Hey guys, so I moved recently and started tipping my toes in self-hosting, currently managed to set up Pihole and Jellyfin.

I’m thinking of buying a TV to start enjoying all these cool services over my living room. The thing is, I’m pretty much an absolute beginner, and I’m not sure if there is something I should be aware of when buying a TV.

Since it is a fairly big spend, I would really hate to be locked out of it because of some greedy corporate garbage or something, especially since I would use it only for self-hosting, and I am aware TVs are particularly messy when it comes to this (never have bought one in my life). Could you guys help this lost kid?

    • @[email protected]
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      1810 months ago

      For sure, turn off wifi on the tv and also block it’s MAC address at the router. Plug in your trusted streaming box of choice via HDMI and only use that (Nvidia Shield, AppleTV, Roku, AndroidTV, Homebuilt Plex box, etc).

      • @[email protected]
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        610 months ago

        Ehh mine are connected to wifi to work with home automations I have. But all are blocked at the router by MAC.

  • @[email protected]
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    3410 months ago

    Avoid smart TVs, prefer large screen. IIRC the LG brand was less bad than the others. Samsung is the worst since they put ads on top of your own videos. Anyway, never plug it to the internet, never put the wifi password.

    • @[email protected]
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      2910 months ago

      It seems impossible to buy a dumb TV now adays. The second best thing is to just opt out of the smart TV features of your TV, then buy yourself a reputable android TV box.

      • @[email protected]
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        10 months ago

        I saw a tip a while back that you could search for “commercial display panel” or something and buy high-quality dumb TVs with a few HDMI inputs and that’s about it. They’re designed for restaurants or shops, so they’re reliable and good looking, but dead simple.

        I don’t honestly remember if that was the right phrase, though.

        • @RFBurns
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          410 months ago

          Google up “Commercial Signage Displays”.

      • @[email protected]
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        310 months ago

        All the most recent OLEDs are smart TVs, the only thing I could think of that isn’t are basically things classified as digital signage but these panels aren’t really tuned for watching at home.

        But your best bet is to use the TV as a display for whatever you have and switching inputs old school style. Connect it once to do software updates. Unplug from wall and don’t give it your wifi password or vlan it off the internet. Otherwise they’re all sending data back about you, and your consumption habits.

        • thejevans
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          10 months ago

          The difference is you can get an nvidia shield, sideload whatever apps you want (SmartTubeNext for youtube, a new home screen that doesn’t have ads, moonlight for local game streaming, etc), and then block your tv from the internet. The nvidia shield has a better cpu than any other android tv setup, and it can do 4k, hdr, and dolby vision. It can handle a usb dac for a much better audio setup, usb controllers, and bluetooth controllers for gaming.

          EDIT: Additionally, it’s a smart idea to separate devices that have different life cycles. If a new TV comes out that you want to upgrade to, you can do so without replacing your smart interface. If a new nvidia shield replacement comes out, you can switch to that without replacing the TV

            • thejevans
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              110 months ago

              yeah, any android tv device will have access to some subset of the features of the nvidia shield, but I don’t know of any others that can handle 4k60 with hdr and dolby vision, and none have the same codec support (so you’ll never need to transcode on jellyfin). not to mention the fact that the nvidia shield will be way snappier than any other device out there, which I know I appreciate.

              If you have an android tv right now, then the benefits come from getting a much more performant external android tv box. If you have a non-android smart tv, then there are many more benefits.

      • @[email protected]
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        1210 months ago

        There is a certain pattern. Cautious people tell others something like “don’t buy a voice assisstant”/“don’t spend money on crypto-currency”/“don’t get a Facebook account”/“don’t buy a smart TV” for very good reasons, others don’t listen, then the vendors get even shittier or more obviously shitty and hurt the people who didn’t listen.

        • @[email protected]
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          310 months ago

          I’ve heard the others but this is the first time I’ve heard not to spend crypto. What’s the reasoning behind that?

    • MxM111
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      310 months ago

      Can you explain why do you advise to avoid internet?

  • @[email protected]
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    2710 months ago

    Keep the tv dumb. Don’t connect it to the internet.

    I like to check rtings.com for model specs and comparisons. Like, some panel types work well in a bright room, some work better than others when you are watching with a bright light source behind you. The warehouse clubs (Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s) tend to have good deals on midrange tvs.

    Then pair it with a streaming stick of your choice. A generic Android TV stick/box would work.

    • @TheInsane42
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      910 months ago

      This. TVs without connectivity are dumb. Buying a big monitor is way to expensive, just don’t let the gremlins out of the TV and onto internet.

  • 🇰 🔵 🇱 🇦 🇳 🇦 🇰 ℹ️
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    2110 months ago

    Being aware you’re buying a TV is probably a good idea. It will, at the very least, avoid later confusion when you have a new TV but don’t know where it came from and are also missing the exact amount of money a new TV cost.

  • BoofStroke
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    1410 months ago

    All smart tvs suck. Buy based on picture quality and use a separate box for your streaming.

  • DarraignTheSane
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    1010 months ago

    When it comes to Samsung, look at their “Pro” TVs, which are intended for businesses to use for digital signage. I’ve never had to deal with any of the very few smart features it has popping up or annoying me in any way.

    I’m no expert on picture quality but it looks damned good to me, and it’s supposedly built to run 24/7 and not burn out since as said it’s intended for digital signage.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C9G54G2X

    https://www.samsung.com/us/business/displays/pro-tv/explore/

    • cheztir
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      510 months ago

      Came here to say exactly this. I’ve setup family members with Samsung “Commercial Displays” for their TVs and haven’t been disappointed. The display is high quality since it’s built for a more demanding purpose, but it also means none of the consumer friendly optimizations exist for easy color balance. Essentially this means you’ve got to bring your own device and do some configuring, but since we’re on selfhosting that’s something you were probably going to do anyway.

      An additional note - the models I got also still had RS-232 ports for direct control and some newer ones included control commands over ethernet (even when powered off), making it even more fun for smart home shenanigans.

  • @[email protected]
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    910 months ago

    I agree with everyone to not let the TV access the internet. Instead, get a raspberri pi or le potato or the like with LibreElec (or whatever the current successor OS is) running Kodi. Point it at a SMB share and bam.

  • @brygphilomena
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    510 months ago

    Vizio can remote into their TV’s and run diagnostics and remote factory resets. Made me feel very awkward and now I have to null route all their BS.

  • @TrustedTyrant
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    510 months ago

    I just use an Apple TV instead of the built in smart tv and it works well. If you care about hdr my advice would be to avoid Samsung since they refuse to support Dolby vision.

  • WasPentalive
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    410 months ago

    Can a computer monitor with an HDMI port stand in for a TV?

    • @[email protected]
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      110 months ago

      You’ll probably also need a speaker to connect to the monitor to make it sound good. Long ago, I set it up on a 23" full HD monitor back when even 32" TVs were not full HD.

  • Bristlerock
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    410 months ago

    FWIW, I have an LG LED smart TV (2xHDMI, 1xDVB-S2, WiFi, NIC, etc) and it’s only been connected to my network once, for a post-purchase firmware update through my AdGuard Home. WiFi and Ethernet is disabled, and I use it with my Nvidia ShieldTV (Plex*, Netflix, ChromeCast, etc).

    I won’t let it go online as I expect it already phones home if you let it, and don’t imagine LG will be able to resist ad injection into content, like Samsung and others do. So it’s an excellent quality dumb TV, which meets my needs perfectly.

    *Plex Media Server runs on my NAS. The Shield and my mobile devices are Plex clients.

  • @numbers1492
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    10 months ago

    I’ve had no issues with my LG OLED. Picture quality is great and the UI doesn’t suck.

    With the newer LG TV’s there is a jellyfin all. Ignore the people that say don’t connect it to the internet you probably don’t care and would be annoyed you can’t use the features anyway. For things that don’t have an app through the TV you can also use the browser that’s built in.

    Be careful buying android tv boxes as they can be super sketchy way more so than name brand TV’s.

    Roku boxes also seem to have an app for jellyfin that has been pretty reliable.

    Edit: one annoying thing that seems comma among TV’s is that the ethernet is limited to 100mbps and you’ll get faster speeds through wifi.

  • BustedPancake
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    210 months ago

    I don’t know if this applies to you or not, but if you are like me, and I believe around 10% of the population, stay away from PWM as it will give you big migraines. But that you can only know if you are sensitive to it by encountering one of those screens. If you own a pretty recent mobile phone with OLED or AMOLED, chances are they use PWM and if you are fine with them, you should be ok. But always best to make sure. They never really advertise this so if you can go to a physical store to see the screen or look around the internet before buying that helps.

  • Mythic
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    10 months ago

    I think only android tvs allow you to have the jellyfin app right on the TV. Samsung Tizen does not have jellyfin in the app store