I spent $3,000 on a Samsung Good TV — and all I received had been advertisements and undesirable content material

It is Tremendous Bowl weekend, and the Winter Olympics in China are in full swing. My 10-year-old 70-inch Sharp LCD TV was displaying indicators of age: the audio return channel (ARC) was buggy and there was no firmware accessible to resolve it. 

And after evaluating the 1080p content material that I’ve been watching with the 4K stuff I have been seeing at my buddies’ homes, I made a decision that I needed to have a brand new TV for the upcoming Massive Sport and the Beijing occasions. 

Who am I kidding? I do not watch quite a lot of sports activities. I need it for UHD Marvel and Star Wars films.

So I went searching for an acceptable alternative. I made a decision to go greater this yr as a result of I’ve the accessible wall area. I narrowed it right down to the 85-inch variations of the Samsung QN90A and the LG C1 — each the absolute-top-of-the-line for 4K UHD sensible TV units. Why you may select one or the opposite comes down to a couple components — comparable to selecting brightness (Samsung) over black illustration (LG) — however finally, each are incredible decisions.

So after the installers got here on Monday, I received to play with the brand new TV. Sure, the image is unbelievable. Sure, the expertise is spectacular. Sure, the software program constructed into the Samsung Good TV might in all probability exchange my Apple TV 4K in most respects, and I thought-about shifting that system to my bed room now. However I in all probability will not. 

Why? Properly, the TV has advertisements and sponsored content material everywhere in the Tizen-driven sensible TV consumer interface.


I cleared out a lot of the advertisements on my Good TV, nevertheless it took some work.

Jason Perlow/ZDNet

It is extremely irritating as a result of the UX is already pretty difficult. It is simple to click on on stuff by chance, and content material that you do not need additionally auto-plays. I’ve ADD, and I am 52 years previous; I haven’t got persistence for this crap. Simply give me my Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and the over-the-air TV tuner, and depart me the heck alone. Please, Samsung.

Additionally: The very best TV offers in time for the massive sport 

This drawback is, in fact, nothing new. Samsung has been doing this for about six years now, and it isn’t like that is distinctive to that firm. If I purchased the LG, I must deal with related points on WebOS. It is the identical with Roku and some others. 

You’d assume should you had simply spent over $3,000 on a top-of-the-line 4K TV, you wouldn’t need to cope with these points, however you do.

There are a couple of guides on the internet to attenuate these intrusions, which embody not solely digging into the Samsung Tizen UX to chase checkboxes and fiddle with settings, but in addition having to enter your broadband router’s configuration and block lists of advert serving domains. 

You may also use Cisco’s free shopper OpenDNS service to do that and override the DNS settings inside the TV with out messing along with your router, which is what I ended up doing. However that requires the power to replace your dynamic IP out of your router, so you might must refresh OpenDNS’s settings from time to time. 

One stream of undesirable content material that’s unrelated to the advertisements is the “Samsung TV Plus” that will get built-in into the digital TV channel information as further junk channels. It is dynamically streamed and chews up your bandwidth, however you possibly can take away the precise app that does this, so thank heavens for that. 


Utilizing OpenDNS to dam Samsung advert domains

Jason Perlow/ZDNet

That took care of the sponsored content material junk within the menu bar and the channel information, however there’s nonetheless “featured content material” from companions being proven on the backside of the house display screen UX if I scroll down. 

That is the instructed content material that Samsung offers from the “Common Information.” The one strategy to flip this off on older fashions is to lock out the precise app with a PIN code, however this does not look like an possibility on my 2021 mannequin. So I assume I am simply going to wish to recollect to not scroll down.

It is ridiculous which you can spend this sort of cash on a product, lower cords, and pay further to not have advertisements on sure providers, after which have them pressured down your throat within the TV UX. 

Perhaps Apple’s Apple TV 4K is dear for a streaming field, however have you learnt what? I solely get to see what I wish to see in its UX. So I am holding it linked, even when it duplicates all of the streaming app performance within the TV itself.

Do you hate the advertisements and sponsored content material in your Good TV? Speak Again and Let Me Know.

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