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  1. 1st, sorry if this is the wrong subforum - or if no Videohelp forum is appropriate.
    Feel free to move this, or comment on more suitable sites / forums.

    NOTE: We use ANTENNA, over the air for all TV reception. That's not likely to change.
    I doubt we'd ever pay for Hulu, Netflix or similar services - with or w/o smart TV. It'd depend on several factors.

    Our 10 yr old, non-smart Vizio TV (dumb?) went out. Might be able to replace a board, but on a 10 yr old TV...?

    Anyway, my dilemma is *most* smart TVs' privacy policies (lack of privacy) are very invasive - LG, Samsung, Sony, etc.
    From what I've read, if you don't agree to the entire privacy / TOS policy, many of the "smart" features won't work.
    I need to find out which smart features wouldn't work and if there are reasonable options to record OTA shows; access & play content stored on a PC. Not sure why it's legal to totally brick the "smart" functions when you paid $100's or $1000's for, if you don't agree to most everything. If you buy a fridge, do you have to agree to allow their wireless adapter & camera to report everything you store or eat?

    Yes, you can block in your router or by other means the outbound addresses smart TVs access, and stop them phoning home, but...

    I'm looking for ANY helpful info on:
    1) what "smart" TV features / functions typically stop working if you block most / all IP addresses they contact, where personal info or content viewed may be sent? We're both retired, partially disabled, so hiding use of illegal or "immoral" content isn't the issue.

    2) what features (on smart TVs, that "regular" TV's wouldn't have) would *likely* still work, if you didn't agree to their policy(ies) that allow them FULL access to your use AND personal data - AND allows them or 3rd parties to use that data to deliver targeted ads?

    It would still work as a "non-smart" TV, but I don't know if any features would work, other than similar to recent "non-smart" TVs?
    E.G., setup menus (cable or antenna, etc.), adjust colors & picture; sound settings, etc.

    The other big questions are, what (good) options exist
    3) to record from a non-smart TV to a programmable digital DVD recorder / player?
    I've not seen many DVD recorders for sale. We had one when OTA was still analog. It wasn't too bad.

    4) If I don't agree to smart TV's policies, could the TV likely still connect to our home wifi, AND access / play content - either D/L'd to a PC, or access *from the TV*, content recorded w/ a TV tuner card in a PC ? (don't have a TV tuner card now).

    If certain smart TV features didn't work, BUT I could still access a PC via wifi, & have a reasonable way to "see" & select what's on the PC, I might not care if a smart TV - ITSELF - had direct internet access via wifi.

    5) Other acceptable methods I haven't thought or heard of (whether Smart or dumb TV)?
    I think *ONE* problem of recording or D/L'g on a PC, then accessing VIA a TV "menu" the content on the PC. The software to see on a TV "menu" - what's on the PC, even IF you can access the PC via wifi, is or can be a problem, so I've read. Sure, it'd be nice to have (easy, quick) way to tell the PC and / or a DVD recorder what to record.

    I'd consider using both a DVD recorder (or DVR *not* requiring subscription) for OTA TV content, and D/L'g to PC some internet content - if the PC is accessible via a TV "menu" or list. Burning PC content to DVDs & putting in a DVD player is a pain.

    I'm using Linux on my desktop w/ a very customized partitioning scheme (dual boot w/ rarely used Windows), on 2 HDDs, & I'm installing 'Nix on our old laptop. That gives an idea of my general ability. But there are likely new TV or D/L / streaming recording & playback technologies (or hacks) I'm not aware of.

    I'd appreciate any "pointing" in the right direction.
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  2. Member
    Join Date
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    Don't get a DVD recorder unless you desperately want recordings on DVD. They are uncommon because nobody makes DVD recorders for the N. American market at this point. The last manufacturer to do so, Funai/Magnavox, appears to have recently discontinued production. If you really want a DVD recorder, you will have to buy a used or refurbished unit.

    I would suggest that you look at the SiliconDust HDHR5-4US/HDHomeRun CONNECT Quatro 4-Tuner. It is a network device which can be attached to one of your router's Ethernet ports or directly to a PC's Ethernet port. If attached directly to a PC, only the PC will see the tuners. If attached to the router, all PCs on the network can see the tuners. There are drivers and software for Android, Linux, OS X and Windows. SiliconDust's DVR service is $35/year and includes software and guide data. You could also use MythTV and get guide service from SchedulesDirect for $25/year. I use Windows and either NextPVR or Windows Media Center, so I can't help you with MythTV. SiliconDust does have a decent user forum.

    It is possible to wirelessly stream recordings stored on a PC (I've done it) or NAS to a DLNA device, but a wired network is recommended and probably works better for many users. I've had better results wirelessly streaming files to a PC (connected to a TV via HDMI) than directly to a smart TV. I haven't tried simultaneous streaming recordings to multiple devices.
    Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord
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  3. Member
    Join Date
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    United States
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by natalia25 View Post
    1st, sorry if this is the wrong subforum - or if no Videohelp forum is appropriate.
    Feel free to move this, or comment on more suitable sites / forums.

    NOTE: We use ANTENNA, over the air for all TV reception. That's not likely to change.
    I doubt we'd ever pay for Hulu, Netflix or similar services - with or w/o smart TV. It'd depend on several factors.

    Our 10 yr old, non-smart Vizio TV (dumb?) went out. Might be able to replace a board, but on a 10 yr old TV...?
    10 years is a good lifetime for modern TVs (gone are the days when CRTs lasted for decades). Spend a little more than the cost of a repair and get a much higher quality and larger new TV.

    Anyway, my dilemma is *most* smart TVs' privacy policies (lack of privacy) are very invasive - LG, Samsung, Sony, etc.
    From what I've read, if you don't agree to the entire privacy / TOS policy, many of the "smart" features won't work.
    I need to find out which smart features wouldn't work and if there are reasonable options to record OTA shows; access & play content stored on a PC. Not sure why it's legal to totally brick the "smart" functions when you paid $100's or $1000's for, if you don't agree to most everything. If you buy a fridge, do you have to agree to allow their wireless adapter & camera to report everything you store or eat?

    Yes, you can block in your router or by other means the outbound addresses smart TVs access, and stop them phoning home, but...

    I'm looking for ANY helpful info on:
    1) what "smart" TV features / functions typically stop working if you block most / all IP addresses they contact, where personal info or content viewed may be sent? We're both retired, partially disabled, so hiding use of illegal or "immoral" content isn't the issue.

    2) what features (on smart TVs, that "regular" TV's wouldn't have) would *likely* still work, if you didn't agree to their policy(ies) that allow them FULL access to your use AND personal data - AND allows them or 3rd parties to use that data to deliver targeted ads?
    The Smart functions on a Smart TV are no more (often less) than that available on a $20 standalone media player. If you don't need online services access (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube), you don't need to allow the TV to connect online.

    It would still work as a "non-smart" TV, but I don't know if any features would work, other than similar to recent "non-smart" TVs?
    E.G., setup menus (cable or antenna, etc.), adjust colors & picture; sound settings, etc.
    Yes. As stated above, the Smart functions are separate from any TV settings

    The other big questions are, what (good) options exist
    3) to record from a non-smart TV to a programmable digital DVD recorder / player?
    I've not seen many DVD recorders for sale. We had one when OTA was still analog. It wasn't too bad.
    You don't record from a TV (Smart or not). You record from a a tuner, internal in a DVD recorder or add-on device like usually_quiet suggested.


    4) If I don't agree to smart TV's policies, could the TV likely still connect to our home wifi, AND access / play content - either D/L'd to a PC, or access *from the TV*, content recorded w/ a TV tuner card in a PC ? (don't have a TV tuner card now).

    If certain smart TV features didn't work, BUT I could still access a PC via wifi, & have a reasonable way to "see" & select what's on the PC, I might not care if a smart TV - ITSELF - had direct internet access via wifi.

    5) Other acceptable methods I haven't thought or heard of (whether Smart or dumb TV)?
    I think *ONE* problem of recording or D/L'g on a PC, then accessing VIA a TV "menu" the content on the PC. The software to see on a TV "menu" - what's on the PC, even IF you can access the PC via wifi, is or can be a problem, so I've read. Sure, it'd be nice to have (easy, quick) way to tell the PC and / or a DVD recorder what to record.
    AFAIK, unless you use an online service, a Smart TV doesn't "phone home". There are various ways you can access your PC's content through your Smart TV's functions, but in your case, it sounds like you just need to connect your PC or laptop directly to your TV (which becomes your monitor) and removes any need to connect the TV online. This works well since you can access the PC's content directly (menus, content, etc.).

    Note: Most new TVs don't have VGA inputs anymore, but you can use an DVI to HDMI or USB to HDMI adapter if your PC/laptop doesn't have HDMI output.


    I'd consider using both a DVD recorder (or DVR *not* requiring subscription) for OTA TV content, and D/L'g to PC some internet content - if the PC is accessible via a TV "menu" or list. Burning PC content to DVDs & putting in a DVD player is a pain.
    As usually_quiet stated, DVR & DVDs are outdated. There are standalone devices that contain a tuner and allow recording to an external hard dive, but since you want to access online content and view from your PC anyway, you may as well just use your PC connected to the TV.

    I'm using Linux on my desktop w/ a very customized partitioning scheme (dual boot w/ rarely used Windows), on 2 HDDs, & I'm installing 'Nix on our old laptop. That gives an idea of my general ability. But there are likely new TV or D/L / streaming recording & playback technologies (or hacks) I'm not aware of.

    I'd appreciate any "pointing" in the right direction.
    I suggest posting to the Linux forum for suggestions on good PVR software.
    Last edited by lingyi; 7th Jul 2018 at 19:57.
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