Re: Non-smart TVs dwindling to zero
What I really meant was "any TV".
Just don't rely on whatever "smart" features are temporarily available, since clearly in today's market those feature are in fact only temporary. Augment it with something that is actually under your control.
Of course, the BBC itself is not under your control (the fact that it just arbitrarily ended service for a large segment of its viewers, without even any consultation, proves that beyond all doubt), and it could theoretically just kill the iPlayer service entirely, at which point all the DIY solutions in the world won't help you. But at least you'd be left with equipment you could reconfigure to use alternative services, since presumably there will always be some alternative.
With a proprietary black box, you won't have that option, you'll just have a very expensive paperweight.
This is more than just a practical consideration, it's a point of principle, and one with the power to affect positive change. If the majority of consumers vote with their wallet and make it clear that they're no longer prepared to have their legally purchased property remotely deactivated, manufacturers will have no choice but to cede to their demands, or go out of business.
In practical terms that means open hardware running open source software, and without any "Tivoization" to block your access to that otherwise open source software.
And not just for TVs, either. I mean everything, from consumer electronics to cars. If it uses software, for any purpose, then it must by right be fully modifiable by the legal owner of that hardware, and that right needs to be protected by law. Anything less is a violation of real property rights, specifically a tortious interference by the abomination known as "intellectual property".
How realistic it is to expect the great unwashed to actually care about such things is another matter, but the principle is incontrovertible.