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Television Advertising Hardware

Samsung Smart TVs Injected Ads Into Streamed Video 370

mpicpp sends this news from CNET: Reports are emerging that Samsung smart TVs have begun inserting short advertisements directly into video streaming apps, with no influence from the third-party app providers. The news comes just days after Samsung made headlines for another incursion into users' lounge rooms, when it was revealed that its TV voice recognition software is capable of capturing personal information and transmitting it to third parties. ... The issue has been reported on the Plex streaming service — a brand of media player that allows users to stream their own video from a personal library or hard drive and push it to a smart TV. Samsung says this was not intentional, and that they've fixed it so the ads should no longer show up.
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Samsung Smart TVs Injected Ads Into Streamed Video

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  • by BVis ( 267028 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @09:57AM (#49028319)

    What they mean by that is that they didn't intend for people to object to the ads or for their poor behavior to be called out.

    It's really too bad, I have an older Samsung HDTV and it's really great. I was considering buying another Samsung when the time came to replace it. Now what am I going to buy? Sony? Vizio?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @09:59AM (#49028323)
      Well, don't buy LG -- they do the same thing as Samsung. In addition to forcibly displaying ads, they have other problems, too -- they invalidated my HDMI cables because they updated the protocol ports without asking leaving me to buy new equipment so they could 'enforce copyright laws'.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:29AM (#49028583)

        Yep! After a firmware update for my LG that basically told me "allright, now I'm going to report on what you watch to whomever I damn well please", I blocked its access to the internet on my firewall (I keep my Wifi on a separate subnet), so sorry LG TV, no more Internet access for you (but I obviously can still stream stuff from my own LAN)

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          this really needs to be made illegal by some consumer protections group. displaying ads, breaking hdmi, recording your voice these are all huge points your product did not do when you purchased it.

          sadly, government will not likely do squat about that. oligarchies are like that. guess i'll be going back to the HTPC + dumb tv next purchase

          • Sorry, PS3 already set the standard for removing features with no penalty. Remember "Other OS"?

          • by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @12:17PM (#49029623)

            Looks like I just need a router with the same smarts as the TV, where the telly would be on its own network segment (so it can't change its IP and get around it.)

            Maybe this is a harbinger of things to come where IoT devices in general would need firewalled due to privacy and security concerns.

            Of course, the next counter from the TV makers, will be the TV either just not working at all with any inputs unless it has the ability to phone home (think games that require a constant network connection), or it gets a 3G antenna... so even without a direct Net connection, it still can phone home.

            Maybe the best of all worlds is as described above... a HTPC + a large monitor. Smart TVs seem dumb to me, as they don't add any useful features, but seem be another vector for ad-slinging and invading privacy.

            • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @12:38PM (#49029849)

              Maybe this is a harbinger of things to come where IoT devices in general would need firewalled due to privacy and security concerns.

              Of course! That's why they're all designed to work with the "cloud." Making it easy for Joe Dumbass to use without having to teach him how to set up his own server is only the excuse they tell "consumers;" the real reason they do it is for that sweet, sweet Big Data.

            • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @03:42PM (#49032039)

              Maybe the best of all worlds is as described above... a HTPC + a large monitor. Smart TVs seem dumb to me, as they don't add any useful features, but seem be another vector for ad-slinging and invading privacy.

              From a manufacturing standpoint, Smart TVs aren't dumb. If you've ever taken apart a modern HDTV, it's basically a monitor plus a small computer which does the image decoding and processing. On some HDTVs the computer half even plugs into the monitor half with a DVI cable.

              For the manufacturer, it's trivial to beef up the computer with $10-$20 of extra hardware (faster CPU and more RAM), add some software, and charge an extra $200 for it being a Smart TV. As you surmise, the buyer is much better off buying a "dumb" TV and adding a HTPC (I recommend an old laptop so you don't kill your dollar savings with extra electricity burned by a 100 Watt old desktop).

      • by dHagger ( 1192545 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @11:16AM (#49028987)
        My LG TV got a firmware update that - after the upgrade was installed - prompted me to accept a new agreement that would allow them to monitor everything I do and send it to a third party. I declined, and in return most of the SMART features were disabled. LG's support only refers me to an email address they claim should be displayed on the agreement page (which of course does not contain any contact information at all), and when pushing them they told me to email an address that is more or less a black hole (they never reply).
        • The only way to get LG to actually react would be for everyone affected to sue them individually in small-claims court (for the cost of the TV, plus court costs). Complaining anywhere other than a courtroom will get us nowhere, and going class-action just results in coupons for $10 off the next piece of privacy-destroying bullshit.

    • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:11AM (#49028417)
      Samsung Australia's statement is telling:

      This was a result of an error that occurred as part of a recent software update that was not intended for the Australian market.

      We can confirm that the issue has now been rectified and that there are currently no plans to introduce this type of advertising in Australia in the near future.

      Check the qualifiers. That behavior was intended, but for other markets. Samsung does have plans to introduce it to the Australian market, but in the long term.

      • by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:19AM (#49028509) Journal

        Check the qualifiers. That behavior was intended, but for other markets. Samsung does have plans to introduce it to the Australian market, but in the long term.

        That's exactly it. There's no way for them to claim it's unintentional, as it takes intentional code to create this behavior. I don't know what on earth these people are thinking, but I won't be buying any "smart" TV that decides to share my conversations and injects ads where they don't belong. Same thing goes for Keurig and their DRM'd coffe makers or any other "smart" applicances. It seems that every "smart" appliance has a lot of foolish thinking behind it.

        • Re: (Score:5, Interesting)

          by NetAlien ( 2855345 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:54AM (#49028803)

          It seems that every "smart" appliance has a lot of foolish thinking behind it.

          AKA greed. I'd be surprised if I'm the only person who avoids companies that keep finding ways to get around ad blockers.

          VENDORS: Wanna advertize to me? Do it DISCRETELY while I'm SEARCHING for YOUR product; and ONLY if you have a product I'm looking for; otherwise, you lose me as a customer/client. Want me to receive your ads? PAY *me*, not only the ad pushers!

          Gotta wonder... would Pepsi, Coke and other "name brands" really lose much business if they stopped advertising? Or would their net profit increase by not wasting $$ on ads?

          • by mjwx ( 966435 )

            Gotta wonder... would Pepsi, Coke and other "name brands" really lose much business if they stopped advertising? Or would their net profit increase by not wasting $$ on ads?

            Yep,

            For brands like, Coke, McDonalds, et al. They would lose a lot of sales if they didn't constantly expose people to their advertising. You'd be surprised at the number of people who only drink Coke because they were exposed to a coke advert a few moments ago. For these companies they need to stay at the front of people's consciousness as they cant rely on people getting hungry or thirsty and defaulting to Micky D's or Coke because people would rarely do this of their own accord.

        • Uh, your mistake would not be smart TV's. Your mistake is buying a smart TV's that have some sort of voice/audio control. There's no reason to trust any mfr with audio information.

          Roku TV's for example, do not do this - they don't have or need a microphone, really.

          • I'm not so sure. LG sends back info on what you're watching via USB, Amazon, Netflix. No voice control there. I think smart TVs will keep taking liberties,

        • by njnnja ( 2833511 )

          The fact is that in general, people want to own their stuff, not have their stuff own them. Apple taught manufacturers a very poor lesson; namely, the way to make huge profits is to create and cultivate a walled garden that the manufacturer controls and collects the tolls. But Apple wasn't successful because it has a walled garden, it is successful because plenty of people with lots of disposable income like the Apple user experience. You can argue that the walled garden is a necessary condition to the iPho

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Don't buy a tv, spend more time on tracker sites and slashdot instead.
      • You know people use TVs to play stuff they download.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        Don't buy a tv, spend more time on tracker sites and slashdot instead.

        That won't necessarily solve the problem. The only high speed internet provider where I live has rewritten HTML on the fly [slashdot.org] to serve their own content. I would not hold my breath that they won't do the same for video.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:16AM (#49028475)

      Vizio is a pretty solid brand... at least for their larger TVs. Decent contrast, good response time, and if you choose carefully, no Smart TV nastiness. Of course, we bought the Smart TV at the time, but it doesn't get in the way. The only way you'll see it is if you press a certain button. And personally, they did Smart TV right. If you need it, it's there and easy to access. If you don't want it, don't worry about it - out of mind, out of sight.

      • by kilfarsnar ( 561956 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @11:40AM (#49029235)

        Vizio is a pretty solid brand... at least for their larger TVs. Decent contrast, good response time, and if you choose carefully, no Smart TV nastiness. Of course, we bought the Smart TV at the time, but it doesn't get in the way. The only way you'll see it is if you press a certain button. And personally, they did Smart TV right. If you need it, it's there and easy to access. If you don't want it, don't worry about it - out of mind, out of sight.

        How terrible is it that I am now suspicious of every post saying something good about a company or product? This could be a legit post, written by someone who has a positive experience with their TV. But I read the content and see it's posted by an AC and immediately think "astroturf". There is a trust that has been broken in our society; a lot actually. Something has been lost and I'm not sure if/how we get it back.

        • . Something has been lost and I'm not sure if/how we get it back.

          WE get it back by stopping being a "global" community, and start becoming "local" again. Support Local, wherever possible. You know, getting off the couch and stop watching TV and meeting your neighbors as you go outside for a walk.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      It's clearly a bug. The idea is that developers of streaming video apps can use an API to add advertising to their videos. The flag to enable it was being set by default, incorrectly.

      Even Samsung isn't mad enough to piss people off by inserting adverts into random video streams. Their lawyers probably wouldn't let them anyway, as inserting ads into other programming is likely to be copyright infringement.

      • by BVis ( 267028 )

        Samsung is a big enough company to be able to ignore annoying things like "the law". And there's a long and storied history of companies pissing their customers off in the name of profits.

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      No no no, you got it all wrong! It was not intended that they get caught! The whole injecting their own ads into the stream, that's a feature!
      • by BVis ( 267028 )

        That also crossed my mind. However, everyone there would have to be massively, forget-to-breathe, pants-on-head stupid to think that nobody would notice this. There is a possibility that this is the case; to me, EVERYONE's that stupid until I know otherwise..

    • I bought a Samsung smart tv last year. Generally I like the TV, but the smart TV features are not very good. I tried Chromecast and then settled on Roku (I prefer a physical remote). You could just buy the Samsung TV and then not use the smart features. Streaming devices like chromecast, roku, fire tv, apple tv aren't that expensive, and are much better.

      • by BVis ( 267028 )

        I don't use the smart features on the one I have, either. It's not just about being subjected to these ads myself, though. It's about using the only vote we really have: we can vote with our dollars. Samsung (and any other huge multinational) does not give a single fuck about pissing off its customers; they know that their customers will rarely be motivated enough to get off the couch and do anything about it. But, if their sales suffer as a result of this move, then they are more likely to not try to p

    • I would never plug a TV into the internet. I don't even plug my Xbox in unless it insists on a firmware upgrade. I think I plugged my LG blu-ray player once. Systems that I build from reliable vendors get plugged into the internet. Problem solved.
    • Sony TVs are too dumb to do this. They have a great picture, though, and don't cost any more than comparable Samsung models. That may change next year, however, as they're going Android TV.
    • by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @02:39PM (#49031249)
      We all need to get together and form some Big Dumb Companies:

      * Big Dumb Pipe: High-Speed Symmetrical Broadband with no other restrictions, bells, whistles, nor even the ability to log your activities, given that it is only a Big. Dumb. Pipe.

      * Big Dumb Appliances: No, they will not be running apps nor making predictive adjustments based on your FitBit. But they will have ALL user-replaceable parts and be so durable, most if not all will be handed down at least two generations.

      * Big Dumb Panels: no built-in anything, such as DRM, locked-down SOCs, near-useless speakers, nor web cams, nor mics: just a big, beautiful screen, tiny bezels, a plethora of mounting holes, and damn near every type of video connection, period.

      The ad campaign writes itself: "Big. Dumb. Ideas who's time have come."
  • Bullshit Samsung (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bazmail ( 764941 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:00AM (#49028331)
    It was an accident? So all this ad injection tech was a typo by some developer? lol. Why is it that the more popular a tech company gets the more of a dick it becomes? Is that some sort of business law? Samsung's trustworthiness is zero as far as I'm concerned.
    • by Scutter ( 18425 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:07AM (#49028375) Journal

      Show me a tech company with a non-zero "trustworthiness". Every one of them wants to "monetize" you in any way they can and will screw you over and sell you to the highest bidder in a heartbeat if it raises their quarterlies by a tenth of a percent.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by pherthyl ( 445706 )

        Apple. They are very up front with how they get their money from you and that's in the hardware prices. They charge a lot for hardware but so far they don't try to screw you after purchase by advertising or selling your data.

        • Re:Bullshit Samsung (Score:4, Interesting)

          by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @08:44PM (#49034403)

          Apple. They are very up front with how they get their money from you and that's in the hardware prices. They charge a lot for hardware but so far they don't try to screw you after purchase by advertising or selling your data.

          Read your Itunes T&C.

          They can share your data with any "partner" they choose.

          They're worse than Google with selling your data, at least Google is upfront about it, rather than burying it in 100 pages of legalese.

      • Show me any company with a non-zero "trustworthiness". Every one of them wants to "monetize" you in any way they can and will screw you over and sell you to the highest bidder in a heartbeat if it raises their quarterlies by a tenth of a percent.

        FTFY

      • by paazin ( 719486 )
        I have a feeling Valve may be one of the rare few that fits this -- maybe because they're privately held but they don't do stupid moves just to squeeze a tiny bit more cash out of consumers.
    • Yeah I lol'd too. "Oh look, we had a team of developers accidentally build out a fully functioning module into the TV's OS, tested it, worked out the bugs, published it, and it also just so happens to make our company more money. This is an outrage, how could this have possibly happened?".

      Watch out everyone, software is now evolving on its own! It's beginning, machines are rising! Where is Sarah Connor!?!?
    • by hoggoth ( 414195 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:46AM (#49028717) Journal

      I once accidentally used a "repeat x until y" loop instead of a "while y begin x end", and I got real-time facial recognition. This was in a checkbook app.

    • by eth1 ( 94901 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @11:00AM (#49028843)

      Why is it that the more popular a tech company gets the more of a dick it becomes? Is that some sort of business law?.

      Essentially, yes, at least for any publicly traded company that has to increase profits every quarter or be lynched by the shareholders.

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:01AM (#49028333)

    Samsung says this was not intentional.

    If they can "accidentally" insert ads into video streams can we really be confident that the audio stream of conversations [slashdot.org] from the smart tv won't "accidentally" be passed to advertisers for targeting, listened to by employees, or even used to select victims of crime ("yes I'm going to be away next week but I'll hide the Rembrant under the bed")?

    • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:25AM (#49028541) Journal

      Well, you can sort of test this. Either start randomly saying strawberries and see if you get adds for them. Alternatively, you can mock a murder scene in your living room, have someone come in and shriek at the horrer and describe the carnage then mock kill them. Spend thr next 20 minute trying to get blood off the walls and carpets. See if the cops show up or if you get adds for cleaning services.

      • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

        Samsung's not going to care about any of that.
        You should finish with "Hey look at the cool television. I was planning to buy a new one anyway, so I'll just take this one instead". Cops will be at your door faster than you can say "There's a matching soundbar too".

      • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

        Just another Wednesday at my house.

      • by tool462 ( 677306 )

        My TV just started playing Breaking Bad on Netflix...

    • Maybe they accidentally built a complex server application to deliver ads into video streams, kind of like you might accidentally slip in the shower.

  • I am not sure that Samsung could have come up with features that would make me want to buy their TV less unless they simply went with slapstick comedy. Spontaneous combustion? Radiation hazard? Randomly calls in SWAT teams?

    Or maybe they have more subtle comedy offering coming where they partially morph your face onto all the fat and ugly people who appear on your screen. Or send subliminal messages suggesting that your spouse should have an affair.

    But for now they at least seem to be violating our pri
    • Sometimes I wonder if the board at Samsung aren't a bunch of senile old Koreans who've completely lost any connection to reality. Anyone remember that crazy musical press conference they held a couple of years ago? It looked like what I picture Johnny Depp would see whenever he closes his eyes.

  • I have been in the market for an HDTV for a while now, but haven't been convinced that any aren't massive security holes. Yes, I could leave it unconnected from the network, but then I'm just pushing the problem to another device.

    • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:13AM (#49028453)

      I have been in the market for an HDTV for a while now, but haven't been convinced that any aren't massive security holes.

      So quarantine it on the network just like you would any other untrusted machine. Firewall, DMZ, etc. I think it is only sane to regard devices like this as insecure and to behave accordingly. I think the same could be said for lots of so-called smart home devices. Anything you don't have a reasonable approximation of full control over should be treated as insecure by default

      • by hoggoth ( 414195 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:49AM (#49028749) Journal

        Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner.

        I have a "smart" LG TV. I didn't plug in the ethernet and I didn't configure my Wi-Fi password. All of my 'Smarts' come from the Chromecast plugin and the XBMC sitting under it. I'm not trusting the TV with a connection to the outside world.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          That works as long as your neighbors wifi isn't locked down. These things fine a connection and use it whether you want it to or not for reasons.

          • by Megane ( 129182 )

            1: find ancient Apple AirPort or LinkSys wireless router

            2: set it up with a bogus SSID like "Free no-Internet" and no password

            3: tell TV to use that wireless

            4: PROFIT!

    • I'm confused,
      do you mean smart tv? because HDTV doesn't need network connections, or anything that makes them "questionable". You can easily go buy one, especially one that predates many of these intrusions.

    • by Pieroxy ( 222434 )

      It is perfectly safe if you don't plug it in your Wifi or your rj45 wire. That's how my HDTV is configured today. I envision my TV as a dumb screen, and it's been working so far.

    • Just don't buy a smart tv. They cost a whole lot more than "dumb tvs" and you can by a roku box/amazon fire stick/ etc for a fraction of the price difference.

      Those are also cheaper to "upgrade" (replace) when you want something better and is more mobile than carrying your entire TV around.

    • I have been in the market for an HDTV for a while now, but haven't been convinced that any aren't massive security holes.

      You mean a smart TV. HDTVs don't necessarily have networking. Mine doesn't.

    • Don't buy a smart tv. There are still plenty around.

  • Between this and the privacy invasions [slashdot.org] I'd say there is no place for these TV's in my home. And I really wouldn't want to hang out in other people's homes if they had them, either. This application of technology needs to die in a fire.
    • by Megane ( 129182 )

      Smart TV is the new DIVX. [wikipedia.org] Back in the day I even got one person to return their player to Circuit Shitty for a refund.

      I refuse to hook up a TV set to the internet and allow it to run whatever the fuck mystery-ware it wants. I won't use them as anything other than a dumb TV hooked up to an antenna, or a display connected to a computer (which may even contain an ATSC receiver). But so far I haven't yet been in a situation where I've been forced to buy a "smart" TV.

  • by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:13AM (#49028441) Homepage

    I mean, with the plethora of set-top boxes like AppleTV, Roku, FireTV, ChromeCast, why would anyone in their right mind buy an all-in-one, especially from a known UI offender like Samsung (TouchWiz?).

    Samsung should focus on making a TV with sound that doesn't suck (i.e., integrated wireless speakers that auto-calibrate) or maybe focus on style and setup for differentiation.

    Whatever... they are a low-price disruptor and they essentially kicked Panasonic and Pioneer out of the market so they could foist this "app crap" on us. Whoever buys a Samsung "smart" TV deserves one I guess.

    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      A lot of smart TVs are cheaper (by a lot) than the equivalent dumb TV of similar quality, because of the stupid ads and the "shop".

      I have a panasonic viera. Works fine, the big channels are updated pretty frequently, etc.

      I have a Roku, but often the image quality is better on the Viera apps, and it lets me have my 2 mostly used apps opened and just toggle between inputs, which is faster than switching app/channel on the roku or the viera themselves.

      If i had to choose just one, I'd pick the Roku for sure...

    • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:20AM (#49028515)

      Unfortunately above a certain screen size it's basically impossible to get a non-"smart" TV. Personally I can do without all the extra fluff and would prefer they just give me lots of input ports and great picture and drop the price a lot. If I want to stream something I'll get a separate device (Roku, Bluray etc) to do that. I already have a TiVo and it does pretty much 90%+ of what I want out of a TV.

      Personally all I want is a huge screen with excellent picture and sound features and lots of input ports. Basically just a big monitor. Good luck getting that in 60+ inch screen size though...

      • Unfortunately above a certain screen size it's basically impossible to get a non-"smart" TV..... Personally all I want is a huge screen with excellent picture and sound features and lots of input ports. Basically just a big monitor. Good luck getting that in 60+ inch screen size though...

        Couldn't you just not connect to the Internet? Sure you wouldn't get the "smart" aspects of your smartTV, but you have indicated you are not interested in those features anyway.

        Or are these new TVs completely useless withou

      • Get a projector. That's what I did. No tuner, no smart apps, not even speakers - just an HDMI input and a 1080p native output. Combine with a 5.1 system and you have an amazing system. At just $1000, this is perfect setup for watching reruns of Pokémon off of Netflix!

        • by sjbe ( 173966 )

          Get a projector.

          Not practical for my particular household. It's a fine solution in some cases (my sister has one) but I would have all sorts of construction costs to ceiling mount it (yes, necessary) and to get the picture to display nicely.

  • The one who leaked all those emails.

  • A pity. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:24AM (#49028535) Journal
    Surely we've reached the point where advertisers can be classified as a highly invasive species of mammalian pests and our attentions turned to exterminating them, no?
    • Yeah, we've done really well when it comes to exterminating invasive/pest species...

      • With the larger mammals, we've actually done so well that they are either extinct, domesticated, or have to be legally protected as endangered species. It's the smaller ones that are pretty much unstoppable. Compare wolves to rats, say.

        In the case of advertisers, their metabolic and phenotypic similarity to humans would afford them a degree of concealment in settled areas and make mass poisoning impractical; but they don't reproduce particularly quickly or have large litter sizes and are large enough to
  • Television is not, nor was it ever arguably, designed with your education or entertainment in mind. Ever since Winston Cigarettes the primary objective of television has been to deliver flashing lights and colours in order to captivate viewers. These viewers would then be marketed a product, and as television advertising grew the methods and systems used to achieve this goal would change. most TV is drama, and peddles fear uncertainty and doubt as powerful emotions to ensure you'll consume related produc
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:43AM (#49028691)

      Since when were dumb TVs ever subsidized by ads? The low cost of today's flat panel televisions is largely due to advances in electronics and mass manufacturing, not some hidden stealth subsidy. It's the programming that is subsidized by ads, not the device itself.

    • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

      > Ever since Winston Cigarettes the primary objective of television has been to deliver flashing lights and colours in order to captivate viewers.

      There is some poetic symmetry that we've come full circle from Winston cigarettes to Winston Smith being watched by his TV.

  • It's pretty said (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @10:39AM (#49028665)
    when something like a TV will require accepting an EULA in order to use it as intended. No doubt, buried in the EULA will be your agreeing to let them send ads whenever they want. What's next, a coffee machine that can insert other brands of coffee into the brew cycle?
  • Welcome the Internet Of Things!

    Wat they didn't tell us, things suck!

  • Seriously in this day and age of advertising dollars I cannot fathom anyone that is shocked by this....
  • Nice! For once the bad news passes me by! I use my Panasonic plasma TV merely as a monitor for DVD, BluRay and mostly my own mediacenter pc.

    It's 42 inches and since I've never thought "gee, having a bigger TV would sure be nice), I'm guessing if I ever have to replace it it's going to be with a computer monitor, which get bigger by the year anyway.

    No SmartTV nonsense. All I need is a HDMI input of some kind.

  • I was trying to watch a youtube video on my tivo. The tivo youtube app put a 5 minute advertisement at the beginning of the three minute youtube video, and to rub salt in the wound, the button designated to skip the ad after 30 seconds was disabled.

    .
    I punted the tivo and watched the video on my notebook, sans ads.

  • by Adam Simons ( 2881717 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @11:05AM (#49028887)
    I use AdBlock and Ghostery's lists to block ad networks and trackers at the router level. Any computer/phone/smart device that connects to my network automatically has ads and trackers blocked. So far, so good. Granted, it's not simple enough for the everyday person to implement. Also, I don't buy any smart TVs because their software is most often crap, you shouldn't have to accept an EULA to use a TV (or a coffee machine, toaster, etc), and they have the capacity to be bricked unlike a regular "dumb" TV. And then there's this eavesdropping and injecting additional ads BS.
    • by ndavis ( 1499237 )

      I use AdBlock and Ghostery's lists to block ad networks and trackers at the router level. Any computer/phone/smart device that connects to my network automatically has ads and trackers blocked. So far, so good. Granted, it's not simple enough for the everyday person to implement. Also, I don't buy any smart TVs because their software is most often crap, you shouldn't have to accept an EULA to use a TV (or a coffee machine, toaster, etc), and they have the capacity to be bricked unlike a regular "dumb" TV. And then there's this eavesdropping and injecting additional ads BS.

      I agree but the real problem is that most of the TVs out today are Smart TVs. I just purchased one because I didn't have much of an option. I ended up with a Vizio E series but I really would just like a dumb terminal.

    • I use AdBlock and Ghostery's lists to block ad networks and trackers at the router level.

      Sorry, how do you do this at the router level?

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @11:19AM (#49029017) Homepage

    Don't buy a fucking 'Smart' TV.

    Instead of the app embedded in the TV, run the real version of the app on something else.

    Take Samsung out of the equation entirely.

    A 'Smart' TV is mostly a vehicle for companies to gather more data about you, and get in on the money action -- which means you should not be trusting it.

    Because you're stuck with whatever sleazy stuff they're doing in the background, and whatever changes they're making to the EULA and privacy policy without telling you.

    Samsung are increasingly sound like a company I'd not really be willing to buy products from. Because they seem to be suffering from a lot of "because we can, and because we gave ourselves permission" crap.

    Sorry, but no. Injecting ads into a stream you have nothing to do with? But that's just assholes in marketing who need to be shot.

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2015 @11:56AM (#49029385) Journal

    Personally, I just want my TV to be a monitor: display a video signal as clearly and cleanly as possible.(optimally: with the lowest possible power use too). Is that too much to ask?

    I don't need voice commands, hyperlinking to IMDB, or social media letting my friends know WTF kind of pr0n I watch.

    Just like their warning about "well the TV is listening for your commands, so private info you say may also be inadvertently recorded and passed to third parties" - the former is sort of logically true, with any speech-recognition thing, of course. It's the LATTER that's evil: you as a company wringing every fucking *penny* out of my user data ("Oh, I see styopa switched aware from channel 4 when this Pepsi commercial came on? Let's let Ch4 and Pepsi both know!") without a) letting me know, and b) sharing it with me, if I opt to let you do it.

    I'm sensing that there HAS to be a market out there for 'clean' tech products, no?

  • I want a dumb 1080p or 4k tv with 10 year warranty

Any given program will expand to fill available memory.

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