Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television The Internet Entertainment

Ask Slashdot: Should I Allow A 'Smart TV' To Connect To The Internet? 299

Slashdot reader GovCheese has a question: I use Roku and also the client apps on my gaming consoles for Amazon and Netflix. But it seems less prudent to allow my television, a Samsung, to connect to the internet. My Phillips Blu-ray wants to connect also. But I'd rather not. Is it illogical to allow Roku and a console to connect to streaming services but prevent a "smart" television from doing so?
Slashdot reader gurps_npc argues there's a distinction between devices that need internet access and devices that want it, adding "Smart TVs overcharge in privacy invasion for the minimal advantages they offer."

Leave your own best answers in the comments. Should you let a smart TV connect to the internet?

Ask Slashdot: Should I Allow A 'Smart TV' To Connect To The Internet?

Comments Filter:
  • Firmware updates (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mdsharpe ( 1051460 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @05:54AM (#55492497)
    Pretty much the only reason I let my "smart" TV connect to the Internet is for firmware updates. Don't think I've had one in a while though now so assuming they've stopped being developed I may disconnect it soon.
    • Re:Firmware updates (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ReneR ( 1057034 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @06:34AM (#55492597)
      yeah, well, unless it is like a Samsung "smart" tv were they constantly break things with the updates. my farther's one now even reboots every 25 minutes since one of the last updates, and it does not look like there will be another update coming. 2017 - when firmware updates are part of planned obsolescence, on the iOS side, likewise,
      • Is a "farther" a distant dad?

      • "yeah, well, unless it is like a Samsung "smart" tv were they constantly break things with the updates."

        Exactly!
        I have one too, but I just use it as a monitor to watch m pirated stuff, so I don't need constant updates to the 'smart' gizmos that I don't use anyway.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      My parents have a like a first generation LG smart TV. None of the apps work anymore. Yet it still occasionally sends messages to the TV.

      On the other hand, the kodi box they have requires internet access, and is far more useful than anything the SmartTV ever had.

      So you would be better off killing the "smarttv" features and using a nVidia Shield for a Kodi box, or an AppleTV, or just a regular Chromecast, and unplug those when you're not going to use it for an extensive amount of time.

      The kinds of SmartTV's

      • We have a hardened solution to the problem of turning on the lights: light switches adjacent to exterior doors.

        The stretch to switch height doesn't take much energy, requires little endurance training or practice.

    • by nukenerd ( 172703 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @08:12AM (#55492863)

      Pretty much the only reason I let my "smart" TV connect to the Internet is for firmware updates.

      What makes you assume that firmware updates are a good thing? very often they downgrade performance and insert official malware.

    • Re:Firmware updates (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 05, 2017 @08:26AM (#55492911)

      It is not so much whether to connect your tv or not. Sooner or later the answer to that is likely yes, as features get added, though if you don't need those features now, I'd temporarily connect via a wire during the initial setup for updates, that way it never had your wifi password.

      Long term I'd like to see consumer level gigabit switches/wifi with these options or similar.

      1. Is device an IoT device? (As opposed to a general purpose pc/tablet)
      2. Select device type from drop down. Allowed connections will be limited based on device types.
      3. Is device allowed to communicate with other devices on your network?
      4. Alert me when traffic exceeds X bytes per day.
      5. Alert me of suspicious usage patterns.
      6. Is the device connected to a compatible power monitoring outlet? Data will be used to analyze usage patterns.
      7. Are there any times when you expect the device to actually be fully powered down?

      Again, most of these you want auto selected from a device type. The idea is you have a hopefully trusted switch that helps to spy on your own devices to see if they are being bad...

      Of course you have to trust your switch, but at least it is one device rather than the whole set of them.

    • Re:Firmware updates (Score:5, Informative)

      by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @08:59AM (#55493013)

      Pretty much the only reason I let my "smart" TV connect to the Internet is for firmware updates. Don't think I've had one in a while though now so assuming they've stopped being developed I may disconnect it soon.

      All are updatable via USB stick.

    • Re:Firmware updates (Score:5, Informative)

      by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @09:02AM (#55493031)

      Why even get firmware updates? My TV worked fine out of the box so I've never updated it. I've heard some that did got bricked TVs, and some had ransomware. F that S.

    • Re:Firmware updates (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DCFusor ( 1763438 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @09:17AM (#55493083) Homepage
      The last update my LG got was DRM that made it stop working with my Raspberry Pi and other computer inputs. Can't roll it back. Not quite as bad as Sony, but hey.
    • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @11:41AM (#55493817)

      I don't even bother with firmware updates. My TV needs only display an HDMI signal, and *nothing more*. If it can't do that properly out of the box, then WTF. I'm more worried about updates breaking something that's currently working, or adding some crapware or spyware that I can't remove. It's kind of a sad state.

      I have videogame consoles that work well as media players. I know they'll be kept up to date for a reasonable lifetime, at least, and they seem far less likely to have hidden spyware or security vulnerabilities.

      I know a lot of people say "put them on a separate network", but that's not really practical if you want to allow them access to your media server, for instance. I'd have to end up buying a lot of duplicate hardware to make that work. So, for the moment, I'm simply very judicious about which devices I give my wifi password to. Thank goodness that's still a way to easily control my devices network access.

    • Pretty much the only reason I let my "smart" TV connect to the Internet is for firmware updates.

      Unless there are obvious defect in the basic TV functionality, firmware updates aren't necessary, and can't be trusted. Most updates those days seem to be anti-consumer - they just add more ways for monetizing you. For example (Samsung, I'm looking at you), you get this wonderful new feature where they show ads in the TV menus, or they start recording you and reporting to the mothership for extra spying cough LG cough or put some pay channel you never want to use front and center in the menus, and make it n

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday November 05, 2017 @05:59AM (#55492513) Homepage Journal

    The Blu-Ray player needs to connect to the internet for updates to be able to play the latest discs. The Smart TV does not, unless you are actually using its "smart" features.

    • by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @06:11AM (#55492541)

      The Blu-Ray player needs to connect to the internet for updates to be able to play the latest discs.

      That's a good argument for not having a Blu-Ray player, and for using your game console as your player. Frankly, Blu-Ray's hype far exceeds its delivery. Having compared DVD and Blu-Ray side by side, Blu-Ray's improvements are merely marginal at the best of times, and completely insignificant the rest of the time.

      • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday November 05, 2017 @06:13AM (#55492547) Homepage Journal

        That's a good argument for not having a Blu-Ray player, and for using your game console as your player.

        Except the game consoles spy on you even more than the Blu-Ray player, and are both developed, produced and sold by sleazy corporations with the morals of bedbugs who have been known to distribute malware. (Microsoft is still distributing spyware, disguised as an Operating System.)

      • Having compared DVD and Blu-Ray side by side, Blu-Ray's improvements are merely marginal at the best of times, and completely insignificant the rest of the time.

        I'm not sure what you were comparing, but, honestly, there's no practical way that a DVD compares to a BluRay. If you had specified HD-DVD, I might have found you a bit credible.

        If, for some strange reason, you actually wanted standard definition video and didn't want DTS 7.1 surround sound, then I guess you might be right.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Funny, my parents BD player hasn't once updated and it plays all BD's.

    • The Blu-Ray player needs to connect to the internet for updates to be able to play the latest discs. The Smart TV does not, unless you are actually using its "smart" features.

      Most are updatable via USB. A fact that can easily be checked prior to purchase.

    • For real?

      Thanks for the warning, I almost bought a BluRay player.

  • Spying? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie@hotmail . c om> on Sunday November 05, 2017 @06:02AM (#55492519) Homepage

    Didn't Samsung get caught for their TVs always listening to everything around them, with no permission asked? LG was caught snooping on all files and filenames on the network, if my memory serves. Then there were a couple of others whose names I've already forgotten..Heck, pretty much every TV-manufacturer has gotten caught with their pants down by this point. A Roku is somewhat of a different beasts, because it needs Internet for streaming. I would hazard a guess that they track whatever you do on the Roku-box itself, but may not go to the same lengths as TV-manufacturers do, when it comes to overall spying in general.

    Personally, I would rather give the TV a middle finger than any connectivity, whatsoever.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      > Didn't Samsung get caught for their TVs always listening to everything around them, with no permission asked?

      No. In fact, they even publicly warned that such thing might occur and they were not able to prevent it. This is the best attitude one can expect from a hardware/software maker. Many points for them in my ranking.

      That said, smart TVs are a way to make your equipment obsolete faster. It's dumb and -- in a long term view -- a bad idea even for makers.

      I wonder if Chinese TVs will have less of that

    • Re:Spying? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Drakonblayde ( 871676 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @07:10AM (#55492691)

      The Roku's do like to send data back to Roku's log servers.

      However, that's easily preventable. I use PiHole to blacklist their telemetry domains and it doesn't interfere with the normal operation of the box

    • by mikael ( 484 )

      They have been doing this for decades. RealPlayer (A Windows media player) got caught sending usernames, and the names of video files back to their servers). Windows 10 uses telemetry (to provide users with tips on how to use faster keyboard shortcuts). I caught a webcam streaming data back to Amazon Web Services back in Austin, when I hadn't given out any user account details and had set up a security password. Smartphones seem to be able to stream screen video from a PC as well as to/from a smart TV.

  • If your smartphone (modem firmware plus tons of closed source software) and x86 computer (IntelME, NIC firmware, closed source software) are connected to the Internet on a regular basis using the same network provider then you've already forfeited your privacy and security.

    So, the real question is how much additional data you'd like to share with third parties. I'm thinking your movies preferences hardly constitute something to worry about.

    • If your smartphone (modem firmware plus tons of closed source software)
      and x86 computer (IntelME, NIC firmware, closed source software) are connected to the Internet on a regular basis using the same network provider then you've already forfeited your privacy and security.

      Please feel free to share any publically available supporting evidence to support the assertion my mobiles baseband, IntelME and NIC firmware are hacking host systems and covertly exfiltrating data.

      So, the real question is how much additional data you'd like to share with third parties. I'm thinking your movies preferences hardly constitute something to worry about.

      With "Smart TVs" (excluding some notable lapses) all you have to do is carefully read text they make you accept prior to enabling network access to know what is up. TVs with Microphones and cameras, TVs with access to data from all other inputs including PCs connected as displays you are explicitly granting cart

      • Please feel free to share any publically available supporting evidence to support the assertion my mobiles baseband, IntelME and NIC firmware are hacking host systems and covertly exfiltrating data.

        How about Intel patches remote execution hole that's been hidden in chips since 2010 [theregister.co.uk]? That's what known publicly. I guess there are other IntelME "features" which various three letters agencies exploit. Also, spying is now built in Windows 7/8.1/10 which runs most of PCs in the world. Microsoft can use Windows Up

        • How about Intel patches remote execution hole that's been hidden in chips since 2010? That's what known publicly. I guess there are other IntelME "features" which various three letters agencies exploit.

          Was not asking about the existence of vulnerabilities and or stupid design decisions. What I am seeking is public evidence Intel or QUALCOMM or whomever is (c)overtly exfiltrating data from my systems.

          I have I/O MMU virtualization disabled in my systems to prevent precisely these kinds of foreseeable issues. Without MMU Intel ME can't communicate without committing acts of deliberate sabotage for which no publically available evidence exists.

          Intel's implementation is defective by design even without the v

  • by Epsillon ( 608775 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @06:26AM (#55492573) Journal
    My LG is hardwired. I use its DLNA features but I also block it by MAC from sending any traffic out of the local RFC1918. This obviously isn't going to work if you use the TV's streaming features but for locally hosted content it's ideal.

    As for firmware updates, Samsung's recent brick debacle where it took a technician physically opening the case to get them back pretty much answers that question. The general rule for stuff held in programmable ROM is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I understand many will want KRACK fixes for WiFi as soon as they're available, yet I also wouldn't be holding my breath thinking this is a priority for vendors; they have your money, you're on your own. However, if there's a flaw in the monetisation of your viewing habits they'll be jamming those bytes down your digital throat before you can blink.
  • Plex is my current go to, the smart TV roku etc do not need internet access (have to fake a bit of it to get some to use the network). If you want privacy you have to avoid cloud-based anything. I still put them on their own vlan.

  • Your TV and Roku are both closed source. You have no idea what either one are doing, so you might as well let etiher one do whatever they want.
    • Oh, we have a pretty good idea what they could be doing. I don't worry about it much. Yes, I agree, go ahead and use them, just be a little cautious. The data it can collect is not important, if you are careful not to give it account info that is linked to your credit card. And don't do anything serious on them, in case they really are spying on you, maybe sending screenshots to their manufacturers' secret data collection project.

      A smart TV is a highly limited, locked down, and crippled Internet brows

      • I don't work for free, and the consumer electronics vendors get NOTHING FREE FROM ME, either. You want my data? Pay me for it. I can refuse to sell it, too. It's called: cut the Ethernet or WiFi "cable". Better still: go outside and get some fresh air.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          You want my data? Pay me for it. I can refuse to sell it, too. It's called: cut the Ethernet or WiFi "cable".

          Good luck even getting past the device's activation screen.

  • If you need to (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @07:05AM (#55492677)

    Does connecting your TV to the internet brings you something?
    - Yes : connect it
    - No : don't
    It's that simple.

    And the fact that you connect a device to the internet (because it is useful for you to do so) doesn't mean you have to connect everything. It is not all or nothing. From a security/privacy perspective you want to keep your attack surface as small as possible, but it doesn't mean you need to completely wall yourself in unless you have more to hide than normal people.

  • by Drakonblayde ( 871676 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @07:12AM (#55492699)

    I just recently bought a pair of 55in Samsung Smart TVs

    They each connected to the internet once for firmware updates, and were immediately disconnected afterwards. Unless there's a problem that requires me to update their firmware again, they won't ever be connected again.

    All of the apps that the TV offers are already present on my Roku's and quite franky, the Roku's do it better

  • by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @07:26AM (#55492741) Homepage

    What kind of retarded question is this? If you use any features that require the internet, connect it to the internet. I watch Amazon Video on my Smart TV, so it is online. If you don't need anything like that you might as well not connect it.
    If you are worried about the top-secret national security level stuff you have on your local network, well, ask you security team, not slashdot... And in any case from a security/privacy perspective you should probably be even more worried about other devices (starting with your mobile phone).

  • by Dystopian Rebel ( 714995 ) * on Sunday November 05, 2017 @07:33AM (#55492771) Journal

    Do you know your device?

    Do not let anything connect to the Internet if you don't know why it should.

    • The question for parents used to be: "It's 10 PM. Do you know where your children are?"

      Well, times have changed. The question is now, do you know who your devices are talking to? Who's reading your data? And last but not least, is that camera or microphone recording, even if it says it aint.

  • by upuv ( 1201447 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @07:49AM (#55492815) Journal

    In my home I implement two different networks. Each with it's own gate way. Now this requires more than your average level of IT skills in the home.

    One network is for what I will call class one devices. These are devices that I specifically add to the it. These will be things like computers, tablets, gaming and phones. The second network and the default network is for every other device. Now this requires me actually promote devices the class one network. Typically be mac address.

    Thus all those pesky iot devices end up in the default network. The default network is blocked from the internet.

    Note a device that runs something like pfsense will do the job. There are lots of alternative setups.

    Now. I can also tailor each device in each network to have slightly different network privileges than the each networks default. Example would be a security camera uploading data to my private cloud storage. But I also block all DNS resolution of add servers and malware end points etc in my class one network.

    This is not something a regular I know how to turn on my laptop kinda person can do. This requires a reasonable amount of automated scripting, network monitoring and pro-active tuning as situations change. However it can all be done rather cheaply with couple hundred dollar pfsense box installed between the internet modem->pfsense->router(wifi).

    So yeah I block everything. I only enable access when required and even then I can make it temporary. The more IOT crap that ends up in the house the more this setup is saving my backside.

    ( Note: I don't use pfsense I implemented all the services I need from pfsense myself in VM's. But it's basically the same thing. )

  • Get rid of your TV (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    We actually got rid of our TVs. All of them. We are now a TV-free household. It just got to be too much of a pain to watch what we wanted to watch.

    Our family life has gotten immeasurably better since now we do things together as a family instead of sitting around watching TV. Having made this transition, I am fully convinced that TV is the major culprit behind the destruction of the family and the decline of our society.

  • I use Slashdot for a very long time and still some questions on main page kills me.
    What was the reason you purchased Smart TV in the first place?
    Did you buy it to be "cool" or what?
    Or you just wanted standard TV but you have seen this one is "smart" so it must be better?
    I use Samsung Smart TV and I bought it mainly for two reasons:
    - Netflix
    - Youtube
    I understand you don't use these services. Because they don't work without internet access. Because they are internet services.
    So what do you do on your "smart"

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mrun4982 ( 3875585 )
      Try buying a TV that isn't "smart" these days. Even cheap, low end TVs have some sort of smarts built in. As much as I'd like to, you can't buy a "dumb" TV anymore.
    • What was the reason you purchased Smart TV in the first place?

      Try buying a 55" TV today which isn't "smart". You won't find one, at least where I live. I would gladly buy a non-smart TV because I only use it as a screen for whatever devices are connected to it, but that is simply not an option.

    • Or you just wanted standard TV but you have seen this one is "smart" so it must be better?

      No - I actually want a dumb TV, 4k, non-curved, no 3D, diagonal 80" or more, with 2 or more HDMI inputs. I'd like OLED, but it's not a deal-breaker. I'm willing to pay a reasonable price. I did the rounds of online and offline stores. It's very difficult to find such a thing - the one closest to my specs is a Samsung (QM85D QMD), but it's more than twice the price of a "smart" TV of similar capabilities.

  • I have a TV from 2011. It is a "smart" TV, and it is connected to the internet. When I subscribed to Netflix, I used it for that purpose. Although I've cancelled Netflix, I still use it to watch Vudu movies once in a while. It's still connected to the internet. So what? Where is the harm? What's the worst that can happen? Someone, somewhere, is going to be bored enough to hack into my TV? And then what? Brick it? Big deal. I will buy a newer TV that is better and a fraction of the price I paid for this
    • Some smart TV's have been known to IDENTIFY the CONTENT that you are watching on it, and report that back to a server. It does this by fingerprinting various pixels around the screen. Now, you may not actually use your TV to watch hot latino donkey porn, but your content may be misinterpreted as that.

      Worried yet?
      • Some smart TV's have been known to IDENTIFY the CONTENT that you are watching on it, and report that back to a server. It does this by fingerprinting various pixels around the screen. Now, you may not actually use your TV to watch hot latino donkey porn, but your content may be misinterpreted as that.

        Worried yet?

        More worrisome would be if Samsung, LG, etc... had pixel fingerprints for hot Latino donkey porn in their databases.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday November 05, 2017 @09:29AM (#55493141)

    Time and again various IoT crapware has proven that it is insecure. The reason for this is simple. Companies making TVs have experience making TVs. And even if the corporation behind it (like with, say, Sony) should have some experience with computers and securing them (ok, I admit, Sony is a bad example...), that doesn't mean that they talk with each other. Or that securing computers applies equally to securing IoT devices. If anything, IoT has more in common with cellphones, and even here you can easily see (with Samsun, no less) that experience in one area does not translate to the other.

    Embedded devices and developing them has fundamentally different rules than developing "real" computers or cellphones. Unlike with computers and cellphones, you're not only responsible for the hardware, you're developing the software, and you either even have to develop your own OS or at the very least tailor a Linux distribution to your needs. If you're lucky, you have someone in your team (or you buy one) that can actually tailor Linux.

    Your chances of this person also being a security expert is slim to zero.

    What you're dealing here is a very newly developed piece of software, a veritable "v1.0" (which, as anyone in IT knows is more akin to a "v0.9beta"). And you pit that against people who have literally decades of experience hacking machines on the internet who know all the old tricks and the new 0days. This is a pitched battle if there has ever been one.

    And all the old tricks that every security conscious developer of internet facing computer software knows by now work again. Because the people developing the IoT-Software, i.e. people developing embedded software, have no experience with security issues. They developed for closed systems, with a focus on small code and optimal use of resources rather than sanity checking and input testing.

    If you throw someone into a job where he suddenly should react to a threat he cannot even assess because he doesn't even KNOW what the threat is, the result is the IoT crap we have today.

    • > Time and again various IoT crapware has proven that it is insecure. The reason for this is simple. Companies making TVs have experience making TVs.

      May I differ with your presumption? The reason that IoT "crapware" is insecure is that any security interferes with the commercial purpose of IoT. The desire to share, process, and act on the full IoT is built into most business plans involving IoT. Security _blocks_ that data from being shared with whatever vendor desires that data, making the data less ava

      • Not true. Sorry, but yes it is possible to build a device that tells me everything about you without leaking the same information to anyone else. Actually, it would be in the best interest of said companies to make sure that they, and only they, get the information about you. Information loses value when it's shared, if everyone has free access to it, who would pay me money for it?

        Don't worry, they would very much enjoy to be the only ones to collect the data gathered by the spy they sell you. Here you need

  • I installed a custom firmware on my TV (they all run Linux anyway) and this lets me do all sorts of stuff on my TV. If you already have a Linux box that does all that, and you just need a âoedumbâ TV then I probably wouldnâ(TM)t bother given it has no added value, then again, I wouldnâ(TM)t purchase smart TVs if Iâ(TM)m not going to use the functionality, itâ(TM)s a waste of money (~$100-300 in added cost)

  • How long before it's ubiquitous to include a cellular modem that phones home all the juicy private information with no need for other connectivity? Sure, none of the smart parts would work for you without official connectivity, but that won't stop them from spying on everything anyway.
  • If there's a compelling reason to connect the TV then do so, otherwise hell no.

    If you've got a Roku and a gaming console that are already connected, what do you need the TV connected for? Not for gaming or Netflix or Amazon. Unless there's some service you really want that is available on your "smart" TV that isn't available on your Roku or gaming console why is this even a question?

    I think I must have bought one of the last dumb TVs that Samsung made, but the Samsung BluRay player I bought with it was

  • Buy a "dumb" TV and a Raspberry Pi. Install Kodi and some emulators. Get rid of cable. And as far as 4K TVs go, a lot of people don't realize that with 50 inch, you have to sit 3 feet or closer to notice the details for 20/20 vision. If it's 1080p 50 inch, you can be 7 feet away. http://carltonbale.com/1080p-d... [carltonbale.com]. Maybe it's the Hz's we're noticing? Watching 1930's Dracula on a 120Hz TV is just weird.
  • Vizio TVs log your habits [tomsguide.com], and the others probably do too. I have a Vizio smartass TV but use it purely as a dumb display, primarily because:

    • I trust Apple to respect my privacy way more than any TV manufacturer, and
    • The TV's built-in apps were utter out-of-date shit with terrible UIs. The Amazon Prime app was too old to connect to Amazon for several months, for instance.
    • A TV screen isn't obsolete until it dies or its technology is genuinely behind the times (e.g. an older 4:3 CRT). I upgrade and replace
  • I read about people putting the TV on its own VLAN, or other ways around it. However, I prefer something simpler than that. If the TV has network functionality it gets disabled. If it requires to be connected to the Internet to work, it goes back to the store as defective. It technically is legally defective, because this is not an internet appliance, this is sold as a TV. Because it fails to do its primary function, it is defective, and goes back.

    As of now, there are many other choices of TVs that I d

  • Reader's Digest version answer: Oh Hells NO.

    Long answer:
    There is no reason whatsoever to connect a TV/display device to the Internet. Only exception would be if there was a serious flaw in the firmware that actually prevented the TV from working as a TV and the update can not be done from a USB storage device. In that case you connect the cable, update, and disconnect.

    A simple HTPC (Home Theater PC) can do Youtube, Hulu, Netflix, etc., and it's OS is far more likely to get regular and timely security and

  • No smart TV where the firmware and the hardware come from the same company will connect to any internet connection I control. I will allow Roku and Amazon TVs to connect, but that's because of the at least slightly adversarial relationship to the other vendor - the firmware vendor has an interest in the hardware vendor not screwing up their reputation, and vice-versa. It's harder to cover up misfeatures like Samsung's telescreen behavior when there's more back-and-forth involved in launching a product.
  • The TV can't phone home without the Internet. If so, how are the paying advertisers going to know if you are going to the fridge every time their commercial comes on? That would be un-american to deny them their meta-data wouldn't it?
    /s

    I could not believe the User Agreement for software updates actually thought I might press "Accept" to this, which I never did, but still get software updates. Just to be sure they keep up their side of that User Agreement, Tape and glue work just fine.

A triangle which has an angle of 135 degrees is called an obscene triangle.

Working...