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# 258512 7-Oct-2019 21:30
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So I bought a TCL TV that comes with Android TV (model 55X4US). For the money, the picture is incredible and the sound is great so overall I have no regrets. However...

I’ve very lightly dabbled with Android on mobile but never Android TV. The shop we bought it from had no wifi so they were unable to demo the Smart TV side of things for us. I figured... it’s based on one of the worlds biggest OS’s... how bad could it be.

It wasn’t until I started trying to install local apps such as Neon, TVNZ, 3 OnDemand and Spark sport and discovered that only one of those (TVNZ) was actually “compatible” with the TV. I mean... it’s an Android TV that wants to download an Android TV app - what could actually be the problem? Did a bunch of research and would never have known that app developers can restrict their apps to only certain models of Android TV. My first question is why would they do that, and my second question is as a consumer how am I meant to know this in advance of purchasing an Android TV? Even if I had looked into this, how can I tell, prior to purchasing, which apps will and will not work on a specific model? As far as I can tell it’s not possible.

Basically Android TV seems like a consumer-hostile clusterf*ck. Android people sneer at the Apple “walled garden” but my god... compared to this mess it’s the garden of Eden!

Basically, I shall plug in my Apple TV with a renewed appreciation for it and forget the “smart” side of this TV even exists.


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  # 2332252 7-Oct-2019 21:39
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Android, being an open system, is fragmented by multiple manufacturers who setup various deals with providers, e.g. Samsung TVs and TVNZ on demand was like on first release to NZ.  Android TV is not much different... the TV content providers in NZ have decided only to support a few companies with their android apps; Sony, Dish TV with TVNZ being avaiable on the nVidia Sheild now.  What this means is that if your device is not on the list, it won't get it... so my nVidia shield, despite being the most powerful Android TV device and one of the most powerful STB smart device has no 'native' access to Lightbox, Spark Sport, Three, Freeview on demand etc... I can side load some but not all.

 

Effectively, you want NZ content you'll need an NZ supported device for Android TV... Apple gets away with this by being the ONLY provider so its in the interest of the providers to build an app for the TV version of iOS.

 

 




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  # 2332262 7-Oct-2019 21:57
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I understand this now. But unless you’re already in the Android ecosystem you just wouldn’t know this. As a consumer being sold an Android TV it is reasonable for me to assume that Android TV apps for my country will work on an Android TV device made for my country. This is kind of like buying a Dell PC with Windows 10, then discovering that Chrome will only work on Lenovo Windows 10 machines. It just doesn’t work like that on any other platform.

 
 
 
 


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  # 2332264 7-Oct-2019 22:04
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Agree it will be an issue for many that it doesn't come with NZ based apps.

 

That said I have sideloaded them all and/or access via KODI/IPTV so I am fine.

 

AND Android TV does a sh*teload more and that is where it hits it out of the park for me and my use case (incl. Shield, Sony TV and Mibox) ....appreciate YMMV. 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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  # 2332266 7-Oct-2019 22:13
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driller2000:

Agree it will be an issue for many that it doesn't come with NZ based apps.


That said I have sideloaded them all and/or access via KODI/IPTV so I am fine.


AND Android TV does a sh*teload more and that is where it hits it out of the park for me and my use case (incl. Shield, Sony TV and Mibox) ....appreciate YMMV. 


 


 


 



I have managed to sideload a few apps including Hulu and BBC iPlayer, something your average consumer would never be able to do, and also brings further issues such as some of them not appearing in the launcher and other madness. I sideloaded Lightbox (not supported either!) but it crashes after a few minutes of play.

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  # 2332272 7-Oct-2019 22:28
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steve98: I understand this now. But unless you’re already in the Android ecosystem you just wouldn’t know this. As a consumer being sold an Android TV it is reasonable for me to assume that Android TV apps for my country will work on an Android TV device made for my country. This is kind of like buying a Dell PC with Windows 10, then discovering that Chrome will only work on Lenovo Windows 10 machines. It just doesn’t work like that on any other platform.

 

Yep Android TV based TVs are actually pretty poor, but Android TV as an ecosystem isn't bad.  The Smart Vu X has all the NZ apps and doesn't cost much... I'd much rather get a dumb TV with a smart addon rather than an underpowered smart TV but you are right, consumer information from some brands isn't good... you have to go to Freeview NZ or Spark Sport / Lightbox to find out what is compatible... Where as Apple TV will just work but it is more limited overall imho.


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  # 2332281 7-Oct-2019 22:48
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I feel your pain. I went through something a lot like this when I bought a Shield thinking it was 'Android' so it would just do 'Android'. It took me a lot of time and effort, but eventually I found apps and workarounds for the things that didn't just 'work'. The Shield now does what I want, instead of what Nvidia thinks I should want, but it still manages to make simple things difficult from time to time. This is not quite the same as built-in Android TV but the principle is similar. I have a pre-Android Sony 'smart' TV and life got much better when I learned to turn off the smart stuff altogether and just use it as a dumb monitor. I have also completely disabled the Shield interface and just do everything through Kodi, which is much better with the right apps and add-ons.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2332301 8-Oct-2019 00:45
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Benoire:

 

steve98: I understand this now. But unless you’re already in the Android ecosystem you just wouldn’t know this. As a consumer being sold an Android TV it is reasonable for me to assume that Android TV apps for my country will work on an Android TV device made for my country. This is kind of like buying a Dell PC with Windows 10, then discovering that Chrome will only work on Lenovo Windows 10 machines. It just doesn’t work like that on any other platform.

 

Yep Android TV based TVs are actually pretty poor, but Android TV as an ecosystem isn't bad.  The Smart Vu X has all the NZ apps and doesn't cost much... I'd much rather get a dumb TV with a smart addon rather than an underpowered smart TV but you are right, consumer information from some brands isn't good... you have to go to Freeview NZ or Spark Sport / Lightbox to find out what is compatible... Where as Apple TV will just work but it is more limited overall imho.

 

 

Is the ATV really more limited? The only applications I use on Android TV that I can’t get on Apple TV are Spotify and Kodi. Spotify is being rolled out now so really it’s only Kodi that’s missing.

 

As an overall experience the Apple TV is much nicer and very straightforward to get apps from other countries. Android TV lets me side load but that’s painful.

 

I’d really like to be able to rely on Android TV (it’s built into my main TV) but nine times out of ten we use the Apple TV.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2332308 8-Oct-2019 06:16
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My first experience with Android TV on a Sony was pretty much the same, overhyped and overrated. I’m glad I got an Apple TV with it. Besides Youtube and the dedicated Netflix button, I don’t bother, I use to love Kodi So I had a play with it on the weekend, I spent more time inputting repo’s and trying to find a stream that actually worked then actual screen time.m, painful.

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  # 2332322 8-Oct-2019 07:17
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Android TV seems like a clusterf*ck

 

 

Android TV *is* a clusterf*ck

 

I can't stand it, and it's the reason I'd never buy a Sony OLED despite the fact their TVs are awesome in so many other ways. The problem with Android TV is that is so polarising - you either love it or hate it, there is no middle ground.

 

 


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  # 2332393 8-Oct-2019 10:18
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I buy for the screen quality hence Sony A1.

I cant say I've had an issues but there have been many posting here about ignoring the smarts of smart tv as they are under powered and we all know support will be stopped in future for many apps.

People have also complained about LG smart os too.

Many people I expect will run default os on their tv before heading to ATV with its walled limited garden which might give you a seamless experience if the apps you want are on ATV.


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  # 2332396 8-Oct-2019 10:21
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sbiddle:


Android TV seems like a clusterf*ck



Android TV *is* a clusterf*ck


I can't stand it, and it's the reason I'd never buy a Sony OLED despite the fact their TVs are awesome in so many other ways. The problem with Android TV is that is so polarising - you either love it or hate it, there is no middle ground.


 



So what smart tv did you buy?< Curious.br />Is the os without flaws too as we seem to get cycles of hating pretty much every option.?

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  # 2332415 8-Oct-2019 10:43
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I brought a Xi Mi Box with ATV and the interface was rubbish, i paid the $2.89 for the SideLoad Channel app and its transformed the way I use ATV, total customization have all your apps where you want them lets you bring in sideloaded apps to the main screen. Worth a look if you don't like the stock ATV interface. 

 

 


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  # 2332418 8-Oct-2019 10:51
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I think a lot of people don't realise that android TV does not equal android and the selection of apps on android tv are very limited compared with android. 

 

Installing KODI lets you use a lot of the plugins that make up for the lack of apps (from a NZ perspective).


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  # 2332455 8-Oct-2019 11:17
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Yeap agree, to a newbie with zero experience options can seem very limited. Once you get a handle on downloading APK's from a site like APKpure and Sideloading its very attractive and gives you a lot of freedom that other TV Manufactures operating systems don't give you. Also a lot of people expect apps from the Playstore to be free and don't bother exploring the paid options that offer a far superior experience. That takes research and some financial commitment. 

 

 


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  # 2332471 8-Oct-2019 11:46
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We have a Xiaomi Mi Box, but really only use it for Netflix, youtube, and the Freeview channels via the Live TV app and some hackery that I can't link to because the forum says I've used a bad word (google for live new zealand IPTV android tv).

 

I wish Firefox OS had won and everyone just built portable web apps rather than our channels all needing to build apps for a bunch of distinct platforms.


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