Surprise! Samsung Smart TVs Insert Unwanted Ads Into Video Streaming Apps

Samsung Smart TV

Samsung is taking clandestine marketing to another level by implanting unwanted adverts in its Smart TVs, much to the chagrin of baffled consumers. The Smart TVs are injecting short advertisements directly nearly every 20 to 30 minutes in a user’s video streaming apps.
(Photo : Kārlis Dambrāns | Flickr)

Sneaky, sneaky Samsung! The South Korean company’s Smart TVs come with an additional feature which consumers did not bargain for — unwanted ads that have been inserted in video streaming apps.

Samsung is taking clandestine marketing to another level by implanting unwanted adverts in its Smart TVs, much to the chagrin of baffled consumers.

Samsung’s Smart TVs were already in troubled waters thanks to its TVs voice-recognition software, which was able to eavesdrop on an owner’s conversations and transmit the same to third parties. Now reports that the TV sets are injecting short adverts directly nearly every 15 to 30 minutes in a user’s video streaming apps (sans any interference from third-party apps) is creating quite a furor.

This is not the first time adverts have surfaced on the company’s Smart TVs. In January 2014, when ads popped up on the TV sets, Samsung had divulged that it was simply checking out « interactive experiences » which it would offer its customers as an option.

The current advert in question is a Pepsi one which appears to viewers when content is streamed on the Smart TV via a user’s personal media library and third-party video streaming services such as Plex and Foxtel.

« I have recently upgraded my Plex Media Server to version 0.9.1101 and every 10-15 minutes whilst watching content on my Samsung TV I get a Pepsi advertisement showing! » complained a visibly annoyed user on the Plex forum.

« I watch most of my TV shows on a Samsung Smart TV and it has been fantastic for the past year. Recently it has been stopping halfway through a show or a movie and has played a Pepsi ad that is muted. It does not do this on any other platform (PC, PS4, tablet) has anyone else experienced this? » ranted another Plex user on Reddit.

Australia-based Foxtel users also faced issues with Samsung TVs, with the notorious Pepsi advert popping up every few minutes and interrupting the viewing experience.

Foxtel’s app is built into Samsung’s SmartHUb interface. A user complained on the Foxtel forum that his screen went blank after 15 minutes of viewing live TV, then a 16:9 Pepsi advertisement that took up half the screen space surfaced.

« It’s as if there is a popup ad on the TV. I have not installed any other software or apps — I just factory reset and loaded up Foxtel, » complained the Samsung Smart TV user.

Foxtel responded that the issue appeared to be Samsung related and had been « escalated » to the company.

Samsung Electronics Australia has apologized for the problem and revealed that the Foxtel ad issue had been resolved and was due to an error « that occurred as part of a recent software update that was not intended for the Australian market. »

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