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The project looks really dead, but it would be nice to have either a revival, or a new alternative. I'd like to get a new TV, but I don't want the junk proprietary stack that it comes with.


If I ever buy a TV, my plan is to simply use it as a big HDMI monitor. Slit open the side of the HDMI cable and cut the Ethernet wires therein. Never connect it to my wifi. If other wireless networks are ubiquitous by that time, open it up and neuter their transceivers too.

Any internet functionality will come from a device I trust and control, with only the display portion handed to Spysung.

Hang on - HDMI can do Ethernet? That was news to me.

Yes, almost every HDMI cable now brags that it includes ethernet, which is carried on a formerly-unused* pair within the HDMI connector.

Many older cables didn't connect it, or grounded one of the pins (*because it had been used as a plug-detect pin), but since devices started actually using it, cable vendors started wiring it. The extra pair doesn't make the cable much stiffer, but leaving it out had made them ever so slightly more flexible.

Many devices don't support it, but some newer video cards install an Ethernet device when you load the driver, so they do. And some TVs do, of course. So if such a card and such a TV are connected with such a cable, voila! An connection you might not even realize is there. Your formerly-isolated TV is no longer isolated, assuming the video card driver installer did something like enable bridging to that ethernet interface.

There are a few ways to avoid it. First, don't install that driver if your video card prompts for it, or disable the device. Second, use a cable tester to verify that you're using a cable which doesn't connect the pins, which is gonna get harder if you need a newer cable that's tested to a higher bandwidth spec. Or third, open up the cable and bite the wires in half. It's tricky to know which pins those are; I plan to do it with an inductive "toner" probe connected to a breakout adapter.

(Unrelated: Some Ethernet switches used HDMI cables to connect each other for "stacking". This is just because the connectors are cheap, the cables are cheap, and they have a lot of high-bandwidth pairs. The switch makers could run more-or-less full backplane speeds over a short HDMI cable more cheaply than they could over a custom stacking cable. But the signals on the wires are not HDMI, they're more-or-less Ethernet on whatever inter-switch-chip format, probably QSFP or something, that needs a bunch of length-matched pairs.)

I was trying to find an "HDMI condom" (equivalent to the usb ones [1]) but came up dry. Does such a thing exist yet, or is there just no market?

Is it possible to use something such as an HDMI splitter to accomplish the same thing, or can those pass Ethernet as well, and how would you be able to tell?

[1] https://int3.cc/products/usbcondoms

You could maybe try an old hdmi splitter not compatible with latest dhcp (that supports ethernet)

There are virtually no devices that actually support it, at least as of about a year ago.

Yup, been in the spec for a while. Video cards try to install drivers for it now days. I always stop that garbage.

Some network switches actually used HDMI to connect between switches.

Only the cable, not the protocol.

Correct, it wasn’t carrying HDMI signal, rather leveraging a much higher quality cable and terminals, correctly twisted pairs for long distance, high quality shielding (or double), etc.

For any faults, HDMI is a typically good cable.

I bought a medium-sized (42" I think) TV a while ago. My parents had a smart TV, so did friends of mine. I saw no utility but lots of problems (edit: in Germany, none of them even do the most atrocious shit people here complain about like ads or force-connecting to wifi). When I checked dumb-TV roundups there was one model from HISENSE which had pretty decent quality, mediocre sound and no network features at all. I am still happy with it, it has 2 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports and my computer plays sound :)

It has been suggested:


... that one could build an "HDMI Condom" that would strip those pins with an adapter. That would be more elegant than cutting the cable open ...

I use a "USB Condom" myself when I want to charge my phone at hotels or when I want to charge from my laptop and don't want to set into motion 150 phone/computer interactions.

I would suggest to get a cheap local brand from South Korea which uses good panel and decent enough compute power to render your desired quality without any smart TV features and use external means for apps/content.

I was coincidentally looking for exactly this through the stores (online or otherwise) in Australia that should in theory stock this, and the only one that was remotely close was Kogan's rebranded bargain-basement LCDs that had middling reviews.

Are there any particular brands I should be looking for?

(Disclaimer: I work for Kogan but probably don’t have actual experience with the TV you were looking at).

Most Kogan TVs can be great dumb screens if you reach out to support for recommended colour settings and you use an external sound device (soundbar).

I currently have a 3 or 4 year old 55" 1080p Kogan panel, and it's decent, albeit a bit laggy at times. I assume they've got better processors in them now these days!

I want a 4K dumb panel, with HDR10 support. I saw the Kogan 55" JU8200, which from my browsing appears to be the latest model, and from my crude understanding of the specs would be decent?

Should I send an email through to support about it? To be honest, Kogan as a brand is so low-touch I didn't even think to contact them haha.

I honestly haven't seen many other Dumb™® TVs to even choose from, so I am sort of leaning towards either picking up the JU8200, or maybe just biting the bullet and getting a Hisense Series X for about twice the price, but with OLED panel.

The "smart" stuff in the Hisense isn't particularly smart from what I read and watched today, and can be mostly disabled, as its less intrusive than Samsung et al. I'd love to know if I'm wrong on that conclusion though!

EDIT: Oh, and I have a Yamaha 2-channel amp that I run the TV into, so no worries on the crappy built in audio of the Kogan TVs haha. Amazingly tinny, my current one!

I’ve got a 2yo 55’ kogan, works great with an Apple TV for all the extras, I’m no wild tv/sound aficionado but works well for me!

Honestly, I think I'll pick it up. It's basically exactly a 4K replacement for my Kogan 55" 1080p "dumb" panel, so its looking like a winner. Found some decent reviews with colour settings and so on to get the most out of it, found a review of a similar AU Optronics panel (they make the actual LCD panel/controller for the JU8200) and it got top marks, so it's worth a gamble.

Worst case I'll put it in my garage electronics/chemistry lab lol

We were originally using it to put a screen up for our business but then shifted office and it wasn’t necessary so I inherited it - works great as a 4K Monitor

About the only thing I'm not sure about is the input lag -- the KU8000 and KU8100 models have approx 40ms input lag according to Kogan's support team (found in a Whingepool thread); this is a different series (JU) and generation (8200), so fingers crossed. The similar panel from AU Optronics had the lowest of the three panels they tested (LG and Samsung), so I'll see I guess!

Good luck!

I agree, however the problem is that it's becoming increasingly difficult to purchase a "non-smart" tv. At my local stores here in Canada I don't think any exist!

Them being smart isn't an issue if you just don't give them internet access (at least until they start sticking LTE connections into them...)

Another issue is that many ISPs are building WiFi network. For example Spectrum has a lot of access points in my area, if Samsung would make deal with them the result would be equivalent.

At that point I'm pulling the thing apart and wrecking traces as needed. I saw a Youtube video today of someone putting a shorted out ethernet plug, placed into the jack. It disabled the wifi (or, well, appeared to. Without RF analysis I guess you're trusting the software) and stopped hassling him about missing network connections despite the fact it didn't have one!

A while back the Raspberry Pi foundation announced that some NEC displays would support using an RPi Compute Module to drive them, although I just had a look and appears to require a specific adapter which NEC don’t even publish prices for, so who knows how much it would set you back.

It’s a pity more TVs don’t support this as it would be a great combination for me.

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