A few years ago, one of the primary lures of Smart TVs was that you didn’t have to deal with ads like regular cable TV. But to the user’s dismay, more and more Smart TV Manufacturers are adopting ad-supported content.
You can’t buy an ad blocker for your smart TV yet, as most manufacturers don’t officially support them. There are other ways to disable ads on your smart TV without using paid ad blockers, such as getting an Ad-Free Subscription Plan; other methods are not as simple.
This article covers the various ways you can block ads on your smart TV for now without purchasing an ad blocker. Hopefully, soon a Smart TV Ad Blocker will be available.
How To Block Ads on My Smart TV?
Here are three ways to block ads on your smart TV:
- Get ad-free subscription plans
- Change the DNS server settings
- Block the domain that sends ads to your smart TV
Let’s go over each of these methods in more detail.
Get Ad-Free Subscription Plans
If you’re not a fan of technical workarounds and want a simple plug-and-play solution, you can consider buying an add-free subscription to your streaming service. In fact, this is the most viable alternative to “buying” a premium ad-blocker – if that was your initial intention.
Most streaming services enable ads on their low-tier plans that cost less. By introducing ads, the companies increase their profit margin without causing the user too much financial baggage.
However, these services also have a pricier “ad-free” tier for users who don’t like commercials interrupting their programs. Often, these ad-free tiers have additional features like better video & audio quality, the option to view content on multiple devices, etc.
As such, instead of “buying” an ad-blocker, purchasing an ad-free tier of your favorite streaming service is a viable alternative.
The only problem is if you watch multiple streaming services. Subscribing to the “premium” tiers on multiple streaming services will get expensive and will cost more than a premium ad-blocker.
All in all, if you only use one or two streaming services on your smart TV, purchasing an ad-free subscription tier will be a better investment. However, if you actively use multiple streaming services and wish to remove ads on all of them, this method is still viable but will cost a lot of money.
Change the DNS Server Settings
The most efficient way of blocking ads on your smart TV is by changing the default DNS (Domain Name System) server and connecting to the one designed for blocking ads, e.g., the AdGuard DNS Server.
Ads are served to your smart TV from a domain name. The AdGuard DNS server will prevent the streaming service from connecting to the ad-distributing domain name, preventing ads from popping up as you enjoy your content.
But how do you change the DNS server on your smart TV?
Well, here’s a step-by-step guide on changing the DNS server on any smart TV based on Android TV:
- On your Android TV, go to Settings>Additional Settings>Network & Internet.
- Scroll down and select the “IP settings” option.
- Two options will pop up on the screen – “DHCP” and “Static.” Select “Static.”
- You’ll see a field showing the “IP address.” Please don’t change it. Open the virtual keyboard and press enter to skip it.
- Similarly, skip the “Gateway” and “Network prefix length” fields without changing them.
- You will find the field for DNS 1. Remove whatever value there is and insert this – 18.104.22.168 into the blank space. Once done, press Enter.
- The following field is for DNS 2. Also, remove the default value and insert 22.214.171.124 into the blank space. Once done, press Enter.
And that’s it! Your smart TV now points to the AdGuard DNS server, which should prevent almost all ads from playing on your system.
That said, the above guide reflects how to stop ads on Android TV. The process will be slightly different if you own a smart TV running a different operating system.
For reference, here are a few guides on how to change the DNS server on the most popular smart TV Operating Systems:
Remember, you want to change DNS 1 to “126.96.36.199” and DNS 2 to “188.8.131.52” for this method to work.
Block the Domains That Send Ads to Your Smart TV
If you have a smart TV, you probably have a WiFi router in your home. You can block the domains that send ads directly on the WiFi router, stopping ads from popping up on all your devices.
This is the perfect solution if you have multiple smart TVs in your home, in which case tweaking the DNS setting on each of them would become unnecessarily difficult and time-consuming.
For reference, here’s a guide on blocking domains/websites from your WiFi router. The exact process will vary slightly depending on the brand and type of router you’re using.
Let’s talk about the domains you’d want to block.
To prevent ads on Samsung smart TVs (Tizen OS), block the following domains:
To prevent ads on LG smart TVs (WebOS), block the following domains:
To prevent ads on Roku smart TV, block the following domains:
There are no officially supported first-party ad blockers for smart TVs. As a result, you can’t buy one to prevent ads while watching your programming. However, other alternative ways exist to prevent ads on your smart TV.
For starters, if you’re comfortable tweaking your smart TV’s settings, you can consider changing the DNS server. However, directly blocking the domains that send ads on your router will do a far better job. You can also consider buying an ad-free subscription to your streaming platform or sideloading the ad blocker from a trusted source.
Actually, our favorite suggestion is to buy a Non-Smart TV on Amazon or “Dumb TV,” and yes, they are still available and problem solved!! These TVs are not set up like smart televisions and do not have built-in internet or any other kind of smart features like a built-in microphone or camera. There are no operating systems to work around, and you don’t need an ethernet cable or wireless network.
Yes, they still have great pictures and remote channel changers, just no annoying forced-on-you commercials like smart TVs. You can also use your computer, cable box, or Tivo with them or plug in an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, or Roku for streaming.
Many of the Non-Smart TVs are commercial TVs, but you can also buy a 4K Monitor. The monitors are not as big as the biggest TVs, but you can still get a very excellent 49-inch wide-angle monitor, and that too may change soon.
- Wikipedia: List of Smart TV platforms
- Digital Trends: If you have a smart TV, you need an ad-blocker
- How to Geeks: What Is Sideloading, and What Are the Risks?
- Wiki How: How to Block Unwanted Site From Your Router (with Pictures)
- Android TV owners protest over autoplaying ads on the new home screen – FlatpanelsHD