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RootMyTV is a user-friendly exploit for rooting/jailbreaking LG webOS smart TVs (github.com/rootmytv)
625 points by thunderbong 61 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 413 comments

> "Slide to root" using a Magic Remote or press button "5" on your remote.

This brings back memories of JailbreakMe[0] with 'slide to jailbreak' in iOS 4. I am definitely starring and rooting my nice LG OLED that is currently an ad-filled cancer-fest.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JailbreakMe

Those were the times :D

They had an entire exploit chain from Safari to root. I can't imagine how much that would be worth today on the black market.

New TVs being ad-filled cancer are the reason why I'm holding onto my old HDTV...

Is there a list of LG TVs this works on? If I buy an LG C1 today, will this allow me to root it?

If you don't connect it to the internet there are no ads.

It still boggles my mind that people connect these things to the Internet :p

It's not just ads though. It's about control and trust.

Even if I don't connect the TV to the internet, I'll still be subjected to their rules. Who knows what this proprietary software is programmed to do? Maybe they wrote it so the TV will connect itself to the first available network it finds, with or without my consent. Maybe it's programmed to punish me for not giving them data by withholding features that don't require internet connection. This software is gonna do whatever is best for the corporation, my interests be damned.

I want software that does what I want without concern about some corporation's bottom line. Software I can trust.

It's not just the ads, control, and trust though. It's also about software performance. Holy mackerel my TCL Roku-infested TV is slow. I just want it to turn on and switch to HDMI input. The software apparently feels a strong need to remind me that it exists.

I would absolutely love something like the utility in the post for my TCL TVs. You hit the nail on the head with your description.

>I want software that... I can trust.

Me too. Unfortunately, the bottom line is - if you didn't write it yourself, you can't trust it. That goes right down to the firmware/compiler level.

I would love to see open-source TV firmware. Or at the very least, some kind of certification that devices are not consumer-hostile.

For most of us, just blocking it from the internet is enough. If you're still worried, you could remove the antenna or wifi module, as some people are forced to with their cars now.

I think the only real solution to consumer-hostile devices is legislation, but that of course comes with it's own myriad problems.

There were a few TV models a couple of years ago that would stop working after enough time without a network connection. When they reconnect, they're clearly going to download a new cache of ads and transmit their existing tracking data.

It's easy to assume that they'll eventually require an unabridged connection to their own servers for updates, and they will simply send all ad data through the same routes such that you can't block one without blocking the other.

This is too lucrative for manufacturers to pass up. The added complexity also ads more points of failure and drives faster industry-wide consumer upgrade cycles. This is not something that will be fixed in the market alone.

There were a few TV models a couple of years ago that would stop working after enough time without a network connection. When they reconnect, they're clearly going to download a new cache of ads and transmit their existing tracking data.

Not quite as bad as that, but since I took my Sony TV offline it regularly reboots itself (when "off") and sometimes needs a "hard" start via the physical power button as the remote on has become unresponsive. I strongly suspect that it's just badly coded, going mad trying to connect to resources that don't exist, filling logs, etc. then failing over.

I so want tracked advertising in all of its forms to be outlawed.

I can see manufacturers embedding a LTE radio/lorawan/whatever into the devices. Not connecting the device to the internet wont be an option in the future for most consumers.

I give it 15 years or so for the tech to mature.

It’ll just share ads over Bluetooth with your refrigerator that won’t turn the compressor on unless it has a connection to the server, so it can determine your cooling subscription is still up to date.

My guess is that it will pick up an ATSC signal which it already has a tuner for.

Ads will play at 3AM and the TV will just record.

Or push it through some kind of subcarrier data signal.

TV will be able to triangulate its location by multilateration of ATSC/DVB-T signals. West end of the city will play different ads than east end.

You could do it with the helium network now. That's a specific reason to avoid helium - it's the closest to a ubiquitous network that will let people spy on your use of ordinary electrical appliances. Unlike TVs, your next fridge won't need an internet connection to spy on your use.

Silly consumer, you need to install the 5g box closer to your family room

Not a TV, but someone recently reported a GE oven that would not let you use a particular feature (convection cooking, IIRC) until you connected it to WiFi.

The coffee machine at work begs and pleads to be connected so it can use “enhanced” coffee recipes. My new clothes washer at home also tries to convince me it’s crucial it gets a Wi-Fi password.

WiFi that has a route to the internet?

Ive connected mine time to time because Amazon won't stream HD to my GPU/TV combo (rx590/LG), but will happily stream 4k via the TV's app. Not a great solution, but its nice to have the option when a friend comes over; otherwise it stays unplugged

> It still boggles my mind that people connect these things to the Internet

Not particularly surprising, given that cable is dying and most content is delivered over the Internet nowadays. Sure, you can use something like an Apple TV, a Roku, or Fire TV, but most people prefer the convenience of a single device rather than having to buy a second device. In fact, LG TVs come preinstalled with almost all the streaming apps: Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, HBO Max, YouTube, Hulu, Plex, etc etc.

People always choose convenience.

The point is don't connect the tv to the internet, connect with a cheap streaming device you bought where you control what comes through it. You can also replace that device that just plugs in via hdmi with another one if some company goes bad and spams you with ads.

I connect my (non-smart) TV to my Roku, which is connected to the Internet. I suspect I'll do the same when I get a smart TV. There are minor ads on the Roku home screen.

> It still boggles my mind that people connect these things to the Internet :p

Well for convenience I'd rather use the built in netflix/hbo/etc apps than use a separate box with a separate remote on them.

Unfortunately those don't work without the Internets(tm).

5G will take care of that or like a smart meter it will eke by on 4G

Until they pick up ads OTA

Current version (v2) of "slide-to-root" might not work on a TV from the store. But there are alternative exploits which involve a bit of manual work (not much). One currently in the wild is the "crashd exploit".

You can join the OpenLGTV Discord for more information:


(check pinned messages in rootmytv channel)

Is Discord the only place they hang out? No IRC or Matrix?

You can also just buy a Sceptre tv, which doesn't even have network connectivity.

I'm not sure how good that panel is. According to my research the LG C1 is among the very best screens available right now.

The best screen in the world isn't worth a tinker's damn if it's full of ads.

It can be worth a lot if we can root it and install our own software.

I have pretty modern (2021) LG WebOS TV for several months and didn't see any ads yet (after I deleted all pre-installed apps besides YouTube and Art Gallery). It is even connected to the Internet (to watch YouTube, obviously). Where do you see yours?

I've kind of noticed this, too. I actually use a LG OLED as my primary desktop PC monitor in my master bedroom, mounted to the wall above a standing desk. I don't usually use it as an actual television for basic sleep hygiene reasons, but I've used it more than zero times in the two years I've had it now, and never noticed any ads in any interface (excluding the streaming apps themselves promotion their own content in their apps).

Same thing on the Sony Bravia I have in my living room, which is what I usually watch television on.

But I do run my own DNS server in an OPNSense router/firewall with some pretty strict blocking rules, and it recurses to a NextDNS server that also has its own blocklists enabled. So if these devices are actually using DNS via DHCP instead of hard-coding their own servers, and serving ads from known ad domains, that would do it.

Checking your profile you're not in the US. I also asked some friends in RO an DE and they say no ads either.

Not sure if LG hasn't got around to sourcing ads for the EU or they're not doing it because of some legal reasons.

Edit: got some screenshots. Apparently you need to agree to the terms and conditions to get ads on a RO LG. Don't know who ever does that.

Serbia is not in EU, but you probably are right.

I bought an expensive LG Oled a few months back and was quite annoyed that every time my kids would turn it on, they were greeted with an ad depicting Peter Griffin in a thong lying on a beach. It was crass intending to be humorous; typical Seth McFarlane fare. The ads on the home screen are a very worrisome indication of where smart consumer products are headed. This root is cool, but I accomplished what I needed by blocking all the LG ad URLs in my router. You can find the list by some simple Googling.

I got a new LG C2, hooked an AppleTV up to it, the AppleTV turns on the TV and it goes straight to the AppleTV Home Screen, when you turn off the AppleTV, the TV turns off (with a slightly annoying “LG: Life is good message”), and no, I’ve never connected it to the internet.

Using it basically as a dumb screen seems fine so far.

Yes, this. Never connect a TV to the internet. Apple TV (or whatever you prefer) and the TV as HDMI monitor only. Firmware updates with USB stick. If it won't work like that, take it back.

Exactly this! I have the same lg oled and I love it. I don't think I've ever even seen the native ui (maybe when I first unboxed it?). I've never connected it to the internet, and don't ever plan on updating anything. What would a firmware update for a dumb monitor even do?

My VISIO had what I believe was a memory leak. After a few weeks it would start getting random white streaks on the screen. After unplugging and restarting, the problem disappears for a few weeks. Firmware update eventually fixed it. So, yeah, sometimes a dumb monitor needs a firmware update. I would think a robot as smart as Daneel would have known that... :-)

That sounds like a great way to encourage users to connect it to Internet. Increasingly degrade the video and audio quality slowly (and randomly) over time while no internet connection is available. Part of the support script should be to advise the user to connect to Internet so that updates can be downloaded to "fix" the issue.

hahaha, yes I should have I suppose! But that is honestly the first actual case of an update for a dumb screen doing something, so hey, learn something new every day.

Then your TV is faulty and you should have returned it. A TV should not need firmware upgrades for its basic functionality.

We are enabling hardware vendors shipping half assed products if we accept things like that.

the problem is that not every one of these streaming devices supports all services, so you end up having a few of them. plus, the free LG channels that come with the TV are great. you get 24x7 channels of some good shows.

Same here. To disable the logo, press mute 3 times to bring up a secret menu.

If the menu doesn’t pop up, try switching to an input source without a signal and then pressing mute 3 times. That worked for me.

Need to look at that. Any other options on the “secret” menu?

IIRC, the only other useful one is whether the light on the front should be off all the time. There are a few other options, but they felt more diagnostic

Amazing. Thanks so much.

I do the same on my Sony TV and it's great. Unfortunately there will probably be a day in the not-so-distant future where that AppleTV has ads. It's probably the same day I start a collection of Blu-Rays.

Apple tv already has ads, but they're at least relevant and not in your face trash that the other companies use. Really it's more like a showcase.

We bought a C2. We went with DirecTV Stream, which oddly there is (or was) no app for on the LG, but there is on the cheaper Samsung in my office. (both Android based) Got DirecTV's streaming box, which boots directly into their service (so no bouncing around in apps for our everyday watching) but also supports the usual third-party apps as well. It's also uses a simpler remote which is nice.

The LG OS is not Android-based. LG bought WebOS from HP many moons ago and adapted it for televisions.

Actually I think I'm wrong on both accounts, as my Samsung TV runs Tizen, not Android. I believe I was thinking about the old FireTV that I put on the C2 at first, as well as the DirecTV Stream device, which both run variations of Android.

I had no idea this was an issue, tv ads? I'm about to buy a new tv for new home. So go-to is buy any new tv but just use Apple TV box instead, and this box is worthwhile?

Yep. Your options are to buy a dumb TV or just make sure whatever TV you do buy doesn't ever connect to the internet, and use an external device to get the content to the screen. There are ads everywhere now.

Roku is just as effective as an Apple TV (and cheaper). Both devices connect to the Internet and feed HDMI to the TV.

Hit the mute button three times and get a useful little menu; turn off the logo if you don't like it.

I have a slightly older LG OLED and I don't get any ads -- I just haven't accepted any of their policy checkboxes and that seems to keep things at bay. There some very minor features (Alexa integration) that don't work but everything else works fine.

I have a C!, and didn't accept the policies either.

This worked for a while to prevent ads, but now the ads ignore the policies and show up anyway, and they became really obnoxious, including the notification system sometimes showing ads while you are using the TV.

I use an nVidia Shield and a TV as a dumb one. It was really good until Google decided all Android TV devices would have to use their bad UI with their homepage full of ads.

You should look into swapping out the default google launcher. Which will remove the ads, remove all suggested content and declutter the main screen. Tons of videos out there showing how to do that on android tv.

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll try it this evening.

I used to love my nVidia shield.

First it was a Disney+ ad, then it was a Tim Hortons ad.

It's gotten so slow I'm planning to replace it in the near future, probably with something from Apple.

When Apple adds ads, think of your pal Hammy Havoc.

Used Nvidia Shield TV since the first gen until the ads started getting really bad and taking up most of the screenspace. That was a very quick way to convert me to an AppleTV user. I know you can replace the launcher on the Shield TV/AndroidTV, but the process is non-trivial and I didn't feel like dealing with it. In my experience, when you have to hack things to make it work, it presents problems later on.

NextDNS is also a great help here.

Did you enable Google services on your oled?

I haven’t seen any ads on my tv, but Google is disabled along with personalization services.

Mine is an older set tho—LGC9 series.

Peter Griffin lying on the beach wearing a thong is the most American thing ever. I don't understand why you are upset.

I'll call it garbage content myself. Keep it outta my retinas.

> Around June-July 2021 LG started rolling out updates which added some minor mitigations that broke our original exploit chain.

It's a damn shame companies feel incentivised to do this.

People hacking on their own TVs is quite literally a victimless crime (besides yourself, if you brick your one TV), because you knowingly void the warranty.

Mazdas have a great third-party firmware called Mazda AIO Tweaks[0] that fixes a whole host of bugs and allows you to customize the infotainment system. The best part is you can use it to enable Android Auto on older Mazdas (this was before AA was even released for Mazda!)

Mazda then proceeded to lock down the firmware so much you now need to take apart some consoles and attach a serial connection. Disgusting behaviour.

(vis-a-vis plugging in an SD card with the scripts you want to run.)

[0] https://mazdatweaks.com/

These exploits should certainly be fixed, they're security holes which can let malware into the TV. The same exploit that lets us root our TV would also allow anyone else to root it.

On the other hand, the ability to physically flash our own software into any hardware we buy should be a basic consumer right. There should be no need for exploits in the first place, it should be a built in feature.

You will never have both, however, the "consumer can flash hardware" one guarantees a remedy to any malfeasant software. The other incents learned helplessness.

> These exploits should certainly be fixed, they're security holes which can let malware into the TV. The same exploit that lets us root our TV would also allow anyone else to root it.

What dangers are there for TVs in terms of malware? This isn't a phone or a computer which holds sensitive information. The very worst that could be done would be to steal your streaming service session cookies.

These goddamn TVs are coming with cameras and microphones now. It's fucked up. I don't even want the manufacturer having access to this. The idea that some malware could install itself in the TV due to internet connection and security holes and have invisible access to these sensors is seriously frightening.

If there are no sensors on the TV, malicious actors can always use it to mine Monero at my expense.

some TVs came with cameras, for gesture based remote control.

yes, it was found that the cameras were abused.

or what if the malware took screenshots of what you were watching every so often? oh wait, that was also found to be a built-in "feature".

otherwise, they are a foothold onto the rest of your internal LAN, possibly with other more vital IoT devices ready to be compromised, or at least serve as a botnet army

I mostly agree with you. I too like to actually own my hardware.

However, another angle to view it is that these are huge security vulnerabilities. Visiting a webpage on your TV to install a custom firmware could also be used for great evil as well.

So letting this huge holes exist is not that great, but there should be an easier on path for people who want their own custom firmware.

I think Google phones do a good job here. It's nearly impossible to accidentally flash your phone with an unsigned firmware, but you can also unlock the boot loader and do whatever you want.

> It's nearly impossible to accidentally flash your phone with an unsigned firmware, but you can also unlock the boot loader and do whatever you want.

From what I have heard, that "whatever you want" excludes important things like banking apps.

That's really on the app. Google provides a flag to the app if they detect tampering, the app chooses to limit functionality.

The security angle is also the way to legislate this stuff away.

Can you explain more explicitly what you mean by that?

Right now, businesses with no expertise in software can make poorly-designed IoTs because there is no cost associated with it.

Forbidding such things will be like whac-a-mole; but forcing businesses to provide security update support for 5 or 10 years if their product offers internet, wifi, or cellular data connections would make some businesses balk.

As with all things, these costs are off-loaded to the consumer and it leads to some serious problems when scaled.

From the business side, having a quantifiable cost for security would also extinguish some bad ideas; perhaps by the bean counters.

> People hacking on their own TVs is quite literally a victimless crime (besides yourself, if you brick your one TV), because you knowingly void the warranty.

Nitpick: it's not a victimless crime, on account of not being a crime at all.

The term "victimless crime" itself is an oxymoron.

> It's a damn shame companies feel incentivised to do this.

There are other comments in this thread talking about disabling ads. The companies are financially incentivized to keep those ads running.

Though on the flip side, I consider ads even more reason to demand full control over my hardware.

Worth noting that in the Mazda case, unlocking Android auto in the 2014-2018 cars is a paid upgrade you can do at the dealer.

So, the incentives there are a lot clearer.

It’s not even a crime. It’s like using a sheet of plywood from the hardware for a novel use other than protecting your windows before a storm.

Or using a tomato for something other than a pizza base.

I love my LG OLED TV even more now that it's rooted and I can watch YT without ads. The install process indeed reminds of iPhone/iPod Touch jailbreak. Fun stuff :)

> I love my LG OLED TV even more now that it's rooted and I can watch YT without ads

you don't need to root it to watch Youtube without ads. you just need to pay for Youtube premium.

That’s true for ads from youtube (I have yt premium myself) but not for ads directly in the video. The yt app from the homebrew store has sponsorblock[1] integrated which can skip these too.

[1] https://github.com/ajayyy/SponsorBlock

WOW, SponsorBlock is something I didn't know I needed so bad! Thanks a lot for sharing. (I also pay for yt premium btw)

FUN FACT: yt-dlp (the new youtube dl cmd line app) also has sponserblock integration so it can automatically download files and strip the ads from the video file if you specify the "--sponsorblock-remove all" argument. There are other arguments you can pass to fine tune this, check the docs.

I’d much rather have the full video file and instead have it be possible to skip at the point of playback. I believe this is possible too: yt-dlp can mark the sponsored sections as a separate chapter in the video file.

If you are talking about in video sponsorship segments, how does sponsorblock know when they start or end? Are creators required to tag their sponsorship segments with timestamps somewhere?

The data is crowd sourced from other sponsorblock users.

It's even gamified a little bit; the add-on tracks how much time your submissions have saved other people (so if you block out 30 second sponsor spot, and 10 users skip that spot, you get credited with 300 seconds of time save), and there is a leaderboard. Popular YouTubers like Linus tech tips will have their sponsor spots identified and submitted within a couple of minutes of uploading because the high view count is worth a ton of time save.

Something else a lot of people don't know is that it can be configured to skip things that are not simply sponsor spots, stuff like filler, intro and and cards, begging for subscriptions, and so forth. That add-on is the single greatest quality of life improvement YouTube has ever seen.

> it can be configured to skip things that are not simply sponsor spots, stuff like filler, intro and and cards, begging for subscriptions, and so forth

Amazing! I didn't know that. Now I'm starting to wonder why I ever tolerated this noise in the first place...

Wow! Can I still cast YouTube videos from my phone to TV? I understand that it is not a screencasting, phone app just sends video id and control signals.

Yes casting still works! Just rooted my tv, my wife thinks I'm a genius XD

Or alternatively, you just want autonomy over the device you own, and want to predicate how the pixels are being lit up on the screen, and not according to some conglomerate's terms.

Imagine paying YouTube not to degrade your own experience only to end up being advertised to anyways by hardcoded video sponsors. Not to mention driving the value of your attention up.

Don't get extorted. The right answer to all YouTube advertising is uBlock Origin and Sponsor Block.

Not sure why you are getting downvoted when that's the obvious solution. I use YouTube Premium and don't see any ads on my TV.

People say "just let me pay" but when the option is there no-one really does. They just want free things.

YouTube provides their content for free. They just don't want to provide that content without strings attached, they want to force their users to watch advertising.

The only way to provide content for free, yet force users to watch advertising, is to lock down users' computers and remove their freedom to control their own computing. That's what most HN users are against, as it goes against the philosophy of free software [0].

If YouTube doesn't want to provide free content, they have all the liberty in the world to remove free content from their site and provide it only for YouTube Premium users. But they don't want to do that, they want to have their cake and eat it too.

[0] https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html

> YouTube provides their content for free.

But YouTube provides very little content of their own. They are primarily a hosting platform used by third-party content providers.

If YouTube doesn't want to make content accessible for free anymore, it would undermine the use case of the vast majority of people who use it to distribute their own content.

I don't know what their finances and operations look like internally, but I suspect that the revenue they are bringing is enough for them to operate very much in the black, despite some proportion of their audience blocking ads, just as traditional broadcast TV networks have been profitable for decades without having nay mechanism to ensure that viewers are watching commercials.

Perhaps YouTube should just accept that ad blocking is part of the market landscape they operate it, and plan their monetization around reasonable estimates of the actual reach of their ads with blocking taken into account. Potentially undermining their core business model just to increase ad viewership by a few percentage points doesn't seem like a sound strategy.

> If YouTube doesn't want to provide free content, they have all the liberty in the world to remove free content from their site and provide it only for YouTube Premium users. But they don't want to do that, they want to have their cake and eat it too.

If you believe in the philosophy of free software to the letter YouTube can't do as you suggest. If they were to offer a paid only service to Premium members that respects their freedoms, that content should also be freely distributable to others. That undermines their entire business model.

I don't think that this is a real problem. There's nothing stopping you from downloading a video and emailing it to a few friends, but there's no viable alternative to YouTube as a video distribution platform. If you wanted to take a lot of videos from YouTube premium and share them all with the world without having to worry about bandwidth costs, what are your options?

Torrenting is the only real solution that comes to my mind, but that only works for the most in demand media. If you want the long tail, then as I see it, YouTube's (or similarly Facebook's) infrastructure offers the only viable solution, and there's no alternative to paying them for maintaining this infrastructure, either via ads, or via a subscription.

> If you wanted to take a lot of videos from YouTube premium and share them all with the world without having to worry about bandwidth costs, what are your options?

I also want to be able to feed, shelter, and educate the whole world without having to worry about costs, but I have no options.

I don't agree that this is true, you don't have to have free content to have FOSS devices, but sometimes your business model doesn't work. I'm not obligated to buy your stuff.

When you say 'free content' do you mean free as in beer or free as in freedom?

I agree that 'free as in beer' is not required for a 'foss device', but I don't see how you can have content which is not 'free as in freedom' on a foss device. Without DRM and licensing restrictions, how can YouTube prevent premium users sharing that content with non-paying individuals?

To be clear I am not saying it is right or wrong, just a statement of facts. All I am suggesting is that both business models (ad supported free (beer) content or paid subscriptions) do not respect free software principles. Either way, you are restricting what a user can do with that content.

But this is like saying "how can you have non-free things in a supermarket, when anyone can put them in a pocket and leave?"

The propaganda is so pervasive that we believe that people must be made physically unable to steal, otherwise they definitely will.

I don't understand that analogy. I've never been to a supermarket without some degree of security, and laws form a deterrent. Sure, we could say that violates my freedom to take what I want (and it does) but trading some liberties are what allows us to have a civilised society where we don't all steal from each other.

> The propaganda is so pervasive that we believe that people must be made physically unable to steal, otherwise they definitely will.

Are you suggesting that if tomorrow YouTube removed all their DRM and turned into a paid for only service, that content would not be freely distributed to non-paying individuals? Hell, content with DRM is getting torrented all the time.

Again, and I want to stress this, I'm not saying it's 'right' or defending YouTube's business practices. I just don't see how either business model can be reconcilled with the Free Software principles.

> I've never been to a supermarket without some degree of security

And I've never seen a video streaming site that just gave you links to download the videos. They all have some degree of security, but no supermarket ever tied my hands behind my back on entry.

> Are you suggesting that if tomorrow YouTube removed all their DRM and turned into a paid for only service, that content would not be freely distributed to non-paying individuals?

No, I'm suggesting that not everyone would steal it, in te same way that not everyone shoplifts now. In fact, I will go so far as to say that the convenience of Netflix over torrents is so great for the average person, that they'd keep paying even if there was no DRM on Netflix, because

> Hell, content with DRM is getting torrented all the time.

> And I've never seen a video streaming site that just gave you links to download the videos. They all have some degree of security, but no supermarket ever tied my hands behind my back on entry.

What security measures can YouTube employ which are compatible with FOSS? How can they prevent users copying the content if the content is DRM free and has an open license?

> no supermarket ever tied my hands behind my back on entry.

Again, I don't follow this analogy. The overwhelming majority of people are quite happy consuming content with DRM and heavily restricted license agreements, it adds no friction to their experience.

DRM and license restrictions only matter when you want to break their terms, which is analogous to the point in a shop when someone tries to steal something. It's only at that point does the DRM feel restrictive, in the same way that you would expect your hands to be tied behind your back in a shop if you steal something.

> No, I'm suggesting that not everyone would steal it, in te same way that not everyone shoplifts now. In fact, I will go so far as to say that the convenience of Netflix over torrents is so great for the average person, that they'd keep paying even if there was no DRM on Netflix, because

I did not suggest everyone would 'steal it' (whatever stealing means with open licensing) but enough would for it to significantly materially impact their business. As it stands, licensing and DRM protections mean that none of the big players will touch hosting another's content, YouTube's legal team would be would be all over them like a ton of bricks. If they removed the restrictions though, why not give it a go? Twitch could host say the top 10% of gaming content off YouTube and earn ad revenue off it, or include it as part of Twitch Prime ad free.

It's really interesting you bring up netflix because it probably demonstrates this problem more clearly. If netflix removed their license restrictions, that means a big player could host their content and pretty much only pay the bandwidth costs. I appreciate that's no small feet, but it's certainly easier than making the content in the first place and paying the bandwidth fees. YouTube is certainly at the scale that they could trivially host all of Netflix's content and their business would be gone overnight.

The only reason people keep paying for netflix is because piracy has friction. That friction only exists because of the restrictive licensing and DRM.

> I've never been to a supermarket without some degree of security, and laws form a deterrent.

For what it's worth, I have been to some unattended small shops (particularly in smaller places around Europe) that are fully trust-based, with just self-service credit card checkout or a money box that you should put the right amount in, and it seems to work. I don't know if it would work for a large supermarket, but I think we are getting there, with the proliferation of self-service, and camera-based technological solutions like Amazon's.

Really this makes perfect sense in locations where most people are honest and the dishonest minority are just pilfering the occasional chocolate bar and not unloading the entire store into a waiting van.

As long as increased levels of theft doesn't exceed the salary they would otherwise have to pay, it's a good deal for the store owners.

Interestingly, one of my coworkers from India expressed disbelief in the trust that cafeterias had in their customers wherein one gets their food from a fridge or hot service and then, with the food in hand, voluntarily walks over to the cashier to pay for it instead of just walking out not paying. He said that system wouldn't work in India (whichever locale he is from) because nobody would voluntarily pay.

I agree with the other child comment to you that such systems only work in a highly trustworthy society.

> If they were to offer a paid only service to Premium members that respects their freedoms, that content should also be freely distributable to others

That's not true, as content is not software.

Old school TV, and cable companies, lost this argument looong ago. Commercial skipping by a variety of products was challenged in court ; they lost.

They also lost before commerical skipping existed, in the 80s, when they tried, and again failed to get VHS recording of live TV banned, because you could fast forward through the commercials.

Before that, there were attempts to make it illegal to record songs off of the radio, going back to the 70s!

So many attempts were made at this, that many countries have legislation which makes recording off of TV, for personal use, specifically legal.

Democracy has spoken.

In other words, youtube's model of injecting commecial content into freely viewable media, and hoping people won't modify it to their tastes, is a proven failed business model.

Any executive which thinks this is the path, and they one can legally enforce it, is literally delusional and unfit to ply their trade.

All their hand-wavy attempts to get around this, via encryption, via copyright have also failed repeatedly.

This business model is still alive, but control of endpoint is dead, dead, dead.

I think you're wrong. I'm a big advocate of open computing, but I think that endpoint autonomy is in as much danger as it ever was, if not more. You're describing that legal challenges to market-based or grassroots ad skipping etc. have failed, but consider that the legal route is out of fashion. What companies do now is sell a locked device. See windows on ARM, safetynet, [whatever apple is doing]. I love this click-to-root hack, but it's really a "play 2009 games, win 2009 prizes" situation. Good luck trying this on a game console or an Amazon echo.

Don't know about Echo, but I just jailbroke and wiped an Amazon Fire Stick and installed TWRP and LineageOS on it. The exploit to unlock the bootloader has been patched in the latest firmware, but I don't see the arms race ending any time soon.

That's awesome. I have some old kindle fires with lineage. I mentioned the echo because they have been iterating the hardware to make it harder and harder to gain access. For example, I have one[0] where they removed the USB port.

[0] https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Amazon+Echo+Dot+3rd+Gen+Disasse...

> is a proven failed business model.

Except in this case, where it’s a proven successful business model.

Your history is incorrect.

Universal Studios sued Sony over BetaMax not because it was worried about skipping commercials, it wanted to be able to sell movies instead of people being able to record it.

The first lawsuit about programmatically being able to skip commercials which is more akin to the crowdsourced YouTube skipping creator embedded sponsorship was in 2001 when 28 studios sued ReplayTV out of existence.


Also see: no cable tv was never ad free except for premium channels like HBO.

> Old school TV, and cable companies, lost this argument looong ago. Commercial skipping by a variety of products was challenged in court ; they lost.

In spirit, you're right. But legally, the DMCA was specifically intended to give the media companies what they had always wanted but been denied by the courts.

I don't understand your point. A lot of people are OK with watching YouTube with ads, and the rest can pay for YouTube Premium. Why would they remove free content?

The parent comment was talking about YouTube Premium as a better solution to the ad problem, implying that jailbreaking your system for the purpose of disabling ads is somehow bad. I explained how jailbreaking is actually just taking control of your computing, since YouTube already provides the content for free, and wants to monetize it by taking the control away from the users.

YouTube could monetize their content with YouTube Premium without taking the control away from the users, by means of not letting anyone view the content without paying. But they do not want to do that, as providing content for free is what made YouTube popular in the first place. So they lock down the users' machines.

They're the ones sending us videos free of charge. They're doing it assuming we're gonna look at all this noise. Unfortunately for them, their assumptions aren't gonna hold. We're just gonna delete the parts we don't want. Just like we can rip out the ad pages on a magazine and throw them away.

Where's the YouTube plan where Google doesn't track me, where I get zero ads, where YouTube itself blocks hardcoded sponsor segments in videos, where YouTube allows me to download videos DRM-free? Because we already have all that without paying them a cent. You want us to pay them to have less freedom and power than we already have? Nope.

I mean, this hauteur is nice and all, but typically people pay for things that they want to see continue existing. When you aren't paying in money, the only recourse is to pay with your attention. Refusing to do either is just social abrogation.

I pay for YouTube Premium because I won't sit through ads but I want creators to get paid (and apparently at a better rate than without it). I also use SponsorBlock, by the time I've watched a channel's back catalog I've often already signed up for their Patreon. I can't practically do so for every channel, so making sure they get their impression money is minimally just.

> typically people pay for things that they want to see continue existing

That makes things even easier. I don't really want surveillance capitalism corporations like Google to keep existing. Therefore I won't pay them for anything, not even with my attention. "Minimally just" has nothing to do with it. Any data they have on me, they took despite my best efforts to deny them. If creators can't make it work without exposing me to this evil, that's OK too. It was never meant to be.

> signed up for their Patreon

Yeah, I think this is the way to go for creators. They get paid before they create for the act of creating. This is the only thing that makes sense in the 21st century. Outdated stuff like ads and copyright needs to go, if they refuse we'll force them out with amazing world changing technology like uBlock Origin, Sponsor Block, Ad Nauseam and the almighty ability to copy that every computer inherently possesses.

>> it can be configured to skip things that are not simply sponsor spots, stuff like filler, intro and and cards, begging for subscriptions, and so forth

> Amazing! I didn't know that. Now I'm starting to wonder why I ever tolerated this noise in the first place...

This you?

Yes. Is there a problem?

Isn't the recourse then to ignore the product? Not take their stuff on your own terms just because you really want it?

No. This is just adversarial interoperability. Ignoring their silly "our way or the highway, take it or leave it" deals is what user freedom is all about.


The article defines the term but it does a poor job justifying it in the context of this discussion. Sure, it can be a tool to weaken large companies which is a good thing I guess, but it doesn't address the fundamental idea that we have always traded value for value. If we don't like the trade, we don't make it.

There is no "trade" here. I make an HTTP request, their servers send a reply with free data. If they don't want to serve me, all they need to do is return 402 Payment Required.

It's not like I'm hacking into their servers and exfiltrating data against their will.

This is pretty silly. You aren't Fighting The Man by not receiving ads paying for the stuff you consume. Google is The Man and they'll be fine. But they don't pay creators for videos viewed via adblock, and I sure hope you're putting money in the till for them.

I agree with this article but I think it's actually a lot simpler than that.

Our attention belongs to us. Our minds are sacred. Not a single corporation on this earth should have an assumed right to "compete" for our attention or otherwise exploit it for personal gain. Our attention is not theirs. They have no right to sell it off to the highest bidder. There really does not need to be any justification beyond this.

Economic harm? It doesn't matter how much money they lose. When some advertising corporation calls ad blockers "robbery" I can only laugh. I call their advertising robbery. They rob us of our attention. They mind rape us, inserting their little brands into our awareness without our consent. I think they belong in jail for this stuff. Blockers are just legitimate self defense, we're just protecting ourselves against these malicious corporations trying to manipulate us with their advertising for profit.

And yet broadcast TV has existed for decades, supported entirely by ads, with no tracking or spyware involved, and with nothing restricting our ability to fast-forward through commercials.

I wish Google offered the option to do something like this:

  1. pay 2 cents (or whatever the value is to Google for a single ad view) for each ad skipped

  2. if your total cost exceeds the monthly cost, just pay the monthly cost
That may not make sense from Google's perspective, but on the consumer side, I'm a lot more likely to sign up for that scheme than paying a monthly fee for youtube.

I pay for hulu without ads because we watch enough hulu for that to make sense. But I watch probably a handful of videos on youtube a month. I can't really justify paying for youtube premium in that case.

I don't say "just let me pay". I really just want free things.

*watch YT without ads and paying

I've got a 2017 LG TV and I hate it. It's always been buggy and some of the hardware was underspecced even for 2017. I was getting ready to replace it but this Jailbreak might buy it a few more years

Isn't the panel good? Can you not get a driver and replace the current one? It'll turn it into a dumb TV, which sounds preferable than the current thing.

It's strange - the panel looks good for some content, but bad for others. When there is a solid colour on the screen, you can see banding really easily. I also was seeing a bit of subtle colour flickering when watching HDR content on Netflix.

Otherwise, it generally looks ok, but (and I understand that this may just be a preference) I have an older Samsung panel and I think it looks better.

It's the nature of the thing, OLEDs can't display perfectly uniform colours. It's most visible on greys.

Absolutely, it's particularly noticeable on this panel though

Assuming that is an android TV, you could also use smarttubenext. No ads and it also comes with sponsor block and IMO has better UI.

I have youtube premium but I still prefer smarttubenext over default android tv youtube app

>Will this break Netflix/YouTube/AmazonVideo?

>No. This does not break or limit access to subscription services or other DRMed content.

I can't run Netflix app on rooted Android, but could on a rooted TV. I guess this isn't something Netflix was prepared for.

You can also watch pretty much anything on a "rooted" computer (i.e. one where the user has admin access). I'm not entirely sure why phones are the one device where that's somehow considered a big deal.

But Netflix only allows 720p on computers because of this. So there's that...

Incorrect. I can watch 4K on my PC just fine using Edge or the Windows App, you also get 4K with Safari.


Important to note you need a very recent version of Safari. If you are using an older MacMini as your HTPC, your Safari version may not be new enough. I found this out the hard way. Edge on macOS works though.

that's interesting. I wonder how Netflix detects that. would it be as simple as using an Edge user agent, or more complex using the Edge browser engine with embedded DRM keys

to get 4K resoltution with Edge on Windows, you need to activate VBS (Virtualization-based Security) and Secure Boot. In that config, DRM keys are stored in a trusted application in secure world, and Edge from normal world ask the TA to decrypt the stream.

Server side Netflix has nothing to do, just send out the encrypted stream if asked by a client.

if asked specifically by a proven Windows client with VBS and secure boot enabled? or could the same method be implemented on any OS?

The entire graphics chain needs MS signed drivers, so no.

(Netflix do the same thing on MacOS with Apple signed drivers, backed up by hardware based security.)

thanks for the info

Edge supports Microsoft's PlayReady DRM and Safari supports Apple's FairPlay DRM, both of which are stronger than Widevine.

are each of those tied to their implementors? or can they be used on any supported OS and hardware like widevine can?

All of them have varying levels of secure implementation, and services will usually only send high resolution content to devices that can demonstrate (with signed keys) the more secure options.

Including Widevine. Widevine Level 3 is a software based solution that can be used on a variety of platforms, but the space for Widevine Level 1 requires OS and hardware integration (which doesn't include Windows for example, but is available for Android if the OEM does the requisite work).

it's a shame. really don't understand the thinking behind it. it's easy for them to detect and ban shared accounts, but it's also easy enough to rip a decrypted stream, even if it is only at 1x rate. not sure why they bother. I suppose their recompense for piracy comes from those manufacturers willing to pay them for signed keys in exchange for hassle-free compatibility

I thought that 720p was a linux limit, AFAIK on macOS and windows at least you get 1080p, but sucks that you can't watch in your fully capable hardware in a good quality. Amazon does the same.

720p is non-widewine-DRM limit afaik. Free as in freedom distros don't have proprietary DRM that would allow you to watch more than 720p by default, but you can install the proprietary blobs and get higher resolutions.

You need widevine to play Netflix at all, and widevine is always proprietary. It has a few modes though, L3 is software only (easier to crack) and it's commonly limited to lower resolutions. L1 uses hardware to decrypt and will only output video over encrypted connections (like HDCP). Since L1 is harder to crack you need it to get the full resolution. I don't think there's any implementation of L1 for Linux other than for android and probably some custom embedded ports. There's also L2 but idk what that does.

> You need widevine to play Netflix at all

No you don't. Safari doesn't support Widevine at all for example.

Oh right, I forgot about FairPlay and PlayReady. They exist too, and you need some DRM system to watch Netflix regardlesss.

Not on my gear (all Linux). Also, what do you think Android is?

That's funny. Wonder if there are any DRM keys that can be extracted after root.

If there were they would be revoked.

I guess their WebOS app doesn’t have root detection.

What happens if they add it?

They only add it on mobile devices were you can download the content to view it online as a decryption key has to be stored locally and the content producer don't want them to facilitate piracy /backup copies.


You can run Netflix on rooted Android, you just have to hide root from the app

the operative word here is "just"

As someone who has hid root from banking apps in the past, there is no just here. You need to keep up with release notes of software updates in several components (custom OS, magisk and any roothide mods you use). That's fun to do for a while, but not long term. And definitely something I wouldn't expect from the mythical average user.

I agree, but the average user doesn't generally root his android phone. If you have the technical abilities/motivation to root your phone, you may have the ability to use MagiskHide and manage an exclusion list in Magisk.

I agree, it's not for the average user. I'm happy to root my android (mostly because android backups really suck otherwise) but would definitely not recommend it to most people. I think it took me an average of 2 hours every 6 months to keep hiding root correctly.

> you just have to hide root from the app

No longer going to be possible due to hardware remote attestation.

It's usually Samsung people talk about with regards to spying on Smart TV, and reports saying they send regular screenshots home for analysis.

I don't know if LG does the same, but in terms on ads in the display I ... never really found it to be anything.

I sold my 55" LG OLED highend model last year when moving, but except for a "recommended app"-showing on the main menu I don't recall any nag-ware. I also found the smart TV features to beat most, if not all, dedicated boxes in speed and usability and preferred it to Apple TV.

What bothers me most on the Samsung TVs is that there are ads in the menu. It's one thing to see ads in a website or other content that is "free" and need to be monetized. But a TV in which I paid for doesn't make any sense.

The argument often made here is that the tv is being sold cheaper and then the value lost is made up with ads. My Samsung TV was pretty cheap compared to others but I just pointed it at my Pi-Hole and don't have that annoying ad anymore.

That argument would make sense if they gave consumers an option.

Makes sense for Samsung. :(

Microsoft Windows also does this.

LG webOS is still one of the better experiences on smart TVs for sure. It is generally smooth with good app support and experience and like you said limited built in ads.

While not perfect it is the system I like the most if I have to use a smart TV. I do still prefer an Apple TV 4K though.

Damn if webOS is one of the best I would hate to see the others. I find it to be laggy and poorly laid out.

I had been keeping my LD up-to-date but with each new update there was an additional service with its own privacy agreement with a name I'd never heard of.

Now all smart functionality is via the Apple TV.

Same, there are no ads on my LG TV that i can see, unless the occasional recommended app (which at least on one occasion, for Stadia, also told me I'll have a free few months if i sign up now).

Yeah, that's an ad.

I have a Samsung TV but don't use the smart features. I was annoyed by the ads to because it would also change the order when switching devices. Furthermore, I found online that not accepting the privacy terms would remove all apps and ads, this indeed works great.

Hmm that's interesting, there's a guy above saying the exact opposite. I'm about to buy a new tv and this is something I never considered.

Given how bad Samsung is at protecting user data, this is basically a Trojan with similar consequences.

bottom left corner of the app menu had an HBO / House of the Dragon ad when that show launched a few weeks ago.

> We would like to thank:

    · LG, for patching symptoms of bugs rather than underlying causes...

I think it's called "Test Driven Development" ;)

I‘ve rooted my LG tv with this method a few months ago and have no issues. Everything works just fine including 4K Netflix/Prime/Disney. I like the homebrew apps and the fact that this jailbreak somewhat limits the data my tv sends to LG.

How long until your (very expensive) car has you as a trapped audience and starts showing ads until people feel forced to root it

Imagine ads when emergency brake is on so people stop using that.

TV you can bypass with a media device (good idea for portability/repalcement too)

But a car, can't

"It looks like you're having a car accident. Would you like to add mens underwear to your shopping list?"

You won't own the car, you'll just request it via an app (like a self driving taxi) and then you also won't have any ability to root it.

Yes, and it will be self-driving, but the entire windshield and console will be replaced with a giant TV screen playing unmutable ads.

If you pay extra, you can have a "limited ad" experience, and see a virtual view out the windshield or even play content from partner subscription services.

That doesn't seem so bad. By that point we'll have AR headsets to drown all that out.

Of course, those will have ads too.

Yep, and if your social credit score is too low then your request will be denied and no car will show up. Don't like it? You can't protest, because no car is available to take you to the protest. Hooray for progress!

"You'll own nothing and you'll be happy."

Fortunately you will be able to purchase Apple EyePods with Active Noise Cancellation. Similar to Zaphod's Peril Sensitive sunglasses. Only costs a single kidney too.

I feel like my HDMI inputs are third party citizens on my LG TV. I have to scroll past all the stupid apps to choose one of them. And if I press the wrong button, it somehow opens up the LG fake TV channels which defaults to the country music channel. It's an incredibly strange experience. I don't mind all that smart TV stuff but to prioritize it above things like my Chromecast or BluRay player is odd.

My LG will switch to whatever HDMI inputs "activates". It defaults to my Chromecast w/Google TV, but if I turn on my Steam link, or Blu-ray player the input automatically switches.

The problem is if you have a PC connected. PCs generally don't support HDMI CEC or eARC or any other mechanisms to signal the TV to turn on or change inputs. This is supposedly for security reasons.

If you haven't yet, you could put your HDMI devices on the quick access buttons (long press on the number buttons). I pretty much never use the home screen, despite using multiple HDMI devices and a bunch of streaming services.

Not only does this work wonders when the TV is already on, you can even configure QuickStart+ so that the quick access button actually turns on the TV (while switching to that input).

I don't have any buttons on my remote except home, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. If I accidentally press one, I have to go through the home screen and scroll through all the default apps to get back to my HDMI inputs.

On my C8 at least, you can reorder all items, including HDMI ports. Did that change? (I'm looking at a new TV for my office and that'd sure change my mind.)

I wish more projects existed like this for other manufacturers. It really bugs me that you buy a "smart" tv knowing full well they've already dropped support for it and wont release anything other than essential bug fixes.

Hisense TV's suffer from this massively (the ones running VIDAA).

Please note that it doesn't work on current versions. One of the maintainers said back in July that they were working on a new exploit chain to be release in a month, but no news after that.

So if I've already upgraded my LG Tv to the latest version, I cant rollback and jailbreak?

There are alternative ways of rooting latest version, but it involves a bit of manual work instead of just sliding.

One such is 'the crashd exploit', you can find instructions for that in the OpenLGTV Discord.

If Software Freedom Conservancy win their lawsuit against Vizio for GPL violations in their TVs, and similar lawsuits reach LG webOS TVs, then RootMyTV will be helpful for replacing the LG webOS with open source Linux distros with Kodi or KDE Plasma Bigscreen. Allowing the vendor operating system to remain on the device after you purchase it basically means ads/spyware these days.


> Allowing the vendor operating system to remain on the device after you purchase it basically means ads/spyware these days.

i don't know about this, but what i do know is that WebOS on LG is miles ahead of any PC, Chromecast, Apple TV etc etc

Miles ahead in what sense? Swiss army knife of shit you dont need is sometimes inferior to just having a small PC if it suits you better. Feel like itd enable more control and privacy

Miles ahead how? It sucks. It looses wifi all the time and I have to do a crazy change on settings. I got tired and got a Fire TV Max. No more problems.

My experience with the open source TV software is that they're all buggy and terrible. I don't really want to be tech support for people in my family complaining the TV doesn't work because the software is janky. I'll just keep the Roku TV software and do some DNS blocking and that will be fine.

The proprietary software will of course continue to be the default that most people use and that is fine for folks who don't mind the misbehaviour or are capable of blocking the misbehaviour. Eventually the blocking might no longer be possible though, because for example a proprietary software update on the device switched to DNS over HTTP or TLS instead, which would circumvent the blocking.

Lobotomize my TV.

Or yours.

My TV was a AU$420 42" LCD that was approximately the last of the models that dont have built in bullshitware.

One day it will break I suppose. Probably should have bought ten of them.

Now might be a good time to stick up on secondhand dumb TVs.

Fortunately I enjoyed watching movies / series, but not so much that I think a $3000 / better quality display would enhance the experience significantly. I also can't justify that sort of expenses on a screen.

Lobotomizing my TV is an apt description for what I did to my old TCL. I just removed the entire wireless module.

I got a 48 in LG from Costco for $300 (OLED C1 can be had for around $800 I think). I just never hooked mine up to the internet. Works just fine. I use an Apple TV to watch streaming stuff.

Is there any way to root a third generation Chromecast and install AdBlock for YouTube? I have been trying to use dns.adguard.com for my Openwrt router and it does not seem to block YouTube ads on my Chromecast.

On a side note: the difficulty in blocking ads has shown me how much control I have lost over my devices.

Is there any way to make a newer chromecast (the 4k/newer model with remote) behave like the old ones? I.e. completely skip the apps interface and simply work like a casting receiver?

I have zero interest in using apps, I just want to cast stuff from my phone. My old (non-4k) chromecast switched to the correct htmi input and started the TV when I started casting to it. The new white one doesn't even show a stream if you cast to it when in the "app" interface which is its default interface.

Instead you have to use the remote and leave the app interface first (go "out" to the photo/clock/screensaver interface which was default on older ChromeCasts), and only then you can cast to it? Am I misunderstanding something? Is there a configuration option to just make it a "dumb but 4k" chromecast, i.e. so that it boots up in the mode that accepts streaming?

I don't know about Chromecast models but using the Google Home app on android I just tried casting to my Nvidia Shield and the Shield started receiving it with no button presses on the Shield remote needed. I don't let the Shield turn the TV on so can't comment as to whether that would have worked.

I'm using this on my latest generation chromecast, not sure if it works on 3rd generation though. Works great!


The Chromecast modding community is very small considering how many devices there are out there.

I think it's a combination of Google having a pretty strong security team (so there aren't many exploits), and geeks not really wanting to use Google stuff anymore.

You don't really need to jailbreak your LG tv to install custom apps(like adfree Youtube), you can just put it in developer mode and have a cron somewhere(I use Pipedream) that keeps activating developer mode every 24h or so(it deactivate itself every 48h)

> You don't really need to jailbreak your LG tv to install custom apps(like adfree Youtube), you can just put it in developer mode and have a cron somewhere(I use Pipedream) that keeps activating developer mode every 24h or so(it deactivate itself every 48h)

I've been doing this as well. I love the idea of rooting but not being able to get system updates bugs me a bit.

So instead of just removing the root cause of the problem, you'd rather leave the problem in place and then maintain a permanent workaround that has to run someplace else?

Yes, the "permanent workaround" is literally permanent, it works all the time while the jailbreak solution works only when the vulnerabilities are not patched by LG.

I also prefer keeping my tv software up to date with patching, I don't want to jailbreak and keep the tv software at the specific vulnerable version.

I’m doing this as well. Works great.

I don’t understand, what is the point of doing this? Eliminating ads? Expanding functionality? It’s not clear from the description what is to be gained from jail breaking your LG tv. I’m perfectly satisfied with it now.

One app I saw that immediately makes me want this is something that rebinds the useless Rakuten TV button to something else!

LG's interface is pretty insane in places. E.g. there's no button to go straight to the TV guide. There's not even a play/pause button on the remote. You have to press the centre button anywhere between 1 and 4 (yes!) times to pause. The screen brightness control is buried somewhere insane in the settings like "OLED care". The home screen is literally 85% wasted space. Fully half of it is just a big "WebOS" banner.

If I can fix any of those this is definitely worth doing!

I had the same issue as you. I rooted my TV and decided to ditch that Rakuten button too[1]. I was mildly irritated that I had no way of getting current time easily, so wrote a Svelte+Vite WebOS example that does just that. Adding pause/resume should be equally trivial. For things like this, it's actually very little code once you get used to working on the platform, but yeah, the research prior is what takes time.

Not sure if you know this, but you can bind any application to a "long click" shortcut. Hold one of 1-9 buttons for two seconds over an application in the menu and it will bind it. From there on you can just hold said button for two seconds and application starts.

As for UI things, depending on the version of WebOS, you can likely make (some of) the tweaks you want by using bind+mount to make QML files writable (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QML). There are a some people doing small tweaks to the UI, but I don't know of anyone that did any huge changes (since, once rooted, the ads are trivially removed).

[1] https://github.com/romland/webos-svelte-template (it lacks documentation)

> but you can bind any application to a "long click" shortcut

This was a great tip, thank you

And FUCK the input settings not keeping properly after saving. Try plugging in a laptop, set the input to "PC", save the input config. All good. But if you unplug the laptop from HDMI, either end? Setting lost, back to default. Ugh.

There's a reason mine has never touched wifi and all 'smart' stuff happens through my apple tv 4k.

My LG tv shows ads, streams all sorts of data to LG that I’d rather they didn’t, and the UI is pretty ropey.

Given I mostly watch Kodi, I’d love that to be the primary UI.

Unlimited "Developer Mode" access

While LG allows willing Homebrew developers/users to install unofficial applications onto their TVs, official method requires manual renewal of "developer mode session", which expires after 50 hours of inactivity.

Some of the amazing homebrew that has been built/ported onto webOS would likely never be accepted onto LG's official Content Store.

Lower level user/application access

This allows willing developers to research webOS system internals, which will result in creation of amazing projects, like PicCap (high performance video capture used for DIY immersive ambient lighting setups), or access to some interesting features like customization of system UI, remote adjustment of certain TV configuration options, and others.

The readme has a section “Why rooting”.

Unless you're paying someone to use the device, this should be available by default. The question should be what's the point of not doing this?

It says right there, it's purpose is to jailbreak your TV. Why do they have to spoonfeed users ideas for what to do after?

Don't be obnoxious.

Meanwhile those of us dumb enough to wind up with TCL Roku TV's have lost (well I have lost personally):

- All app sideloading. Bye Pornhub app, you died too soon. Roku uninstalled the apps sideloaded from my tv's the day this changed. I've never been so angry.

- SHOUTCast App inexplicably removed from both TV's and unavailable now with unhelpful message saying it's gone because reasons.

- The 10.0.5 update one one of the two units REMOVED VOLUME LEVELLING, which the unit came with, and it's never come back.

Yeah Roku can get fucked. What a poor outcome those two tv's were ultimately. Removing functionality you had at purchase time should be illegal.

Nothing in here about disabling adware, which is pretty much the only thing I care about.

Which adware? I have an LG OLED TV, and I never saw any ads in the menus or whatever.

I do only use with apps or am external source (no DTV or cable), so maybe it’s that?

I think you can do that using PiHole

Or get a decent /etc/hosts file .

I haven't tried setting up PiHole yet. Does it "break" any of the interwebz for me in the way client-side ad blockers sometimes can? Any pitfalls I need to be aware of?

I use pi-hole and am grateful for it, but it breaks lots of online commerce sites (e.g. Amazon) in ways that irritate my wife, who then comes to me to file her grievances and tech support request.

This is AFAICT because it blocks "sponsored product placement" type ads — which are indeed ads, but which some users are deriving value from (at least so they think), and want to see.

(Luckily the admin dashboard makes it fairly easy to deal with these, but usually I "don't have time" right then and just disable it for x minutes.)

Ublock origin is the best here, since it blocks trackers and ads while still allowing you to temporarily click to bypass the screen that stops you from visiting a tracker (eg. a marketing shortlink or ad that you actually are interested in).

I agree that ublock origin is convenient, but doesn't do anything to block ads in apps, on (unrooted) TVs, etc.

No, it is fully customizable and managed by a dashboard.

You're saying that even if I do run into any issues, I'll be able to tweak and resolve myself?

Exactly. I have pi-hole and maybe one every month I have to go to the web interface and click the link to disable blocking for five minutes while I use some kind of shady software.

If it's something I use often I might spend the time to look through the logs and work out the correct domain to unblock. But there are also handy "disable for 10s/30s/5m" functions which just let me get on with my day.

Yes. Some pages won't load if they're on whatever blocklist you're using. You can manually remove them from your blocklist.

A fair few routers also allow a rule similar to “if traffic is on port 53 traffic and not from PiHole, send to PiHole.”

I have a lg webos smarttv and haven’t noticed any ads. I also have a pihole.

Smart TV stories really show the bubble that many here are in.

“Why would anyone use a Smart TV?! Just build a home theatre PC to connect to your old TV via a 60ft HDMI cable and use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. I’ve been doing this since 2005”

As if any normal person wants that kind of setup. Not to mention the difficulties with the above for higher end content such as 4K Dolby Vision playback.

People want a basic interface that doesn’t require downloading files beforehand. Click a few buttons on the remote and you have high quality streaming video without the fuss.

What is hard to understand about why people like smart TVs? It’s just convenience.

I would just like an option without the smart-stuff. It seems impossible to find, it's either very small and ugly TVs or built for something else like digital signage and very expensive.

I also have the impression that "everyone" buys an apple tv/Chromecast/etc anyways because of limitations in the smart tv or just ease of use. It makes a lot of sense to have these things separated except for TV manufacturers that want you to buy a TV more frequently.

That's ironic. You can pay your way around the nonsense surveillance/advertising infrastructure by buying the expensive functional displays that were intended for uninterrupted advertising infrastructure.

Can we produce substantially inexpensive black-boxed hardware that they desperately want in order to cut costs, but interferes in dissatisfying but barely tolerable ways with the quality of life too? Can we occasionally make it send messages in-store to their customers that the execs wouldn't want or approve of but find themselves putting up with because it's relatively benign compared to a worse bottom line?

The best dumb TV is a regular (i.e. smart) TV that you just don't connect to the internet, and use some separate signal source to.

Using a computer monitor or specialist/signage TV is both expensive and offers a worse experience.

Unfortunately, you still really have to do your research to find a decent one.

My Samsung TV has never been connected to the internet - we use a Roku box to feed streaming content to it - but it's still laggy and unresponsive by default, getting worse over the course of a few months until we decide to factory reset it again.

At one point it was so bad that I pressed the "change source" button a couple times, noticed it wasn't working, pressed the volume buttons, then the menu button, assumed the remote was dead, went to find some batteries in a drawer, took the remote batteries out, and then the TV rapidly switched sources, changed volume and opened the menu over the course of half a second.

I mean I don't expect my TV to work like a snappy appliance from the 1990's. I expect my TV these days to be a slow super low cost ARM computer with poorly written buggy software.

But I expect that of my car infotainment, my computer monitor, and a recently purchased signage screen as well. Finding a device (any device) that didn't behave like this would me more shocking. I tend to think that the best thing to do is buy the most popular product, from a known brand. Because at least then there are millions of people having the same experience, increasing the chance of a fix.

We get amazing hardware in many cases these days. The quality of the screens in TV's these days is completely unbelievable. And you can get a decent one for a few hundred. I too wish there was a brand that would spend a little more on better UX (both hardware and software). But the harsh reality is that it doesn't sell. Rumor doesn't spread that BrandX has snappy intuitive menus, fewer bugs or less ads. The commercial says that UsualBrand has new magical colors and ultra high def thingamajigs, and that sells TVs.

My Roku TV is set to automatically go to the HDMI source where my AppleTV is connected. The remote for my AppleTV turns on the TV and controls the volume.

The ARM chip in the AppleTV is anything but slow and the only thing I had to do to prevent ads on the Home Screen is to remove Apple’s apps from the top bar and replace them with my most used apps.

“Everyone” buys that 5 years down the line when the built-in services drop out of support, or they just buy a new tv.

And often by that point they’re looking for an excuse to buy the new shiny anyway.

Have you looked into high res projectors? Prices for the decent ones are comparable to TVs.

Do you... change your tires? Or just get a brand new car every year to avoid the hassle of dealing with car shops?

Problem with Smart TVs is they become obsolete super fast software wise. And basically, unsafe to connect to the internet in a few years.

Most TVs have CI+ ports. I can easily imagine an upgradable "smart module". Just buy a new compatible one (which, effectively could just connect for power and HDMI) and get the brand new stuff.

There is no bubble, smart TVs are a consumerist trap and it will require government intervention to fix because nobody has any incentives otherwise.

Gonna skip over your tyre comparison as I don't think it makes much sense sorry.

Having a switchable "compute" module that the user can upgrade without replacing the whole TV would be great but the truth is that is what a streaming box is doing just not integrated into the TV but connected via HDMI.

I treat my smart TVs like a dumb TV. It doesn't have internet access as I have explained elsewhere. I just use the TV OS to switch inputs and change picture settings but never use any of the built in apps.

Having said that my parents do use the apps and haven't reported any issues with them on their LG C8 from 2018. I have tried to get them to use a streaming box but they didn't see the point in complicating things to use the same streaming services. Maybe if the apps get slow or crappy they will change their mind rather than replace the TV.

> It’s just convenience.

Sure, if they worked, but they don't. Sadly it's pretty hard to get any real numbers on this. I do know people who use the smart bit of their smart tv, and to be fair, their use case might be exactly what the designers had in mind. The apps on the TV is a supplement to live TV. So mom and dad will watch just regular cable TV, maybe stream a movie once or twice a month, while the kids will use the YouTube app.

For people who are basically done with cable or over the air broadcasts, smart TVs just aren't good enough (for the most part). I think you can get high-end TVs now that are fast enough and where the software is reasonable. However, if you buy your TV in the supermarket, or just pick the cheapest one in the right size or color, when you can safely add something like a ChromeCast or even an AppleTV and it will still be cheaper.

You're right that a "normal person" simply do not want a home theater PC with a keyboard and mouse. They also don't care about Dolby, Atmos or soundbars. They just want a TV and if the speakers are built in, then perfect, less to worry about... In fact I'm kinda normal in that sense, my TV is a screen, it has speakers and inputs, it's fine. What's not fine is the shitty apps and the fact that I can reboot my AppleTV twice in the time it takes to open the Netflix on the TV. The AppleTV is my current baseline, you have to be at least as good or better.

Then there's the apps, you can be certain that whatever streaming subscription you want will have an AppleTV app or it works with ChromeCast. Does it work on a random Philips TV.... Will it ever get updated on your Samsung TV from 2016? Most likely not.

The concept of smart TVs are very convenient, but the TV manufactures lost this one. Either they stuff some Android stuff into the TV and upgrade the hardware or at least add in a small shelf in the back of the TV for me to put the AppleTV into, like B&O did at one point.

> Either they stuff some Android stuff into the TV

Are you aware of Google TV? It basically is android on the tv, and it's on lots of low to high end tvs across a bunch of manufacturers (Hisense, Tcl and Sony last I looked).

It's more than good enough for people who are done with cable and broadcast (I'm one of them). There are apps for all the streaming services, both my country's tv channels and the big players like netflix, apple, disney etc, and they perform great.

Not all Android TV devices support all the streaming services. Mine works fine with Disney+, Amazon, and Apple TV+, but Netflix won't support the device for some reason.

> Not all Android TV devices support all the streaming services. Mine works fine with Disney+, Amazon, and Apple TV+, but Netflix won't support the device for some reason.

That must be... an extremely niche device. With some considerable knowledge of the space, I cannot think of an Android TV device that supports Apple TV but not Netflix ever.

You mean the company that abandons software quickly? That’s the last thing I would want on my TV. At least Roku has a history of supporting its hardware.

Sure, android has totally been abandoned, damn shame.

And you know what? If they do abandon it, I'm still free to buy an add-on of some sort, so I haven't lost anything compared to people who have this weird obsession with dumb-tvs.

It’s not Android being abandoned. The issue is your device being abandoned.

I think you picked the extreme to make your point(Desktop PC in another room and long cable). I’m aware of all the BS that TV manufacturers pull with “smart TV” and chose to never ever let my TV connect to any home network. Instead, I had an old Mac mini laying around(from 2012 that is not up to snuff for main desktop, but is okay for a browser on TV to view Netflix, Apple TV, YouTube and basically anything accessible by a web browser). This is really not as complicated a setup as you were talking about before.. The Mac mini is just behind the TV, and is quiet.. a mini Bluetooth keyboard, and a mouse is all I need to have my own Internet TV.. using smart TV as a dumb display is the best.

Sure if you have old hardware capable of decent media playback it isn't a bad option but old hardware is quickly the limiting factor for higher quality media such as original HDR or Dolby Vision BluRay video streams.

Of course not everyone cares about that but if you're going to spend good money on a nice 4K HDR TV I suspect you want to actually be able to watch HDR content.

Yes, that part is true. I wanted to get a Sonos Beam Gen2 sound bar for my TV, and realised it support Dolby Atmos Audio. Now, I kinda want to buy the Apple TV 4K just for Dolby Audio support, and replace the Mac mini with it..

But, even for that, I personally would not let my TV connect to the Internet and ruin my teaching experiences with ads.

Like most things in engineer's life, tradeoffs and people choose to trade different things.....

That is the exact same setup, minus the long cable and using an old PC rather than building one. For many people this setup is too complicated.

- I don't want my TV crash regularly - I don't want to connect my TV to the internet - I don't want my TV to spy on me - I don't want to have ads on my TV - I do want to have control over image/video processing - I do want to watch stuff on my TV for which no app is available - I don't want to pay extra for compute which is already available with my PC - I do want to be able to access my existing file and disk based media library

For me, convenience is having my dumb TV connected to my PC. It's not impossible to get a remote for a PC too you know.

OP wasn't arguing your use case doesn't exist.

They were arguing it's uncommon and requires above average competency.

WebOS is so much better than AndroidTV or the Samsung and Philipps OSes my previous TVs had. I actually have no need to use a Media Stick.

Yeah, in fact I have the skills for such a setup, but I don't bother. Why would I?

The LG built-in system is actually pretty nice (and the reason why I buy LG TVs). Netflix and Prime Video are a click away. If I have downloaded something, I just plug a USB stick or use the built-in software (SmartShare) to stream from my computer by WiFi. If I want to play some games in the Steam Deck, I plug it with an HDMI cable and it just works. If I want to show my kid a Youtube video, it's a little more inconvenient with the on-screen keyboard but not a big deal. By the way, I have a Sonos Amp connected through HDMI Arc, feeding two wired front speakers and two wireless back speakers, and it works with many versions of Dolby surround sound - I haven't bothered to check if this is easy on PC, but I suspect it might not.

Maybe it's just that I don't watch a lot of TV so I'm not fussy, but I haven't found any particular feature I would like to have that isn't reasonably easy with my smart TV, while I do find significant drawbacks in the PC setup (basically more stuff in the living room, why would I need a keyboard or mouse there?).

So yes. I'm a nerd, and I like my smart TV. Go figure.

WAF = Wife Acceptance Factor, now with added junior school kid!

I love my LG OLED TV, everything I need is on the remote.

Indeed. I have been making my TVs "smart" since around 2001 so that I could watch content from my computer on the TV. I've done it all from DivX CD players to a home theatre PC to network streaming boxes.

Back in the 00s I had a nice setup with a networked media player (connected via SCART back then) that could play my DivX/XviD DVD rips from a network share.

These days I have a NAS running Plex with an Apple TV 4K (2nd gen) and use Infuse for playback that happily plays back 150GB 4K HDR Bluray REMUXES over the network instantly. Also it is accessible anywhere I have internet so I can access my whole media library on a phone, tablet or laptop while away as easily as I can Netflix.

I use my LG "smart" TV like a dumb TV. I don't let it have internet access as it doesn't need it for how I use it although it is connected to the network but it has its own blackhole VLAN just to stop the "connect your TV to complete setup" message it always shows.

I have exactly one reason to fiddle with my smart tv: to use an youtube app with adblocker and sponsorblock. The first could also be achieved by buying premium. But sponsorblock? No, I need to be able to sideload apps for that.

SponsorBlock on my TV would probably be the biggest single value add feature I could do. I pay for YouTube Premium because it is cheap so it is worth it to remove the YouTube ads but it is frustrating how much sponsored crap there is in the videos themselves these days and SponsorBlock is wonderful in the browser.

The problem with WebOS and any other smart TV platform that is not Apple or Roku is that new streaming services either get ported late or not at all to it.

how do you do streaming with SmartShare? closest thing i could find was that the tv supports airPlay off all things. But that seems quite useless without any apple products.

Also good luck trying to build a non-Windows system that does:

* Dolby Atmos decoded direct to speakers with no delay.

* Correctly demuxes and sends Dolby Vision HDR content at 4k 120 Hz to the display with a calibrated consistent lag with no frame drops.

* Correctly handles atmos surround system speaker calibration.

* Can play any Blu-Ray available on the market, sending the content without quality loss.

I've built that kind of setup (HTPC, bluetooth kbm, etc) before and now I have a smart TV, and I definitely like it for all the reasons listed.

But it's also not unreasonable to want a smart TV that doesn't plaster the UI with ads.

While I think you are right, I also think in 2022 the required skills for the alternative should be part of everybody's education.

While I think you are right, I also think in 2022 the required skills for the alternative should be part of everybody's education.

Pretty much everyone believes their own specialist skills should be part of general education curriculum. If you ask a lawyer if law should be taught in schools, or an accountant about accounting, or a translator about languages, or a mechanic, or a nurse, or literally any person in any job they all think their own skills are appropriate to be taught to everyone. Obviously that isn't going to work.

Oh come on. Scripting and coding is not some specialist knowledge in a world where a big chunk of people spend a good chunk of their time feeding data into bureaucratic systems. Most white collar jobs would immensly profit from knowing a little about scripting. Some of the tasks that take them days could be done in seconds if they just had a basic understanding how to transform data. And I will stand for it, this is something they should teach in school.

Given that even farmers have to spend more time behind the computer than anybody is willing to admit, a little bit of understanding ans ability to automate the boring things is just a basic skill that should be thought. Not to solve any specific problem, but to learn how to find your own solutions and be clever about work processes.

Any society that teaches this will massively outperform one where specialists put up walls because they are afraid of sharing the magic incantations. Or we could continue living in a society where clerks print out a form just so the other clerk can type it into another program, because they haven't even discovered the concept of copy and paste.

Everyone should know a bit about the law, everyone should be able to do their accounts, everyone should be able to mend their car (maybe less so with electric cars..), everyone should be able to do basic first aid and look after their health, everyone should understand a bit about politics, everyone should know how money works ... literally everyone believes their job is a special case that ought to be taught in schools.

The fact you believe everyone should learn some basic coding just shows you work in tech. It doesn't make it true. For a start, very few people actually apply the skills they learn at school until at least a decade afterwards (learning at around 10 - 12 years old, getting a first proper job where skills matter in their early 20s). Do you really think basic coding taught today is going to apply to a farming job in 2032 in the light of Github Copilot, visual programming, the death of filesystems and the rise of iOS/Android file pickers etc? Of course not.

It's always been very strange for me that people who use computers hours and hours per day don't customize their workflows in any ways. Same people who customize and spend a long time choosing their car because they sit an hour or two every day in those, who are always improving their efficiency in stuff like building things, cleaning, cooking etc.. Then they go to their 6-12 hour daily stint on computer and use Edit->Copy, Edit->Paste to copy&paste stuff and that's the level they stay on forever, only changing things when updates change it for them.

Perhaps because that kind of person only uses a computer for work, and never for themselves.

If their career won't see any benefits by improving their computer skills, they have no reason to care about inefficiency.

I mean I definitely have the skills to do these and have done it before. I even have my gaming pc connected to the tv all the time. But I don't want to fiddle with and maintain this setup for video consumption. I just want to turn on my TV, run the Netflix app and have dolby vision 4k video playing without issues.

I don't have any data but I feel like most people (technical or not) are thinking the same as me.

This was not my point. I said anybody should be thought the skills to find a solution for this themselves if they want to. Even if you end up hiring someone or pay for a finished product having a basic idea what a thing entails and how it could be made is a useful skill to have in any evolving techological society.

Of course a normal person doesn't want such a setup.

But a normal person doesn't want a smart tv either. It sucks. And that is when it is working, and it will stop working. And it does spy on you.

I get that people want to like smart TVs. Unfortunately, you can't.

I am confused you say a normal person doesn't want a smart tv but then on the next line say they do want a smart TV?

I assume you mean normal people don't like crappy smart TV experiences with slow and crappy apps but if they were smooth and fast and easy to use they would like them more? If so that is true of pretty much everything technology related :) Nobody likes using a slow, crappy computer that takes 5 minutes to load a webpage do they.

I think normal people love smart TVs they just wish they were better especially as they age a bit.

What would be fantastic is a modular smart TV where the screen has a standardised connection for a compute unit that you can replace for a much smaller cost than replacing the whole TV itself. If you're happy with your screen it is frustrating you need to buy a whole new TV just because the shitty SoC can't handle all the new stuff Netflix, Disney, etc. add to their apps over time.

> But a normal person doesn't want a smart tv either.

Erm, yeah, they do. They want a tv that's got the netflix and stuff all built in. A 'normal' person doesn't want to deal with an extra device that may or may not have a separate remote control. They want simplicity. Smart tvs give them that.

Ideally you should have dumb TVs and smart set top boxes. TVs last much longer than the puny computers in them.

Why is that ideal?

I'm perfectly happy to have a smart tv, it does what I need without extra wires or remotes. I have zero desire to have a separate box. If I'm still using my tv when it stops getting updates and being able to stream, then I'll investigate and add-on for it, not now, because in 5 years that would likely be out of date too.

I don't get this weird obsession with dumb screens. Device convergence is excellent. The fewer boxes and wires and the more capable the devices, the better.

> I don't get this weird obsession with dumb screens.

My Apple TV is from the previous generation. Little by little it's losing software support. Should I replace the whole TV, which is still pretty good, when I finally upgrade the device?

The TV turns on when there is an active HDMI signal. The two volume buttons are the only thing I use every time I need it. If the Apple TV remote had volume buttons (like the new ones) I wouldn't need the TV remote at all.

It's not an "obsession". It's rational use of resources. Why does my TV need to be a full computer? If it is, what should I do when Netflix drops support for the application it's running?

Netflix never drops support for anything. A couple of years ago, I dug my first generation iPad (2010) out, reset it, downloaded Netflix (you can download the “last compatible version” from the App Store) and it worked.

Netflix still works on the first gen Roku devices from 2011 - at least it did a couple of years ago.

If that was true it would be fine. But that is not what they are getting.

So what are they getting?

Something clunky and crappy that doesn't work with everything they use and ultimately stops working.

In what reality do “normal”people not want TVs with their most used streaming apps built in?

The true solution is "just buy a TV designed for console gaming without any smarts and plug in an apple TV / nvidia shield / roku / firetv stick / chromecast".

It's just unnecessary to have a camera in your TV, that's all I feel. I have an Acer 55" DP monitor instead. And I use chromecast, no problem, it has no cameras.

Pretty sure that’s a minority of smart tvs anyway…

for now

Well, normal people could use Apple TV (or Google or Fire TV) which generally offer a better experience than whatever TV manufacturer has built in to their "smart" TV. I have this same problem with smart home devices, in which every manufacturer has some basic app that does some crappy automations... whereas it'd be much better if they just delegated that exclusively to Google or Alexa or Siri/Homekit.

I totally understand the convenience. Most people think my setup is indeed complex. Fortunately my family was already used on how to use the Xbox and Switch on the tv. Connecting a MSI Trident computer and teaching them how to use Kodi, Steam and the various streaming services via a web browser was quite easy.

Yeah I really hate that I can no longer easily hook up my laptop to my LG OLED tv and just press play on the movie I downloaded. Nowadays I have to download PotPlayer, change the renderer and increase the brightness whenever I want to playback a 10bit HDR movie.

IMHO the best solution for you would be to just fire up Plex/Emby/etc on your laptop when needed and use the Plex/etc app on your TV/streaming box and play over the network. Wired is more reliable of course but wifi works fine most of the time too.

You can play back HDR and Dolby Vision 4K content just fine with Plex and it is all decoded on the TV (or streaming box) so no need to mess around with Windows video settings to get HDR looking not-shit.

People like the smart in smart tvs when they just bought it but 6 months in almost nobody uses it because 9 out of 10 times it just stinks. They use a chromecast, Apple TV or some other set top box.

My parents still use all the smart TV features in their 4+ year old LG C8. They don't have any streaming boxes, I tried to give them my old Apple TV a year ago but they didn't like the remote (don't blame them for that, it is garbage).

They use Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube and the Disney+ apps daily. No complaints other than when the wifi sometimes goes out but that isn't a fault of the TV.

I can guarantee you that most people aren’t buying extra devices to watch TV when the apps they use are built in. Most people definitely aren’t buying $150 AppleTV devices. Roku is by far the most popular streaming device and they are aggressive about getting their software included with most low end TVs.

> I can guarantee you that most people aren’t buying extra devices to watch TV when the apps they use are built in.

No shit, the reason you jailbreak a tv is to put apps on it that were not built in (or remove apps that are intrusive.) This is just like saying that people who are happy with things aren't unhappy with things.

> …but 6 months in almost nobody uses it because 9 out of 10 times it just stinks. They use a chromecast, Apple TV or some other set top box.

The parent commenter claimed that “almost nobody uses” the built in smart TV features. This is false outside of whatever tiny bubble they are in.

Set top boxes and chromecasts are selling pretty well so obviously people are using them, but I guess there’s quite some people content with using a mediocre implementation, for as long as the api that’s used is supported by YouTube and Netflix.

It probably depends on the kind of crowd you sample.

Set top boxes if they ever sold well are very much declining in popularity as most TVs have the same OS preinstalled.

Roku by itself comes pre-installed on almost 40% of new TVs


Manufacturers have just started installing FireTV software.


And Google has been in the game for awhile with preinstalled Android.

I’m not sure how references that show that smart TVs contain smart software support the claim that set top boxes are declining in popularity.

Are you going to buy a Roku stick if your TV already has built in Roku? Are you going to buy a TV with Amazon FireTV built in and then buy a Roku stick or vice versa?

Yes, if I think or conclude the smart in smart tvs sucks and I can’t buy a non-smart tv because they simply are not for sale, I will not use the smart in the smart tv and replace it with another, better solution.

Do you think you’re in the majority?

A few observations:

1. I can’t stand watching TVs in many hotels because of settings, you get the “soap opera effect”. My wife isn’t bothered by it.

2. Most cable boxes had channels with both the standard definition feeds and HD feeds. How many times have you seen people watching the SD feeds on large TVs and it didn’t bother them?

3. On another note: how many people do you see walking around with cracked phone screens who you know could afford to get it fixed. But it doesn’t bother them? I couldn’t even deal with a scratch on my screen. Related : bad displays because of a screen protector on their phones and it doesn’t bother them.

I never said that I am in any way representing a majority.

You incredulously ask: Are you going to X?

I say: yes, I am going to X.

I’m not sure what your anecdotes are purporting to say. Clearly neither of us has done the research, I made an observation, you made another. Get over it.

Do you have any evidence of that?

Anecdotally, that's not true of people I know (and even less so for people not in tech), but anecdotes are not particularly useful.

That's obviously not true. I hardly know anyone who uses external devices. I have a Chromecast but never use it after I got a smart TV.

You're an Apple user arent you?

Fedora mostly, I come from a RHEL background.

Does this allow a ‘clean’ basic dumb tv setup?

Very interesting piece of work, however unfortunely not targeting my LG TV from 2013. By any change, is anybody aware of a project to install alternative firmware on such an ancient box? -- Cheers, Jürgen

I'm not sure which WebOS (if at all) version you are running, but https://www.google.com/search?q=getmein+lg+tv might work for you.

It could also be running Netcast instead of WebOS? In which case there are other ways to get in, but you'll be asking yourself "why did I do this" pretty quickly.

Join the OpenLGTV Discord and you'll have a wealth of information.

Thx for the information! I think my TV predates WebOS. Well, I'm using Kodi on a Raspberry Pi mostly anyway, but would be nice to use the TV itself aswell...

> Join the OpenLGTV Discord and you'll have a wealth of information.

Is this information archived in a more reasonable location than Discord?

Anyone know of a similar tool for Roku TVs? I have the same complaints as everyone else. A PiHole used to be an effective way to keep the ads down but they've found a way to get around it.

I don't know if it'll help, but I've been using NextDNS [0] to block ads on my Roku TV (and general network-wide adblocking). In the NextDNS dashboard, there is a setting under Privacy > Native Tracking Protection that has an option to block Roku trackers. According to their source code [1], I think it just blocks logs.roku.com, but works for me.

Additionally, there was another Roku domain that I blocked at the router level that also helped (I think it was something like scribe.roku.com, but can't confirm until later today).

[0]: https://nextdns.io

[1]: https://github.com/nextdns/metadata/blob/master/privacy/nati...

I have been declining to update my tv since this tool came out until I get time to try and exploit my tv. Kudos to the author! Also, LG not being android based is nice!

In Australia rooting your TV means something different from this, if it goes wrong the result will also be that you can say my TV is rooted.

What does it mean?

> RootMyTV

This will go well in Australia.

Great! Now we have a reason to buy a smartTV.

I don’t see the point because it’s dangerous connecting a TV to the internet. Using open firmware like this also adds the chance that you can brick your TV

I don’t understand why people don’t stream using a separate box. There are plenty of options which perform much better than the under resourced built-in streamers inside cheap televisions

I do build systems and specifically yocto. I understood that LG used yocto for webOS build. Can i just use yocto to build a toolchain and package a more recent version of the web browser? The shipped one is outrageously out of date and mostly does not work. The apps in the store all seem quite minimal.

Mainly I just want something like FLauncher as the default home screen and have it open the TV apps from there.

Will this make my TV able to remember input settings for the HDMI ports? It resets if the device is unplugged, and it's really annoying to have to go to the settings and change the HDMI2 input to "PC" every time I plug in the laptop.

(The TV only uses chroma 4:4:4 when the input is set to PC mode)

I’m currently travelling so I can’t remember exactly what it’s called, but there is a setting on the stock firmware for this (at least there is on my C1). I think it’s called “device recognition” or something like that.

Basically it will stop it auto-switching the “device mode” for a source; I use it to keep one input permanently on game mode.

Maybe someone here will know how to fix this:

I turned off internet access in my LG WebOS TV settings. On power on, it has no audio for about 5s and then the display blanks, shows LG Logo, and then finally is fully awake. Is there a solution?

Does this exist for Android TVs, I'd love to get rid of the garbage on them.

Is it really all that hard to build a TV designed to be used only with a separate device (Apple TV, Roku, etc)? I wonder why no one has started a company to do this; perhaps VCs only want to fund people who make money with ads.

Is it impossible to root samsungs Tizen tv's?

This seems to be the most widely used TV and the worst offender.

This is great of course, but i don't know why they are targeting LG which is less used and has way less ads than Samsung.

> i don't know why they are targeting LG which is less used and has way less ads than Samsung.

Probably because the author (looking on the git history, for first 2 months it was developed by one guy and then one another has joined him) has LG tv. :)

My mistake - great hacking from a solo dev.

Skimmed the comments and thought this was part of the KDE Plasma Bigscreen project.

Do you know if it’s possible to enable tv recording and maybe vcr (or how it’s called the thing that allows you to pause live tv and resume later)? In italy for some reasons they are disabled..

I’m not sure TV recording is possible since you’ll be getting DRM-protected/encrypted content anyways, at least regarding the streaming TV channels (unless you wanna get in the business of researching and looking for exploits in widevine level 1 certified chips).

In the US at least (don't know about Italy), TV is very rarely streamed over the Internet. Most people have a cable / set-top box that does the descrambling and then send a (HDCP protected) video stream to the TV.

Because commercial TVs are trusted devices that have the key to decrypt the HDCP stream, if a TV had a feature to record and rewind video, it would work just fine. Widevine isn't related because that's only used (AFAIK) for Internet streaming.

Not sure what you mean; streaming TV in the US is booming with YT TV reportedly having 5 million subscribers, Hulu live TV at 4.1 million, Sling at 2.2 million, and Fubo at 1 million.[0] That's 12 million american households, so between 5% and 10% of the adult population (depending on how many subscribers you think are married).

0: https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/how-many-youtube-...

There are more than 50 million cable TV subscribers alone, though. And just over 10% of television households rely on broadcast TV exclusively. My point wasn't that streaming TV subscribers don't exist, it was just that the OP almost certainly meant recording traditional cable or broadcast TV when they said "tv recording". That's why I was confused by your reference to widevine.

Is there a similar tool for Sony smart TVs running Android TV? That OS has become so awful, plenty of ads you can’t disable and just generally unpolished in the unique Android way.

It’s pretty unfortunate that we’ve come to needing software injections to get rid of ads plastered on home owned TVs.

Remember to unplug your brain dongle before going to bed.

Bought a lg tv recently and root it on the first day, there some cool homebrew app.

Like and unofficial Crunchyroll app.

Now I just need and app to reconfigure the control app shortcuts.

There's an unofficial Crunchyroll App yet Sony can't be bothered to make on official one? Weird.

It looks like the Homebrew channel adds support for a Jellyfin app!

If I were willing to connect my LG TV to the network, I'd be all over this.

Would assigning the TV a static IP and blocking all outside traffic to/from it do the trick?

Yes, if you assign it to a VLAN without internet access.

More trouble than it's worth, imho. I'll just keep casting from my laptop to the Google TV dongle.

I never thought about it but thats probably because Plex can be installed on my TV so its never come to mind.

This looks interesting, I may try it if there is a picture in picture ability (LG removed that from mine).

Oh man, I'd love to do this to my Vizio. I honestly don't even care that they show ads. It's when they shut off Netflix or Hulu while I'm in the middle of movie to show me an ad. Which, takes me to the home screen when I close it (not back to my show). Or, freezes the TV while attempting to show an ad, and forces me to cycle the power to get it to come on again.

Can I get flux installed after rooting my TV?

What can I do by jaibreaking my webOS TV?

Would love something like this for Hisense


I assume people don't buy "dumb" TVs because they basically don't exist any more, outside of industrial/commercial screens that cost way more than an equivalent consumer TV or PC monitors that cap out at about 32". I'm curious which option you went with?

I just use a regular Samsung smart TV, but I use a Chromecast + PS5 instead of the smart features and have never connected it to the internet. If there were viable "dumb" tv options I would totally prefer them though.

I went to a local store (I'm in EU) and asked the salesperson "what's your biggest 4k, dumb TV?" It happened to be a 49" NEO. So that's what I have at the moment. When it's time to change it, I will try the same thing again. If that fails, I'll either get a "hotel TV", a really big PC monitor or a 5k projector.

Yours would be a good comment if not for that unnecessary insult in the first line. Stop doing that.

One of the reasons might be that there are no non-smart TVs with the same kind of features available. For instance, I am unsure whether there are non-smart large OLED TVs.

Also, price of a TV with "smart" features typically does not differ much from a price of a similar TV with only non-smart features. So, people buy them because they are getting something extra at little additional cost.

Of course one can create a DIY smart setup with any TV. But given that many people already have a TV with a capable hardware, it is in my opinion only natural that they want to turn it into a proper smart TV simply by changing its software, rather than by buying a smart PC, adding cables, etc.

This is the most Hacker News comment I’ve read in a while.

Also would love to know how you are doing Dolby Vision playback for example as I’ve never found a reliable way to do Dolby Vision on Windows, macOS or Linux.

> how you are doing Dolby Vision playback

mpv can now decode most of the spec if you want a software player; if you want to passthrough the DV metadata to your TV, still no luck on PC AFAIK. I believe the approach most take is using an Android TV device (e.g. Nvidia Shield), where various apps are able to do it because there's native support. Kodi, Plex, etc, can do it on the Shield.

I really don’t understand what the point of a “smart tv” is. Why aren’t you just plugging your computer into a screen and using your own OS?

For non-technical users, having one UI with all their streaming apps built-in is honestly a useful feature. The problem is all the other spying, hijacking, slowdowns, and other bullshit. But it's often a desirable feature for many users at its core.

For a technical user: the smarts often serve no point, we already have a streaming solution. Unfortunately, higher end TVs with OLED panels and the such come with "smarts" built-in. So the best you can do is ignore it and hope the firmware updates (that you install over USB because you don't trust it with a wifi connection) don't cause a ton of UI slowdown over time or otherwise cripple the TV. But if we could buy a dumb TV with the same features, we would.

It's so you can watch YouTube and Netflix without plugging a computer.

Generally speaking "smart" means "quickly becoming obsolete". Cars a few years old now have built in unwanted/unusable satnavs.

There is little point if you have a smartphone and chromecast. But a built in chromecast, or built in airplay video receiver is convenient. Few people have (or want) a dedicated PC to use with their TV.

The reason technical people (even those few that do have a pc connected to it) will, and should, buy smart TV's is because they are the most widely sold and therefore by far the best screen for the money. Large computer monitors or signage screens aren't as good or cheap as the most sold smart tv in the most sold size. They are extremely good for the price. If you don't want to use any smart features, most should work fairly well when operated without internet and just connected to an external input.

> Few people have (or want) a dedicated PC to use with their TV.

They have one though, so technical people shouldn't entertain the direct-to-consumer lie that smart TVs aren't crippled and locked-down general purpose computers.

I don’t mind my TV being another computer, and the other computers I want to use with it are probably only my iPhone and Chromecast (incidentally also locked down general purpose ARM computers).

The last thing I would want even as a tech savvy person is to use a desktop or laptop with a TV in any way.

The real point: so you don't have control of your tv and things on it can be directed in the financial interest of the people who "sold" it to you.

The other point: There's not really an easy PC solution. The closest you can get to one is Kodi, and in my opinion it is bad. Not that they haven't put an enormous amount of work into it, but the UI is very unpleasant. Their idea of what people want out of a television interface is violently different than mine, and the configuration is absurdly opaque.

I would love a modern "non-smart" tv, but do they even exist?

It's the reason why I stick to my Sony Bravia from 2009 until it dies.

At some point I asked here on HN. I got sent to a Romanian online electronics retailer. Apparently there's a pretty nice selection of non-smart TVs in Romania.

Sceptre sell them, at least in the US: https://www.sceptre.com/

in the UK there is a manufacturer called Cello who make non-smart variants of their smart TVs. I got their 50" 4K dumb tv for around £250

I have two LG Smart TVs with webOS.

While both TVs have a PC connected, it's far easier to use the built-in apps to watch things like YouTube and Netflix.

The apps support 4K without any fuss (which is often locked away on desktop OSes due to DRM).

The LG magic remote is pretty cool, it works a bit like a Wii remote, so you can quickly point to things on-screen.

Most people I know don’t have a PC or don’t have a PC they can easily connect to a TV as it is in another room and not easily moved.

For those that do, such as those with a laptop, they don’t want the inconvenience of connecting it to the TV to open up Netflix to watch The Crown.

I don’t want to connect my laptop, because my kids might break it. Having just a tv with limited control is perfect for kids.

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