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Apps/Function Problems with TV's


No problem, was just a suggestion as I didn’t know if that had been tried. You can also try to refresh your TV’s software from it’s system menu and sometimes that can jolt the system into working again as things can and do get corrupted.


We have 3 Sony LCD Tv’s and 2 Sony Blu Ray players, all purchased before 2012, which I used to use for watching SBS On Demand and various food networks.

When I tried to do so again in February, each device displayed a message that an update was required and it would not perform without it, so I updated them.

As soon as the updates were completed, each device would only display ABC iView, Nine and a couple of other things.

I sent the following message to Sony but I never received the courtesy of a reply.

“We have KDL40EX700 & KDL32CX520 TV’s and BPDS370 & BDPS380 players.
When I tried to watch SBS On Demand today, the BDPS370 wanted an update done.
After the update, it no longer has SBS or most other previous programs available.
I then tried using the BDPS370 with exactly the same experience and result.
I also tried both TV’s and they no longer have SBS or most other programs available.
I see that SBS On Demand website only lists Sony TV and BD from 2012 as useable.
Why have these updates been provided which has destroyed my ability to watch catch- up TV?
Is this a scheme to try to force your customers to update?
I will now watch the first 2 episodes of Knightfall on my Sony laptop with a magnifying glass.
Not happy.”

From what I discovered with Google searches, it appeared the issue was to do with content licensing, and it appeared that older devices were less secure in preventing copying of programs.

Extremely annoying and most disappointing to say the least.


You may remember that Sony was the if not just a lead antagonist in the development of region encoded DVDs (see how well that went over a few years as region-free became available), and subsequent hard edged measures to protect licensing revenue. I refused to buy anything Sony for nearly a decade as a result. In 2011 we bought two Sony TVs on closeout sales. Even though I was anti-Sony I was above shooting my toe off just to spite them. It did not take long to be reminded why I avoided Sony. My solution was to front the TV’s with PVRs that have apps, catch up, and so on. It has worked well. My next TV will almost assuredly not be another Sony, going back to my distaste for their business practices.

FWIW Sony is not alone. I bought a top end Fujitsu notebook with Win 7. Fujitsu refused to license the requisite Win 8 fingerprint software for that model even though they supplied it for the near identical next model up. The software would not run in any compatibility mode making the fingerprint reader useless. End of Fujitsu relationship even though it was otherwise a superior notebook. Then my ‘new in March 2013’ Asus UX31A Touch was delivered with Win 8 but Asus refuses to supply ANY Win 10 drivers for it. One can troll the Asus site and get them all from other models’ repositories and they have worked 100%. End of Asus relationships – who will be the last standing we want to do business with based on their business practices?


For the latest state-of-play with regard to SBS On Demand and support on various hardware, you can follow links from here:


I have three smart TVs and a smart PVR. The oldest is a 2011 Samsung which several years ago started withdrawing the various applications. Netflix and SBS went long ago, and I no longer bother with any of the so called smart functions. The LG has also started doing the same. To date only the most recent, a Sony is still intact.
When my so-called smart TVs started doing this I contacted the companies and got no response except that, that is what happens over time.
I would never buy a smart TV again. I think the best solution is to use a Chromecast on the TV and cast from the laptop/tablet, or purchase a Telstra TV box (mine came free with a bundle and it is actually a Roku) and attach it to the TV. It has all the streaming apps and Telstra seems to be committed to updating/supporting it. There are other brands similar to the Telstra TV box such as Roku or Apple TV but I prefer the Telstra version.


Yes & no regarding the app issue being a licensing one. Yes in regards that the company providing the vehicle (in this case Sony) is not willing to pay the content provider to cover the cost of updating the app for older product vehicles.

The no part is that it’s the content provider (in this case SBS) who decides what vehicles they are going to have their app working with, and it’s the content provider who makes changes to the apps. SBS have made a decision here that they will only pay for an app that runs on the latest model vehicles, so you can’t really blame Sony or anyone else for a decision made by SBS. SBS state this in a round about way here:

I’m no fan boy for Sony and their business decisions in general (no backwards PS3 game disc compatibility for PS4 a case in point). In saying that I cannot agree that companies such as Sony be held to account for decisions made by their content providers such as SBS. It would be a very nice thing for the end customer if Sony, Samsung or other hardware makers spent the money on making compatible apps for all available entertainment options out there, but not a serious option business wise.


I have an LG Smart TV which used to receive ABC iView just fine but the app has now dropped out. Many enquiries later, all rather fruitless, seem to indicate that as my TV is about 7 years old it is too old to work with the new model app. This is terrible, and I really think it’s ridiculous to hear that I should buy a new TV just to receive ABC iView from time to time.
Any ideas anywhere?


You can get a Freeview+ set top box if needed. Unfortunately improvements to the app often exceed older TVs capabilities, with 7 years really pushing it.

It wouldn’t be too hard to continue to support a legacy version of the app but that’s not really in any provider’s interests.


Our Samsung TV is older than that, and it still gets iView ok… although I almost always use a HDMI cable to run it from an old small laptop, as the TV interface is horrible.

Maybe you could pick up a cheap 2nd hand laptop to run it as I do, instead of needing a new TV?


I think part of the problem with TVs in particular is when Smart TVs first started to become popular they probably didn’t anticipate high hardware demands beyond browsing the internet and watching Youtube. We now know operating systems themselves have became bloated with features and apps are being developed to accommodate higher quality streaming than 2012 Youtube offered.


Further to my earlier post in which I suggested a separate media box to solve the disappearing apps on Smart TVs as they age. Initially I had a Telstra TV box which had all the standard Australian TV apps and also was supported and updated regularly by Telstra but was restricted to Telstra supported apps and therefore not customisable. Wanting more exotic apps, I have since purchased an Android TV box (a bit like an Apple TV but for Android users) This box connects to your TV and has all the Google Playstore Apps available for installation so any app available for Android mobile phones is now available on any TV. that I attach the Android box to . There are lots of these Android media boxes available. If you are not very computer literate the Telstra TV box which is NOT Android, would probably be the best solution. Some of the customisable media boxes are designed for nerds and have a time consuming learning curve especially if you want apps not available in the Google Playstore…


I bought and installed Chromecast ($50) and it works well most of the time. Run it from an iPhone but will also work on laptop. The downside is On Demand thru this has the advertisements


Thanks friends for all this good advice. I have now bought a Chromecast box, as suggested by andy123 and some friends where I live. $45 was a fair price for such a test and it works well - although the ads are a pain, but ho hum I suppose. I’ll let you know if I ever get a reply from the ABC which says anything more sensible than their decision to “retire” older TVs from their app.


The other option is if you have an old PC say left lying around after an upgrade, you can use it as a media player. One can run SBS OnDemand as well as any other streaming program through the browser when the PC is either connected to the LAN (ethernet or WIFI).

This has advantages if one wants a dvd player as well as store music/videos/photos so they can be also watched through the TV/TV soundbar/ AVR.


Another option is the Roku attachment to a smart (or once smart or even fairly droll) TV. They are available on ebay and other shops for roughly $100~200.

There is also a roku web service, but still geo-limited to the US. It might come our way some day, maybe, surely it will, or maybe not.


I have all sorts of things on my Sony TV like Freeview Plus, email, etc. It’s the last “Smart TV” implementation before Android TV.

All of the “apps” embedded within the TV really suck. they use different technology to deliver content that is past it’s use by date. Providers dislike having to maintain separate technology feeds for a multitude of old TV implementations, and TV manufacturers can’t be bothered updating old TVs evin if they contain sufficient hardware to accept an OTA update.

Stalemate - what is the solution?

Android/Apple casting. I use Chromecast and can send content from my phone, tablet, or PC direct to the Chromecast device. The TV becomes a dumb monitor and you never have to worry about TV updates again. I also use a Beyonwiz to record FTA stuff, and then watch it all back without ads. Hours of brainwashing avoided. (and if you cast Youtube via Chrome browser and run adblock plus, yo get no ads there either:) )

Toshiba TV firmware update problems

Amen to that. The Iview smart TV app is one of the worst of the bunch and the bunch is not a high standard. In an era of no documentation it is far from intuitive as well as clumsy and inefficient, and did I mention slow. I obviously don’t know the internals of it but the behaviour is that in some contexts while going through a list there is a distinct pause between each item no matter how fast you try to press the button. This suggests a separate round trip to the server for each refresh: lazy programming.


Much of a TV’s smart functionality relies on ‘smarts’ on the server side. Many TVs are equipped with relatively slow processors and not very much RAM. We’ve looked at trying to capture these specs during testing, but manufacturers are generally coy with that data. Market forces will dictate that the manufacturers spend most of their effort in ensuring that the big players like Netflix and YouTube work flawlessly ( although some manufacturers can’t even do that ). Our local streaming services, eg FreeView Plus, are way down their list in terms of overall user numbers.

The content providers like the ABC are stuck ( also stuck with reduced government funding in ABC’s case ) - they either deny access to people with older TVs ( this is often what we see happening ), or they tell people with newer TVs that they can’t introduce new features or better performance.


That’s a great point about recorders. I use a Humax for the same reason, plus there is the advantage that anything HD is played back in full HD. Using Freeview Plus to watch on-demand can be hit-and-miss with resolution/compression.


A week ago in going to SBS on demand I got a sign in or create account. Tried to but after typing in the email address the dialogue box below activated ‘NEXT’ but when starting to type in the PIN, that just continued on after the email address.
I emailed SBS tech and got a proforma reply ‘switch off/unplug cables’ etc. None of which worked, the next email said ‘check the email is correct’. I am on Optus cable and the TV connects via WiFi. The app works well on the iMacs - no problems.
The SBS phone help does not deal with tech issues and these are via emails which just repeat the ‘Help’ topics found on line. Not good enough for a public funded service.
The TV is a Samsung 6 series about 1 yr old - no previous app problems and the app is set for auto updates. Also no way to empty cache as say for a Sony model.