At home I now run a small rpi0 with a telegram bot that, among other things, acts as a LGTV command proxy. So on my phone, I now tell my telegram bot eg "movie" which then puts the tv on the right input, sets volume, dims some hue lights and shows a nice float on the TV with a welcoming message.
It's also useful when I can't find the physical remote, or to send messages like "dinner in 10" (that shows on the TV screen in a float) to a gaming child with selective hearing enabled :).
At which point there is much grumbling and stomping. Black Mirror? Maybe, but hey, I have to get my enjoyment where I can.
When I was a kid, when I didn't show up within 5 minutes of being called for dinner, I wasn't allowed to sit down at the table anymore. I then had to wait until everybody else was done, and enjoy a usually cold meal afterwards, and any dessert was usually gone by that time too. And I had to do the cleanup. Suffice it to say, we kids weren't late a lot of times.
Kids these days!
I later learned from mom that other parents too kinda relied on that thing going off, so their own kids would go home too when they heard my alarm.
I’m considering getting a bunch of HomePod Minis to try out the intercom function.
She also had the hard-wired phone handsets rewired to use big, clunky four-prong plugs, so she could install a RadioShack-branded answering machine that was the size of a small suitcase. They hadn’t invented controllers that could rewind the outgoing message cassette, so you had to use a special cassette with an infinite loop.
You’d think that back then we had to walk uphill to AND from school, in a blizzard, in June, but actually, the weather wasn’t much worse than today and yes, hang out on my lawn all you like.
As a bit of vaguely-relevant trivia, I found this fascinating recording someone made of some phone systems from the early-mid 70s: http://www.wideweb.com/phonetrips/VRHQ.mp3 (~30min) (from http://www.wideweb.com/phonetrips/, "Two Early Voice Recognition Systems"). Not quite answering machines, but if the same technical acumen were applied to recording messages I expect the result would have been very impressive.
I look at this as an interesting way to get an idea of the bounds of the status quo of where technology was generally at around the ~70s. This is really cool, but also within the bounds of what was reasonably conceivable and maintainable for the period. The recording notes that system/technology was observed finding its way into a few different use cases.
I can kinda understand it when it's about being able to quickly check if your baby is okay, but I doubt every parent has the decency to disable it eventually to give their child some privacy.
There's no way there aren't lots of children growing up with zero privacy right now.
For the record; I think its cool. I do like my LG ( but it is not connected to anything ). This is the first time ever I am actually tempted.
Ok open up, what is your kid doing on an iMac? (You didn't expect the question huh)
As far as I understand, your take on this is incorrect. At least for Google, people that worked there were pissed, some posting nasty posts about the NSA hacking their network. My understanding was, that the NSA tapped the lines between data centers.
The NSA was able to hack Google, because there inter datacenter communication was not encrypted, partially because it was on private fiber that they fully owned. After this project came to light, Google already had a project in the works to encrypt all traffic between data centers, which they enabled shortly after.
PRISM continues to date. The USG can get any data they want out of Google without a warrant.
Telegram is just a nice platform, have you tried using it? basically just a standard ui so that none of your bots need frontend development
Why regurgitate something about the optional e2e feature
What's wrong with webOS? I assume LG have "Googled" it to some extent with proprietary software, but there's documentation, a lot of open-source stuff, and overall it doesn't look too bad.
And this is where it gets fun. There is money to be made from harvesting data. Do you think companies will willingly give up the ability to keep 'users' in their grasp?
I would add to that future updates, etc as well. LG stops bringing in major WebOS versions for older models, so you miss out on features and apps that would have no problems running on the hardware.
Nobody here's saying anything like that, though. Not sure how you got that idea?
But if the OS on your TV isn't being updated by LG any longer, then you won't be able install the newest versions of many apps, since they use SDK-features, that aren't supported by the older versions of the OS.
Whether an app is actually developed by a third-party, like the BBC or HBO, doesn't change the fact that "minimum supported OS version", is as crippling for a TV, as it is for a smartphone or tablet.
Last time I had to buy a new smartphone, even though the old one was still in excellent working condition, was because my bank and mobile payment apps, stopped supporting the Android OS version, it were stuck at.
I'd hate to also have to buy new TV's, just because the Netflix, HBO, or whatever apps I use, stop working.
AFAIK nothing stops HBO from supporting older webOS releases, they just can't be arsed to. They could maintain builds produced with the older SDK forever, if they wanted to. Old models won't get new features, but there is no reason the app should stop working - like it works on the Apple Appstore every day to millions of apps.
Assuming that to be the case, nothing is stopping LG to provide an upgraded webOS either.
> They could maintain builds produced with the older SDK forever
Maintaining backwards compatibility in this way is not a small undertaking. How many webOS versions do you maintain compatibility with? How do you decide which features you spend time trying to backport to which versions? How do you make it clear to your users that their 2-year-old >US$1k TV won't get the shiny new thing because it's too old?
> they just can't be arsed to
And they shouldn't have to. If the hardware is good enough to support the latest OS and SDK, refusing to do so is nothing more than planned obsolescence on part of the manufacturer. They all share the same underlying architecture, main difference will probably be around drivers.
Multiply the number of apps by the number of different smart TV OSs by the number of versions of each and supporting all of them gets old really quickly.
For example, I have one Fire TV (and nothing else) connected to the HDMI port of mine. Whenever I turn on the TV, it correctly shows the HDMI input, but it always displays the WebOS app launcher for a couple of seconds, which covers a quarter of the screen. I know the difference between launching the Netflix app in WebOS and launching it through Fire TV, but I'm pretty sure the average non-techie doesn't.
WebOS itself is pretty good, especially considering it's open source. But I would neither trust LG to provide a safe or decent implementation, nor would I want to rely on the performance of whatever low budget SoC they're sticking into these TVs. An external Roku-like device would be the best option.
Does something like this exist? A webOS box, so to speak? I would be very interested if so. It would be nice to hear of webOS outside of the context of TV's.
> WebOS itself is pretty good, especially considering it's open source. But I would neither trust LG to provide a safe or decent implementation
Me neither. It would be nice to have something I can trust is fully open-source. Would also be nice to use webOS like Kodi, though that is a truly crazy idea.
Only complaint is that I can’t figure out how to disable “resume playing paused movie when the controller feels someone walking across the room”.
You just answered your own question. Besides the Freedom issues and unwieldy bespoke UIs, embedded proprietary software inevitably becomes abandonware in a few short years.
https://github.com/webosbrew/webos-homebrew-channel - A GUI app for easily installing homebrew applications on LG WebOS TVs
https://repo.webosbrew.org/apps/ - A repo of such homebrew applications
https://github.com/RootMyTV/RootMyTV.github.io - A one-click* LG TV rooting tool
*firmware-version dependent, an updated exploit supporting "all" firmwares is in the pipeline.
To your knowlege does the rooting/installation of this stuff break existing streaming apps, or are they not affected?
And for what? A couple of dollars of side revenue. And whole lot of customer hatred.
1. It uploads voice samples. Don't say anything sensitive in the room. https://imgur.com/Phy1uzX
2.It uploads screenshots regardless of input. See other threads.
3.Front facing camera. Not kidding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x6TOtkFQxY
4. Audio beacons? Old news. https://threatpost.com/ultrasonic-beacons-are-tracking-your-...
5. Targeted ad market, selling you. https://www.trustedreviews.com/news/samsungs-invasive-plans-...
6. If you don't give it wifi, it may decide to find some by itself anyway. https://www.reddit.com/r/AskTechnology/comments/odf9qu/can_s...
Of course this is the point of Amazon Sidewalk, so in due time, it probably will.
Also two other observations. First, there is means: unsecured and public groups like xfinity, sidewalk, fios via some business deal maybe. Also in the means column is a full linux machine, totally possible (not saying it's happening but possible) to run Kismet all day in the background to look for auth. There's all kinds of pocket doodads at Defcon doing this. Second is motive: your data as revenue is the these things are getting so cheap. Why would they leave free cash on the table?
They can technically do it, and I totally expect them to be doing it already.
As for battery, they would only need to sample a second every few minutes, to see if there was a beacon afoot, quick DFFT, and they wouldn't need to analyze much.
Not saying it's happening, just that it's easily possible. Look how many apps have location permissions that don't need it.
with no media playing it never shows anything, but bring up some youtube or television and it squawks every so often.
1. Same issues as any voice assistant. It only uploads things when voice recognition is actually active, and puts a big icon on the screen to show this.
2. Not screenshots, it uses fingerprints to recognise content.
3. That TV is an older special model advertised with built-in camera for skype. The linked video raises a minor security issue that web pages you navigate to (on your smart TV, how many people actually do that?) can enable the webcam without you knowing.
Most TVs don't have a hidden front facing camera.
4. Audio beacons are hard-coded into the tv content, your smart TV doesn't add them. It's more of a privacy issue with smart phone apps using them, and the studios who add them.
5. Actually true
6. You link to a thread of someone asking if TVs might do this. Nobody has provided any evidence of TVs actually doing it, it's 100% theoretical.
IMO, the fingerprinting and advertising are bad enough. No need to invent extra FUD about what smart tvs can do.
Obviously there's a front facing camera, they're not hiding it. It's even a GOOD webcam, to disable it you push it into the bezel and that physically blocks the camera. Great design.
Beyond that, the criticisms are just "This is a proprietary OS by a company that makes hardware, it's not trustworthy." So why the focus on the camera? It's almost like you're trying to imply that Samsung is integrating hidden cameras just to covertly surveil their customers.
My dryer broke yesterday. I specifically bought an AEG because it was a dumb dryer, not some smart appliance with an app and all that junk. Don't get me wrong, I love smart stuff. In fact, I plugged my new dryer into a Shelly S plug so my home assistant can send me a notification on my phone when it's finished. But I trust my HA. I can never trust Samsung again.
Pi-hole your network for a week and take a look at the logs to see all the crap it has blocked. You'll be surprised.
What are other people's experiences with other brands of TV?
I changed the hotspot password and now the TCL blinks its status light while it's turned on, to chastise me for disabling its internet.
There needs to be some regulation on this - because a boycott will never work, people don't think about boycotts or this sort of thing when they "need a TV today"; they either are shopping for a specific feature or going on price per square inch of screen or cheapest overall. These TVs blowing through 100MB/hr of internet data even while 'off' has to potential to lock people out of their internet connections, or get a large bill for overages. I only have 15GB of hotspot data, and i "need" that for the console, my fixed wireless home internet only has 150GB of data included in the plan, and even if i 'cheat' and use pdanet or something to use my cellphone without the hotspot data in the plan i only have 75GB of data there, as well.
So, in summary, smart TVs need to be regulated. And I really need to sniff that traffic while it's off because what could it possibly be doing? how much storage is on these things?
There are no good high-end “dumb” tv options.
Loewe make really nice, simple, high-end TVs with great picture and sound, which really don't have intrusive 'smart' features. I use mine purely as a 'monitor' for AppleTV (and Nintendo Switch).
The problem is distribution: they're difficult to source even within Europe.
The TV is fairly excellent and the hosted apps are fine and not in your face - the TV comes on directly showing its current input (e.g. in my case from a BT smart box) rather than apps or a start screen or similar. I can also immediately cast media to it by a right click from my PC.
I initially had problems with the overall system integration: I have poor wifi coverage in my house and the TV (Loewe) and sound systems (Linn) wouldn't always work reliably together until I had ethernet wired into my house. Also, and this is not a big problem for me, an Alexa can recognise the Loeve as a device but appears unable to use it for sound output. In the bin for you, Alexa.
I didn't go for an extremely high-end display, but I wouldn't have done that anyway. They seem to be out of stock of a lot of their "4K" models, but they are priced at 600-1000€.
Ships from Sweden, so should be possible for a lot of Europe.
> I had never heard of loewe, but after 10 minutes of searching, I still know nothing more about them - there is no pricing available, no idea where to buy them and no list of models. The one model I could find I also can't find tech specs for because the download link is broken.
Loewe are indeed wonderful TVs totally letdown by their marketing and distribution.
FWIW their website (which I linked to above) does have model and spec information, but it's fair to say that they've fallen off the radar for most consumer-TV review sites, and even their user-base forum is predominantly German-language (although any questions asked in English do receive a response).
I think the problem is that the TV-market is saturated by the major brands, and they achieve market-dominance by stealing and selling their users' data, instead of pricing their TVs realistically. Most people don't care.
If you’re looking for a generic LCD it’s probably fine, but if you’re comparing to an LG OLED you won’t find an ad free option in the commercial market. At least I couldn’t back when I tried.
Giving the TV no network access and using an Apple TV seemed to be the best option.
They don't update the commercial line annually of course, so it's equivalent to a consumer model from a few years ago, but the panels are all the same until the 2021 models anyways.
Scepter brand tv - Walmart -not greatest quality, but at least it’s dumb.
I recently bought a 1080p spectre for my youngest kid, wall mounted it, put an indoor antenna on it and a raspberry Pi running openElec with a wifi dongle.
as far as i can tell, it's a "dumb" tv.
So no phones, appliances, laptops, TVs, memory sticks, SD cards, and whatever else they make. Even if they magically got a better reputation for customer service, the shenanigans with the smart TVs is enough to keep the boycott up.
I swore off buying Samsung stuff after the Galaxy S3. I eventually gave them another chance and bought one of their TVs since the reviews were great. Huge mistake. I hated that thing so much, and recently replaced it with an LG which has been fantastic.
It's sad that this is necessary to keep enjoying a device of $2,000+ that you own, but it has worked beautifully for my Samsung Frame TV.
I’ll put them on my list of devices to never buy then. Jeez.
A good Samsung tv is an offline Samsung tv. A better Samsung tv is one you don’t own.
Wait a second, what if I use my TV as a monitor for my PC?
Sending a screenshot would use too much bandwidth/data on Samsung's side, but a couple dozen bytes every few minutes would not.
I keep hoping this is gonna be the case, but the years roll on, I'm still clicking some stupid consent-popup on every single website I ever visit, and in the meantime TV manufacturers continuously spy on their users, sell their user-data, and push unwanted ads into their interface and even in programs being watched, and apparently no-one (apart from a few of us on HN) seems to care.
Soon it will violate the warranty not to plug it into the network. Probably for “security” or to protect the children.
>noyb uses best practices from consumer rights groups, privacy activists, hackers, and legal tech initiatives and merges them into a stable European enforcement platform. Together with the many enforcement possibilities under the European data protection regulation (GDPR), noyb is able to submit privacy cases in a much more effective way than before. Additionally, noyb follows the idea of targeted and strategic litigation in order to strengthen your right to privacy. We will also make use of PR and media initiatives to emphasize and ensure your right to privacy without having to go before court. Ultimately, noyb is designed to join forces with existing organizations, resources and structures to maximize the impact of GDPR, while avoiding parallel structures.
So I would assume that this is mostly an issue in non-GDPR regions (or they're doing some really ugly legal shenanigans to ignore the denied consent?).
> Legitimate interests is most appropriate as a lawful basis where companies use personal data in a way that individuals can reasonably expect. If it impacts individuals, it can still apply if the controller company can justify there is a compelling reason for the impact the processing will have.
> Companies can rely on legitimate interests for marketing purposes if they can prove that the data usage is proportionate and fair to the user. It must have a minimal impact on the user in privacy terms and be for a reason that people would not be surprised at.
Sadly I would reasonably expect Samsung to sell the data and I would not be surprised by it.
Naturally this is a process most people do not feel like going through, and as such most companies continue flying under the radar :)
Most people don't use their TV to look at that kind of thing anyways.
>They are just feeding image through an alogrithm [sic]
You don't know that.
>Saving it would incur legal problems like copyright
That's not how copyright works.
>and have storage costs
>Most people don't use their TV to look at that kind of thing anyways.
> Data ceases to be personal when it is made anonymous, and an individual is no longer identifiable. But for data to be truly anonymized, the anonymization must be irreversible.
Examples of PII:
A cookie ID.
Internet Protocol (IP) address
Location data (for example, the location data from a mobile phone).
The advertising identifier of your phone.
A tvid is personally identifiable.
> (30) Natural persons may be associated with *online identifiers provided by their devices*, applications, tools and protocols, such as internet protocol addresses, cookie identifiers or other identifiers such as radio frequency identification tags. This may leave traces which, in particular when combined with unique identifiers and other information received by the servers, may be used to create profiles of the natural persons and identify them.
Device Identifiers explicitly covered as a definition of GDPR. Further, IPs are also shared if you are behind an ipv4 gateway and these are also covered.
There was a discussion on HN some time ago, many/all major tv manufacturers suck in your viewing data via HDMI fingerprinting (IIRC) in order to serve up unblockable ads and sell your viewing profile to ad networks. Many tv makers send data to Chinese based servers too, from memory. It’s nuts.
Edit, more reading:
I'd only cut the antennas in a last case scenario. It's more likely they'd have a connector or I'd try to de-solder them first.
Don't forget that the HN crowd is not your average consumer. Most people don't care, or don't seem to have issues with the ads. They just want the best TV they can afford in terms of size and picture quality.
With companies this big, who have been in the consumer electronics market for decades, you can be sure that every decision (like putting ads in a menu) is tested over and over. Obviously Samsung knows that they will loose a tiny percentage of the enthusiast market by placing ads. But the margin on the sale of a TV is pretty slim anyways, and multiple years of ad income for every sold unit is probably worth losing a small fraction of your audience.
People notice, but you have to re-condition them. I know adless hulu and netflix did their part in that fight.
There's a difference between enjoying the current state and accepting the current state. A few years ago, while helping my grandmother find something online, I asked if she would want an adblocker installed. After explaining what it was, and what the effect was, she was over the moon for it.
Ads are noticed by everyone, and are pretty universally despised. The difference is that you and I know that there are options, while less techy relatives assume that nothing can be changed.
Is there ever a point where these advertisers stop and think "no, this is too obnoxious"?
Don't know if it could be applied to current models at all. Not following that stuff, since not using TVs since 1996.
Other than that I just want the thing to be a lowest-possible-latency, accuratest-possible-colour dumb display. No cool shit, just a dumb accurate fast panel.
The first device i had that had this was a Palm, and it wasn't like "here's a remote control" it was "this 1 button will cycle every known TV IR code for the power button." Someone eventually released an actual IR blaster app for Palms, though.
The general quality of hardware can be gleaned as the inverse of how much software is in it.
As for vendor fetishizing: All monitor/TV vendors are terrible.
They were the first to go there circa 2013: boot screen, home screen and volume ads.
But, they got a lot of backlash, and I doubt it was as lucrative as expected, so it appears they removed them in more recent years.
They're also ending their inhouse TV production and outsourcing it for 2022, which probably means they're going to get worse.
Used it to rid my Sony of all the annoyances and the continual “enable samba?” Prompts that kept coming up despite always choosing “disable” explicitly.
Google for “adb remove ads <model/brand>” or similar. 20 minutes helped my wife not be annoyed at popovers on the TV, and saved me countless time looking for the OEM remote. :D
Which will never turn on if you don't agree to the terms & conditions. So far, I've been able to avoid things like ads, but every time the TV pops up with an update I get the Fear.
I do not want ads or voice commands on my devices. Especially not given I paid a premium :/.
The solution to software in TVs is to have no software in TVs. A TV is just a big monitor you plug into your PC (albeit, with 10 years of input lag, caused by the said software that should not exist). General purpose OS like Windows or Linux are a good enough interface to choose what video / stream to watch. You can use some software that runs on startup to provide support for a remote control or whatever comfy thing you think requires buying Samsung Garbage Half Working GUI T5007. This fact was stumbled upon by most 20 years ago (largely due to the warez scene, who unintentionally provided a better user experience than anything corpos could create). The idea of needing a special proprietary GUI is purely artificial. Smart TVs were trying to become a thing for 20 years (and had all the same insane security problems from the get go as with any industry who's software is driven by high churn newgrads). Various marketing pitches failed and failed until around 2010-2012 (can't remember). If you are a geek and are trying to jerry rig a modified proprietary Smart TV firmware into your TV, you have fallen for the marketing trick. There's no way you would have come up with an idea like this if they haven't previously marketed Smart TVs as a thing. A much better and easier effort would be to bypass all the garbage circuitry in modern TVs and monitors to ensure they are an actual useful product that can consume and deliver a video input.
I disagree - I don't think there's anything wrong with having a computer built-in to a TV, as long as the user has control over it (Granted, they obviously don't right now). For the average user, it's going to be far more convenient to be able to stream or play offline media without having to connect an external device. I'm hopeful we'll reach a point where we can install an openwrt equivalent for easy, dark pattern free operation.
The problem is bloat and bugs. And I like my peripherals to be peripherals. I don't think we need to go into discussion of the common user here. They were fine with set-top boxes.
And still I use the webos apps on my LG to watch netflix, Disney, hbo and our national TV channel. It's weird how it goes. There is no getting away from the fact that as long as the app works on my TV its easier to install it and use the stock remote that doing something custom. And since it works OK for 99% of people, the TV producers will ad the little computer, and there will be nothing to save on buying a TV without (if you can even find one).
Additionally, companies like Apple know and believe that if consumers could exercise such control, a large number of them would be deceived into using such control to backdoor their own devices for advertisers and other shady characters, such as is the case in Android-land. Consumers often choose products specifically because they offer the feature that they are completely and totally managed by the vendor.
You may not like it, but many people who don't care much about their privacy from the vendor do.
Can you point me one manufacturer whose is smart tv is simple for the user to replace the software it runs?
You sitting on the sideline are not a paying consumer, and there are two few like you for such a product.
Remember that all TV started dumb, and SMART TV's were always premium products.
As the story shows more and more tragedies, natural disasters, wars, and famines, this character needs to come up with increasingly convoluted explanations for how those can possibly exist in the best of all possible worlds. The reader sees just how foolish this idea is.
The efficient market hypothesis to which you are alluding is just the same, stating that the market state is the best of all possible markets.
Absolutely relevant, by analogy. Pangloss (the character from Candide) is presented as a counter-argument to an overly optimistic view of the world. Pangloss's overly optimistic view dismisses all evidence that this is an imperfect world based on a nebulous and unprovable idea that the world is already as good as it can be. hjtkfkfmr's overly optimistic view dismisses all evidence that this is an inefficient market based on a nebulous and unprovable idea that the market is already as efficient as it can be.
> suggest why it doesn't exist
Sure, here's a list of reasons, any one of which is sufficient for hjtkfkfmr's argument to be invalid. Some of these are general statements about the efficient market hypothesis, and some are arguments about it being inappropriately applied to cases outside of an idealized stock market.
* The efficient market hypothesis assumes that all information needed to evaluate a product has already been disseminated. If somebody is unaware of the extent of advertisements that are present in a device, then they may make a decision that doesn't represent their actual preferences.
* The efficient market hypothesis assumes that all information needed to evaluate a product exists at the current time. Since manufacturers and developers can push software updates that change or remove features (e.g. Youtube being removed from Roku, or the "Install Other OS" feature being removed from the PS3), your typical customer who cannot foretell the future cannot accurately evaluate a product.
* The efficient market hypothesis is a statement about the market at equilibrium. This doesn't apply to reality, which is not at an equilibrium state (e.g. technology development, wars, pandemics).
* The efficient market hypothesis assumes that there are sufficiently many actors in a market to test all possible products that could be developed.
* The efficient market hypothesis assumes that an object's worth to an individual can always be assigned a monetary value, and those monetary values can be compared across individuals. That is, if a poor person is willing to spend $10 on a limited resource (e.g. food to survive), while a wealthy person is willing to spend $1000 on that same resource (e.g. food to waste for their amusement), then the "efficient" allocation is to give it to the wealthy person.
* The efficient market hypothesis assumes that there exists a free market. A market in which competitors are bought out and never actually reach the consumers is not a free market.
* The efficient market hypothesis assumes that there are no barriers to entry. If barriers to entry exist, such as the hardware/software design time needed to start a product, the number of people with expertise to perform that design, the number of manufacturers with availability to construct the hardware, etc, then those reduce the number of suppliers of a product, and so an idea may not reach the market.
My experience with LG's TV software support may have driven me to Roku forever. Age old Rokus still tend to have fantastic app support and run modern versions of their OS.
Yes, because Roku's business model is getting into your living room to spy on you. Of course they'd like to do that for as long as possible!
That’s a biggie. Isn’t it available on the AppleTV app?
For myself, I only use my AppleTV (device), for streaming. I have an LG, but am not a fan of the weird WebOS UI, so I just leave it connected to the AppleTV.
I don't mind the fire stick/tv, and DNS rules but if it gets too much I just won't buy a tv and get rid of it.
I get that it's a nice piece of furniture and such, but if it's hostile, expensive and after a few years becomes worthless - why bother.
I'll fight by not purchasing a tv.
The one thing I'd like fixed is when I watch an in-progress scheduled recording, say 15 minutes behind real-time, the TV jumps in to live TV mode rather than continue to play the recording. I have to manually go and select the recording and then jog forward to the point I was watching. Seems a strange default, certainly different to Kodi. I've been meaning to write a bug report but it would be interesting if this project has a fix.
What am I missing that open source version of smart-tv firmware/software would get me?
2. most devices to plug into TVs are underpowered for some applications, for example I tried to transmit games from my PC to such devices, and they all introduced too much artifacting and input lag, TVs tend to have a bunch of ASIC/FPGA alongside their general processor to handle video and thus can perform better.
3. computers that CAN handle the previous use cases, often are very expensive anywya, so... in a sense doesn't make sense anymore, for example I looked into this and concluded the "cheapeast" option would be a rpi4 with more RAM and SSD... at the prices here it made more sense to buy a actual x86 computer instead.
Then the pi must uncompress the video and audio, convert to the format HDMI uses and send to TV.
All that must be done in less than a millisecond, and depending on your TV model might require it to be done 120 or even 240 times per second.
The way a (presumably non-vsynced) game normally outputs to a monitor is it generates new frames as fast as it can, and each time it instantaneously replaces the framebuffer with the latest frame. Meanwhile, the monitor is continuously scanning out the pixels in the framebuffer to the pixels from top to bottom. Therefore, it will output part of one frame at one point in the screen, then part of the next frame under it (above when the end of screen is reached), and so on.
I was going to give a solution but I just realized that if you have no control over scanout you literally will always have input lag and other strange problems. This is not a performance problem. You need to stream each frame from the computer (and each time a new frame is generated, redirect the stream to source from that new frame) to the Pi, compressing on the fly (never buffer a full frame), and the Pi needs to be able to stream this in parallel through the HDMI cable instead of merely writing stuff into a framebuffer. In such a setup, the input lag will merely be how long it takes for a single bit to go through from the computer to the TV. Not sure if there are good compressors for this (other than DSC), but literally the way this stuff is normally supposed to work is through high speed video connections, not a slow ethernet.
If I want to play super duper games I'll hook up the gaming console directly to my non-smart TV through HDMI.
If I want to play retro games or other bullshit that can run on an RPI 4, I'll hook a controller directly up to the RPI 4.
If I want to use my trackpad and keyboard of my laptop in lieu of having a remote control, I use x2x to shuttle my events to the RPI 4, open Chromium on the RPI 4, and then watch netflix or whatever junk from a full-screen browser window. This is the only place I sometimes get lag, but that's just to start a video playing so it doesn't matter.
AFAICT I'm missing the 4k output that apparently requires some model of TV that ships with smart-tv adware. Outside of that I don't see any costs.
I don't own a TV, but every time I interact with one, be it apple TV, firestick, or some custom on-TV firmware thing, I find the UI reasonably beautiful but an absolute nightmare to use.
This might be because I don't use the TVs the way they are intended to be used. I typically know exactly what I want to watch before even switching it on. Their UIs however are built around aimlessly browsing and picking something off the top of the recommendations.
I always end up wishing I just had a keyboard and a mouse attached.
Eventually I believe it will evolve into something more functional.
These machines are almost impossible to operate without a remote. But remotes are not standardised; nor are the UIs the machines present. As a consequence, I become the only person that can efficiently operate my TV. And when I switch TVs, it takes me a month to learn how to drive it. The girlfriend doesn't have a chance.
Maybe I'm just slow on the uptake.
If TVs were cars, each brand of car would have different arrangements of controls; some would have a joystick for steering, some would have manual accelerator lever like a boat, some would have a horn operated by a foot-pedal, and they'd all have completely different gearstick locations for the different gears.
I need three different remotes to operate my TV: one for the TV, which I use only for switching inputs; one for the Sky STB; and one for my audio amplifier. I need all three to set up a viewing session. This is nuts, not least because none of these remotes is specific to the device they're paired with; each of these remotes has non-functional controls that are obviously meant for some other model, because they have no function or meaning with my model.
Disused remotes pile up in drifts in a cardboard box in my spare room.
Maybe in some distant future, the industry will come up with a standard for remote controls and user-interfaces, such that once you know one, you know them all, and so that any remote can be used to control any A/V device. This would drastically reduce the number of prefectly-good remote controls that end up in landfill.
I have a remote for my receiver and my TV, but I never ever touch them. The nice thing was that the only configuration required was to enable CEC on the TV and receiver. Everything else just worked.
I'm with you on that. Screen keyboards suck, especially on a TV.
I still have my old Netcast 4K TV here, but the software is really clunky. It quite literally comes with advertisements built-in to the main GUI (placeholdered by "Smart LG TV") whenever you're connected to the internet. It's not seeing so much internet these days (some sort of LAN-only solution for Miracast would be nice), though.
Have you ever tried plugging a keyboard into your TV? Most of them have USB ports these days, and I'm sure with Linux they're got the basic keyboard drivers bundled.
It's a different workflow than with a mouse and keyboard, and the software's still generally going to prioritize browsing/top recommendations, but at least you're not dealing with an on-TV UX nightmare (even if it is pretty).
There's an infographic on the differences here:
It is insanely heavy and well built (slightly dropped it once, RIP floor).
The panel: it is much much brighter than a regular TV but the kicker is there is no color or contrasts shift no matter how you look at it. I gamed on it for a while and the pixel response time is insanely fast. It is truly an amazing display. Too bad about the resolution though. I'm not using it anymore but I did not throw it away either.
According to your link (and to what I've seen at work) that's not entirlely correct. One of the differences they give:
> Built to run from 16/7 to 24/7 hours per day, have better cooling for longer runtimes
I bet this alone increases the price but quite a hefty amount.
I'm not the GP, but if they're anything like me, they just want the "dumb" part, not the "runs 24/7/365 at blindingly high levels of brightness".
While a developer, this kind of work is outside my current wheelhouse and I just don’t have the time to learn and fork it myself. So throwing out my desire. Half hoping someone out there wants it more than I do.. and half just expressing my frustration with modern TVs.
Often smaller installs / live events people want simple non-smart screens for all kinds of things (on stage, in waiting areas, musician cues, info to crew, signage, etc), and although it's possible to buy expensive "monitors" that do it - being able to use cheap and large domestic kit with much faster startup and no extra crap, and no logos being displayed while booting or if it loses signal or whatever would be very desirable.
I can assure you there is an even smaller a market for a reverse engineered open source LG TV firmware.
As an extreme case, Linus Torvalds decided to write a terminal emulator, do it straight on the bare metal for his PC, accidentally deleted his OS in the process, then got carried away a bit trying to survive without real OS. None of these decisions made any business sense, yet we have the entire Linux ecosystem out of it.
I’m a “hacker” with multiple LG TVs around the house (in fact I exclusively buy LG TVs) and I have no interest in putting custom firmware on those TV sets. So I can’t imagine there’s many inside the Venn bubble that are both laymen enough to want Netflix, technical enough to know about custom firmware but also motivated enough to want to install it.
So the number of people who want dumb firmware might not be disproportionately less than those who want custom smart firmware.
Not wanting to commit digital piracy makes you a "layman"? What other options are there? I'm assuming you're using "Netflix" as a placeholder for all similar streaming services, but even if not, there are still many shows only available there that you simply can't legally watch without it.
Making a firmware that does "nothing" is probably less work than making one that does a lot of things. So even in the new currency (developer time) it might be cheap and make some people happy.
Which is GPs point. Open source TV firmware means that the manufacturers motives are no longer the totality of the conversation.
It'd be great if say Google pushed TVs in this direction ("Google Display with smart cube. Never have an outdated TV again" or something), but I bet the decommodified dumpster fire of baked in software benefits them too much. After all, the last thing any of those companies in the business of selling "content" wants people to do is to end up plugging in a Kodi box. It's like banks with overdraft fees - by abusing your customers, you make them worry that switching will result in even more abuse, thus encouraging them stick with the abuse they already know.
Vision and HiSense don't incorporate any ads. You can also buy kits to convert your television into, well, just a television.
Also, not having features doesn't necessarily make your TV faster. I have a 39" Seiki from 2013 that takes 6-8 seconds to power on and about 5 to display the image again when changing resolutions. Great panel, wouldn't trade it for another LG at least.
the sceptre panels are stupid cheap, but they fail. and good luck getting an rma through support. otherwise they support hdr and motion compensation etc etc so its not a bad deal
I find it easier to just never connect my TV to the internet and call that as much of a win as I'm gonna get. Though, with this sidewalk stuff, soon even that may not be possible.
This is one of the main reasons I dont buy IoT devices and don't have an oura ring (though I'd like one). I'm skeptical even of the "good" brands and I cant be bothered to set up offline VLANS and the like to "fight" the natural tendency of corporate whores to worm their way into my life uninvited. I think this is why many corporate execs voluntarily forgo opportunities for profit from people like me - power is just so much more enticing.
What's worse is that 5G probably means that IoT devices won't even need our internet connections in future. Imagine a brave new world of subscription lightswitches and TVs to go with already existing subscription phones that turn off when you dont pay the bill. Clearly consumers are clamoring for all of this, since the market will probably one day exist. /s
Organic labeling serves as a good model to follow here.
Obviously before there was a market for organic food many farmers claimed that there wasn't a market for organic food and that outside of a few activists nobody really cared. There was though.
(Amounts in article per month I think) I'd be glad to pay 300$ extra for a good dumb TV, the problem is _no one really wants to sell it_.
And what if I want the smart features, just without the ads and tracking? Where's the "unlock ad-free version" button that Android apps figured out a decade ago?
Looking “clunky” and “old”, more like a dictionary-bookmark than an iPhone, was a feature, to me. It doesn't need to be slick and rounded with a main menu. You certainly don't have to move everything around so that there's a × button in the top-right corner of things that aren't modal popups; that just breaks the pre-existing “top-left corner to go back” idiom (which still exists for the “library” and reader mode).
And whose idea was it to make it so the “change brightness” menu also drew a cross-hatched pattern over your actual book? That makes it so you have to repeatedly enter and exit that menu (which now takes up nearly half the screen, for smaller buttons than before), unless you've memorised the brightness level numbers. You also can't judge at a glance where to touch for the correct brightness level if you do know it, because they replaced the custom 15-little-boxes interface with a generic slider widget that only uses the middle of the range – making it behave differently to every other identical-in-appearance slider in the OS. So what's the point of making it look the same?
The one improvement is that they removed a banner ad (presumably because they wanted the space for extra UI padding). I don't think that's worth it – but I have no choice, because I don't control my own device.
(They also removed the “experimental” from the “experimental web browser”, which might be an improvement, even though it seems the same; there's less UI space thanks to the pad-pocalypse, and it still can't do Cloudflare DDOS-walls properly. Not that I blame Amazon for the latter problem; my browser can't, either.)
I have a paperwhite, but I haven't connected it for a while. Generally when I do connect it to a PC to upload more books, I'll habitually update the software. Its good practice right? Guess I'll now have to remember in perpetuity not to.
Recently I updated my Raspberry Pi setup to find that the latest version of Raspberry Pi OS does not support the official Raspberry Pi cameras (it does add a ton of functionality, including a speed boost for Raspberry Pi 4, but nothing that adds stuff in my setup). So I rolled back everything. And I'll have to remember not to update unless they (or someone else) has added camera support back in.
The point is that I used to laugh at the old guys who refused to update their software. Now I'm turning into them. If everything is working the way I want, why update? Especially for personal devices where the impact of "security vulnerabilities" is so low.
One thing I’d love for it to do is provide unified close caption styling, always on closed captions, automated sound levelling, and automated color / black levelling.
I’m always surprised when I see a tv that has brightness / contrast sliders. That stuff could be easily automated the same way I calibrate my PC display.
So yeah, it was worth it.