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RootMyTV is a user-friendly exploit for rooting/jailbreaking LG webOS smart TVs (github.com/rootmytv)
625 points by thunderbong on Sept 29, 2022 | 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:

https://discord.gg/W8X3wQ7W

(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.

https://www.eff.org/cases/newmark-v-turner

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.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/10/adversarial-interopera...


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.

https://help.netflix.com/en/node/13444


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.


Yet!


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.

https://sfconservancy.org/copyleft-compliance/vizio.html


> 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!

https://smartyoutubetv.github.io/


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.


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