Can I use OSMC to dumb down a smart TV?

We recently bought a new TV and, for various practical reasons, the only option was a “Smart” TV. All we want to do, however, is watch Freeview, the occasional DVD/Blu-ray, and stream content sometimes. Basically, we’d like to ignore pretty much all the bling that comes with the TV, especially the frankly creepy surveillance capabilities, and ramp down the exuberance of the user interface to something that just does the job without fuss. Losing access to esoteric TV features wouldn’t be an issue. If we can page through the freeview schedule, see the program descriptions and select them - that’s enough. (If we can also do without the ludicrously over-buttoned remote that too would be a bonus.)

My current impression is that adding the DVB-T2 TV dongle in the OSMC store would give the OSMC box access to freeview programming. With that in place, could we operate the TV pretty much entirely through OSMC and the OSMC remote?

Yes, but only unencrypted channels

Depends on the country you are living in if all channels are transmitted unencrypted

I’m in the UK. As far as I know, all the FreeView channels are unencrypted. Certainly, all the ones we care about (BBC etc).

Also, I forgot to say thanks for your rapid reply. :slight_smile:

Indeed, it’s hard to find a “dumb” TV nowadays. A Freeview receiver will already be built into the TV, so I can see no need for a dongle unless you want to record TV programmes.

If you keep the TV off your network, it will be unable to report home.

This is exactly how I run my TV. The OSMC EPG is way better than the one on the TV (Panasonic), I can get surround sound when it’s broadcast, better PVR, etc etc. The only app I use on the TV is iPlayer - works better than the iPlayer add-on for Kodi.

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I’m thinking of pulling network programming into the OSMC device and connecting that device to the TV over HDMI. That way the network connection terminates at the device rather than the TV, so the programming is available to view while TV remains off-line.

That solution seems cleaner if I also pull the freeview programming into the OSMC device and send it up the HDMI cable to the display. The arrangement also has the advantage that we could then interact with only the OSMC GUI and remote, rather than with some mix of TV and OSMC functions. (The OSMC GUI and remote are a lot simpler and saner than the rather over-wrought stuff on the TV.)

Am I right in thinking that things should work as outlined above if we were to add the DVB-T2 TV dongle?

Your concept seems ok but be aware that DVB-T2 TV dongles can require a strong signal. @grahamh has considerably more experience on this topic. (I can’t use a TV dongle due to a very large piece of rock, aka a hill, between me and the transmitter! :wink: )

Yes, you need a decent aerial. All three dongles I have are a tad less sensitive than any of my three TVs.

A vbox would be a good solution as it is connected to the network and does all the recording etc. The kodi addon thrn connects to the vbox to access recordings and live tv.

There’s a coaxial socket at the TV location that runs the terrestrial signal from the antenna on the roof to the old TV. Does the dongle in the OSMC store have a coaxial socket? In the photo it kind of looks like it does, but that might just be my hopeful interpretation of the slight bulge at the distal end of the casing. (A few more store photos of the dongle would be useful.)

Vbox? Sorry, I’m new to the terminology in this domain.

BTW - Thanks to everybody for the guidance. It’s much appreciated.

That’s what the Vero with the TV Dongle does by using the tvheadend server

Yes same connector as your TV

Thanks. In that case the signal strength should be OK.

Based on this conversation I’m going to try the setup out with a RPi3 and if it works as expected I’ll then replace the Pi with a Vero+ to handle the 4K screen properly.

Thanks to everyone for the guidance. Hopefully I’ll be able to report a success soon.

That is why I’m still holding on to a Sony stupid TV I like to call it no internet. Pi-hole that fxxker if it allows you to change the DNS you could use Pi-hole to block all that other crap the creepiness you’re talking about and if that isn’t the case you can change your DNS on your router you might have to spend a couple of days whitelisting certain things to make other products work in your house but I think it’s worth it. I Pi-hole (I love that name) everything except my NAS server and my Linux boxes I did at first but they proved to be honest. :slight_smile:

For me, the simple solution is that my Smart TV is not connected to the internet. It can’t phone home with no connection :wink:

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Very true The only thing I think that Vero 4k + is missing a bona fide YouTube app last time I tried it I got kicked off after an hour. I believe something to do with the keys they’re using they only get so many hours because its development api keys I can’t remember is a while ago I could be wrong on the whole thing. I do wish there was a way to have Netflix YouTube some of the big streaming services I don’t know maybe like running in a container or something separated from everything else.