back to article Who watches the watchers? Samsung does so it can fling ads at owners of its smart TVs

Samsung brags to advertisers that "first screen ads", seen by all users of its Smart TVs when they turn on, are 100 per cent viewable, audience targeted, and seen 400 times per TV per month. Some users are not happy. "Dear Samsung, why are you showing Ads on my Smart TV without my consent? I didn't agree to this in the privacy …

  1. DailyLlama

    I have Samsung TVs in two rooms, and I've never seen these ads... I guess the settings in OpenDNS are working by blocking the advertising domains.

    1. Totally not a Cylon
      Boffin

      Likewise

      I have a new Samsung TV, but no ads :(

      Maybe it has something to do with the Pi-Hole I have as well?

      Somebody should do some research.........

      1. tony72

        Re: Likewise

        I have a 55" Samsung smart TV bought this year (or possibly last), no special DNS settings or Pi-Hole or anything, it is connected to the internet (I like its youtube app), and yet I have never seen these ads. I'm glad about that, but what's going on? Certain models only? Is it a regional thing, and they're not doing it in the UK? Or is there going to be a firmware update one day and suddenly they'll start showing?

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

          Re: Likewise

          It might be something to do with GDPR, meaning that they can't operate it freely in Europe?

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: Likewise

            That would be my guess. I suppose Samsung are gagging for Brexit and the lightening of GDPR restriction.

            1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

              Re: Likewise

              Doubt it.. First, I don't think GDPR is going anywhere, even after Brexit, and second, we only have a population of 70 million. I don't think the few million potential customers Samsung might gain would be enough to offset the losses they'll get thanks to customs delays.

              1. DenonDJ DN-2500F
                Black Helicopters

                Re: Likewise

                I wouldn't gamble on GDPR still being a thing in the disUnited Kingdom after next year. Have a read of what chief SPAD "The Brain" had to say about it in his ranting blog of April 2018

                "The GDPR legislation is horrific. One of the many advantages of Brexit is we will soon be able to bin such idiotic laws"

                Brain and Pinky reference: https://eatingreadingsleeping.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/pinky-and-the-brain.jpg

                1. steviebuk Silver badge

                  Re: Likewise

                  He can say in and think it but doesn't mean they'll be able to ditch it. If they ditch GDPR they won't be able to share or potentially do business with the EU. So it's easier to keep it. And I want it kept so I can keep asking the local Waitrose carpark management company to "Remove my number plate from your ANPR system as I've been within the limit and not getting a ticket. So under right to be forgotten there is no need for you to keep my data".

                  1. big_D Silver badge

                    Re: Likewise

                    It hasn't stopped them so far...

                2. Andys1342

                  Re: Likewise

                  Actually this is not the case. We have the Data Protection Act 2018, which is GDPR with some additions.

            2. Andys1342

              Re: Likewise

              Actually the UK DPA 2018 is stronger than GDPR

        2. PeeKay

          Re: Likewise

          They chuck up ads on the status bar of my 43" Samsung. Annoys the bejesus out of me. Might be time for a Pi-Hole.

          Edited to add: Am in the UK.

      2. Woodnag

        Samsung puff pitch

        https://image-us.samsung.com/SamsungUS/samsungbusiness/samsung-ads/resources/total-tv-watcher/samsung-ads-resources-2019-total-tv-watcher.pdf

        "Samsung Ads has the industry’s largest Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) data set: nearly 60% of the U.S. ACR footprint. This unique, proprietary data creates unparalleled insights into consumer behavior in Advanced TV. This report, based on the 2019 Samsung Smart TV Viewer Behavior Study, shares important learnings and key implications for advertisers."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Samsung puff pitch

          Is there a Samsung TV equivalent of TrackMeNot or similar, to pollute the database to the point of (a) hilarity (b) uselessness (c) both ?

        2. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Re: Samsung puff pitch

          My mum who subscribes to Which? said that they thought Samsmug TV's were best. I wonder if the ad-slinging and tracking was factored in to that or not. I'm very happy with my unconnected Sony smart TV's. I can delete channels give them my own choice of channel number and plug in a hard drive if I want to use it as a PVR.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Likewise

        I have a 4-year-old smart Samsung TV, but no ads. Maybe it's got something to do with the fact that I never needed any of the "smart" features so I never even tried to let it go online to see how fucked I'd be for doing that? Somebody should do some research, absolutely! ;)

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Likewise. 2019 65” Sammy, all the Smart bits and connected to the Internet, but haven’t seen a single ad. Don’t have live TV though; streaming only.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      I just disconnected my smartTV from the network, as it didn't get monthly security updates. Problem solved.

    4. Random Handle

      >I have Samsung TVs in two rooms, and I've never seen these ads

      The only thing I ever see is a small rectangular icon appearing left of the home link. In my case it always signposts the 'Samsung TV Plus' app. TV Plus main menu seems to have 'advertising' of sorts in that it pushes Rakuten and Apple TV content at the top and I don't use either service - like Britbox (which I also don't use) these apps can't be uninstalled unlike the bulk of Tizen stuff.

      If you browse down to the Terms & Privacy menu in settings you can switch off 'Interest Based Advertisements' consent (which also enables the tracking) - I remember switching it off while setting up, but not being asked so I guess it's enabled by default. It's not an option which jumps out at you, but is there several items deep at the bottom of menu.

    5. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      FAIL

      Content Blocking

      I would certainly like to know what domains my router should block to screw up Samsung.

    6. hakuli

      I occasionally see a small, easily ignored, ad tile on the "Home" banner at the bottom of the TV at power on.

      The ones in the Universal Guide are bigger, but tbh I think I've only used that once or twice since having the unit. I watch live TV so infrequently that for the small amount of it I want, I know the channel and time without needing the guide...

      I did also go through the settings quite meticulously, and disable everything relating to "telemetry". It gets re-checked every time the TV claims to have "updated the firmware"... because I don't trust them not to have changed that setting on the sly.

      (When I went to check this just now, the ad I was served was for a Samsung TV... which seems redundant...)

  2. Anon
    Unhappy

    The bastards!

    Would they also force this on their grandmothers?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The bastards!

      Yes.

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: The bastards!

      They'd happily sell their grandmothers for glue if they could get a tax deduction for it

    3. Tigra 07
      Trollface

      Re: The bastards!

      In Soviet Russia parts of the West TV watches YOU.

    4. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: The bastards!

      "Would they also force this on their grandmothers?"

      Right before they feed her to the ravenous bugblatter beast of traal.

  3. Jim-234

    Good reason not to upgrade

    Samsung may finally start regretting their abusive behaviour towards their customers, but only long after someone else has taken their market share.

    If your customer clearly does NOT want to be bothered with ads.

    Boasting about how you can find ways to force ads in their faces is probably going to blow up in your face.

    The other big loosers are the brands that apparently are told they should pay big money for these "forced" ads.

    I'm not sure about others, but if something forces an ad on my phone or computer or anything else, my immediate reaction is anger towards whatever brand is being displayed, which makes me way less likely to buy anything from them.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Good reason not to upgrade

      "if something forces an ad on my phone or computer or anything else, my immediate reaction is anger towards whatever brand is being displayed, which makes me way less likely to buy anything from them"

      Marketing are not paid to think like this. Their entire livelihood depends on that.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: Good reason not to upgrade

        You're right, I think the real losers would (will?) be Samsung.

        If I bought a new TV and it spewed ads at me with no option to turn them off, I'd return the set and buy another brand.

        If many do the same....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good reason not to upgrade

          This asshattery alone put Samsung to my permabanned -category: Nothing from this company, ever.

          Not only TVs but anything. Sony got that status with their rootkit-CDs and that decision has held easily.

          Older readers might remember when that was. For the younger folks: It was in 2005.

          1. DenonDJ DN-2500F
            IT Angle

            Re: Good reason not to upgrade

            Managed to avoid most Nestle products since they bought the chocolate factory in Norwich that most of my family worked in - and then closed it a few months later.

            Other boycotts are proving difficult - what with ultimate ownership being hidden by many companies and many brand names are just licenced badges for shit produced in China.

            1. steviebuk Silver badge

              Re: Good reason not to upgrade

              That's a difficult one, especially if you like their chocolate.

          2. steviebuk Silver badge

            Re: Good reason not to upgrade

            And ntinternals that became wininternals and then sysinternals and now CTO of Azure Mark Russinovich was the one to discover the Sony rootkit.

        2. Andys1342

          Re: Good reason not to upgrade

          Agreed, if I get a replacement TV and it has ads, its going straight back to Amazon. I have enough of adds on Sky for which I pay a high subscription fee already. Sammy are only the best TVs until they start to P155 off their customers. They may be able to get away with this in the US, but not the UK.

    2. Proton_badger

      Re: Good reason not to upgrade

      Sure if we see an ad in an unexpected place at an unexpected time we have the opportunity to get mad and boycott.

      But in general that's not how ads work, they're everywhere, in real life and on media and they'll put images in your mind you don't even notice. Next time you shop for something and have a choice between two similarly priced brands there's a non-zero chance you'll chose the one you saw in an ad, not because you remember the ad but because you somehow have a good feeling about it. Research shows we're helpless against this. Ads works.

      Only thing we can do is to get Netflix, cancel TV and use ad blockers. I saw a debate the other day on a friend's TV and between the ads and the two politicians being infantile ignorant nincompoops I realized how much I enjoy life without cable.

      BTW: Some Smart TVs now bypass your local DNS, to avoid DNS based blocking so they can still send back collected data (whether they show ads or not). Maybe some day they'll even come with their own 5G radio to bypass your network.

      1. LOL123

        Re: Good reason not to upgrade

        >> Some Smart TVs now bypass your local DNS, to avoid DNS based blocking

        Indeed.. I've had to redirect all port 53 requests to my dns proxy client, and block all DoH and DoT servers with iptables on my router. A cron job has to run regularly to update the lists

        So far it's been holding - the volume of activity in the blocked log is startling.

      2. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Good reason not to upgrade

        BTW: Some Smart TVs now bypass your local DNS, to avoid DNS based blocking so they can still send back collected data (whether they show ads or not). Maybe some day they'll even come with their own 5G radio to bypass your network.

        Surprised they've resisted stopping them working at all without a working internet connection.

        My Samsung is sufficiently old not to do ads. It did go through a period with annoying banners when switched on telling this and that app/service was being discontinued. Apps were crap anyway so external box at cost of HDMI port was better choice for streaming so it got dropped off the network pretty soon.

        I suspect the next so-called "Smart tv" I get will be heavily filtered off or most likely not connected to network at all (especially since so many seem to tied to alphabet factory these days, as if phone isn't enough already).

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Good reason not to upgrade

        "But in general that's not how ads work"

        The entire advertising industry is geared to not discovering whether it is or not. Believing that they only work positively is the state religion of marketing.

        "there's a non-zero chance you'll chose the one you saw in an ad"

        Believe me, I've made deliberate choices based on advertising/marketing intrusiveness many times.

        All TV viewing is pre-recorded and ads skipped so they tend to get a free pass on that these days.

        The offenders who tend to get through are marketing departments of businesses who I've dealt with. I've changed insurers because of spam. When my wife's car was due for renewal I blacklisted the dealer from whom my car was bought because within about a month of selling me a new car they started bombarding me with texts to replace it!

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Good reason not to upgrade

          "there's a non-zero chance you'll chose the one you saw in an ad"

          Statistics.

          But is the probability you'll choose the one you saw in the ad greater than it would be if you *hadn't* seen the ad? (or, in many cases, "lesser")

      4. Roopee
        Thumb Up

        Re: Good reason not to upgrade

        “Only thing we can do is to get Netflix, cancel TV and use ad blockers.”

        You seem to suggest that is somehow not realistic, but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for several years.

      5. Negative Charlie

        Re: Good reason not to upgrade

        > Only thing we can do is to get Netflix, cancel TV and use ad blockers.

        I think I just got advertized at.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good reason not to upgrade

        "Next time you shop for something and have a choice between two similarly priced brands there's a non-zero chance you'll chose the one you saw in an ad,"

        Yes, *negative non-zero chance*. As I skip the one with annoying ad. Every time, no exceptions.

        " not because you remember the ad"

        Just because I do remember the ad and the brand and despise them. I'm very, very good at remembering despicable products and brands.

        "but because you somehow have a good feeling about it. Research shows we're helpless against this. Ads works."

        That's what what the ad-men believe. They *have to*, literally. But of course remembering a product as shit doesn't mean I'll buy it, ever.

        "somehow have a good feeling about it." is literal bullshit: Advertising works literally both ways and anyone who isn't total nincompoop knows it.

        "Ads work" at selling stuff to people who are buying in any case *and* don't know anything about markets, i.e. competitors. And are too lazy to find out. All other cases are a fail. But "work" in a loose sense of the word.

        Advertising a product I won't buy, no matter what, is wasted money for advertiser and just annoys me.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good reason not to upgrade

      I agree with you and have the same reaction when they're forced on me. However you're forgetting that most of the population are stupid and/or ignorant and will just take this behaviour as normal. They might even buy the products being advertised.

      They may even be tempted to buy a new TV even though the one they already have is good enough.

      1. RM Myers Silver badge
        Coat

        "...most of the population are stupid and/or ignorant..."

        Not true! 70% of the population have above average intelligence. Just ask them, if you don't believe me.

        1. Richard Boyce
          Boffin

          Re: "...most of the population are stupid and/or ignorant..."

          What proportion of the population confuses average with median?

          1. martynhare

            Re: "...most of the population are stupid and/or ignorant..."

            The portion which finds everyone mean.

            1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

              Re: "...most of the population are stupid and/or ignorant..."

              Is there a mode you can switch them to to make them understand?

              1. Symon Silver badge
                Holmes

                Re: "...most of the population are stupid and/or ignorant..."

                "Well, that's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."

                1. KittenHuffer Silver badge
                  Joke

                  Re: "...most of the population are stupid and/or ignorant..."

                  That was when they euthanised the 50% that were below average ..... until someone pointed out that 50% of those left were also below average!

              2. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

                Re: "...most of the population are stupid and/or ignorant..."

                I really liked the "mean" wordplay, but someone had to mention mode... Upvotes to both for brightening my mood.

                I am still looking for a distribution where mode would correspond to understanding - almost abandoned all hope by now.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Good reason not to upgrade

      I have noticed that YouTube are now playing full ads on Android before starting a video, before it was always with the option of only seeing the first few seconds then clicking 'Skip ad' now they are forcing the whole piece of irrelevant shit on to me. What Samsung is doing is even worse and arguably unethical or possibly even illegal in some jurisdictions, I hope everyone stops buying their goods if that is an indicator of their regard for the customers that enable them to exist.

      Many years back I worked for a part of the TV ad industry, a lot of the people were arseholes and years later, I can see they haven't improved.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Good reason not to upgrade

        Related to this, Google have bloated YouTube on smart TVs up so much that when they run the ad they can crash older smart TVs (source - father in law with a 2014 Panasonic).

        Hoist(ed) with their own petard.

        Heh.

      2. Symon Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Good reason not to upgrade

        "YouTube are now playing full ads on Android"

        1) Install Firefox

        2) Install uBlock Origin add-on (Also, optionally, Privacy badger, Ghostery, https everywhere etc.)

        3) Watch the YouTubes on Firefox with no ads.

        HTH!

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Good reason not to upgrade

          You can also watch the ad-free YouTubes on NewPipe (available on the F-Droid 'app store').

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Good reason not to upgrade

        "I have noticed that YouTube are now playing full ads on Android before starting a video, before it was always with the option of only seeing the first few seconds then clicking 'Skip ad' now they are forcing the whole piece of irrelevant shit on to me."

        There are settings the channel has for things like that. They can choose to make ads play all the way through so they get the revenue from them. I don't think they get money if people skip the ads.

        I've told my friends with YouTube channels to always have a nice long play list so I can have them in a minimized window on Autoplay. Since I've muted the audio as well, I don't see the ads, but they get views. There are a few channels that I like that I do that with too just to give them a bit of a boost. I set the resolution as low as it will go to keep from chewing up all of my bandwidth.

    5. NickyD

      Re: Good reason not to upgrade

      Good points, but downvoted for the abomination that is "loosers ".

      1. RM Myers Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Good reason not to upgrade

        Wait, are you saying he is a loser because he was looser with his spelling? That seems a bit horse.

    6. wwwd

      Re: Good reason not to upgrade

      You assume that the customer is the person buying the TV, but the customer is actually the advertiser. They are worth way more money. Samsung are building an audience platform and sell slices of that to advertisers.

      However I agree with everything you say.

  4. Andy Non Silver badge

    So my next TV won't be

    a Samsung. It also won't be a Sony either (my existing smart one is as smart as a sack of rocks, I had to buy a Humax box for the ITV hub etc). The large dumb monitor idea sounds like the way to go.

    1. Conundrum1885

      Re: So my next TV won't be

      Hey OP, can you message me please? I also have the box of which you speak but mine is having intermittent problems.

      1. Andy Non Silver badge

        Re: So my next TV won't be

        How do I message you, never noticed that feature on here? I assume you mean the Humax box? What's the problem?

        1. Conundrum1885

          Re: So my next TV won't be

          Its sometimes not powering on with either the main switch or the remote.

          I did wonder if it was a bad PSU but swapping the boxes had no effect which supports this idea.

          Also sometimes when my phone is nearby the box freezes up and refuses to do anything.

          Had green boxes on the screen when this happened on a few occasions.

          Its a Freesat non-PVR unit if that helps running the latest firmware.

          Also strange, the other unit changed channels on me the other day to BBC 1 oddly enough just before

          Boris's broadcast (6 hours)

          1. Andy Non Silver badge

            Re: So my next TV won't be

            I've not had any of those problems with mine which is Freeview rather than Freesat; so I can't advise. Sorry. Can you take it back under guarantee?

    2. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Re: So my next TV won't be

      Just bought a 55" Samsung (The Frame) and I ended up going the same route. I have a Humax and a PC attached to what is now a 'dumb TV' cos the 'smarts' the TV provided were crap and the home screen was pushing Ads for things I might like to watch.

      The PVR built into the TV had a single Freeview tuner, bad collision handling for programmes that clashed, and the menus and remote control for playback were bloody awful. The Humax has FOUR Freeview tuners so collisions are pretty much not an issue, and although the remote control is not perfect it's soooooo much better than the Samsung one during playback.

      If the TV is allowed access to the interwebs it will add a whole bunch of 'You might like to watch' Ads below the main menu. Since the Humax will also stream if I want it to the TV has been disconnected from the interwebs, and will stay that way.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: So my next TV won't be

        Hopefully Humax won't get the same idea, it's pretty contagious.

      2. Horridbloke

        Re: Ads for things I might like to watch

        I have a low-end 2019 43" Samsung with the same stupid content-suggester thing on the home ribbon. It can effectively be disabled by putting a PIN lock on it. Sure, I would rather have the option to take it off the home ribbon altogether but since locking it last November I had genuinely forgotten it existed until I read these comments, so that's an effective mitigation.

        (But yeah... the software on this is riddled with bad choices.)

  5. Proton_badger

    Snooping

    I recall an executive of a big TV manufacturer 3-4 years back said publicly something to the effect of "The profit margin on TV's is now only 7%, granted we did this to ourselves but here we are and that's why we use SmartTVs to collect information about people's habits to generate extra revenue."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Proton_badger - Re: Snooping

      It was Vizio. In February 2017, they agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle the charges and agreed to delete the collected user data. One of their execs was quite adamant in front of the media that they're doing nothing wrong.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vizio_Inc.

    2. Tim Walls 1

      Re: Snooping

      25 or so years ago I worked for a major consumer electronics (including TV) company's R&D function, and 30 odd years ago I paid my way through school/uni by working in Dixons...

      This is nothing new; back then, TV manufacturers actually sold TVs *at a loss*, just to be in the window of the major chain stores (we forget now that the complaints about the sort of market power the likes of Amazon has are exactly the same complaints about the sort of market power the likes of Dixons had, back in the day.) If your brand wasn't in the window of Dixons, it might as well not exist at all in the minds of the public, and they knew it.

      The hope was of course that enough of the people through the door can be upgraded to a more expensive, not-so-lossmaking model, or will maybe buy some other item of consumer electronics while they're there, or at least some outrageously-high margin cables or something...

      So, nothing changed. TVs were always a tiny-margin business (7% actually sounds damned good), and manufacturers have always been looking for any kind of scraps. (Of course, this is also why there are basically no TV manufacturers left in Europe at all - that old research lab I mentioned closed decades ago, and my former colleagues on the TV side of the business have long worked for a Chinese OEM that acquired what was left of it after the many rounds of downsizing.)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

    Now I'm not. Even though I already have PiHole on the LAN.

    I'll stick with the ancient Sony I was given by a neighbour; as winter approaches, the heat it gives out will probably be welcome. AND it has VGA connector AND (if I remember rightly) SCART too.

    Bye Samsung. Fool me once, etc.

    What are LG's TV's like ?

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

      Worse

      https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/11/lg-smart-tv-snooping-extends-to-home-networks-second-blogger-says/

      1. Synkronicity

        Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

        I can confirm as an LG OLED C9 and CX owner (65" and 48") that neither are transmitting any more data than diagnostics and usage info (i.e: screen-on time, app start and stop) of the specific device, with all of their "smart tv" features turned off on their privacy policy menu (they are actually all opt-in). That said, you can also download all of the firmware and app updates and then block LG without also blocking your streaming apps by adding (in my case) 'us.lgtvsdp.com' to a PiHole. The TV will freak out at first if you do not set the time manually beforehand since NTP is also tied to that address.

        Furthermore, WebOS TV's apps phone home far less junk than the equivalent Google née Android TV app, the exception of course being Netflix.

        tl;dr: you can deal with LG's shenanigans on your network nice and neatly from my experience.

        1. HandleAlreadyTaken

          Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

          >neither are transmitting any more data than diagnostics and usage info (i.e: screen-on time, app start and stop) of the specific device

          Why would you think this is acceptable? This lets a potential attacker infer at what times you're usually at home, whether you're on vacation, and, if they also transmit the current channel or any other program metadata, what are your preferences, and probably also political and/or religious leaning. Sounds far beyond what I'd be comfortable with.

          1. Synkronicity

            Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

            They don't transmit channel information or ACR (at least with my OTA sources) without your explicit permission. The apps also phone home themselves whenever you turn them on (Netflix knows when you watch them) so the only way to avoid that is to just not use their services.

            The other metadata is standard device collection shit. Every single one of your internet-connected devices do this, especially your mobile phones which will have far more usable information for hackers to discern than my infrequently-used TV.

            And, no, I'm not ok with this. Which is why I pointed out what you can do about it if you so happened to own an LG TV (PiHole everything). The OP's specific question and the 7-year old article response they got begged for more granular information.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

              "The other metadata is standard device collection shit."

              You appear to have been conditioned to find this not only normal but acceptable. To some of us it's neither.

              1. Synkronicity

                Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

                I don't know where you get that I find this acceptable when I explicitly said I didn't and offered workable solutions against it. I doubt you're doing your utmost to inoculate yourself from third party data collection yourself if only because our modern economy makes it nearly impossible. If you already own a smartphone ones concern about their TV's data collection is merely performative. This is why we need real consumer privacy laws, as the only alternative left to us is just not using the internet.

                Which is fine, too, I can just unplug the ethernet cable from my TV and it still works. Sadly I need the iPhone for work.

          2. juice Silver badge

            Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

            > Why would you think this is acceptable? This lets a potential attacker infer at what times you're usually at home, whether you're on vacation

            Yeah. Kev, your local light-fingered interior redecorator, is going learn Korean so that he can bribe someone at Samsung HQ to leak your viewing habits. And if that fails, he's going to sneak up to your house, run a cracker to sniff out your WPA2 key and then leave a solar-powered RPi sat in your garden to sniff packets for a few weeks and figure out when you're not at home.

            After which, he'll tie a hankerchief around his face, throw a brick through your window and steal said TV.

            There's a few good reasons to be concerned about the implications of your viewing data being sent to a third party with little or no overview, some of which you've outlined above.

            But Kev ain't one of them. And TBH, if you're important enough for someone to try and pull off a Mission Impossible attack on your house, then you're almost certainly rich enough to have decent security. And even then, the attacker is far more likely to use some sort of brute force or social engineering attack.

            Mine's the hat without the tin-foil lining, thanks.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

              "bribe someone at Samsung HQ to leak your viewing habits. And if that fails, he's going to sneak up to your house, run a cracker to sniff out your WPA2 key and then leave a solar-powered RPi sat in your garden to sniff packets for a few weeks and figure out when you're not at home.

              After which, he'll tie a hankerchief around his face, throw a brick through your window and steal said TV."

              Way,*way* too complicated. Samsung *sells* this data to anyone so you buy it for 100k users in your area and voilá : The buffet is catered *for you*.

              Stealing measly TV is irrelevant, you steal *everything*. "Yea they are moving out, we just move this stuff".

              1. juice Silver badge

                Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

                > Way,*way* too complicated. Samsung *sells* this data to anyone so you buy it for 100k users in your area and voilá : The buffet is catered *for you*.

                Yeah. Kev's going to log into the darknet[*], buy a lump of data of dubious veracity and go through all the fun of tying the data back from a MAC address/IP address to your specific house, and then do some number crunching to figure out your exact itinery and somehow pinpoint a day when he can rock up with a removal van and clear out your entire house.

                Or he could just sit in a car for a day or two and wait until he sees you leave.

                Or one of a few dozen other ways, all the way up to just knocking on your door and waiting to see if there's an answer.

                Really dude. It's time to cut down on the amphetamines and quad-expressos.

                I mean, I've no doubt that it's possible for someone to do the above, and I wouldn't be entirely surprised to hear that stuff like the above can happen for specific steal-to-order things like expensive cars and high-art.

                But at the same time, the time, cost and effort involved means that people are only going to do that for something with a six or seven figure payoff.

                And your Samsung TV and the sofa don't really stretch that far.

                No, it's not the triple-foil lined hat, it's the one next to it.

                [*] Seems slightly more likely than "Kev sets up a set of shell companies, so he can approach Samsung through legitimate channels and purchase the raw data without fear of compromise"...

    2. Mark Exclamation

      Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

      "...AND (if I remember rightly) SCART too." SCART? Don't mention SCART to me! Worst bloody connector ever made, always giving the worst quality picture of any other available connector. Glad I never see it these days.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

        If it gave you the worst picture then it wasn't RGB through the SCART cable, it was component or S-Video.

        Many TVs don't have SCART since France dropped it from being mandatory in 2015. You may rejoice, until you decide to plug something in which needs an RGB connection (game console, retro computer) then you may see things in a different light.

        YPbPr needs a converter from RGB, cheap Amazon SCART RGB->HDMI boxes are laggy, OSSC is good but not cheap. What the console/computer uses internally is RGB, what the TV uses internally is RGB, anything other than simple RGB connection will give a worse picture or lag or both, with the exception of OSSC.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

          "plug something in which needs an RGB connection (game console, retro computer) then you may see things in a different light."

          Exactement.

        2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

          Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

          "...anything other than simple RGB connection will give a worse picture or lag or both..."

          Not sure I believe that ... look at some Freeview transmissions and you'll discover that it's a physical impossiblity to degrade the picture further and not refer to it as noise ... though, come to think of it, that's true for some of the HD soap/reality/selfpublicising twaddle laughingly referred to as "entertainment programming" for which the SNR can be significantly improved using semi-power-cycle technology.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

          "If it gave you the worst picture then it wasn't RGB through the SCART cable, it was component or S-Video."

          Or, more likely, composite video. Maybe you meant that since I don't think SCART does component.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

            That's the one.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: I was going to look at a Samsung 50" TV - to buy one today, in fact.

        My TV has 3 SCART, used for DVD player, pre HDMI games console and until it failed a SD Freeview PVR. (mainly RGB stuff)

        HDMI for the 2 later consoles and my Humax Freesat PVR.

        Component for my video camera.

        You mean they fit less connectors now?

        TV is about 10 years old and still works fine. Also same brand as the consoles.

  7. mark l 2 Silver badge

    The only issue with buying a monitor as opposed to a smart TV is the big price difference. You can pick up a Philips 4K 50 inch TV for a about £350 where as a 42 inch Philips 4K monitor is about £529, and doesn't pick up broadcast TV.

    So unless you need the extra refresh rates and resolutions from the monitor its better to just buy a smart tv and not connect it up to the internet. You can just plug in a separate box such as an Amazon fire stick or Roku and get the streaming services through there. And the apps will probably get updated more frequently than the ones on the smart TV. How many 5 year old smart TVs now can't access the services any more because the apps are out of date?

    1. Maelstorm Bronze badge

      One thing that I do is cast from my phone to the TV. The TV's MAC address is blocked from all outside traffic at the firewall, so no ads or anything, and I still get some of the benefits of a smart TV because the apps on the phone are updated constantly, and no spying.

  8. shade82000

    "how much more would people be willing to pay for an ad-free, privacy-respecting version?"

    £200, that's my price. Any mid-high end model 55" or above - kill all ads, remove the network connections, add 2 more inputs, take out any smart functionality, replace it with good old fashioned well designed menus with plenty of settings that I can play with. I'm in the market for one TV preferably 85"+ and another one 60"+ and I'll pay £200 more than each of their current prices for those features to be removed.

    Talking of good old menus, my last two TVs have been toshiba and while the picture quality and latency were excellent, they had about six useful settings that can be configured in their menus. If you enjoy things like being able to rename inputs and setting a different picture / sound config per input that is actually retained, then stay away from toshibas, they are consumer shite designed for simpler folk.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "how much more would people be willing to pay for an ad-free, privacy-respecting version?"

      "my last two TVs have been toshiba a... stay away from toshibas, they are consumer shite designed for simpler folk."

      So why did you buy the second one?

      1. shade82000

        Re: "how much more would people be willing to pay for an ad-free, privacy-respecting version?"

        I bought the 65" in a moment of weakness during a sale.

        The 43" was bought primarily as a monitor because it had one of the lowest latencies of any TV at the time. Other TV features weren't that important at the time, but after 13 months I decided it wasn't responsive enough, so bought an actual 43" monitor, and the TV went to the bedroom where the lack of features then became an issue. I gave it to my mum shortly after that. She's not too bothered about features.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: "how much more would people be willing to pay for an ad-free, privacy-respecting version?"

      My TV has inputs labeled Humax PS3 PS4, and 1 SCART as RGB

    3. Smirnov

      Re: then stay away from toshibas, they are consumer shite designed for simpler folk.

      A couple of years ago I bought a 42" 4k Toshiba (which is actually made by Vestel) smart TV which has pretty expansive menu settings, including the ability to name inputs. On top of that, they seem to have taken privacy a bit more serious, as Toshiba claims the set has a privacy certificate by a German government entity (BSI?). During the initial setup the online settings and where the data goes is explained in much detail, and some sniffing shows that the TV does respect the privacy settings even after a firmware update.

      All in all it was a really good purchase.

  9. DS999

    Don't connect your TV to the internet

    The "smart TV" functionality goes bad after a couple years when the updates stop anyway, and are generally inferior to what you get on an Apple TV, Roku, etc. Unless it has ads stored in its firmware, that ought to stop them (and even if it doesn't, it will stop them making a penny off them since they won't know you've seen them)

  10. Nifty Silver badge

    This was the lawsuit with Vizio who might have been the pioneers of TV spying tech:

    https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/12/18222181/vizio-tv-spying-lawsuit-settlement-how-to-get-paid

    IIRC they used a tech that sampled video from your actual screen driver so even if you're watching terrestrial TV or a DVD (remember those?), matching algorithms could identify, Shazam-like, the actual content.

  11. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "The key question is this: presuming that income from advertising tends to subsidise the price of these data-collecting TVs, how much more would people be willing to pay for an ad-free, privacy-respecting version?"

    I seriously doubt they're subsidising anything, just raising more money.

    It cuts both ways; my dumb Samsung TV isn't going to be replaced with a smart one any time soon and certainly not with another Samsung, based on this.

  12. Lee D Silver badge

    TV = display device.

    Content boxes = content device.

    Separate both at all times. Then you can change them independently of each other.

    I use a projector, which eliminates the problem entirely because nobody puts this junk on a projector. And I get a 95" TV on my wall.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll stick to my old TAS* TV.

    No smart TV for me thanks

    *Thick As Shit

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: I'll stick to my old TAS* TV.

      I quit watching TV, it's just garbage these days, I'm happy to buy DVDs and HandBrake them onto the server plus I've digitized all my old VHS tapes so I'm never short of entertainment.

      1. BenDwire Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: I'll stick to my old TAS* TV.

        Oh don't give yet more stupid ideas! It's bad enough going through the DVD box sets and trying to remember to add subtitles *for every single episode* without contemplating the big box of obscure VHS tapes - Diana's funeral, anyone?

        No. I won't. Well, maybe I will, after I've done the audio cassettes and the 78's ... (recorded at 45rpm and then put through Audacity)

        * Handbrake (Linux) doesn't allow you to make this stick in a profile.

        1. Jan 0 Silver badge

          Re: I'll stick to my old TAS* TV.

          Do you know that you need a different stylus to do justice to the sound recorded on 78s?

          1. BenDwire Silver badge
            IT Angle

            Re: I'll stick to my old TAS* TV.

            Well, yes. But if I do them at 45 or even 33.33 does that really matter?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don’t.

    Ever.

    Buy.

    Samsung.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Don’t.

      There's nothing wrong with Samsung per se. Just steer clear of anything fancy.

      Samsung phones - Stick to the middle-end.

      Samsung TV - Stick to the dumb TVs.

      Hell, I have a Samsung laptop still. One of the best laptops I've ever used, lasted forever.

      But your warning should far more be: Don't ever buy anything for the brand.

      I bought several Samsung phones (I like the old Mini and new XCover phones), several Samsung TVs and a laptop over the years. I haven't had to replace them until they're literally obsolete or I felt like it. I replaced the Samsung laptop this year because it only have a 960M in it (which tells you a) how old it is and b) how long I've kept with it rather than change it).

      But I didn't buy any of them "because it's Samsung". I bought them because they, variously, have a headphone port, removable battery, IR blaster, simple flat screens that are cheap to replace (but never once had to), non-stupid design, etc. (phones) are plain and simple (dumb TV) or were actually pretty damn good for the price (gaming laptop, which they sadly don't make any more).

      Don't buy based on name. Buy based on features, price, reliability, reviews, the market, repairability, etc. That may mean that you then always avoid certain names (e.g. Apple), but I've found lots of Samsung products that I wouldn't buy at all. And I've found many that I would. No different to anyone else. Except Apple.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Don’t.

        Samsung washing machine: you have to take the whole damn thing apart to replace the waste nozzle. It goes in the back, takes a route round the most inaccessible parts of the machine, and instead of being clipped to whatever it's connected to like all other tubes in the machine, it's glued to its destination.

        As the other poster said: Don't. Ever. Buy. Samsung.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Don’t.

          Samsung's white goods seem to get a *hugely* disproportionate number of people pointing out how awful and unreliable they are on Reddit. It's almost guaranteed to come up on any thread that mentions that sort of thing.

          It doesn't appear to be a result of Reddit's infamous "hive mind" culture- these are all people who've bought and had bad experiences with Samsung. (And I realise that a major brand will shift more units- and hence get more complaints- but Samsung still appear to get vastly more negative publicity than any other brand).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don’t.

        "There's nothing wrong with Samsung per se.."

        False logic. This kind of asshattery exists solely for corporate greed and total lack of respecting privacy.

        It can't exist without those and therefore it's literally *corporate level issue*. Which means Samsung, as corporation, is evil.

        Do not buy *anything* from them or you support illegal operations (at least here in EU) like this.

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Don’t.

          And then you end up not being able to buy anything, from anyone, ever.

          Fact is, those products are designed for different markets, by different teams, for different purposes, under different leadership, even in different companies in different countries.

          It's like tarring the XBox with the same brush as the guy who made Clippy.

          No device I own has an unnecessary advert, for example. Not one. I'd uninstall or block them if they did. I pay for my software/apps, I use freeware and open-source, and I don't tolerate ads. And yet I own several Samsung products. So obviously they're NOT all out to spam me with advertising.

          Samsung literally do not have my personal information, either. I don't have a Samsung account. My phones asked, I said no, that was the end of that.

          Fact is, an XCover phone, for example, is designed for workers in the field including emergency workers, so a lot of the junk that flies in a consumer flagship phone (style over substance) isn't present or done a lot better.

          Saying "Samsung is evil" would literally mean you shouldn't visit any site with Google ads. Because Google is evil too. Never send an email to GMail. Never use Android. Never search using it. Never touch a product that supports Chromecast. Don't touch Edge (based on Chromium, don't you know?)

          There's a point to take it to - either to paranoia. Or to "it's never affected my personal tolerance". The latter is where I draw the line. The second I get an unsolicited ad on my TV or phone, I'll complain (I love a good weekend of writing complaint letters, I got very good at it) and get another product.

          Fact is I just don't buy stuff that has that, and I eliminate the things that do from consideration, whoever they are made by. And I still ended up with Samsung. If I excluded every Microsoft product because I disagree with XBox Gold, life would be very much more difficult.

  15. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Happy

    Who watches the watchers ?

    Excellent title.

    Juvenal would have hated advertisingthings. I guarantee it..

  16. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Not just Samsung

    If you've seen any analysis of traffic collected by devices – TVs, HDMI-dongles, etc. – and apps, you'd be less surpised because they're all at it and will be trying to use the data commercially at some point. With GDPR and its siblings, Samsung has the short straw because it can probably not demonstrate that informed consent was given, which is probably why only a few million people will have seen anything, but personalised ads, including product placement in shows are coming to us all, because so much money is involved.

  17. jezza99

    I'll stick with my older, definitely dumb, Panasonic TV thanks. Has great picture quality and acceptable sound for a flat screen TV.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dark Patterns

    I am in the US and I have never seen any of these ads either even when it's not using my PiHole.

    On my (older) Samsung TV there is a checkbox that is checked in:

    Settings/Support/Terms&Policy/Interest Based Advertisement/Disable SyncPlus and Interactive Marketing services

    Also, I make sure that the box is NOT selected in:

    Settings/Support/Terms&Policy/Viewing Information Services/"I Agree"

    And I also checked the "I disagree with the Online Remote Management Service Terms and Conditions" box in:

    Settings/Support/Terms&Policy/Online Remote Management Service Terms and Conditions

    And I also UNchecked the "I understand and consent to the above" in:

    Settings/Support/Terms&Policy/Requesting Support

    And I also UNchecked the "I agree" checkbox in:

    Settings/Support/Terms&Policy/Samsung UHD Video Pack

    I also reset the PSID (Personalized Service ID) under:

    Settings/Support/Terms&Policy/Reset PSID

    Once all that was done I was too tired to watch the show I was going to watch and went to bed.

    ==== === ===

    P.S. It is also very interesting to see how long it takes for my TV to stop sending data to Samsung after I turn the TV's power off.

    Data is still streaming out of my Samsung for about 2 minutes after the screen goes black according real-time logs on my Pi-Hole and when I connect the Samsung to a hotspot I create on my Linux laptop running WireShark.

  19. anononononono

    Isn't this the reason smart tvs are so cheap? Any TV using android is sending stuff back to google, even if it isn't advertising directly (Or curating content just for you...)

    I do have a sony bravia, which I really like, but I never go to it's homescreen anymore, it just uses the PS4 and I get all my content through that (Which no doubt also watches, natch, but is faster and less spammy). Youtube, netflix and plex (and most other content providers) all have apps for ps4

  20. An ominous cow heard

    Samsung: Pi's off. Or maybe Pi's on.

    Raspberry Pi + DVB-T (receiver) Hat => Hello Pi Bye Samsung?

    https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-tv-hat/

    What software would it need?

    What about DVB-S? Humax seem to have dropped out of the Freesat market.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Samsung: Pi's off. Or maybe Pi's on.

      Still seems to be there

      https://uk.humaxdigital.com/product-category/freesat/

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Humax FreeSat

        do the modern Humax FreeSat boxes allow you to save the recordings to USB? The old FoxSat devices did.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Humax FreeSat ... save the recordings to USB?

          "do modern Humax FreeSat boxes allow you to save recordings to USB?"

          Yes but not necessarily in any useful way (what did Andrew Preview say - all the bits are there, just not necessarily in the right order?).

          I had a decent (not posh, but decent) Humax Freesat box, I forget which one. It had a 250GB or so external drive, and it worked. Then one day the Humax end failed. The drive's file system appears to be tied to a specific Humax box ID, so whatever I'd recorded is apparently gone forever :(

          I then bought another Humax Freesat box, with internal drive. The Humax seemed to be the least worst of tha available options (at least until RPi 4 gets DVB-S support via MythTV or whatever).

          I don't want my ability, as a licence payer, to watch (or listen to) previously-broadcast stuff to be subject to the arbbitrary whims of some streaming organisation (or even iPlayer).

          I won't be buying another Humax Freesat - that contract has gone out to Arris (who bought Pace in 2015). I wonder why.

          1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

            Re: Humax FreeSat ... save the recordings to USB?

            Thanks. The FoxSat ones (from a decade ago) saved to USB and the files were playable on other devices. Brilliant.

            I'm glad that I have a spare FoxSat box. I just bought a couple of genuine remotes from EBay. I should be ok for a while.

            I'm hoping for a R-Pi DVB-S solution ASAP.

          2. BenDwire Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Humax FreeSat ... save the recordings to USB?

            All may not be lost for your old Humax drive (assuming you still have it). Were you aware that there is custom firmware available for some Humax boxes?

            Have a look at the wiki

            If the box is dead, there are also links to a few programs written to extract files from the drive.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Samsung: Pi's off. Or maybe Pi's on.

      OSMC or MythTV sound likely.

      Very likely it only handles a single MUX at a time but is it capable of handling more than one channel from that MUX? There's no mention of that.

      Some cards for PCI (Hauppauge for instance) have multiple tuners and can handle multiple channels per tuner. DBS options are also available.

  21. Valeyard

    Last Samsung TV

    This has been all over for a while, usually starts right after the warranty ends.

    My 2010 dumb samsung TV is obviously fine, but it'll be last samsung anything.

    Shame that a new TV now needs to be bundled with a pihole, since I doubt that by the time my current TV dies dumb TVs will be widely available anymore.

  22. 0laf Silver badge
    FAIL

    Even bloody Amazon gives you a discount to have the ads on the spash screen of their creations (or charges you to remove them depending on your pov).

    I do have a SmartTV but I don't use any of it's smart functions at all, TV OSs are too clunky. I've no TV/Sat reception at all where I am so the damn thing is a glorified monitor anyway

    But even the idea of this, even if it's only in the US (or probably post Brexit UK) would put me off going near any Samsung kit. Mind you I was already put off by their reputation for bloatware.

    It's ont thing to offer a free service in exchange for advertising and tracking, but to make me buy the bloody thing first (I'm studiously ignoring mobile phones in this rant).

  23. m-k

    old conversation, same brand

    I have a vague impression I saw almost, to the letter, the same issue around Samsung tellies about... 4 years ago? 6?

  24. Graham 32

    Not connecting the TV isn't enough

    The same effect can be achieved by not connecting a smart TV to the internet

    They don't need an internet connection on the TV to know what you watch: https://metro.co.uk/2018/06/22/facebook-wants-hide-inaudible-messages-tv-ads-force-phone-record-audio-7652112/

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Not connecting the TV isn't enough

      That is always assuming that you have not ditched (or never had) in the first place anything to do with Facebook.

      If you have a Pi-Hat you can easily block all FacaeBook connections.

      My 50in Sony tv has never been connected to the internet and will never be if I have anything to do with it. IT gets is signals from FreeSat or from my Humax FreeSat PVR. Neither are connected to my home network.

  25. confused and dazed
    FAIL

    Smart TV's are dumb

    I just bought a 2020 Samsung SMART TV - forget model (£600 55" thing). The UI is dreadful. Gone are the days of just turning on the telly - instead you have to navigate rows of slow icons and avoid "Rakuten TV". I'd never had to give my telly my email address before, or reboot it.

    I know all of these "apps" will stop being supported in a year or so, so really all I want is something to display my desktop box. Perhaps "Smart TV executives" may realise folk don't want this extra complexity in their lives. If I can avoid, then I'd pay more for a dumb one in future.

  26. Smirnov

    This is nothing new

    Ads in TV menus is nothing new. The Panasonic LCD flat-screen TV I bought in 2008 was neither "smart" nor could it connect to the internet, yet in the TV's program guide instead of a live TV picture it showed ads (mostly RadioTimes) it got through the aerial. And of course there was no way to get rid of them, even though the ad spot has been empty for years now as I suppose the service had been shutdown.

  27. Shady
    Megaphone

    Samsung can F**K RIGHT OFF

    I had a few banner ads some years ago, overlaid on top of the TV picture. At the time I was willing to believe it was an isolated incident, a test gone wrong etc, but it was shortly after I’d setup the smart hub.

    Promptly reset back to defaults and removed network access.

    Still a great TV - in dumb mode, but that’s all I ever wanted. A DUMB TV. A panel to attach to my Xbox and Virgin media TiVo (and apart from advertising actual TV programs in the TV guide, never had any issues there).

    This smart TV stuff is irritating - they can’t (yet) replace my STB, they can’t play my Xbox or PS games (without the console) so they’re intrusive and pointless, slow and the UI is usually shit. Just give me a dumb panel, that has the same picture / sound quality, the same aesthetics, and at a lower price point as the smart equivalent, seeing as I won’t be paying for the additional electronics

  28. Snar
    Joke

    Does this make it a "Spammy Sammie"?

  29. jilocasin
    FAIL

    No Samsung here.

    Well, I guess Samsung just made the search for my next TV a little bit easier.

    I don't own a Samsung, and now I won't even bother considering one.

    Thanks Samsung.

  30. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Alert

    This is reason enough to not buy a Samsung TV

    This seems very deceptive to me. Additionally, if you paid full price for the TV, you should not have to keep giving them revenue unless you subscribe to something. And IMHO, Samsung builds crap products that don't last, with the possible exception of some of their smart phones, based on my personal experiences with their stuff.

    There are tons of good TVs out there. I personally prefer a 'dumb' TV, basically a monitor. No reason to be fodder for Samsung's marketing dept without consent.

  31. NanoMeter

    If they gave me the TV for free...

    I might accept some advertising if I got it for free, but not when I pay 1000s of pounds for it. I will not buy a Samsung TV in the future.

    I am going to buy a new TV within a half year.

    It will not be long before they demand their PC monitors to be connected to the internet so they can force advertising on people.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't buy a new TV - or car

    I refuse to buy a TV without a power switch or which is full of "smart" spyware. Modern TVs are obsolete within a couple of years like phones, because they are just phones with bigger screens.. If you really want the apps you may as well just use your phone with a monitor - if you can get one suitable.

    The broadcasters are as bad as TV manufacturers as their systems become obsolete even faster than the TVs. The biggest con being the diifficulty of accessing a sensible programme guide - at least the dreaded Sky option takes care of this, but then you have been spied on by Sky or cable from day one.

    My current TV is one of the last of the Panasonic quality HD Freesat/Freeview TVs with no junk and seems to just last forever. I also Use it with a Humax Freesat/Freeview non internet PVR. The latest versions of thesePVRs have been seriously dumbed down to be half functioning internet streaming rubbish

    I have been looking for options for "upgrading" for years, but my only real choice is to buy a large PC monitor to use with my own tuner/streaming system.

    The semi-pro reasonably priced TV monitors don't seem to exist any more. It is funny that you can still buy separate hifi components at a price, but not TV.

    As someone who was involved in developing broadband and mobile phone from the early days I find I am constantly refusing to use the latest tech for reasons of privacy or security.

    And don't let me start on the problems of trying to avoid insecure spying "smart" cars with basically the same old embedded phone software and worse.

    How will I be able to buy an electric car and disable this same junk?

  33. TheVogon

    You get about one advert every 6 months. Mildly annoying but manageable vs getting proper HDR1000 pictures unlike on my OLED.

  34. jonsed

    A close shave

    I configured a brand new Samsung for my parents last weekend. I was shocked about two things:

    - the configuration and menus are just dreadful - completely unintuitive, no consistency from one area to the next, design-by-committee. At one point I accidentally performed a factory reset and had to start again - unbelievable. Looks like they rushed it out the door.

    - Home screen is a train crash of banners and icons wrecking any sense of which icons are currently selected. And yes: ADS. In real-life we have a sense of "personal space" and I think in the digital world we deserve this too. There is a difference between having pauses in the programme to show ads (you can always get a beverage) and having stuff shoved in your face mid-task by your tv or phone.

    Made a note never to buy a Samsung TV.

  35. nxnwest

    I'm paying the postage

    As long as I am paying the transport cost in full and the advertiser is paying nothing, I must be allowed to block them. Especially with the inevitable datacaps that the ISP are lobbying so hard for. Even with conventional postage, there is first class and bulk rate. Samsung flung ads (and other web ads) put this in reverse as the bits are seen as the same and the consumers have to pay far more for the bits they don't want (forced video) than the bits they do (thinks text and static pictures) by volume.

    I should actually say I should be able to opt in if I want the ads. I should NOT have to block them at all if I'm paying for their transport.

  36. This Side Up
    Flame

    Smart TVs are Dire

    I have a Panasonic box and the apps are limited to iPlayer, YouTube, Netflix and maybe one or two others I never look at. Trying to navigate iPlayer is tedious in the extreme. Surely this is completely the wrong approach. It would be far better to have a Linux computer with a built-in tv tuner, a bluetooth keyboard, and a tv application.

    As for Samsung, I have one of their tvs (not smart) but I won't get another because of the appallingly designed timer facilities.

  37. JCitizen Bronze badge
    Meh

    Use mine as a PC monitor...

    I'm sure my PC spies on me even worse than my Samsung. It was one of the first CTO desktops allowed by the MPAA to provide HDTV content back in 2007. So no joy on that subject no matter what. I haven't noticed any unfamiliar ad interruptions, so perhaps I have to be on the Smart TV apps to get that "Feature". At any rate, the Samsung TVs I've used have one thing I absolutely insist on and cannot stand otherwise, and that is a shiny screen. I HATE reflections on the flat screen and both TVs I've had, were superior in this regard. The picture is so good, I couldn't say it isn't the best on the market. I'll stay with this brand until something else more drastic changes; I can put up with ads as long as it isn't irritating, and I get no irritation so far.

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