A tad ironic to some people, I know. I work in public sector digitisation after all, we’re working with cutting edge tech every day, to help make the lives of citizens easier. Like how to distribute medicine so people with dementia actually take it. So many people naturally assume I’m a gadget person, and in fact a lot of my colleagues are, but I just don’t get why you’d want your TV to be “smart“.
So I’ll happily enforce your message about simple Designs.
My experience echoes yours - I keep my appliances as simple as possible, both at home and professionally.
Add complexity wherever you have to, not wherever you want to.
No code has fewer bugs than no code.
No code uses less memory than no code.
No code is easier to understand than no code.
So, in the context of microwaves, does this mean you prefer software-controlled ovens instead of simpler ones with mechanical timers (which have lots of moving parts), or the reverse?
If someone attempts to remove a good feature, someone on the team should be able to successfully argue for it in 3-5 sentences.
Many people suggest buying a dumb tv and then an apple tv. The problem is, now I have two devices and instead of trusting [TV manufacturer] I have to trust Apple. I don't see a big gain in it and also don't consider Apple to be especially trustworthy. [TV manufacturer] should just sell me a smart tv without customer hostile "features".
Your TV manufacturer does.
Apples shareholders will one day be keen to achieve the second trillion dollars on the company's valuation.
I have a random, no-name Android TV box and it's one of the best value for money devices I've gotten in years - covers every single streaming service, has IPTV, web browser, and any other conceivable option you'd want in a TV box. You can add a VPN trivially, use it as a music client for LMS....and so on. Plus it doesn't have unblockable ads covering half the screen like recent Samsung TVs.
Unfortunately there are basically zero TV manufacturers who will do this.
The price will be much higher then. Right now, you're sold the tv at a discount (at a loss, I'm pretty sure) because the manufacturer will make money off you down the road by stealing and selling your data to advertisers. It's kind of like with social media (though to a lesser degree) - don't make the mistake of thinking of yourself exclusively as a customer. You're a product, too. Their advertising partners are the true customers.
I think this is the current revision: https://www.breville.com/us/en/products/microwaves/bmo850.ht...
It does have all the feature buttons, which are just inside the door, although I admit I have never used them.
Alternatively buy a really cheap microwave that just has two physical knobs.
(There is actually an option on mine that lets me turn off all the lights. (Except the power on light, dang it!))
Why is it that all microwave cooking instructions say to use high power. I recently bought a soup that included the cook time for a 1000W microwave, I can't imagine that ending well.
When cooking oatmeal porridge I usually do one cup oatmeal and 2 cups and a little more of water. In deep plate, full effect in microwave for 2 minutes but I watch it the whole time. When it starts building a volcano I let it go on until the edges of the volcano goes to the edge of the plate. THen everything is nicely cooked and I stuff my butter and a bit of salt in there and stir it until it's the thickness I want. Add milk to stop the thickeninig and eat. Maybe with some applejam on top. Oh, and make sure the oatmeal is not the generic type, it tastes nothing. There are really nice types around that makes oatmeal really great.
Of course there is a slowcook method too but I haven't tried that yet. Let the oatmeal just stand in cold water over the night, no cooking included.
This from their website:
The Panasonic Microwave Ovens powered with patented Inverter Technology™ deliver evenly cooked meals, from edges to center, every time.
I’m sure whatever model they’re selling now is different, so I’m not trying to scare people off. The point is I now have a microwave without an inverter and I hate it. It might end up going to my photography studio and I’ll get a new one for the home.
I ended up using a cheapo 600W microwave that cost 1/4 of the expensive Panasonic but would actually make food hot.
I've also had other experiences of bad usability in Panasonic products. Pointless extra button presses to to tell it you actually want to _microwave_ at _full power_. Who knew you would actually want to use your microwave for microwaving? /s Just let me press the time & start, already.
I now have a Samsung with convenient controls and a cheerful tune.
I enjoyed that microwave before that happened and was thoroughly impressed with the ice cream soften setting.
Cooking need only be long enough to heat the oatmeal, not to absorb liquids. This is especially useful for steel-cut oats.
That may be changing soon because of solid state microwave/rf-heating:
Solid State Cooking Oven Uses RF Energy, 1m31s
Goji Food Solutions Solid State RF Cooking Demonstration, 2m35s
tl;dr essentially a beamforming solid state microwave phased array
edit: removed one double link
While I'm griping already, a lot of people hate the button interfaces some (rare) microwaves have because they use capacitive touch buttons with no haptic feedback, and careful aim is required to press the correct button. I wish manufacturers would make microwaves with button blister keypads instead. For blind users, blister buttons can also have raised braile indicators, or users can buy "bump dots" to make the buttons easier to find and actuate.
What do blind users do with a microwave that has knobs? If the knobs click and they use the microwave regularly, I guess they could memorize the number of clicks to turn them. If they're ultra-smooth digital no-click knobs, then they have to memorize quarter-turns and turning speed, etc. Sounds awful! Or perhaps I am mistaken and there is actually a microwave with both knobs and voice guidance (though if I were blind I think slow voice guidance would drive me nuts).
I don't have a microwave anymore for almost a decade now, but even before I used it occasionally only, mostly for heating up food from the day before, nothing where I'd need sub-millisecond accuracy.
Also in general food tastes different/weird if you blast it at full power, so going for lower wattage and longer cooking times would reduce the need for super accurate timing controls. Unless you grew up on microwaved food exclusively, then I guess food prepared on a stove tastes weird. :-)
Modern microwave knobs are not properly analog. They are so infuriating - an analog control fiddling with a discrete setting. As you turn the knob, it will occasionally (with no haptic feedback) tick over to the next discrete value.
In the time before baby, the analogue microwave was refreshing, now it's a nuisance.
It wasn't a huge deal when it happened to me because I wasn't very distracted and I was making tea so it just sat there and boiled for a couple of minutes until I checked in. Under slightly different circumstances it could have been much worse.
Not sure about your microwave, but mine (ca. 1996 Panasonic) has an analog knob (actually, that's the only control) for time.
If I need less than a minute, I turn the knob past 1 minute, then turn it back where I want it. That pretty much always works for me.
Perhaps it might for you too.
I have hated every microwave since.
A closeup picture of the dial:
The log-factor wasn't as severe as I had remembered, but the 0-1m angle is about the same as the 20-25m angle. It was still pretty easy to get 15s, 30s, etc. I'm sure you could do a lot better with modern digital electronics.
The analog knob you're referring to, I think, is the _very_ old design that functioned more like an egg timer. It was spring loaded and simply turned on the microwave circuit and broke it when the timer mechanically reached resting position.
The new knob is digital, and you use it to navigate a digial menu and to increase/decrease the timer prior to pressing it inward to start the process. Completely novel input mechanism.
Given that millennial seems to refer to anyone born between mid 70's and late 90's, that could basically be any type of microwave design that ever existed.
If you cut at mid 70's you'd basically be erasing Gen X, but just because it's popular to talk about "boomer" vs. "millennial" doesn't mean they're adjacent!
Knobs are low-accuracy, low-precision. Which may be fine for some cooking, but not all. On my current knob-equipped microwave, my precision is limited to +/- 30 seconds simply due to the mechanical design, which means a) it's hard to heat anything up "just a little", as sub-minute heating is hit-and-miss, and b) it's hard to do food sensitive to cooking time.
Button blisters with a digital clock telling time to the second. That's an interface I can trust because I can see the time counting down in the correct pace (I have trust issues with all kinds of analog knob timers, including Pomodoro timers). That's an interface I've learned to use without looking, one hand keying in the correct time and power setting, the other hand operating food, <Start> getting pressed as soon as the tray door close.
I still remember my most common sequence from childhood. <Cook Time> <Power Level> <Power Level> <1> <4> <0> <Start>. Could do that blind even today.
Knobs are good for things that you need to scroll around a lot (and knobs in professional devices excel at jumping precision levels to allow an excellent experience here). Setting time and power on a microwave is not like that. You have exact values in mind, and need a way to input them precisely.
Having an input level precise to 1 second is useful if you're using it day-in, day out. As a kid, I was mostly doing the same few meals in the microwave, so I had perfect timing nailed with experience. For instance, a DIY zapiekanka made of bread, cheese and some flavoring, would come out perfect at Full power, 1:40 time. Add 20 seconds, and you'd burn the cheese. The cheese was the factor that determined microwave settings. If, for some reason, my mom bought a different type than usual, I'd have to correct the time (usually adjust up), but then with experience I quickly developed "cheese tables" in my head. I'd look at a slice, and think, "ok, this is the smelly one, needs +40 seconds to come out well". Etc. Then I'd key in the correct settings, and come back in 2 minutes to the perfectly made zapiekanka.
(I suppose this was my attempt at treating cooking as an industrial process and not black magic :).)
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapiekanka
Agreed that a knob should be a part of a computer keyboard - as a generic analog input device, not a mousewheel equivalent, though.
A more daring design uses the door as a switch. Close the door, and the microwave runs. Open the door, and it stops. This is about as simple as it could be. User efficiency is maximized.
I often find things I want on amazon.com and then change the URL to .de or .co.uk, or I find items that are available for shipping to Germany (for a decent price), I assume because they actually ship from China or are already distributed in Amazon warehouses. I guess in the case of microwaves the power input is different, so the models are different by area, and this part of Europe seems to prefer knobs.
I will say, though, I don't see any there with blister buttons; they all appear to be capactive.
If there is a gripe to be had about microwave numpads, it's the useless popcorn setting. The microwave popcorn bag tells you not to use the popcorn setting. It's like something out of bad standup. /rant
From your own post, it's more complicated already. With wheel/knob, you have an interface for time and another for power. A little twist means a short value, a long twist means a high value. If you know what you want to do, you already know how to use this microwaves.
I think the problem is it's slightly harder to use, eg you need to understand that more food needs more time to heat, that different cooking needs different power, etc. But you learn as you go.
I think the equivalent for a car would be to have a buttons for 'fast', 'medium', 'slow', 'bumpy terrain', 'road','long trip', 'short trip'. How crazy would that be?
Plenty of upmarket cars have these types of settings, and are routinely praised for it.
See: e.g. https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61-ZBoSyt0L... https://media.primasupply.com/25104-38090/cms/38090/files/8c...
DDG image search: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=micrave+dial+timer&iax=images&ia=i...
I also highly recommend this. It’s been 18 years since I’ve lived in a house with a tv. It’s still weird to me that people design their living rooms around sitting facing a screen rather than other humans.
I spent the vast majority of my time facing a screen rather than other humans.
Its just the majority cannot afford said house, so the TV room joins the sitting room in the multi-function space that is the living room.
I think the meaning of the space in the house mentioned, wasn't just socializing, but also relaxing to music, and observing the sound (the water body) flowing by outside. Othwerwise the house isn't much bigger or smaller than other Norwegian 80's houses, only the layout is different and more inspired.
Walking around in Oslo, or any city, for that matter, there are many examples of various forms of architecture, and the difference between inspired and uninspired or cheap is striking. For instance, I have a rather ambivalent relationship to the institutional brick architecture springing out of 30's Funkis (Functionalism), that really reached its peak in the 70's and 80's evolving into Modernist structures. The uninspired or brutalist versions of it, are ghastly and cheap shells, while the inspired versions, such as Institute for Social Research in Munthes street in Oslo, gives off a feeling of welcoming peace and warmth.
I have often wondered about those spaces in hotels or office lobbies, where a divan or lounge chairs are set out, but serve no purpose, because no one in their right mind would ever consider sitting there.
But it’s not like we have a lot space in our tiny brooklyn apartment, we just set it up for hosting and talking with people. It’s great when there isn’t a pandemic happening.
Because computers and smartphones, the law has since been extended to also include the case where you own no TV but either a PCI or USB tuner, or any internet access that includes TV streaming (e.g those that come with a set-top box, or those extra options on mobile plans).
This was a despicable period and since then the law has changed. Now there is no license fee on owning a TV receiver. Instead everyone pays a tax whether they own a TV, a computer, whatever and no matter if they watch TV or not.
"Once upon a time, the government tried to impose a tax you had to pay if you had a TV or a computer, which was bad because even people who never watched TV would have had to pay it. But it's better now, because instead there's a tax that literally everyone pays, even if they don't watch TV and even if they don't have a computer."
I'm struggling to see what principles would make the first situation bad without also making the second one bad.
Ideally the individual cost is very low, so it’s not outlandish to have everyone pay, especially as even if you don’t watch it, you benefit from the diffusion of qualitative culture and news in society.
By not making everyone pay, this public service has to compete for attention with commercial ones and risks drifting away in quality.
The counterpoint is that such a state-owned channel could become a propaganda tool.
But both are bad, the former more so than the current, at least.
Personally I agree with a mandatory monthly cost but it is way too high, should be in proportion to household income and the people in the upper ranks of the broadcasting companies shouldn't earn absurdly high wages and pensions.
Despite that I like to support proper journalism that is accessible to everyone and content that is often ad-free to watch/listen/read.
The issue for me is mostly that I refuse to pay for the bucketloads of despicably low quality content they put out. A shame, because there’s Arte (TV) and FIP (radio) which have quality stuff, but they only get a fraction of it.
It’s fantastic. Turn the dial, and it starts. The farther around you turn it, the more time you get. The scale is clearly marked around the dial with large readable numbers and gives progressively more coarse as you turn through about 340 degrees or so (less than 360).
To abort and turn it off early, just turn the knob back to the zero. Otherwise it turns itself off at the chosen time.
There’s a digital readout that tells the time remaining. Simplest interface ever and none of those nasty washable flat panel buttons, or any others as I said.
It’s a Sharp brand “Medium Duty Commercial 1000 watt” model. Pretty pricey ($269) but very worth it. At the time, I found it on Amazon but I don’t see it on there now. Model R21LCFS. I see it does come up on duck duck go at some other suppliers like https://www.usaequipmentdirect.com/sharp-commercial-medium-d... (not a typo that the link ends in a dash apparently).
One caveat: it does not have any rotating mechanism inside. This has never been a problem except I do sometimes manually rotate food during a long session. But this is super easy because you don’t have to bend down or punch buttons.
ObTV: don’t have one either. Best TV choice imho.
I see you're in love.
Same here! I only worry about the day when it stops working, because no UI designer seems to realize that there is nothing better, and new microwaves come with atrocious, laggy, pointless UIs.
Here except for a few things like phones and tvs, smart electronics aren't as easily available as my home country, India.
I speculate this is perhaps related to the age of the population.
Being “critical” about products depends on how educated a population is. I just asked to a bunch of friends (we are having breakfast in Europe) if they know about smart microwaves. They all know they exist, but asked “why on earth would I want that?”. They just want two knobs to set time and power.
The discussion now moved to smart
Toasters, where everybody just wants one knob...
In my experience, people here buy stuff either because they need it, or because they find it really cool and just love the technology. I don’t know anybody that finds smart microwaves or their technology cool. Same applies to smart toasters or smart TVs.
That’s more of a commercial one, a cheaper version (Impecca) came up too but the link was broken.
Nope, power output.
Yes. For some people, it might be the most valuable thing they learn from the entire discussion. Imagine having as business discussion and mixing up P&L and a Balance Sheet. If you think it was just a pedantic correction, maybe you should reconsider.
This is not like correcting grammar where it hardly matters and we have to use some kind of grammar to write. If you didn't know what something meant, you could have just not tried to explain it or not used the word.
In such cases, a friendly correction is very much the right thing to do.
Most of the major brands in the US have them, now, and the reliability is improving. As I understand it the drive transistors in early models were prone to failure.
More info available here:
That reminds me about dishwashers - you put powder or a tablet in a little hatch and I always wondered what happened behind the hatch, does it inject water, disolve the powder, and then pump it around to the jets?
I recently realised. Nope. It just opens the hatch ten minutes into the cycle and the tablet/powder falls into the machine with a clunk.
P.S. Pro-life tip: Don't forget to refill your dishwasher drying port today with Jet Dry/Glisten/Whatever brand you like, it'll stop your dishes from coming out spotty and helps with the dry cycle.
The Start button.
It would start heating and I would guess there was a temperature sensor that would automatically stop the thing once the food was hot. In a case it was not hot enough, you would press the same button again and it would go on again for another 20 sec or so.
No more thinking, just press the button and get hot stuff. It even gets it right some of the time.
Look up Sunbeam Radiant Toaster. Now compare it to any other toaster you can buy today.
I wish I could buy one Sunbeam Radiant Toaster, but its kinda pricy importing one from random ebay seller to EU..
1. It takes forever to do anything even remotely complex.
2. The most common features aren't really the easiest to access (in terms of input effort).
3. If you make even a single mistake in a long series of taps, you have to loop all the way back through the interface. If you let it timeout, this is apparently the equivalent of a "select".
4. There is zero intuition for any this functionality.
I know some people here will not like to here this, but it's how I feel when somebody with an iPad is showing me the difference between a one finger, two finger, three finger and four finger swipe/grip. It's not that they exist and nobody but a power user would access them, for me it's more that I might accidentally trigger one of these functions and have zero idea of cause and effect.
The worst offenders are when the UI changes depending on the context. Like that touch bar Apple had where the buttons and layout would change depending on which application you are in. I understand how it could be cool for a power user, but as a normal user I want some standardization for the location of things between apps.
Boil water and a drip goes on the special zone and it switches off.
It’s really irritating.
It’s almost like having to learn some version of morse code. Yikes! Even amateur radio licensing in many jurisdictions has abolished the morse code proficiency requirement to bring more individuals to the hobby.
With the door closed, turn the timer to the desired time. Oven will begin operating immediately. To shut oven off manually, return timer to 0.
It's almost as if they have to help people unlearn the crap they're used to with button microwaves wondering "Where's the start button?" and "Where's the cancel button?"
Here's an LG 65" 4k HDR dumb TV: https://www.lg.com/ca_en/business/commercial-tv/lg-65UV340H
I have a similar model from a few years ago (purchased from Canada Computers fwiw), and I love it. Because I don't notice it exists. It just does its job, like a TV should.
Here are some LG commercial displays ranging from 43" to 86" and priced from $745 to $3,850:
Here is a brief article from 2019 detailing the differences between digital signage/display monitors and home TVs:
Some network operators run 3rd party advertising to offset costs of running their network.
Also, if you see a sign at person level in a public space there's a high likelihood it's collecting demographics information on (age, gender, ethnicity - via video image processing) on everyone passing by while also trying to identity the mobile device in your pocket to geotag your advertising identity.
I work in a company that provides general interest "filler" type content for networks to display - news, weather, sports e.g.
What did you pay?
The model I linked here, is $1000 CAD on amazon.ca (through 3rd-party sellers), but I don't know how it compares.
Again that's a few years ago so the market may have changed. And annoyingly, LG seems to have different products for Canada vs the US.
One is sometimes english/french or english/spanish manuals. These days though, most manuals are on CD, with tiny 20 language install manuals... so that differentiation is gone.
What I find often happening, is that each large store, BestBuy/Walmart/whatever asks for, and receives, unique model numbers so you cannot price match easily.
There are still models which are generic, but those are used by smaller corps, which cannot negotiate en-masse, and therefore are unable to shrug of price-matching.
Stuff like this burns me up. "We price match!", then "Quick Bob, get on the phone to LG! We want unique models for their product line!"
As to the hassle, yes you’d probably find it difficult to buy one for personal use. L
Even has an AV in for my playstation 2.
Dumb TV, decent picture, has worked great so far!
Just don't give them access to the internet and they'll do the job of displaying anything you give them via a HDMI port. Integrates nicely with home automation with an API too.
Oh, and they don't have ads in the menus like Samsung does.
Just need to fiddle in some menus to disable overscan and whatever magic TV filters are trendy.
Yes. This should be the goal of any good product.
Nowadays, every single time I’ve had to help my wife with the TV (you have to help people with TVs now!) it has been because it is the polar opposite of this.
As a result I’ve setup some macros on my Logitech Smarthub to try to force the TV away from these “smart” aspects, but they still sometimes fail.
Smart TVs are just horrible.
"Smart" features are starting to creep into these devices as well, though...
You can get splitters but that's still not as convenient as just being able to switch with the tv's remote.
For example, I recently bought a low-end Samsung TV running Tizen, which meant I could return my set-top-box (ISP has a Tizen app), get rid of my barely-functioning miracast stick, bluetooth transmitter (native features) and media PC (apps for YouTube, Netflix and Spotify).
But then, the thing has so many dumb design choices that it constantly makes me want to go back my horrible old setup.
- Turning on the sleep timer takes 21 clicks and avg. 47 seconds if you know exactly how to do it (instead of having it in the quick menu).
- I have to manually switch between the speakers and my surround system, which takes 6 or so clicks and 30 seconds (instead of just always outputting to toslink).
- The TV can only boot to an input, not an app, so I have to manually open the TV app every time I turn it on.
- Even though the remote has like a billion buttons, only 30% of them actually do things in any given context.
- WHYYY is there a dedicated RokutenTV button on the remote that I can't remap??
- I can't use my phone to type text into text inputs (LGs can do this, badly) and why does it make me use arrow keys on an on-screen keyboard when I have a full number pad on the remote to do multi-tap/T9??
It looks like the entire industry seems to be entirely incompetent at creating software and is too stubborn to admit it and give us the tools to fix it for them.
Yes, it has the permanent buttons for Netflix, Sling, and I think two others I can't recall off the top of my head. I don't really care.
I haven't tried it in a while, but the companion phone app that you can use as a remote was so flaky I quit using it all together. The remote works fine for everything except typing.
I got a plastic remote with a fair amount of buttons that are much closer to standard a dumb TV remote (and rather suspiciously similar to LG's...).
I also haven't found any ads in any menu, despite being connected to the Interned and logged into a Samsung account (by necessity).
"How much RAM should we put in the TV boss?"
"Well, what is the requirement?"
"Right now, 1.5 GB."
"Then put in 1.5 GB exactly!"
"But we might need more after the next update!"
"You need 1.5 GB, not one megabyte more, that's the requirement, so that's what you're putting in. End of discussion."
... six months later...
"The next upgrade to the TV OS will need 2 GB of memory boss!"
"Who cares? Just let it use the swap volume, the slowdown will encourage people to buy the next TV generation."
1) "Some Samsung TVs already try and connect to open WiFi networks if you don't connect them yourself."
2) there is ethernet over hdmi - I would image this is another source of inadvertent connection.
3) samsung tvs require an ethernet cable to "update firmware" so HDMI works.
4) ACR - which will look at ALL the inputs.
and wait for the next few iterations
- smart devices talk to each other and exfiltrate data
- smart device manufacturers collaborate with ISPs who have put wifi gateways in your house and your neighbor's house.
I despise Samsung and their junk.
I also have a buggy 1.5 year old Samsung stove that has to be reset when I lean a pot lid against the back It causes the touch panel to trigger a random button and lock up.
I suppose, but it's still misleading to be calling it "LED" in the first place when that's just the backlight.
But it keeps trying to come back for just a moment every couple of days. I had to ban its mac address since there was no way to get it to stop in the settings or after factory resets.
It is maddening how incompatible with Democracy the commercial surveillance system has become.
I’m sure this will be beaten though.
I just wish there was a manual captive portal check button built into browsers that forces a standard port 53 check because if I'm behind a captive portal I have to reset my dns settings to sign in before then switching it back to get my VPN to connect.
This claim doesn't seem to be well sourced. It's essentially going on the word of an anonymous redditor.
(I don't think that's very likely in this case, but I bet there are actual examples out there of conspiracy theories being deliberately seeded as a way to discredit potential real criticisms.)
Why would notoriously low margin products like a TV ever pay for such a lavish addition when most people voluntary connect it to wifi or ethernet anyway?
just make an agreement with one company, done.
And if you think it stops here, I've got bad news. This is only going to get worse without strict regulation.
Also, software. Half the software on our computers stopped working despite not being internet related.
It was incredibly frustrating and really soured me on the direction tech is headed.
in any case, i'd get any claim that the tv works without internet in writing. then it becomes a warranty issue if the tv stops working
i. e. the ads on smart devices can be blocked
I was curious because I have a Vizio that I deliberately keep disconnected from the internet, and rely on an Apple TV. Seems like that's not an attack vector in this case, though #1 is (and #3) seem worth looking into.
What's ACR in point #4?
But I think that a more helpful way of thinking about it is that (1) people are great at rationalizing, especially when it makes their lives easier. And (2) the open source alternative isn't good enough or easy enough.
For a long time, pirating music was the easiest way to listen to music that you wanted. Then things like iTunes and the iPod came along.
Until there's an easy, open alternative, even smart people will continue paying money to put surveillance devices in their living rooms and bedrooms.
I get that they can build a profile of me based on what kind of content I’m watching, but it doesn’t seem different from what Netflix or YouTube is doing anyway. Probably they’re going to use the data to show attribution for engagements on ads for media. Good for them I guess. It‘s not in my top 1000 reasons to riot personally.
That a faceless, remote corporation can reach into your home and arbitrarily control a product you've purchased feels very invasive.
Companies like Samsung and LG have previously had cameras and microphones silently streaming unencrypted feeds. They've also been caught running network probes to search out, catalogue and report private media.
All that feels very creepy to some people such as myself.
You want to say no, don't do that ...but you can't.
Imagine you are working from home or your kids are schooling from home, and you use the TV for meetings. Are they recording your presentation? Are pictures of your kids' classmates being fingerprinted and archived somewhere for correlation with all the other classmates?
There are levels of outrageousness here:
- Spying on TV through a purpose-built device: mildly annoying that every show and ad now has a tracking watermark that can be used surreptitiously, but voluntary Nielsen participation is just fine.
- Spying on an app you own: YouTube collecting aggregated watch times for videos is useful to creators to avoid reaching people who don't want to watch them. Netflix collecting in-house analytics is only mildly annoying because I don't know how individualized the data is, but aggregate stats are fine. Behavioral analysis of individuals is still creepy.
-Spying on all apps running on your software: Roku or a smart TV reporting what you watch in all apps is starting to approach unacceptable. Presumably appmakers know about this when they are making the apps, but a third party doesn't have the same checks and balances to make sure they aren't alienating users with creepy behavior. There is not a functioning market here because appmakers don't get a choice of how to reach users, because platform rentiers are claiming all of the users.
- Spying on arbitrary video files you watch through DLNA: not okay. My work-in-progress video productions and self-ripped discs are simply none of the TV makers' business.
-Spying on HDMI inputs: serious WTF. Like I can't even... WTF??? Who do they think they are?
This is a problem. I don't want advertisements to be optimized for engagement. Anything that makes advertisements more effective is something I'm against.
It might not do that today, but perhaps a future firmware update that you would need or want, will do that; Visio TVs started ACRing and uploading that data after an update (they were sued for it and lost; it was called “smart data” or some other innocuous name.
Smart doorbell/security cameras
Smart home systems
If there's one thing these all have in common it's:
'Known privacy issues regarding tracking and data collection by large tech companies.'
When a product is marketed as smart...I assume it's smart as in it's watching and learning from me and giving the data to someone.
since it's not necessarily "paid for" via the advertising
Would 'heavily subsidized by' work as well?
With TVs, the sticker price pays for the hardware. The ads pay for the extra house the manufacturer's CEO feels he's entitled to have.
Your data is subsidizing the low hardware costs.
You mentioned commercial displays costing a lot more but those are a different market entirely, and the extra price is only slightly motivated by the lack of advertising.
Now with complex video and audio codecs, video post-processing and shoddily coded software there's been a very severe downgrade in that department. I don't have a TV at home but every time I'm in a hotel or my parent's place I notice how laggy it is when I'm just browsing through the channels (which is what I do 90% of the time when I'm using one, since there's hardly anything worth watching anyway).
For those of you who are too young to know what I'm talking about, have a look at this: https://youtu.be/v83WEzw8tfw?t=44
My recollection from the 80's was you switch the channel (physically) and it's... switched!
So was there some magical latency there that I just couldn't perceive, or are the "near instant" reports talking about some other type of TV? Or something else?
With this I basically never see the UI on my LG and Samsung TVs, and I certainly don't interact with it unless I need to get into settings.
But if there's just no open wifi points around then you can still be pretty certain of this.
As Samsung is essentially hostile beyond belief, and has thrown away all pretense of 'helping', I'd say yes.
Rather than constantly monitoring and investigating what your TV is doing it's far simpler to just avoid Samsung, LG, Panasonic or Sony products.
Even if your current smart TV doesn't do this, it's exactly the sort of dark pattern that certain manufacturers could add with an update and there's nothing you can do about it because you don't control the product.
Best to just avoid brands you don't trust.
And then once one or two companies have made that acceptable, they all will go that way.
If not, you could use a Raspi? I had non-techie (but still young) friends who came up with and implemented this idea by themselves.
Maybe not so easy in the future. TVs might eventually have 5G internet connections built-in and paid for by the manufacturer. It could be worth it to them if they get enough revenue from their software platform through user tracking and advertising.
5G is looking to reduce the cost of them further as LPWA is a key part of the standard.
No good. The TVs are starting to nag the user if left unconnected.