The year is 2019 and I can’t buy a good majority of consumer technology because we lack privacy legislation and consumer protections. Example: it’s absurd that my TV came with spyware that can’t be turned off or avoided; I had to stop it from phoning home at the network level. It also came with an arbitration clause and a clause waiving the right to a class action lawsuit.

@retrohacker My parents didn't understand why I was annoyed at them when they bought a "Smart" TV. But then when I looked into it, it's pretty much impossible to get a
TV that doesn't connect to the internet these days. A TV should do one thing, and only that: be a display. If you want smart stuff, glue a raspberry pi to it or some other thing. Trying to do two things at once like a smart TV does is a recipe for disaster

@Matter @retrohacker is it possible to buy a "smart" TV then take its guts out and drive it with an off-the-shelf SoC?

@rtwx @grainloom @retrohacker Actually... some TVs require an initial set up at least 😭

@rtwx @Matter @grainloom @retrohacker "Smart TV with no smarts" == HDMI computer monitor. A "TV" these days is an HDMI monitor with some tuning hardware built in. The "non-smart" choice is buying the monitor and the tuner separately. Something will have to have some smarts, a TV receiver, and a network connection. E.g., a DVR. But there's no need to put those smarts into the screen.

@paco @rtwx @Matter @grainloom market segmentation (and a few other factors) has made computer monitors incredibly expensive. It's hard to find a 55' 4k computer monitor for $350.

@retrohacker @rtwx @Matter @grainloom I agree. Fundamentally the business value of spying on customers is subsidising the cost of really big screens. If you accept a screen with surveillance tech and a bunch of "smarts" you can't disable, you can get it cheaper than if you don't.

@retrohacker @rtwx @Matter @grainloom And here’s the article explaining why TVs are cheaper than ever. With smart TVs, the profits aren’t in the purchase price, the profits are in the data smart TVs collect on you.

@paco @retrohacker @rtwx @Matter @grainloom

I own exactly one smart TV, it's a Roku tv by TCL, and the amount of crap my pihole blocks is astounding.

@rdh @paco @retrohacker @rtwx @Matter @grainloom my partner and I bought a smart TV secondhand, and the manufacturer's server it tries to connect to has been shut down for years. None of those fancy services, but Home Assistant knows when the TV comes on the network, so I can trigger automations based on that.

I've wiresharked it, doesn't appear to be successfully contacting anything past the LAN.

@teslas_moustache nice. I ended up blocking my stereo from phoning home as it was trying to connect to its manufacturer server every 20 seconds. Possibly just for updates, but still. I just blacklisted the URL in PiHole.

My tv is FirefoxOS so it doesn’t appear to be as bad, I’ve had to whitelist a couple of urls in PiHole so Netflix and Lightbox work.

@rdh @paco @retrohacker @Matter @grainloom

@teslas_moustache it works well, apart from one oddity which they won’t fix. Netflix outputs in 5.1 no matter what the tv is set to, so my 2channel receiver processes the sound as garbled static from the optical connection. Searched online and found that Panasonic say it’s a Netflix issue, and Netflix won’t update for an outdated os, alternatively it’s an os issue and they’re passing the buck.

If I play from laptop hdmi, then then it works fine and passes the audio correctly to the receiver.

@teslas_moustache I believe it’s an OS issue as 3 of my channels do the same thing, but we use a Freeview/DVD player instead as it will record, so that’s a non issue.

I’d love to hack at my tv but I’m kinda thinking I should get something like a Pine64 and run Kodi and whatever, as the 4K is under-utilised right now ...and it disconnects the Ethernet cable from it.

@rtwx Ugh, yeah, I don't think early adoption is really my thing anymore.

I still have the ZTE Open and the ZTE Open C. They still work, technically, as well as they ever did. I just keep them as backups so I can make calls or send texts if I really need to.

It's nice that they still have some utility after Mozilla ditched us.

I was pretty mad when they did that though.

@teslas_moustache to be fair, the "smart" part was a bonus as the old tv already had everything running from a RPi2 (which now serves PiHole duty instead). I just figured if it was tehre, it should work. I'm somewhat surprised there isn't aftermarket firmware for TVs, I kind of thought they'd be common enough to make it worthwhile. I should probably have a look again, it's been a while.

@rtwx I'd believe it either way. I could see smart TV manufacturers not wanting to reinvent the wheel and thus use something fairly standard, if outdated, and I could see them using whatever random shit they had a thousand of and hiring a team of people for not enough money to figure out how to fudge their software into a box every week.

@rtwx @Matter @grainloom Yup! In this case, the entire machine was essentially bricked until I agreeded to the ToS. Couldn't even use the HDMI inputs.

@retrohacker @Matter @grainloom surely you could accept TOS without a connection.... that seems ridiculous for a TV a non-tech person might get and use without a net connection.

@rtwx @retrohacker @Matter well, Windows 8 needed a Microsoft account when I last installed it (years ago), so having to sign in is not that new.
I remember my friend having to register their legal copy of Crysis online when they had no internet at home, and had to bring their PC to their parent's office.
DRM follows no logic and is not there to make things easier for buyers.

@grainloom @rtwx @retrohacker @Matter Even Windows 8 and 10 give the option to create a local account (in tiny letters, off in the corner, and will try and convince you not to)... if any TV flat out requires an internet connection before you can even plug an HDMI cable or antenna into it, that's some goddamned bullshit right there ay

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