Samsung accidentally makes the case for not owning a smart TV

I quite enjoyed this latest episode in the world of “smart” - what do you make of it? How can companies be allowed to sell these kinds of products that expose users to such huge risks, without greater explanation of maintenance and risks?

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The operating systems that Samsung (Tizen) and LG (WebOS) use on their smart TVs are based on Linux and apparently Open Sourced.

The risks mainly lie with apps and browser. A smart TV can be considered as risky as a tablet, phone, laptop or IoT device. Any device you connect to your home network can be a problem.

I’ve watched people get hold of a brand new OS (PC/phone/TV) and get it infected in less than 20 minutes by installing a whacky screensaving app.

My LG WebOS TV from 2014 has never been virus scanned. It has no mic or camera. Browser-based attacks are mitigated by the fact that 1GB of RAM renders the browser useless. There is a limited number of useful apps to install - Netflix, Amazon, iPlayer - the rest is garbage. LG stopped supporting the OS less than 2 years after it was released. I point this out to friends who are tempted by bargain smart TVs - how long has it been on the shelf and how soon will the software be end-of-life?

Most friends, including the non-tech-savvy, are tending towards non-smart screens and plug-in streaming sticks like Roku.

Once upon a time we used to say “let the buyer beware”!