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.