The downfall of smart TVs: From promises of seamless viewing to ad tool on steroids

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Before we start talking about smart TV technology, let's take a short trip down memory lane and recall what television was like without it: it's the early 2000s, your favorite show is on, the action builds to a climax, you're on the edge of your seat.... and there it is, the dreaded commercial break.

There was literally nothing you could do about it except keep switching channels back and forth and cursing silently. You felt helpless and annoyed.

Not an idiot box…

The advent of user-friendly smart TV in the late 2000s felt like a breath of fresh air. It allowed viewers to stream what they wanted and when they wanted, play music and even browse the web. The only thing you had to do was to install a streaming app such as Netflix or Hulu (most smart TVs already come with preloaded apps) and enjoy your favorite content with minimum distractions and ads… Oh. Wait.

...but a smart data harvester
Smart TVs might have invaded almost every home on the promise of customized and seamless viewing experience, but, in essence, they are not much different from their bulkier and dumber predecessors. Right from the get-go TV vendors have been conditioning their smart brainchildren to collect user data to personalize ads and sometimes directly deliver them to viewers' screens. To do so, TV manufacturers have been tracking user behavior through a variety of tools, chipping away at their privacy.

And while you can use an ad blocker to do away with ads on your PC or a smartphone, this would not work with smart TVs. Do not despair, though — there are some ready-made solutions that can help you get rid of noisy adverts even on smart TVs. For example, you can change the DNS server or install a network-wide software like AdGuard Home that will block ads and tracking across all your devices. But let's not get ahead of ourselves and first take a closer look at the problem itself.
 

oldschool

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Samsung makes users jump through hoops to decline all available privacy options, but of course they all do. Samsung may not be the worst in any case but users must take proactive steps to do this, even in California. And these are the best privacy protections in all of The Republic of Gilead. o_O:rolleyes:
 
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MrFellow

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Jun 7, 2022
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Not that it is important, I don't own a TV for 7 years now.
person-s-2-am-family-is-sleeping-and-are-playing-minecraft-s-peaceful-life.jpg
 

HarborFront

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From the below, it seems cannot block YT ads when watching YT clips even if I change DNS server in the smart TV. Hate those ads.


Quote

Known limitations

Here are some examples of what cannot be blocked by a DNS-level blocker:

  • YouTube, Twitch ads
  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram sponsored posts
Essentially, any advertising that shares a domain with content cannot be blocked by a DNS-level blocker.

Unquote

Apart from paying for YT Premium service will the below method work by inputting the list of addresses to successfully block YouTube ads into the router?

 
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SpiderWeb

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I changed the DNS servers on my smart TV to nextDNS. It's amazing how much they phone back. It's not the ads for me on my LG OLED. It's trackers. So. much. data. All while it's just showing you one pretty frame after another. Everything is tracked, what I search for, what channel I'm on, whenever I change channels, what app I'm using, everything. It's ridiculous and clear this has become a big source of income for TV manufacturers.
 

Telos

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In the last 30 days NextDNS blocked 12.795 queries from my Samsung smart TV. It's more than 50% of all blocked queries.

View attachment 268551
Bear in mind those statistics are inflated. When the query is blocked, it is repeated until it times out. If you counted the number of queries without blocking, the number would be significantly lower. Same happens with Roku... it just keeps banging on the door.
 

oldschool

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hi there,

I recently started using nextdns with oisd list setup in my router with dot for all my local clients. I have 3 LG oled smart tv's, 2 amazon fire sticks and 1 nvidia shield. Please advice if there are anymore lists i need to add in nextdns?
Just make sure to enable Native Tracking Protection for any of the listed apps/systems you use, e.g. Windows, Samsung, etc.
 

Chuck57

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Oct 22, 2018
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We turned off our old CRT 27 inch over 3 years ago and have not missed or regretted it. Got tired of paying for DISH and having to put up with commercials on top of it. And out of 250 plus channels, it seemed like everything was a re-run we'd seen only months before or, in some cases, years before.
 

HarborFront

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I added the block list of Samsung addresses into the router to block ads from inside Youtube as from below but they won't work

 
L

Local Host

I added the block list of Samsung addresses into the router to block ads from inside Youtube as from below but they won't work

Why you using Samsung addresses to block Youtube ads?
 
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