Not that smart

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Our Samsung TV is over a decade old. It replaced an enormous rear-projection TV, that was also around a decade old. It’s only 1080p and doesn’t have any ‘smart’ features, but since we don’t watch a massive amount of TV, that’s just fine. I expect it to last a while yet.

How many TVs have you ever bought? Likely not many. You only buy a new one if the old one breaks, or becomes obsolete. That poses a problem for manufacturers, because there is an upper limit on the number of TVs that they can sell.

Now that TVs connect to Wi-Fi, an additional revenue stream opens in the way of advertisements. Samsung has been selling ad space on their smart TVs for a while, and makes a bunch of money from it. Now LG is getting into the game.

This bothers me. We’ve kind of accepted that we don’t have to pay hard cash to use Facebook and Google - and all the rest - and that instead we give them some personal data so that they can sell adverts. But TVs cost real money, and they ain’t cheap.

It’s increasingly difficult to buy a non-smart TV, so your only options are to never connect it to the internet (impossible on a Samsung), use router level DNS blocking (until the TVs start using encrypted DNS) or connect something like an Apple TV and use that exclusively.