Vizio exec: we'd have to charge a premium on "dumb" TVs to make up for the money we'll lose by not spying on you


A purpose built Pi-hole for Smart Tvs (and other internet of shit devices) would probably sell like mad.


I couldn’t watch “Bandersnatch” (new interactive episode of Black Mirror) on my smart TV (Vizio something) even though the remote has two sets of redundant directional buttons, colored buttons for something a keyboard on the back with lord only knows what else. I literally only use four buttons: On/Off, Volume, Direction arrow, and Enter.

But of course my XBox One could run it with the regular controller (with what, 10 controls?)


Version 2 of that pi-hole would intercept the tracking message, replace with gobbeldygook and send it along.


I can only get so aroused


That’s my experience. I bought a Sony Bravia last year and if it isn’t connected to the internet, it complains all the time. I eventually connected it, went through the setup, then rejected their privacy policy which puts in the situation Cory is in - I have to trust that they aren’t watching me watch TV.


How do you airgap wireless?


“No one wants TVs that don’t have Smart TV features.”

“How do you know?”

“Because no one buys anything but Smart TVs from us.”

“Do you offer non-Smart TVs?”

“Of course not! No one would buy them…”


Seems like pihole could easily prevent “smart” tv’s from phoning home.

Who’s keeping a list of where the data goes?


How come this whole surveillance capitalism thing came about only w/ the advent of digital tech? What I mean is, why weren’t advertisers back in the day simply paying people to go out in the street, listen to conversations of people they knew, write shit down, and turn it in for a little cash?* Why does the hardware have to be in the middle of it?

These are the questions I wonder about (and fear the answers to).

*I’m not talking about “secret shopper” and that sort of stuff. I’m talking about wholesale, mass data collection on a clipboard where everyone would have known it was happening and accept it in the same way we are today, apparently, on the whole, OK w/ spy tech.


Don’t connect it to your home wifi network.


Don’t give it the password.


Wow! Never heard of pihole before. Thank you! Def gonna look pretty seriously at it.


Cellular modems and industrial data plans for low bandwith are cheap. Reference the CPAP post on BB a few months back.


NEC, For what it’s worth, still does make ‘dumb’ 4K screens- problem is, they are for commercial or industrial use (think digital signage, or the video walls at bars and other entertainment establishments). The other problem is that they are expensive: a 55" 4K UHD w/ tuner (model E557Q) is priced at just over a grand.

The positive to the expense is that, barring abuse or other unpleasantness, they will run just fine for at least three years with them on 24/7 continuously. (disclaimer: I work for an ‘entertainment establishment’, and we buy these and even larger screens by the pallet.)


I would be curious to know what TV that was, as I’ve never seen this, and I sell TVs. As it is, since “smart” really just means “can connect to the internet” there’s no guarantee that a non smart TV that’s otherwise the same wouldn’t do the exact same thing. Also sounds like a setting that can be turned off if need be.

But to the main point, I’ve noticed that the only people who want to buy a non- smart TV are people who figure that it will be cheaper. That’s it. They don’t want to pay for a feature they feel they won’t use. Which is understandable, but as this article points out, TV manufacturers actually get less margin on dumb TVs when all is said and done. It’s simply not worth it for them to make entirely different models.


A TV that isn’t smart is just a monitor these days and there are lots of choices, but they are way more expensive than Smart TVs.


& @Headache Vizio doesn’t sell any non-Smart TVs.


The worst thing about these Vizio “smart” TV’s is when you have to replace the ink cartridge.


The one with the aspect ratio issues is a Panasonic Viera model - and yes, you can turn the feature “off” by navigating a long and obtuse set of menus, but every time the TV was turned off and back on again, the feature was re-activated. That TV is now hooked up to a Nintendo Wii, and nothing else. I’ve also got friends with a sony smart TV that does the same thing. Most people who get them aren’t willing to fight with the menus over and over to try and figure out how to make it stop, and just accept that “this is what cable TV is like now” - which probably adds to the number of cord cutters out there.

Another great feature of the Panasonic Viera Smart TV is all of the non-removable apps that were put on it for services that promptly ceased to exist. I think the Shoutcast still works, but the movie streaming service is dead, and I’m not even sure what the other one was, but it’s dead too. (Can’t check, they’re halfway across the province from me, and I won’t be heading down there for at least a few weeks.)


I still have an old fashioned 90s huge tv, not even a flatscreen. It’s still working, I see no reason to replace it. It’s a hand me down from my grandmother. Getting a new tv would just expose me to another data mining vector and honestly I don’t want to add even more electronic trash to the scrapheap.