM (1 child)

      by Hyper (1525) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:30AM (#790421)

      Around here the SmartTV tends to be cheaper then a similar size make and model normal tv.

      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday January 23 2019, @05:10PM

        by Freeman (732) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @05:10PM (#790681) Journal

        Then you're looking at the wrong TVs. I went for bargain basement, but with the specs I wanted. No "Smart" junk included. "SmartTV" is an oxymoron. You want a good "SmartTV" like experience. Buy a dumb display and hook up your favorite thing. Whether that's a Blu-Ray player, a RaspberryPi, a ChromeCast, or a full fledged computer. Your experience will be far superior in the long run. Since, you won't be required to upgrade to a new TV, because they stopped providing updates for Netflix/Hulu/Amazon TV on that "SmartTV."

        --
        Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Wednesday January 23 2019, @01:37AM

    by sjames (2882) on Wednesday January 23 2019, @01:37AM (#790404) Journal

    Last time I looked for a new TV I saw that the smart TVs were about 20% more expensive for otherwise comparable TVs.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:36AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23 2019, @02:36AM (#790423)

    The SmartTV I have crashes. A patch, downloaded from the vendor and installed via USB, was supposed to fix it. No go.
    The OS is a bastardised version of Android. No root access. Apps that can't be installed.
    TV is actuality just an application. Which crashes.
    The idea of YouTube on TV is nice. For a while.
    Netflix app never worked.
    It was cheap. So that forgives a lot of sins.
    It had to be sent back twice. Luckily that meant a free model upgrade. Sadly it meant two lemons in a row.

    Using it makes me miss normal regular TV.

    Put a box in front of it. Or a computer. Then it is fine.

(1)