McMillan was watching the movie through an Amazon Fire set top box, and as an experiment, tried playing it from his computer connected to the TV through an HDMI cable. In both cases the Army ad appeared at the one-minute mark, leading McMillan to deduce that the ad was being served by Samsung, and that the internet-connected TV was using content recognition to show ads on top of any video coming in through the TV’s input.
This seems to be a brand new kind of targeted advertising, McMillan told me. “In this case, it seems to be running some kind of watermarking or audio recognition system on top of anything that’s playing,” he said.
Smart TVs have embedded “automatic content recognition” technology that’s analyzing viewing habits and “sending data to third parties on everything you watch”
Yet another reason to hit the ‘OFF” switch?