Ads, NFTs, and Other Badness: Pour One Out for the Decline of Dumb TVs





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Image: Vizio

In my particular living room is a relic of a bygone era, a 15-year-old plasma TV that’s dumb as a box of hammers, thankfully. As the years go by, I’m more and more grateful that this piece of technology continues.

Sure, at some point I’ll have to trudge into the increasingly awful world of smart TVs, but the longer that lasts, the better.

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In recent weeks, TV makers have increased the annoyance and intrusion factor in their so-called smart devices.

Vizio announced that it had started a beta with Fox in the US to insert ads during the end credits of a show in an effort to push users towards the broadcaster’s streaming service.

“Jump ads give participating programmers and brands the opportunity to present an interactive overlay at the end of linear TV shows, directing viewers to a supporting app on Vizio’s operating system to continue their viewing experience,” said Vizio.

“The Jump ads will prompt viewers to continue watching additional episodes of the program or catch up on past episodes in the Fox Now app… this allows viewers to seamlessly extend their viewing experience with a single click of a button. button, enhancing the Smart TV experience for both viewers and content providers.”

Vizio said ad buyers can control when the ads appear, how often they appear, and which app the ad refers to — and as we’ve learned after several years at the intersection of advertising and technology, there’s no way this seemingly useful reference to users will be expanded to promote anything, anytime, anywhere in a broadcast. I suggest asking, “Why stop at one ad?”, but I really don’t want to give marketers any ideas.

Not to have Vizio offering the same functionality, fellow TV ad inserter Samsung has taken a step into the world of blockchains and TV.

The Korean behemoth said last week that it is partnering with crypto exchange Gemini and its Nifty Gateway to integrate NFTs on its smart TV platform, allowing users to buy the assets on its 2022 premium TV lines, including QLED and Neo QLED. sell and view.

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The nicest thing about Samsung is this handy guide to preventing your smart TV from getting hacked or executing malicious code – it’s about enabling “smart security” and call me a cynic, but it probably doesn’t do what it says on it look.

The problem with TVs, as my venerable Panasonic display shows, is the longevity of such devices. No one will support the operating system of a non-desktop consumer device and ensure that it is secure for nearly 15 years after it was created. To give you an idea of ​​the longevity of this TV when it arrived, Android 1.0 was released. Imagine how long it would take to pop this device if it could surf the web.

Samsung needs to be aware of its security to make sure its TVs stay safe because wherever you find crypto assets, you bet someone has come up with a way to steal it and maybe even use it on OpenSea .

Apart from this few TV makers, it’s not like the industry has saints, LG did ads years ago, and Sony says in a support article that users can’t turn off ads and points the finger at Google.

Plus, there’s no reason for manufacturers to make anything other than consumer smart TVs, especially when the answer to those who have issues with smart features is to answer with a rule about not connecting to the internet in the first place.

That might work – unless you live near a radio telescope and can’t let a device spam Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals as long as it’s plugged into a wall outlet, and the suggested answer is to open the TV and shut off the antenna — but it doesn’t solve the problem of potentially paying thousands of dollars for a device that upgrades itself and pushes more and more advertising on you. That kind of user experience is best left to Microsoft to pioneer itself.

After living with smart Wi-Fi for several years where settings options are increasingly being scaled back by Google, I was recently beamed back into a world where the user can override so-called artificial intelligence. It didn’t solve everything, but it was nice to have options again.

The TV landscape is way beyond that point, look for silly options and you’ll end up thinking about buying commercial signage devices or looking for a large computer monitor like a TV – neither of those are a good fit.

It’s a shame that TVs have become purchases that can potentially cost in the thousands of dollars, and for their money, new owners are getting yet another ad display device whose firmware updates will end in a few years if they’re lucky. Because as a basic concept, TVs exist purely to show someone what they want to see. It shouldn’t be that hard.

But if you want to see a low-res pixel art NFT upscaled to a glorious 8K resolution, you know which Korean tech giant to buy from.

ZDNet’s Monday Morning Opener is our opening version of the week in tech, written by members of our editorial staff. We’re a global team, so this feature article will be published Monday at 8:00 AM AEST in Sydney, Australia, which is 6:00 PM Eastern Time on Sundays in the US, and 11:00 PM in London.

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