Wow, Android TV, wow!

I was doing some maintenance and was looking at the logs of my Pi-Hole.

Nights, between around 21:00 to 01:00, my TV is being blocked around 200 times every 10 minutes from contacting Nielsen’s website! Also,, and, but these nowhere near as often.

Makes me kind of glad that I have a Pi-Hole up and running. (That is from the list blocked DNS look-ups on my network.)

Interestingly, even though I have disabled Facebook on my smartphone, that was also trying to call Facebook last night. I’ll have to have another look at that…

Edit : forgot to say, that it is a Sony Bravia.


I double checked my phone. It seems to be a game that keeps wanting me to register it in my Facebook profile.

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Phoning home to the mother ship.

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Nope, it’s not your Android TV. If unsure, most manufacturers (at least TV manufacturers) have privacy addendums for such activites.

The primary reason I will never own a smart tv. Give me a high quality but dumb panel and I’ll input my own content, thank you.


You got me. I’ve been saying that for years. It’s likely by the time I buy a new panel, I’ll need a large gaming monitor. If I’m lucky, 40" and if I’m luckier full HDR with DVI-D.

Since I bought the TV, I’ve moved over to buying just dumb devices and adding the intelligence where it is needed.

But even so, the fact is, most of these streaming devices are not much better than browsers, when it comes to tracking.

I’m just glad that I’ve already got good network and perimeter security in place.

It must be pretty difficult to buy a non smart TV these days although that would be my preference too.

After a couple of years the smarts will stop being upgraded or won’t support new things so I’d rather spend the money on the best screen and upgrade the external box.

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I read somewhere that if you have Netflix [pre]installed on a device, even if you don’t use it, it is constantly usage data to Netflix. Most of the current TV manufacturers have tracking practices built into their TVs. My solution to address this is to plug my TV into wired Ethernet, and plug the Ethernet switch into a timer outlet. (Belkin model, I don’t think they make it any more.) It has a slider switch that lets it stay on for 3, 6 or 12 hours and then automatically shut off. I have it set for 6 hours. When I know a device needs access to the network, I turn the switch on and it automatically shuts off 6 hours later. Most of the time my TV is completely unplugged. I assume that since TV makers are so cheap, the TV doesn’t have much memory to buffer such information for later transmission.

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I use my chromebook when I want to stream. Right now, neither of my tvs are smart tvs, but the chromebooks solve that issue. But the next tv I buy, I just won’t connect the tv itself to my network.

Most of them have enough memory and they will send the information when they receive a connection. Not much memory? They usually have enough to buffer films, either a few minutes or to download a film in the background, depending on the service. They will have a couple of GB free, the tracking information probably amounts to a few KB an hour, so waiting until it gets a network connection shouldn’t be a problem.

The only real ways around the problem is to either not let it connect to the network at all or to install a decent firewall and DNS server that blocks as much traffic as possible being sent back from your streaming device.

Do you have a Chromecast on the TV? The problem is, the Chromebook will be sending the tracking information back to Google and the site being streamed (tracking cookies etc.). There isn’t really a simple way around it, without blocking the traffic from leaving your network.

My goal is not to totally block transmission of tracking, but to make it an incomplete and confusing picture. When my TV is connected to the network, it’s because I am using Chromecast to cast TWiT to it… if they want to know that, I hope it’s good for @Leo et al. :wink: I don’t use the smart features of my TV at all. It’s old enough to mostly predate the presence of most of the tracking. (It’s at least 5 years old by now… It’s not even 4K wink ) I really should just disconnect it to be honest, because it never received more than one firmware update, and there is no other reason or purpose to having it connected.

Given the security vulnerabilities that are probably lurking in that TV, I’d disconnect it and plug in a Chromecast or similar. The Bravia is also approaching the stage where updates aren’t turning up and I’m seriously looking at what I will stick into it to keep streaming.

Given that we only use Amazon Prime, it will probably be a FireTV stick and I’ll rely on the firewall and DNS to block most of the tracking data.

No, I have a 25 foot HDMI cable for both of my tvs. Upstairs, it goes over a door… Downstairs, it goes around the edge of the room. I plug it in when I want to stream. So, it is hardwired…

Hell, Google is probably watching all sorts of stuff I do on the Chromebook. I knew that when I got the 3 Chrome devices I have…

But with a smart tv, some of them listen to you in the room and even watch you from a camera built into the tv. That bothers me more. Plus, I do not stream, EVERYTHING. So, I only use the Chrome device for some stuff. The Smart TV would be monitoring EVERYTHING.

If and when I buy a Smart tv, I do not plan to even connect it to my network. I would actually buy a non smart tv, but you cannot really do that anymore

Yes, if never buy a TV with a microphone or camera.

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Have you found one? As soon as I can find a manufacturer offering a 65"+ OLED panel I’ll be signing a check.

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I just never connect my “smart” TV to the Internet. It complains occasionally but who cares?



I guess I was lucky to buy a Sony tv about 3.5 years ago - NOT being a smart tv. They are no where to be found now…