Not so smart now are you TV? UK Samsung owners a little peeved

Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2017 - 12:16 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, smart tv

A number of owners of smart Samsung TVs in Europe have been having a bad August.  A firmware update pushed out by the company has essentially bricked a variety of 50"Ultra HD and 49" 4K displays.  After the update they received a single channel at a single volume and the ownership of the remote was no longer fought for.  Samsung did not have a comment for The Register but a forum post suggests a fix is coming soon however it will require sending said TV into a repair shop.  Be careful if you see a pending update and do your best to postpone it for now; if you can.

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"Interestingly, Samsung's US support forum contains no mention of any similar problem, suggesting the bad firmware update may be limited to the UK or European region."

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Source: The Register

August 25, 2017 | 12:55 PM - Posted by SweCap (not verified)

Samsung Smart TVs get less smart over time anyway... Here in Sweden they removed the Youtube app completely on my 3 yo tv. As usual without any explanation.

August 27, 2017 | 08:46 AM - Posted by Luthair

No Explanation?

August 28, 2017 | 10:43 AM - Posted by Randy (not verified)

Thats a statement from Google/YouTube, not Samsung. So the OP was right, it was removed with no statement from Samsung.

August 28, 2017 | 01:06 PM - Posted by Power (not verified)

Better quietly then with fireworks.

August 25, 2017 | 03:00 PM - Posted by CrapSung (not verified)

It's about time that Samsung is made to pay for its crappy service after the sale, and borking the device's firmware should result in a recall. Samsung should be forced to compensate anyone who has to go through with the trouble and expense of returning their TVs as some of the TV's that were borked are very large and that's a problem for those that own one of those devices. Dual BIOS/Firmware should be required on any smart devices with a restore to factory firmware image in the fallback BIOS/Firmware ROM so the TV's can not be bricked by any firmware updates gone bad!

No dual Firmware/hardware no apprival for import/sale in any markets for the devices that don't have dual firmware hardware fall back features.

Smart TVs should come in two parts the monitor part(Dumb as nails) and the smart part(a dedicated module) that can be plugged into the TV. That way some of the larger TV's could be updated by with the owners being able to get a new module with more compute when streaming services go from 1080p to 4k with some TV's unable to cope with the change.

Google/Youtube needs to have a fat codec generator where when someone creates a 4k/higher video that 4k/higher content is super-sampled down to 1080/lower so devices that came with YouTube features standard in the TV will not be made obsolete if they can not process 4k/higher content. So the YouTube software on the TV should know what hardware context it is running in and download the lower definition content.

"Here in Sweden they removed the Youtube app completely on my 3 yo tv." that probably had somthing to do with money not changing hands and some fees not being paid to Samsung by Google! But Samsung's system software is total crap across their product lines from TV's, appliances, and Laptops(Samsung Control Center is really crap among the crap)!

I'd rather go with a dumb monitor and have a dedicated device for TV contet that I can control because I really do not trust Smart anything when it comes to my personal information. So all this smart/IOT nonsense is just too prone to hacking(third party, and the maker's spyware) and borking by the devices makers.

August 25, 2017 | 03:03 PM - Posted by Randy (not verified)

This is why I don't buy Smart TVs and have a Roku for all of the "smart" features. Roku is an easy replacement, a TV not so much.

August 27, 2017 | 08:47 AM - Posted by Luthair

This means you're also buying poor quality displays. Just don't connect the set to the internet, issue solved.

August 28, 2017 | 10:44 AM - Posted by Randy (not verified)

I generally don't pay for features I don't need. And I disagree that at $800 almost 4 years ago I purchased a low quality display.

August 25, 2017 | 03:45 PM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

A bad firmware upgrade could brick even a standard non-Smart TV so its a false sense of security to suggest this is a reason to avoid Smart TVs. Most modern 4K UHD TVs will be smart anyway so it would be hard to avoid. Some non-Smart TV's do exist to be sure such as Seiki 4K TV for example. However, Seiki non-SMart TV's have firmware updates that could go awry just like many others.

Now, if someone does have a Smart TV it would be prudent to turn off auto updates. However, this doesn't save you from manually installing a bad firmware upgrade just like with a non-Smart TV firmware upgrade.

August 25, 2017 | 04:13 PM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)

When it comes to Dumb Tv's, how often does one need to upgrade/update firmware? I could see needing to do it if the TV's were shipped with missing functionality or something borked to begin with, but otherwise, why bother?

I know this because I've had a Samsung Dumb TV for several years now. It's basically a 46" IPS monitor that has a built in TV tuner and a lot of ports for connecting devices. Never had to update firmware, and never felt the need or even curiousity to see if a firmware update existed. When it comes to TV's I'm like most people, if it works when I turn it on, then no need to go looking for a fix for something that isn't broken.

August 25, 2017 | 06:17 PM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

The same logic applies to Smart TV's. One could easily say that they are not interested in any updates and disable all update related features until or unless a problem pops up.

Saying one has little or no interest in updating the firmware of a standard TV doesn't negate the possibility of a manufacturer releasing a firmware update capable of doing damage.

One of the reasons I used Seiki as a non-SMart TV example is because I recall a couple of Firmware related fixes that Seiki users wanted implemented on their 4K TVs. IIRC, one had to do with correcting frequency at a specific resolution which was probably for those using these 4K Seiki's as a monitor.

The reality is that a lot of people, possibly most, don't care about a fix unless they first see a problem. So no surprise many people aren't all that concerned but they sure do cry fowl when there is a problem and no fix.

August 25, 2017 | 07:19 PM - Posted by DumbTVsRock (not verified)

You are making a mountain out of a molehill
The likelihood of a "dumb" tv getting bricked is small to almost mill. Like the other guy said, if the "dumb" tv works when one first gets it, one would never need to update it.

August 26, 2017 | 02:47 PM - Posted by Drazen (not verified)

Samsung TV firmware is getting worst with every newer version. But, it is not only TV, all software today is a big crap.

August 28, 2017 | 12:21 AM - Posted by Photonboy

How much would a DUAL BIOS add to the cost anyway?

Or at the very least the ability to RESET to the initial firmware. This should be STANDARD for any device that has firmware updates.

August 28, 2017 | 12:54 AM - Posted by James

Releasing a BIOS that bricks the device makes you wonder about their QA policies. How did this make it out to customers? It should be a very unlikely event that a BIOS bricks the device and prevents updating the BIOS to fix it. This sounds like it possibly requires pulling the actual BIOS chip for replacement or reprogramming? A backup BIOS isn't a bad idea, for several reasons, but this should be so unlikely to happen, that it shouldn't be a reason. Hopefully they will be taking a look at their release process to see what went wrong. Perhaps I will get an LG OLED instead of a samsung SUHD tv also, but I don't know if they are much better. I generally wouldn't use smart tv features anyway, so as long as it isn't set to auto update, or isn't connected to the net I wouldn't have gotten hit with this. I generally wait a while even to apply cell phone updates to see if I HSA about issues. With the stories about TVs reporting what people are watching, I would tend to make sure it can not access the net anyway, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them add a cellular modem so it can phone home no matter what the "owner" wants.

August 28, 2017 | 10:46 AM - Posted by Randy (not verified)

Maybe someone just hates Europe?

August 28, 2017 | 01:11 PM - Posted by Travisty (not verified)

Solution? Don't connect your TV to the internet. Build an HTPC instead. All the smarts of a 'smart' TV plus all the benefits of an actual computer.

October 1, 2017 | 03:38 AM - Posted by Marcos Javier Tineo (not verified)

My name is Marcos Tineo, I live in the USA and I have been having problems wit my SUHDTV since the firmware was updated on September 9 2017.

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