My main TV stopped working last night (it is a plasma from over 15 years ago I guess that is a long time in TV years these days) so today I set about looking for a Hen's Tooth

A TV that is Not Smart

@msh As a YYC friend, I can assure you that you're on an impossible quest. My best guess would be second hand stores. If you do manage to find any though, PLEASE do tell me where you find them!

@Lofenyy indeed there seem to be none at all for sale in our fair city. However by expanding my search across this great nation I found 2 "factory refurbished" options. Of course they are basic off-brand models (from Sceptre in my case). I leapt at the opportunity to acquire one!

Very occasionally they pop up here:


I'm told they no longer exist.

I've considered a large monitor or an old projector.

@RussSharek I did locate a factory refurbished unit. The options are extremely limited, especially in sizes over 32"

I do believe it will be the last time I'll be able to get a blissfully big dumb TV without actually resorting to assembling one out of a panel and parts.

Product idea for @PINE64 : Maybe - a large format TV powered by a Pine64 SBC inside that can be as smart or dumb as you want depending on what is installed on the eMMC

@RussSharek @msh @PINE64 Your quest is noble.
How about simply not connecting a "smart" TV to your LAN?

@puzzled that's a good question, and is in fact an option I was about to take if I failed at my quest. But given the option I prefer to have a dumb TV over a disconnected smart one:

* the bloatware is disabled but cannot be removed, so the user experience remains slow and cluttered

* the first-use setups seem to be getting more aggressive/insistent in setting up network connections though it is still possible to skip it--kind of like how MSFT does with Win10 installs
@RussSharek @PINE64

@puzzled ...

* some WiFi equipped TVs in the recent past (hello Samsung) never turn off their WiFi--if you leave it unconfigured but a neigbour sets up open SSID it will latch onto it and try to send telemetry (hopefully the open wifi is a captive portal in such ou a case!)

* a handful of TVs require internet to be connected during initial setup for updates and clicking through the EULA. Those units can work disconnected afterwards but sometimes nag you periodically

@RussSharek @PINE64


None of these are show-stopping annoyances but I'll go to some effort to avoid them. There is also the "vote with your wallet" factor. TV makers quickly forgot that smart apps started as solutions looking for problems and seem to think the smart crap is actually important to customers when in fact a lot of customers actively avoid it.

To convince them otherwise we have to show there is a market for dumb TVs by seeking them out and buying them.

@RussSharek @PINE64

@msh @RussSharek @PINE64 Yikes, had not heard that some TVs nag/require/seek-out wifi. I figured my set is a bit slow to power up because of the "smart stuff", but otherwise I've been able to forget this so called feature.

@puzzled @RussSharek @PINE64 I've not yet heard of a TV that requires an active network connection (WiFi or not) to operate as a dumb TV, however apparently a small few have a first-run routine that tries really hard to set one up for the purposes of "registering" or updating, and a few more completely lack an "off switch" for WiFi so even though they can be "unconfigured" they continue to poll for open WiFi

@msh @RussSharek @PINE64 I'd definitely explicitly buy that product if I couldn't find any dumb TV's, and it seems they're disappearing.

@msh I have a large form factor Sceptre TV that I purchased maybe 3 years ago that's dumb as can be. They still have them for sale online in the US. It's not the best (the speakers are horrific), but it is certainly dumb.

@jeff I managed to find and order a 55 inch Sceptre unit (factory refurbished but not used--fits my budget plus it was in stock). There is definitely demand for them as every single one of their large format TVs was out of stock/long lead time. The ongoing chip shortages certainly don't help either.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
COALES.CO - Come Together!

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!