In Defense of Dumb TVs

In the book 1984 by George Orwell the TV’s ‘looked back’. It was one of the primary means of spying by The Party in that dystopia. Smart TV’s are more or less literally doing that now. The thought alone is enough to reject the concept.

My current TV setup consists of a 4K monitor with a RPi for the smart bit and a tuner box for the TV. As long as we can’t replace the smart part of the hardware or its firmware, this will remain my setup.


Dell 55 inch conference room monitor connected to Nvidia Shield TV Pro / Framework laptop / DirecTV through a network receiver is my setup. While the monitor could connect in other ways, HDMI and DisplayPort are all the connectivity I want it to do.

I installed a dumb Scepter TV for may parents in the living room couple of years ago. it’s Perfect for them as its not complicated and they aren’t concerned about nerdy things color gamut, refresh rates or HDR. Its a solid 4k TV for what it is. My only gripe about it is that their is very limited thought put in the menu settings and it shows. My parents also get OTA channels that the TV likes to delete on its own if it doesn’t get a solid signal so they have to rescan for channels periodically. but managed to cure that mostly with a good outdoor antenna. Still the fact that it will work pretty much the same until a hardware component fails rather than death by firmware vulnerability is nice.


Framework TV when ;3


Ha! But also, YES. For real.

Split panel specific features and I/O pre-proccessing/scaling/HDMI translation on to separate boards. And leave an optional spot for reusing old FW laptop boards to handle the Smart TV aspects via an HDMI link.


Well, this one looks like it is streaming just fine … :smiley: :smiley:


Let us use display-port instead XD, hdmi is cancer and only really does drm better than dp.


True. So it’s agreed: The pixel link for the optional FW mainboard to FW TV shall be DP.

@nrp you following all this? :grin:

Why not both XD, I am mostly advocating for dp to be present, given a lot of consumer gear runs on hdmi only the input would be somewhat necessary.

Yup. My comment was talking the transport from hypothetical optional FW mainboard spot to the main dumb tv unit. But frankly both might make sense there too. Just don’t exclude DP as we should leverage that when we can.

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I would love a good quality 100 inch monitor with mini or micro led qdot with a good calibration of the screen made at the factory.
Inputs: 1xusb-c, 2xhdmi, 2xdp, 1x hdmi e-arc, 1xconnector for the internal display + 1x sound connector of an optional framework 13 motherboard
Ouput: 1xspdif
Framework motherboard slot accessible from outside the enclosure
Enough room for the ethernet expansion card (or another ethernet dongle like QNA-T310G1S)


In 3 years from now, I will be on the market to buy a 100 inch screen to play medias, so I will have a look at a framework display if available.

I advocate for DP only I think HDMI has royalties that you need to pay right?

The royalties are a thing but there are also a lot of potential devices that only have hdmi out and converting hdmi to dp is a lot harder than the other way around. If I had to have a display with only one kind of input I’d begrudgingly take hdmi but I’d much prefer both.


Yes! I really find the proliferation of Smart TVs to feel kind of… 2010s?

I bought a $1200 Sony TV and they put a 10/100 Ethernet port on it which is insane for something you are ostensibly supposed to stream 4K from – and then you get the double whammy in that I find manufacturers often cheap out a LOT on the SoCs that go in to smart TVs! I have talked to so many people who have terrible problems with slow interfaces, streams crashing because they flood the ram of these chips in huge and premium TVs. My advice is always: just go get a streaming box, at least then you’re paying for what you’re getting, and not paying for the panel but also getting the cheapy arm chip tacked on.

For my part, even if the price stays the same, I’d rather those extra dollars go into making the panel better since I am going to have to use a streaming box anyways. Bring back dumb TVs!

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Afaik converting HDMI protocol to DP protocol is difficult regardless of which direction you’re going.

What sometimes makes DP → HDMI easy is that some DisplayPort ports support the HDMI protocol so an adapter just has to request the port use the HDMI protocol rather than having to convert protocols.

However many DisplayPort ports don’t support the HDMI protocol (and USB-C supporting the HDMI protocol has been abandoned so any USB-C to display adapter uses the DisplayPort protocol). So many adapters (including the Framework HDMI Expansion Card) do the extra work of converting protocols.

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hdmi to dp is a direction.

The DP+ mode is pretty much standard everywhere, calling it sometimes may be a bit extreme, it’s easier to list implementations that don’t have it than the ones that do.

Which is still a whole lot easier than the other way around.

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Make a dumb TV like Scepter that sells in Europe and I am all in.


I’m late to this post, but I think this is a great idea. By default, work like a dumb TV where it has replacable inputs to allow for upgrades as HDMI and DVI version gets updated. House it in a way when a completely different AV standard changes, it can be changed as well.

A separate cavity for an upgradable TV tuner(s) (again if standard changes or for different regions).

Also have a place for an optional FW13 or FW16 motherboard (not sure how this will work - maybe an area where either motherboards will line up in a cavity) that allows you to install whatever HTPC/OS/Software you’d like. Perhaps allow the TV tuner(s) to be accessible by the PC so you can build your own DVR solution. This can be your smart TV if you want to. Totally optional so you can stick with your own external set top box or HTPC.

As for panels, maybe standardize on 3 different sizes? Upgradable as display tech gets better (4K, 8K, HDR, OLED, QD-OLED, whatever).

What an utopia I build for myself in my own head, lol.


Sounds like it should be an FL16 CPU, orientated so an FL16 graphics module could clip onto the TV … :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Or even better, repurpose some of the PCiE lines that currently come out to USB-C connectors, and bring them out for a SECOND clip on graphics module … :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

That would provide some gaming machine …

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