Getting rid of ads on samsung smart tv

I have had Samsung smart tv for about two years now, and recently I started seeing samsung push ads to the main TV display bar (the one where you chose input source or switch into netflix vs virgin tivo). So, I decided to do something about.

My first thoughts were complete anger, how can samsung display Ads on my TV without my consent. I have paid full price for the TV and they have no right do anything on the tv.

I even looked into if it is possible to somehow flash the TV OS and install some open source one which doesn’t snoop my tv viewing habits and/or doesn’t ping back to mothership aka samsung networks, but all those options seemed tedious and required more time.

So, I selected a slightly easier and less painful route of just using pi-hole to monitor and block my TV pinging ads network.

Immediately after enabling pi-hole on my router, I could see that Samsung smart-tv is always trying to connect to

image alt pi-hole-samsung-smart-tv-cdn

Upon further google research it was confirmed that other people have also seen the similar behavior. I collected most of the samsung Ads network URLs.

Sources: GitHub Gist and Reddit Thread

I figured that .*samsung.* regex covers most of the above URLs. You can play around with regex here and add any other URLs to the list to test them =>

This stopped my Samsung SmartTV from talking back to it’s Ads server backend.

image alt pi-hole-samsung-smart-tv-cdn-blocked

There is also a possibility that in future these services will try to rely on their own DNS resolution to circumvent this solution. In that situation, the only way to reliably block this communication would be to have your own router and block these URLs with firewall rules.

Hope this article helps someone.


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