Almost every smart TV platform is, at this point, a billboard for ads with your apps sprinkled in, but where...

I don’t see it. I have mine blocked from dialing home, receiving updates and autoplays have long been turned off.

Good for you. It does not change my point though that a device which can stream media having ads not really has anything to do with more piracy.

Takatakatakatakatak
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I disagree. I will not under any circumstances be advertised to in my own home.

I’m happy to pay for your goods and services, but if you break that agreement our relationship is immediately concluded. The penalty for breaking the original terms of our agreement is that I will take what I originally paid for in perpetuity. You had your chance.

Same rules apply for attempting to renegotiate the rules whilst the ball is in play: see Amazon’s new trend of attempting to charge an additional monthly fee of the same amount as the initial service to access documentaries etc. They’re finished.

They aren’t finished. Remember that you are in the minority with your outrage, and 95% of the general population loves eating shit popsicles from megacorps. Aka they won’t do anything about it.

If anyone doubts this, simply visit the nearest Apple store for a half hour and watch the lemmings around you. Apple store employees, and the company literally abuse people and treat their customers like shit, yet the place is still packed. The lemmings still line up for an hour for their “appointment,” and put up with people yelling/talking down at them, only to have the privilege of purchasing the latest iPhone.

The general population will take this lying down. CTV is one of the biggest growing advertising channels. It mostly gets bought and sold programmatically too, and nothing is off the table. Not only are we getting fucking hosed with streaming fees, they are going to absolutely bombard us with ads too.

Takatakatakatakatak
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Finished as in they no longer get to be installed on anything in my house. I realise that most people seem to love the taste of shit sandwiches. Not for me.

As soon as streaming services start acting like that, they’re gone. The only one I have left is Netflix, and it is on thin ice - we’ll see what they do with their pricing structure going forward and if they start trying to push ads on higher tiers.

If it wasn’t for the Mrs., I would have turfed Netflix a long time ago. They are the grossest of all the streamers, and they are at the forefront of the greed we face today. I refuse to even use it. I pay for two subscriptions (my wife’s, and one for my parents, who live across the continent). I refuse to use it. I don’t even use it. Who are we turning into as a species?

@mateomaui@reddthat.com
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Sure it does. As a pirate I’ve chosen to disable the device’s ability to connect to Amazon to annoy me with ads, and pirate the content they’d usually serve me instead of subscribing to anything. Not that hard to understand. If I could find a way to uninstall all the Amazon apps, I would.

Did you pirate the TV? No, this actually has nothing to do with piracy. What’s hard to understand.

Lmao autist

Unbelievable that you could miss the point this much and still ask “what’s hard to understand” lmfao

@mateomaui@reddthat.com
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Evidently it’s too complicated for you.

I didn’t pirate my computer either, but almost all the content on it is.

Also, the original comment I responded to said “and still have to see this shit.” I don’t, because of piracy strats.

This here is the solution for what you want: https://www.xda-developers.com/disable-system-app-bloatware-android/

You can disable whatever app you want until the system doesn’t work any more. Just install an alternative for what you want to disable (e.g. the launcher) and then disable the Amazon version.

@mateomaui@reddthat.com
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until the system doesn’t work anymore

yeah that’s my worry… accidentally bricking the thing. Can you rollback changes if that happens?

edit:

so be sure you don’t disable anything absolutely critical (use your best judgment)

apparently not

I keep imagining a scenario where it cannot find something and just spins forever looking for it, or disable something that prevents startup entirely, etc.

edit: wait… you can install a new launcher on a fire tv? I need to look into that.

Square Singer
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As long as it still boots, you can undo the change with a simple adb pm enable [packagename].

I wouldn’t recomment disableing system critical things like systemui. You can google each package together with “Can I disable X” and you should get decent infos.

Regarding the launcher:

I don’t have a Fire TV but I had a Fire Tablet. So if these two work the same, you can install another launcher without issues. But Amazon removed the setting for default launcher, so it will always pick the stock launcher when you press the home button.

To override that, there are two options.

  • Install the Automate app by Llamalab and make a small flow that detects when the stock launcher is the currently active app and then automatically launches the new launcher. This option is completely safe.
  • Disable the stock launcher. If Android doesn’t find it’s set default launcher, it will instead open the first launcher it finds. Worked good on the Fire Tablet, but I can’t verify that this doesn’t cause issues on a Fire TV. So this might be a bit risky.
@mateomaui@reddthat.com
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Thank you for the detailed info and the tips, it’s much appreciated! With that to lead me in the right direction I was also able to find a possible solution for the home button without a workaround using an updated app, though it seems ymmv depending on whether or not Amazon can automatically reset it somehow. I have pretty much everything blocked so the home screen is usually empty except for my top row apps, so the button fix may work for me, but those workarounds may still be needed. Thanks again!

@mateomaui@reddthat.com
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Thank you for the help here, I was able to get things working well, and wanted to post a follow up response for anyone wondering about this, and maybe a separate post later. All directions found here: https://troypoint.com/troypoint-toolbox/

Using the Downloader app, I installed Wolf Launcher 0.1.9, then Launcher Manager 1.1.9 for Fire TV (which also replaces and/or redirects to the default settings menu as needed), and followed the tutorial steps to set Wolf Launcher as the default for the home button. (Of the four launchers in the toolbox, Wolf Launcher had the fastest startup, and once I understood the settings it was easy to hide widgets, sections, labels and unused apps from the view for a simple clean grid of all my apps on a dark background that doesn’t scroll across the screen or anything unnecessary.) I wasn’t able to install Automate (that I could tell), but instead installed Launch on Boot 1.13 (12), and used it to set Wolf Launcher to start on boot or wakeup.

It seemed tempermental at first because I was changing settings around, so I guess triggers got confused for a bit. Once I got it set correctly, now it still boots to the original Home screen first (with everything black, blank and/or missing except for the Home and Settings icons, since everything Amazon is blocked via the pihole), but once Home is done loading nothing, it quickly switches to Wolf Launcher. (I opted to not disable or remove the built-in launcher and apps to avoid accidental bricking since this already works, and I could just hide apps that cluttered the view now.)

Using the Home button isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely good enough. From within an app it often defaults to the original Home screen, but pressing it again once or twice usually switches back to Wolf Launcher, and simply exiting an app normally or via the back button instead will go to Wolf Launcher, so it’s not a big issue. If for some reason Wolf Launcher doesn’t start, the Settings menu is still accessible so it can be rebooted from there to reset it, or Wolf Launcher can be started from the Settings Applications menu.

Thank you again for the direction, it’s finally setup the way I wanted!

edit: and to whoever is reading this, be sure to go into settings beforehand and disable automatic app offloading, and make sure all your apps really are there and don’t need to be reinstalled again before you shutdown all communication to Amazon and the App Store. Even if an offloaded app is visible on Home, it won’t be visible or installable from the other launchers. They only see installed apps.

edit2: also be ready to block access to 8.8.8.8 (Google DNS) in your router settings, because FireTVs have that as an automatic entry that you cannot delete. You can set your own DNS to a pihole for domain blocking, but separately you’ll have to block 8.8.8.8 or it will always have a backup path through. The only way I’ve found to know it’s blocked for certain is to use the Downloader app browser, and try going to 1.1.1.1 first to see Cloudflare’s website work, and then go to 8.8.8.8, and it should be inaccessible if you have it blocked correctly.

Happy to help!

Btw, check out Netguard (either the F-Droid version or the one from Github, since these two versions allow system-wide adblocking).

And Newpipe.

If you don’t know these apps yet, they will change how you use your Android device.

@mateomaui@reddthat.com
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The main issue with some apps is that apparently the FireTV OS is different enough from my Fire tablet that many apks get a parse error or something similar, so you need a specific FireTV version, and there isn’t one available for many apps so you need alternatives. YT Revanced, for example, doesn’t work on the FireTV.

Fortunately the pihole takes care of all adblocking except for YT, and for that I have SmartTubeNext which includes adblock and sponsorblock, and I can cast to it with YT Revanced from my tablet.

I may look into NewPipe or Invidious, but honestly it seems like more a headache than it’s worth with the intermittent server issues I keep seeing reported, when the setup I have now seems to work without problems.

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