“Make it OLED, dumb TV, instant on, Apple TV box plugs in. Separate box with front facing ports that connects to screen with one cable. A remote designed by someone who thought about it for ten seconds (why do modern TVs have dozens of buttons no one ever uses?).
This entire market is in desperate need of someone to make something decent.
The best available option today is LG and it’s still laden with ads and takes a few seconds to boot up.”
I would buy one at least, there’s definitely some low hanging fruit.
I'd probably even lean into it and name the company 'dumb electronics', plus there's a nice sort of symmetry to the word 'dumb' and 'db' would be a decent logo.
Set up partners to make custom boxes. Things like SSD's in the same form factor storing media to be shared with other media block devices, (HDMI would be unpopulated), a Roku in the secondary/primary position. DTv Tuners with a Coaxial F-Connector for the antenna, etc.
This "Standard media block" connector could even be retrofit to legacy panels by means of an external box, and one master upstream connector.
Does anything like this exist yet? If not, what would be preventing it?
You can buy a simple office keyboard for $25, but there is a market for custom mechanical keyboards 10x as expensive.
You can watch YouTube for free, but a lot of people buys the premium subscription to remove ads.
Sam thing here: there may be enough people wanting to buy an ad-free, surveillance-free premium TV with user-inspectable, user-updatable open-source firmware, latest HDMI, and in interface for network boxes to taste. Given that it has a good panel, is well-built, has a minimal but premium look, and the producer offers a modicum of tech support, it can easily be sold for at 150% or even 200% the price of an ad-ridden smart TV from big names.
Such a business can be a good business, even though it won't show hockey-stick growth.
Or 100x even
I would love to chat with someone who knows more about the hardware side. How do you get a panel with a "dev kit" where you can load on the copy protection and all the modern stuff needed to play DRM content? I would be up for building a new OS from scratch.
The included ads, large volumes, and low margins all drive down the cost of consumer displays. Your dream might also end up quite expensive.
I'm sure there's a market for $600 (or $1000) TVs that don't have all the "price-lowering" (I'm skeptical) features of $300 TVs.
I mean, maybe the prices of ad-TVs are so low as a loss-leader to get a new advertising vector into your house? Yes, of course TVs already have ads, but they don't have this particular pipeline, one that benefits the manufacturer/brand more than normal OTA ads.
How much is a less-annoying TV worth to people? I'm guessing more than is usually estimated, and at any rate probably pretty close to price+ad revenue of a "consumer display."
I think there's a middle ground 'good enough' panel that's still high end (think like LG E6) that doesn't have the extra crap and where someone has thought through the design elements (input box, remote, industrial design of case).
I'd expect that to be possible for around $5k - maybe that's just not feasible?
It seems pretty reasonable to me. Is there a catch with that device that makes it not appropriate to use as your main TV?
If you're just using it over HDMI, it would work fine as a main TV. The added brightness would may be appreciated.
The gotcha is that it already runs an outdated version of Android(9.0). Sony consumer TVs that released back then didn't have ads. It was only a later Google update that added ads to the UI. No guarantees these signage displays will be safe if you updated them over the internet.
Would you? At 2x the price (based on the last time I bought one of them) for just the panel, plus an apple tv ($200) plus a speaker/soundbar (let's say $500) - and you're not getting an OLED with ARC at that either.
I don't want a crappy, cheap, panel with no smart features. I want a premium panel without smart features.
Think like Apple Pro Cinema Display in TV form.
I want to make sure that the networking functionality is what I attached to it, not something built into the TV that I have no way of possibly disabling or removing entirely. With some of the relatively recent PiHole posts, it's become clear that some of these smart TVs are including some level of DNS resolution on their end to get around ad blocking functionality. They'll say it's for ensuring they can always download updates, but it's really for retrieving ads.
I want a display that's going to last longer than 3 years. This is one of my concerns with Spectre displays. I'm not sure of their longevity.
I want that display to have a great picture. I also don't think Spectre displays looked particularly great when I looked at them in the past. Maybe that's changed over time.
Compared to what I've been hearing about Samsung and LG it's been rather nice in this respect.
Nobody is pointing their xbox controller at the console.
The only limitation is that you need line of sight to the TV.
Which might be an issue except generally if you're using a TV, you have line of sight to it because... it's a TV and that's its function.
Line of site is often a pain with things in front of the TV or appliances in TV stands behind a cabinet.
The responsiveness is often slow (granted this is the fault of the TV's UI/software more than it is the fault of the infrared).
Having to point the remote at the TV is annoying - often it doesn't register unless you're sticking your arm out (takes a few tries for me most of the time).
The Xbox controllers work instantly and it doesn't matter what's blocking them. Latency is also low (latency matters in game consoles).
I'm not sure I'm persuaded to IR benefits.
Latency to register a button press at the other end doesn't really matter for a TV remote unless it goes to extremes. It doesn't matter if you try and turn the volume up and it takes 50ms instead of 10ms. It does matter if that jumps to several seconds.
And since your remote can now travel through walls (and your TV can now receive remote controls through walls!) you now need to worry about security and pairing since there's no longer isolation being provided just by the simple act of having walls. I definitely don't want to try and support my mother in pairing her remote after the batteries need a change every three months.
Have you tried replacing the batteries in your remote? Is your entire room covered in mirrors? It could be something silly like that or maybe that your remote is just terrible. The basic technology has worked for pretty much everyone for decades now without much issue.
I generally just leave my remote sitting on the floor when I'm down there playing with the kid or resting on the arm rest of the chair or something and press buttons on it without picking it up. If it's pointing anywhere within like 60 degrees on either side of my TV whether at the floor or the ceiling it registers every time. This has consistently been my experience across pretty much every TV I've dealt with in 20 years (and I still have a 20 year old LCD TV here I use frequently whose batteries I've replaced maybe 3 times now).
The remote is simple enough only containing maybe 6 unused buttons.
(If Tesla had to be “a better car that’s also electric”, I think this would need to be “a better TV that’s also private”.)
I'd be happy to pay at the same price without the smart features.
Another fun fact: When Samsung started in 1938, they specialized in trading dried fish. They came into the electronics industry in 1960s.
You can already get dumb TV, they are often used for signage or other commercial purposes, but they cost a lot more than consumer equipment.
They also generally are just better built. The expected hours of operation and MTBF of the components is generally much higher than consumer displays. Many of the ones I dealt with had metal cases and stronger glass.
They're expected to stand up to much more abuse or often be installed in places where they're inconvenient to service.
If you wanted to build a non-smart panel with the expected lifespan of a typical consumer TV a significant portion of the current cost could likely be cut if it were done at scale.
Is the "smart features" actually making money for the TV manufacturers?
A good question to think about. How can we, as consumers, incentivize the TV manufactures to focus on building good product that actually liked by users, and still making good money.
Very difficult to answer though...
It used the same components that you'd find in the LED billboards alongside highways in the US.
Personally my ~8-10 y/o Samsung LED has a periodic problem that I’ve been diagnosing with YouTube, it seems like a lot of issues are caused by something simple like loose connectors inside.
A big bonus with my industrial design would be that the casing itself is made out of metal and harder to damage than plastic casing of most large format displays.
For your specific case, is that a consumer grade panel? What issues are you having?
I don’t care much about the panel issues - a few dead pixels I can live with and anything worse I’d rather replace it. But everything else should be easily swappable.
Also, I’m assuming you’d at the minimum support HDR and preferably Dolby Vision and Atmos. How easy/hard is that?
If you get the full image but its dark (you can hold a flashlight to the panel to see), then it's the LED strips. You simply take off the panel and replace the strips that are broken (though you should probably just replace them all). Fairly easy to do.
Rarely it could be the PSU that drives the LEDs, but that would usually mean the entire screen is dark.
TVs are actually quite nice to work on. They usually have big circuit boards which are nicely labeled and enough space that you could easily replace a capacitor or two with a soldering iron. :)
An unlocked Android store would be great value. I can currently sideload Android apps on my TV. I can SSH into it if I want to, run my own server, etc. It has a high powered processor and good RAM so I can even multitask apps in it. I love everything about the TV except the privacy changes.
Anyway, best of luck - I love the idea of dumb/privacy focused TVs :-)
½ of these comments asking for AirPlay, the other ½ asking for Android TV or wtf Google is calling it these days. Next someone will want Roku, while someone else wants Amazon, and we’re right back to where we started.
The purity of your idea is in the dumb TV. Don’t put a Raspberry Pi on the back, don’t build a mini-ATX PC in.
5 HDMI ports. Power. That’s it.
People can bring their own set top boxes and everyone will be happy.
* people who want a completely dumb display with a bunch of inputs, as you say
* people who want a display with some smarts but that is "open", can be "hacked", etc
I totally understand the desire to have more things to hack, but there are already numerous little boxes, pucks, sticks, etc to scratch that itch. What's really missing is a way to get a display that doesn't have any of that at all and also doesn't cost 5x because it's made for commercial entities. (Incidentally, my early research suggests a lot of commercial displays actually have "smart" BS in them already, it's just more targeted at device management than serving content-based ads, so that inflates the cost if I'm not going to use it.)
* people who want a completely dumb display with a bunch of inputs
This leaves the option to hack it with whatever input device the user sees fit.
It separates out the input box from the display (makes it easier to plug things into) and allows just one cable to come from the TV. You can also have a lot more ports this way (8 HDMI?)
Samsung has a TV that implements something like this (of course it has all the rest of the smart crap too that you could nix).
Also this makes it easy to potentially have upgradeable/future input boxes with new ports without having to modify the display.
It's still 'dumb', but I think breaking out the inputs is a better design.
You take one of those (which currently have reverse-engineering efforts for drivers ongoing with Sunxi project) and simply run a stock Android AOSP without any code signing. The end user would need to install the Play Store and video wouldn't play above HD for the lack of Hardware-supported DRM, but then you would just model your remote control to work like a Game Controller (which Android supports decently).
At that point you're back to square one though right?
My Sony OLED smart tv works the same way it did when I got it.
I remember seeing them on HN a year ago, I assume that they haven't moved that far because COVID etc?
> "This TV has everything you need, to start streaming your favourite content, from your favourite devices."
This sounds like exactly the opposite of what I want. Just give me a dumb display, ffs.
But they don't seem to have updated their info for a year.
What I'd like is a 55" 4K monitor display that is minimal bezel and has a bunch of HDMI inputs and support HDCP etc.
Displays should be to video like speakers are to audio. I can connect multiple sources to speakers without the speakers imposing their own idea of what to do other than make sound.
Seriously, I don't want any screens in my home that don't respect the user.
This means privacy. It also means I don't want any branding. I don't want any logos visible, either on the case or when the screen powers on.
I want the screen to be completely controlled by my Apple TV. It should implement HDMI-CEC or whatever protocol is necessary such that it does not ship with a remote control of its own. (I have had trouble with various displays requiring me to keep their stupid remote control around.)
It should have no visible lights on the case. When the screen is off, I don't want any lights at all distracting me.
How much do I need to pay for this? Every time I ask a genius at an Apple store, they have no idea.
You shouldn't ask your mom about the viability of an idea because she will be biased towards thinking good things about you (and your ideas). Similarly (sort of...), Hacker News will be biased towards wanting your product and not say anything bad about it.
I'd love a 'dumb' display, but it would be hard for me to justify dropping thousands to have one, when I'm perfectly satisfied just leaving the internet disconnected from my $400 'trash tier' TV.
This isn't knocking the idea, it's a genuine question that also kinda ties into the question of how much money mfgs are making from this privacy invasion.
I guess you have to deal with bad units and other stuff but just wondering.
I think people will have different ideas of "dumb". For example.
* A TV with only 1 input. If you want more inputs get an external switch etc...
* A TV with no audio. If you want audio use external speakers
* A TV with no remote. With the 2 things above all you need is on an off? And/Or maybe just support whatever the protocol is so that other devices can control it.
Just thinking out loud, I'm sure there's a big disagreement on what's the minimal features.
If you want to use your own speakers or external video input switcher or whatever then you can still do that, just like you could before, but not including multiple inputs or speakers on a dumb set makes it an incredibly niche product.
The TVs coming out today are great if they just ditched the smart aspect of it.
I have a 48" RCA dumb TV from like 10 years ago and I live in perpetual fear of it dying. My list would be: HDMI input and some kind of speaker, although I'd be willing to buy an external speaker if building one in made a bare-bones setup impractical.
Consider making this a kickstarter!
2) I'll suggest you setup a website with info regarding this with more details and so on, again so that people can get in touch with you, you can measure interest and perhaps even build a few one off TVs for some people to kick start.
Rest will follow..
Would it not be hard to secure licenses for HD-playback for a small player with privacy focus for a smart tv?
One concern on “dumb” though. It’s one thing to skip apps and streaming, but I suppose some smarts are required to support things like upscaling or advanced frame interpolation ( https://blurbusters.com/frame-rate-amplification-technologie... )
With their software, you can record Netflix/Hulu/Peacock/Disney+/Whatever to your computer or stream videos from those services to a Kodi box. They've never been sued from any of these services because of their (interesting) legal argument.
If you could integrate their services or techniques, you wouldn't need any approval from the streaming services.
It's very fragile and almost like they use Selenium or some other automation tester for UI then just screen cap the whole thing. I say this because it breaks frequently when providers change their UI.
Plugins constantly come and go and stop working.
They amount of support required to keep it going is tremendous and they're pushing the cloud as a service to support and maintain it.
Even better if you can do an OLED copy of this without all of the crap, I'm 150% in:
edit: I am getting old. AppleTV used to be $99 and it seems prices have gone up a little since. Either way, AppleTV would be my goto method whenever AirPlay is required.
Is there a good Raspberry Pi SD image for the Pi 4 that can be used to receive 4k airplay streams and output to HDMI?
I ask because I don't think that is a viable solution compared to the ATV4k.
Granted, their products aren’t dumb, but they seem to be very consumer and quality focused. I have loved everything they’ve done.
Currently just really frustrated using my roku, which has insanely bad latency and occasionally reboots for no reason.
- Dumb panels (not monitors). Perhaps stripped down recycled smart tvs.
- Smart tvs but with user replaceable firmware. Think OpenWRT for TVs. Maybe the same guy who does the dumb panels could sell those but with a raspberry pi in place of the logic board.
Of course a monitor solves these issues but these are normally smaller and more expensive.
Edit: I suspect an OLED digital sign WOULD burn in though as I imagine that content is much more static and displayed many more hours per day. I just wanted to make the point that I do not fear OLED for common consumer use cases.
Walmart's site lets you filter for "Smart = N". Sceptre and RCA are the main brands.
For example https://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-65-Class-4K-Ultra-HD-2160P-LE...
You could say "I'm not installing software updates" and be safe from ads as long as you don't need any bugfixes, but then you're also missing out on security updates. If you keep it off the internet maybe you're ok, but your TV might start connecting to a neighbor's wifi to give you more advertising.
And with a smart TV, in addition to ads you may also want to be on the lookout for Automatic Content Recognition: https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/how-to-turn-off-smar...
I'd be much happier just not having a wifi antenna in my television.
They would cost more because post-sale content sales and advertising generate revenue for TV manufacturers, which they use to subsidise the device sale price, because it's such a competitive, low-margin, market.
Then again I remember that if commercials weren't successful, TV as we know it would not exist. People gobbling up ads and buying stuff because of that is why ads are still being used after all.
After all... https://www.nytimes.com/1981/07/26/arts/will-cable-tv-be-inv...
This is an eternal sentiment. For the more analytical, there are many examples of advertising millions demonstrably doing nothing. Ha, BMW turned off their ads for a year and nothing happened. So and so blew squillions on ill conceived ad campaigns, etc. It's very easy to cherry-pick advertising stories. To bastardize the adage, "half of the advertising tree is always cherries."
And yet, advertising is one of the biggest economic forces of our time... as you say. It literally rivals oil, shipping and other traditional giants. FB & Alphabet are, as businesses, $trn advertising businesses. That's the market proof that advertising does affect your choices.
The simple proof is easily visible to anyone on the advertiser side of the advertiser-consumer relationship. You open an online business. No one shows up. You advertise. People show up. It may or may not be profitable, but the causality is plain. Even without tracking/analytics/snooping... it's a plain fact that many or most customers for many businesses or even whole sectors are attributable to ads.
Consumers only notice that ads piss them off. Advertisers only notice that ads make consumers do stuff. Both are extremely dismissive of the others' intelligence.
The thing that always worries me is that it's essentially a low end smartphone with a really sweet screen. I still don't know what will happen if the OS/firmware ever gets borked. Will it just fail over to the last input I used, essentially rendering it a monitor? (not the worst thing that could happen)
Or will it just boot up to some error screen and become useless because the "smarts" broke and now I can't use a perfectly good display anymore?
I know a lot of people prefer the ease and convenience, and that's why they sell so well. But I'd always prefer to have the display be the display, and then use whatever box or dongle or PC I choose to provide the content. Those can be swapped and upgraded. The 2014-era smartphone SoC built into the TV can't.
All that effort to track people for ads... these are all attempts at improving effectiveness.
Edit: Come to think of it, the fact a product is advertising at all might come to be seen as a negative signal of value by the public at large.
- There are things you buy infrequently or on a whim where the options are equally good, and the advertisers just want their product to be the last of the competitions' logos to be associated with a positive feeling. For example, I rarely drink soda, but when I do I'm choosing between Coke and Pepsi with no real brand connection (other than both companies feeding feelings into my brain on occasion). How can I know whether the advertising is some part of what influences me to pick one?
- Products whose function is partially social signalling, where the advertising can serve to establish the signal/brand connection. I care virtually not at all about pickup trucks, but I have a mental connection between Ford and Denis Leary's voice talking about "toughness". Ford pays for all that because you're much more likely to buy an oversized truck for your grocery runs if your community's overriding association with the F150 is "tough" than "small hands".
Not to mention, most products can't carry themselves by word of mouth. Only a select few. Advertising prevents concentration of mindshare.
I don't think you're living in a bubble, but I do think that advertisers will pay for completely ineffective ads. Therefore, Samsung and LG have to compete to make the worse product so they can win the free money these naive advertisers are handing out.
I assume that investors simply won't accept one-time sales as a business model anymore. They want continuous growth with no employees on payroll to grow things. Ads are that. (You can see this everywhere. Apple wants 30% of Spotify subscriptions just for making the iPhone. Games are designed for esports and the associated sponsorships. Amazon wants $99 a year for shipping, rather than $10 on top of each order. Easy money, and people say "yes!!!!" to it all.)
economies of scale and all that
But its presence can be sold for a hundred more, because the consumers apparently... want these features? Things like YouTube, Netflix, video calls, etc. And, of course, voice control.
Citation? Because I find that assumption outlandish.
I've watched them replace the control board in my 7 year old Vizio TV, the hardware is significantly better than anything but the highest end current RPi. Dual core cpu, quad core gpu, AC wifi, 8gb of memory, and the ability to push 4k HDR video at 120hz.
You keep saying they're all selling personal data for hundreds of dollars, citation?
Since you are talking about a Vizio tv, here's some straight from their CTO's mouth:
"So look, it’s not just about data collection. It’s about post-purchase monetization of the TV.
This is a cutthroat industry. It’s a 6-percent margin industry, right? I mean, you know it’s pretty ruthless. You could say it’s self-inflicted, or you could say there’s a greater strategy going on here, and there is. The greater strategy is I really don’t need to make money off of the TV. I need to cover my cost."
For a TV manufacturer, most of these costs don't appear because they just need to add a few components to an existing PCB, and add more tests for them.
The other part of costs is licensing and/or development of software, its ongoing maintenance, extended tech support (online, phone), maybe sometimes content deals (a free month of Netflix, or something).
To that price, you also need to add a continuous software development for the OS and some apps (even if they are Open Source, because they need to do at least some modifications). Minor bugs will happen and you would need to solve them.
Also, more complex hardware and software usually equals more complex testing and debugging, and with this more person-hours and a bigger cost. At the end, it might not be $100, but it will be near enough to round it for $100.
To be clear, this is said without having ever worked in a TV manufacturing company, but knowing how this kind of things are made, I think I'm not too far from reality.
I'd pay for privacy and control.
The other option like I've said is to recycle and mod smart tvs and rewrite their logic so that the user can do wathever he wants. Maybe marketing the modding kits. That would be more akin to those people who install custom open source bios on IBM Thinkpads.
The Security Act of 1934 created the SEC and look at the past 20 or so years and see how many scandals has happened under their watch. All big players. Look at Madoff. Whisper blower after whisper blower to the SEC and what did SEC do? They looked the other way.
Then buy a monitor. They have HDMI ports so they can get whatever video feed you need. Some even have speakers.
So I believe there would be a huge price gap between a huge 50"+ monitor and a TV that is more expensive because some extra work on software had to be made.
HDMI-CDC (Consumer Device Control)
I will admit, OTA TV (that is, via an antenna) will be... harder.
Since most TVs probably run Linux it probably isn't hard, but will have the usual problems of non-mainline drivers, blobs etc.
IMO the best middle point is buying a LG Smart TV. They have Amazon Prime, Amazon Alexa, Netflix, and other platform installed, but IIRC you can uninstall this apps and you can't use them until you accept the terms and conditions. If you don't accept them you shouldn't worry about them.
I haven't used Wireshark to know if that apps use the network even without using them, but at least isn't the same to some Samsung TV that insert ads in the menus when your TV is connected to the Internet.
It has 4 HDMI inputs and zero smart features. Turns on in under a second, etc. Before that I had a TV that required almost a full minute to start up before I could change AV input or change channel or do anything because it had to load it’s bloated smart crap.
That move is just one step further in removing control. They now have sealed devices that can have who knows what functions but are confined to the network. Next step is to have a concealed upstream. After that they will somehow get a legal mandate to force such devices on you (like the EU did with cars). Maybe they will use smoke detectors or "emergency" services. In the end, this is exactly like in 1984.
Without reasonable alternative and without consent is like a LEO version of 'willing'.
Those commercial displays are priced for businesses to afford. It's not something the average consumer is going to reasonably buy - especially not lower-income people.
(As an aside, it's fucked that the cheaper devices that low-income people can afford are always the ones with the most surveillance.)
You are legally obliged to install a smart meter, smart smoke detector and smart heating control in your home. If you rent, your landlord will install these things. If you own the authorities will inspect the presence and operation of these devices and fine you if you don't comply.
All these devices will be offered by companies like amazon. Coincidentally, amazon lobbyists shape the laws that make these things mandatory.
I really think the fears of government over-reach are something that has receded into the past. We didn't need to be forced into a surveillance society, we willingly paid for and installed it ourselves in exchange for "likes" and "upvotes" and being able to discuss big budget TV shows in real time with our fake internet friends.
Big brother turned out to be our dopamine circuits.
If that's all they do, what's the problem here? All three have big and direct positives for everyone ( you, your home, your community) - a smart heating control saves energy ( climate catastrophe incoming, so could be useful), a smart smoke detector can alert the fire department if smoke is ongoing for more than X time, and a smart meter can be used to accurately predict, distribute, reduce and bill energy consumption. And if they all stay in their lane, there aren't many privacy downsides.
Edit: I'd appreciate a response to go with the downvotes and tell me what i'm missing
E.g. in France the smart electric meters are mandatory ( they don't belong to you but the utility in the first place), and are of a specific type that does nothing but collect electric consumption. I'm sure that if it were left to a private company there'd be a microphone or two just in case, but that really isn't the scenario we're talking about.
Being forced into something "for your own good" is still being forced, and is anathema to some.
And since they are connected to the internet, they're vulnerable to hacks, so this information could not only get into the hands of governments and energy companies, but all kinds of random people.
Btw in reality it's much worse than that. Many of the smart smoke detectors have microphones in them, which is a really smart idea. Sometimes companies even "forget" to tell the victims, er... I mean users about it: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/02/googles-nest-securit...
It’s pretty great that such a desirable feature is at the bottom of the barrel
I haven't TV shopped in literal decades. It astounded me that there was (a) a market for more advertising on your television via smart features, and (b) seemingly low-end models are the only ones that are available as 'dumb'. Other manufacturers have regular tv's, but they are never available, and cost as much as the smart versions. The whole thing is weird.
I'm sold on them for future purchases.
Makes me want to sniff the traffic and see what kind of replies it's getting. Maybe just spoof it.
The important part then is that failure to comply needs to result in personal liability for retailers, distributors and manufacturers.
That second part is the one that will probably never come true but it is the only thing that would bring any sort of meaningful change.
I can understand if they were putting microphones into the electrical sockets when your house was being built... you need to have electricity.
The solution is don't fucking buy the items... when they see a drop in sales, even a few percent, they'll take notice. Or, god forbid, get your old TV repaired!
Mandating that the government steps in is crazy... we're talking about governments that are paid, openly, by lobbyists from these organisations.
I don't think there's anything wrong with government regulations. Yes they listen to lobbies too much but it's a different issue that should also be addressed.
I own amazon devices (none that have sidewalk) but if my neighbors came to me and told me to remove them for their privacy. I'd probably laugh them to the door. I live in a building with 500 units, and its almost 100% chance that i'm within sidewalk range (I also live near to the alexa office in seattle so there's that too).
Point is: You can't control your neighbors.
Not everyone can afford to or wants to move to the middle of no where such that their neighbors are out of radio distance.
This isn’t tech problem. This is legal and regulatory issue.
If i had to buy a TV now I'd avoid a smart one like the plague.
Or am I underestimating the tracking Chromecast is doing?
Or maybe even around the house. This might be possible in apartments.
I think this has to get sorted out in the wash with regulation. If you collect data about someone, it needs to be treated at HIPPAA levels of paranoia. That just makes so much of this rubbish go away.
It might increase the costs of TVs. Certainly there are many areas of global markets that have incredible deep tech that just are not seeing expected market pricing.
(Off topic but eye-tests. In the UK there are branches dedicated to performing a medical test by post-graduate trained operators, for token cost, just so they can upsell me on expensive frames. I mean I would rather pay for the eye test and buy online.)
A better, more useful approach is to have a DNS server on the home network (something like a pi hole), where all analytics go nowhere, Youtube isn't capable of downloading ads, etc., but you can still use the smart TV features you want. IIRC some TVs have internal DNS servers and only use those, so an ARP spoofing may be also needed.
I suspect the business motivation by Amazon is to become the “middleman” between these devices and the manufacture.
I commented the other week about enjoying my LG oled smart tv. Someone mentioned what about the evesdropping. (Which I’m aware of) and it started a small thread of people discussing that. These replies were removed about 24-48 hours later. I found it odd the comments about smart TVs evesdropping were removed. So I’m commenting to bookmark this, and see if this discussion is also removed.
Edit: this looks like what you’re talking about. Has anything been removed (by HN) from this conversation?
1 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26996739
HN is full of discussions on these matters and I've never seen them get removed.
And you can always use Archive.org's Wayback Machine to periodically save the page.
“We noticed you’re using an ad-blocker” ...
The undesirable outcome is that they just hardcode some IPs or DNS in which case PiHole would be of no use. At best you could create a NAT port forward to redirect DNS requests to the PiHole, assuming it's not DoH.
And the worst case scenario is if they build in 5G connection and take the whole connectivity aspect out of your control.
I just blocked all DNS traffic outside of directed to a dnsmasq container allowing only whitelisted hosts (I just allow netflix on smart tv)
Next step is to block all traffic to IP Addresses that have not been resolved by that. That would fix DoH but it seems overkill for now.
> they just hardcode some IPs or DNS in which case PiHole would be of no use. At best you could create a NAT port forward to redirect DNS requests to the PiHole, assuming it's not DoH.
The idea is that you'll need more than just a PiHole for all of this which further reduces the pool of people who can pull it off. You have to redirect DNS requests to your own DNS server, and/or block 443/DoH completely, neither of which the PiHole or a regular ISP router can do on their own. At this point if you can you're probably better off blocking all outside connectivity from you TV anyway.
I strongly recommend everyone to just reject any and all EULA screens ever presented. At this point at least legally the manufacturer can no longer legally do much which is why they'll disable almost every smart feature, which is essentially "dumbifying" the TV.
I assume the next versions of the tvs internet connection may be mandatory for it to work.
It said the first thing they do is find a way of phoning home.