Help blocking random phones controlling my TV

bpmod

Member
Hello all

First time poster.

I recently purchased a new 55" LG TV, 55UM6910PUC from Walmart. I have set it up and the one thing that I was interested in is being able to watch Youtube videos directly on my TV.

When I attempted to watch Youtube, however, I was taken to a 'download app' page. It seems that without downloading and installing the Youtube app, you are not able to access any videos through that service.

So, I installed the app.

Now, I have found out that anybody who comes into proximity of my TV can stream Youtube videos to it without my knowledge or consent. This has now been going on for a couple of months.

I called LG customer service today and spent an hour trying to have them answer how to prevent any random person with a phone from being able to stream content to my TV. I was simply looking for a setting that would allow me to block content that I have no control over.

The CSR basically told me to reset my TV to factory settings. So, I did that and then (after the extremely frustrating phone call was over) needed to spend a half hour or so reconfiguring everything, I mean everything, back to the way it was before. The CSR told me that should this happen again, the simple solution is to restore to factory settings. (Yes. Really simple!) She also told me that, before anybody can stream anything to my TV, there would be a pop-up message on the TV that I would have to acknowledge and agree to. I have never seen any such message and told her so.

Once I got everything set back up the way I wanted, I went to launch a Youtube video and discovered that I needed to download and install the app. That's when I remembered that I had done that upon first setting up the TV. I reinstalled the app and watched a video or two. I did notice when I installed the Youtube app this time around that the app turned on a setting 'turn on via wifi' and gave instructions as to how to turn that off. I immediately went into said settings and turned that off. It should also be noted that my TV is not connected via wifi, but by a wired connection.

I went back to watching something else and suddenly, as had happened several times before, I found myself watching somebody else's choice of video as some random person came along and started streaming content to my TV.

So, is there any person here who knows how to get Youtube content for yourself without opening up your TV to any random person in the neighbourhood?

Thanks

Brian
 

JayCee

Distinguished Member
The CSR is correct.
No one can stream content to your TV without a message popping up which you need to acknowledge. The reason you aren’t seeing this message is because no one is trying to stream to your TV.
These videos you’re seeing are probably auto-playing recommended content.
I don't watch Youtube a lot myself but I believe you need to pay a subscription for Youtube Premium to watch ad-free.
 

bpmod

Member
The CSR is correct.
No one can stream content to your TV without a message popping up which you need to acknowledge. The reason you aren’t seeing this message is because no one is trying to stream to your TV.
These videos you’re seeing are probably auto-playing recommended content.
I don't watch Youtube a lot myself but I believe you need to pay a subscription for Youtube Premium to watch ad-free.
I don't know where to start.

Are you telling me that LG has designed a TV that will not let me choose what I want to watch and when I want to watch it?

And is it a complete coincidence that the person with the phone happens to be watching the very same video at the very same time that my TV decided that I wasn't allowed to watch channel 4 over the air, but I need to be watching a video which I have no interest in watching and the likes of which has never shown up in my recommended before?

And your last statement makes me think that you are trolling me. What in the world would paying a subscription or not have to do with my issue? How do you know whether or not I have paid a subscription? How would you know what the content that is being streamed consists of? Why would that be pertinent to my issue?

Incidentally, I asked to see the person's phone the most recent time it happened. I asked what the person had done just prior and he explained to me that he was minding his own business just watching a video on his Youtube app when a pop-up message appeared stating something about a TV within range. He did not know how to deal with the message (nor did he understand its meaning), so he tapped it to (hopefully) remove it.

I was able to recreate the scenario completely. I went into the phone's settings and disconnected from the TV. I restarted the Youtube app (on the phone) and brought up a video. The message that he described popped up and I tapped it. The video immediately started streaming to my TV.

I never got any pop up on the TV and it is not "auto-playing some content that I haven't paid a subscription for".

Brian
 

JayCee

Distinguished Member
Incidentally, I asked to see the person's phone the most recent time it happened. I asked what the person had done just prior and he explained to me that he was minding his own business just watching a video on his Youtube app when a pop-up message appeared stating something about a TV within range. He did not know how to deal with the message (nor did he understand its meaning), so he tapped it to (hopefully) remove it.

I was able to recreate the scenario completely. I went into the phone's settings and disconnected from the TV. I restarted the Youtube app (on the phone) and brought up a video. The message that he described popped up and I tapped it. The video immediately started streaming to my TV
This is all pertinent info which you should have included in your post.
This “person” was streaming content from his mobile phone to your TV and I can only guess that he's done it before and either he or someone else has originally agreed to a popup message on your TV allowing it.
I'm not familiar with streaming to LG TV's from a smartphone so maybe someone else here can comment.

Please lose the aggressive attitude, you've posted here with a query and I'm trying to help you with possible scenarios.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
It sounds like this "random person" has access to your home network and can therefore connect to the TV via your wired connection. The TV is switching to the Youtube app when they cast to the TV - and they will only see this if they have access to your network.

The TV has no access control beyond this, so there's not a lot you can do about it. If they have legitimate access to your network, you will need to ask them not to connect to your TV - or consider setting up some separation within your home network such that their devices use a guest network that cannot access the TV, but you still can.

I have set up something similar for my daughter while she is at university. She has a 4G modem router and it has 2 networks. An unrestricted network for her smart TV and mobile devices, printer and laptop etc. and a guest network for her friends to use when they visit which just has internet access with a QOS bandwidth cap. You may find you can do something similar on your router - or you can buy a new router to support this.
 

[email protected]

Well-known Member
Is this person in the same household and on the same network? If you have turned off WiFi in the TV and use ethernet, then the only way for them to connect is for them to be connected to your network.

I've never known YouTube to 'pop up' info that TVs are nearby that are capable of casting. I think that is BS. You need to manually select to cast from YouTube to check available devices and select one.
 

bpmod

Member
Thank you noiseboy72 and [email protected]

I have routinely allowed trusted guests in my home to use my main wifi rather than the guest wifi, which is also set up. So, I guess the solution is to disallow anybody from my main network unless I wish them access to my TV.

(Edit: I suppose I could simply put my TV onto a subnet that nobody else has access to. Maybe I'll try that just for fun.)

I still think, however, that it would be a good idea to simply have a setting (on the TV) to disallow streaming to the TV. Really, how hard should that be? And even a pop-up message asking for my permission would be, in my opinion, too intrusive, as it would (if it actually did as CSR and JayCee insisted it did) still interrupt what I have chosen to watch on the TV that I paid for and should have complete control over. If I ever needed to cast to my TV from my phone, that might be a feature that I might use. But not even having a slight idea as to why that would be a wanted feature, I would prefer having the option to turn it off (like a myriad of other choices when setting up electronic devices). I also think that there should be a disclaimer somewhere (not buried in a bunch of stuff that nobody reads) that tells the user that any person with access to the network can stream to your TV without any further action on your part. (And, no JayCee, guests who have been invited into my home are not in the habit of breaking in when I am not here just to acknowledge a pop-up message on my TV. And even if they did, I would hope that restoring the TV to factory settings would negate that action.)

As far as the Youtube app on the phone, I can see (since reading your suggestion) the 'casting' icon which I have never noticed before. So, it turned out to be a case of fat fingers. I never intended to tap that icon, so was completely surprised to see the popup. My friend has much much fatter fingers than I do and he has much less understanding of what all the different tappable (is that a word? It is now :) ) things on his screen do. Maybe the others who have streamed to my TV have done it intentionally. I would have no way of knowing.

Anyway, before buying another 'smart' TV, I will check to see if that 'feature' can be turned off.

Thanks

Brian
 

JayCee

Distinguished Member
And, no JayCee, guests who have been invited into my home are not in the habit of breaking in when I am not here just to acknowledge a pop-up message on my TV
I’m surprised anyone would want to go into your home given your attitude here as a new member on this forum.
For info, people routinely cast from their phones/tablets to view content from it on a bigger screen.
 
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bpmod

Member
Not so Random these phones then?
Correct.

But I would think that that should have been the first question asked of me by LG's CSR. I might not have known at the time of the call, but it would have been something that I could have watched for subsequently.

As I said in my OP, the TV suddenly switching to Youtube and streaming content seemed completely random, mostly because there was nobody in the room at the time that it happened. After resetting to factory defaults and reinstalling Youtube, the problem came back, but this time with somebody else in the room. Even then, I had no idea whether or not it had to do with the phone being connected to my home network. I could ascertain, however, that that was not the only phone that had access to my TV, because it had earlier happened when this friend was not at my house.

In any event, the problem has been solved. I am very thankful that a couple of very kind members of this community pointed me in the right direction.

Brian
 

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