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I've worked in the consumer electronics business for quite some time so let me present some information for your consideration, I don't expect you to like it but it will explain context: 1) Adverts: These are often used to subsidise features and capabilities. Sometimes good EPG data needs to be paid for, sometimes you need to justify the running of applications stores. This is a business choice that the manufacturer has to make, be off-putting or lose money. Targeted advertising does increase acceptance of advertising over non-targeted advertising, however if you hate advertising your just not going to get a subsidised product (if it is economically feasible to make one). 2) Viewer tracking: This has many uses a) product improvement: by knowing how users use products you can improve your designs. However this isn't usually done in such a scatter gun approach. b) You can sell anonymous information to agencies who use it to understand viewing habits and increase the value of traditional TV advertising. 3) Third party content tracking - This could be used a) to identify working and non-working content formats, not all encoders are the same and it is a nightmare debugging all the strange formats the people of the internet generate. b) to deliver improved titling, indexing and other metadata.

Above all remember Hanlon's Razor: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.": 1) LG's response from their CS department was composed by a minimum wage agent who got a response from their mid-level supervisor who enquired with someone in product management who badly translated that from some Korean discussions. 2) Most Koreans don't care about content piracy, it is rife in Korea, especially with their excellent bandwidth. 3) Most of these policies were probably written by someone more interested in making the best product for the least money and probably not someone from the west.

I would hope that LG might pick up on this and make a better statement, but it won't change their attitude.

Finally, personally as someone who makes a lot of set-top boxes I would happily see more dumb TVs, but the business of TVs is loss making. None of the big brands has made money in the TV business in ages, most people do it either for turn-over or brand recognition. Making basic large "monitors" is a difficult business to make a profit in because you are selling something very basic in a mature market.

"just not going to get a subsidised product"

What subsidized product? I just paid hundreds to thousands for something you advertise as a smart tv.

And I would happily pay more for a top display and decent audio, if I could have it without all the junk. I don't even need a tuner or channel selection. Just let me point the TV at the input source I want and then do what that input tells it, but do it well. My PVR/Blu-Ray/console/whatever can do the rest.

I suspect many other people would as well, but I have never been able to convince anyone else that there is sufficiently large enough market to make it viable. Remove the tuner: $2-5 Remove the codecs: £15 You still need a graphics plane, image scaler and video switch. In the end it is the panel that takes up most of the money. That and marketing, plastics, PSU, etc.

Which might not have those features if it wasn't subsidised.

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