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Smart TVs: Apps/Function Issues

It would be hard to justify these things as the “TV” of today takes content from so many sources and we don’t have a convenient war to compel youths to attend so that they might become men.

No Samsung have said the Block feature is built into every Smart TV they export as per their previously linked release.

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That is still the case. The licence fee is collected by and used to fund the BBC (after a brief detour in consolidated revenue). Allegedly vans drive around to detect unlicensed receivers.


May well you wonder.

Presumably though that only applies to so-called (and misleadingly so) “smart TVs”. Perhaps though the day could come where even dumb TVs have to be activated. It just couldn’t be directly on the TV since by definition the dumb TV can’t access the network.

Another consideration for the future would be whether such an activation process is compatible with corporate networks i.e. a corporate network with higher security requirements may block the activation unintentionally.

Along the same lines, it is perfectly valid to use a smart TV on a private network - but obviously activation will fail in that situation.

I guess you could ask the store to activate the TV before you leave with it.

Definitely anti-consumer. Something to look out for in the future.


A computer monitor with a set top box works too if anyone longs for the days of TVs that don’t hoover data. As long as set top boxes still exist at least.


I’ve been considering this as an option. I have a FetchTV Mighty which does all the things a smart TV might do, without (AFAIK) telling Mr Google. I also have an AppleTV4 (aka AppleTVHD) and accept that Apple knows what I’m doing with it.


Further to my previous post above regarding SBS On Demand and Sony dramas, I bought a new Sony Bluray player so as to be able to watch SBS On Demand.

I used it for the first time a couple of weeks ago to watch the first episode of “Adam & Poh Malaysia In Australia” but when I tried to watch the second episode this week, it would not connect to the program and sometimes not even to SBS On Demand.

I was going to take the player back to JB HiFi this morning but yesterday I tried to see if it would work on ABC iView which it did as well as Youtube and other channels.

I then tried it again on SBS On Demand and I finally got to watch Adam & Poh.

I also received this garbage from SBS yesterday.

SBS On Demand

This is a notification to inform you that if you have the below version of the SBS On Demand app on your Sony TV it will no longer be available on 6 December 2021.
What is happening to the Sony app?
The most recent SBS On Demand app Version 3 (V3) was launched in 2018 and includes a number of enhancements that make it easier to search and browse our global catalogue, and improve the stability of your streaming experience. Some 2011-2014 TVs don’t have sufficient memory or processing power to update to the improved SBS On Demand V3 app, so have been using the earlier version of the app (SBS On Demand app V2, as seen above). However, from 6 December 2021, SBS will no longer be supporting the older version of the app, and this means that the SBS On Demand app will not be available on 2011-2014 Sony TVs from that time.
Please note, once the app has been removed you may still see it on your Home screen and you will need to remove the app manually from your apps list.
How to keep watching SBS On Demand
The app will be removed but you can continue to access SBS On Demand using your existing TV or device in any of the following ways:

  • You can plug your laptop or mobile device into your TV using an HDMI cable.
  • You can ‘mirror’ or AirPlay from your macOS, iOS, or iPadOS device’s browser.
  • You can plug in an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast, or use a set-top box with the SBS On Demand app available across Apple TV, Android TV, Fetch, Foxtel iQ and Telstra TV.
    Given the range of devices available to consumers, unfortunately SBS On Demand can not be made available across all and maintained to the standard users expect. However, our team continues to work hard to ensure as many Australians as possible have access to this free service.
    For help and more information
    For more information and full streaming options please visit our website Help Portal or contact our customer support team anytime.
    Kind regards,
    SBS On Demand Team

This is a one-off transactional message from SBS On Demand.

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Toll Free 1800 500 727
© 2002-2021 Special Broadcasting Service.

Presumably these muppets were playing games with the “service” prior to yesterday.


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Is that the display you see on your BluRay player? If so, then you should be blaming Sony for selling you a BluRay player that is not compatible with the latest SBS app.

That said, I would not recommend relying upon a TV or a BluRay player to keep these apps up to date - get a dedicated device that provides for you to update the apps regularly.

Oh, and why Sony? I have avoided Sony products for years because of the company’s attitude towards music consumers.

Never give up! Never surrender!


Honestly, Fred, you need to understand that this is an issue which will not go away. Every TV and BR player that has apps will sooner or later not have them. You need to get an android box, or appleTV to get continual updates. These boxes will last for a lot longer than TVs and BR players and the cost to replace will be a lot less. MY Samsung TV has no smarts and is at least 12 years old. My BR Player has access to many apps but they are mostly defunct now. My AppleTV4 gets regular software updates and therefore has remained compatible with the streaming services.


Part of the problem is the throw away nature of technology these days. In the interest of making it cheap, Sony has made a DVD player that was barely capable of meeting the system requirements of current software. I doubt the player you bought was from 2011-2014. It’s possible it was even from 2018 or later when there was already the new SBS app. But Sony did not leave any room for software updates, even though it is easily predictable they would be needed.


A related aspect is that companies are selling ‘green’ so they want to minimise power consumption or get certifications in countries where power consumption is part of it.

To accommodate unknown future upgrades requires a faster processor and more memory, both requiring more power. There are ways to throttle or disable but the opportunity to sell a new one overrides any clever engineering, unless it adds to a sale or profits, and as you wrote it adds costs without immediate benefits at the store front so is not on.


There appears to be some confusion in regard to my last post.

I bought the new Bluray player in May this year so it was the latest model.

I mentioned my previous post and the email from SBS to highlight that after they made all pre 2012 Sony TV’s and players incompatibile on claims of copyright issues, they have now made all pre 2015 Sony units incompatible on claims of technical issues.

I assume that the temporary failure of my new unit was due to these muppets playing around with settings at their HQ.

I most certainly expect the new player to last at least 7 years and our other 2 players and 3 TV’s are all pre 2012 and none have ever had a problem to date.

Did I mention that they are all Sony?


I just tried some of our pre 2012 TV’s and players and ABC iView still works fine.

No SBS type dramas.

Hence Apple and Alphabet now own the world just a little bit more than they did yesterday. It’s how technology seems to progress. Innovation can arrive with a variety of choices before resolving to a binary.

The evolution of technology is littered with long gone, and not so long gone hardware.

I’ve taken on board some of thinking in this and related threads. I’ll be looking hard at the best external smart device rather than a smart TV when the time comes.

One observation that fights the thinking. Some others in the household believe that a single TV remote with a big fat Netflix button, or green ‘Freeview’ button etc is still the only way to go. Mind bending as it is to those of us more adept.

I do wonder where the next iteration of the fully connected home is taking us. Will the future be one where all devices comply to a universal standard (Alphabet owned) for integration? EG The possibility to mix and match brands with no risks of future incompatibility. Or is the alternative ‘The Sony Home’, where brand loyalty is rewarded by a seamless integration providing everything is from the family vehicle to the fridge is same mould? The Tesla house might also appeal to some! :rofl:


It is unfortunately more common than many realise that as tech gets updated sometimes it exceeds the scope of one or another license they bought, so need to outlay for a new license to cover the affected products.

When XP became 7 a particular Toshiba notebook suddenly lost its fingerprint package. other Toshiba models did not and even though they were the same hardware (confirmed) the fingerprint reader package could not be installed on certain models and attempting so erred with an ‘incompatible’ error. One could go to the original provider for $70 and buy it.

The decision not to provide it for certain notebook models was obviously a purely business decision based on nothing but licensing costs and (I expect) original profit margins on the various configurations. It was as much a disincentive to buy another Toshiba as many of us have been disinclined to buy Sony regardless of product merits.

How that could apply to an app would be an interesting exercise to determine but could be a driver that melds the app with the hardware.

I am happy enough with an on/off button since it is mostly noise anyway :wink:


I’ll be keeping an eye out for the ‘Save the light switch campaign!’. :+1:


Those are both considerations. Another consideration is simply platform support. The provider of content, for whatever reason, is bringing out a new version of the “app”. They decide what platforms they bother to support - and if they decide not to support your platform, there is not a lot you can do about it.

This unfortunately leads to “the duopoly”. A couple of platforms get sufficient scale (e.g. Google’s TV platform) and others go into the death spiral of “no support” means “less content” means “lower scale” means …

Other platforms either wither and die, or a TV manufacturer falls into line by changing the platform that it uses internally.

Government sits uselessly on the sidelines.


It means extending Google’s privacy-raping business model even into your TV and other AV equipment.


I provide technical support for a lot of elderly people, and one remote with real buttons is much preferred by many.Changing to a different input and worse still another remote gets too hard. Fancy remotes where the user chases a teardrop around the screen to select items are a no-go with shaky hands. An all in one such as Fetch Mighty is one possible solution, otherwise replacing the TV every 5 years is easier, so please TV manufacturers keep good updates coming for at least 5 years from the time the TV model is no longer current.


Similar observations of several elderly family. For one in her 90’s limited vision also precludes chasing stuff through menus or across the screen.

It should be no surprise for many that even a basic desktop phone can be a challenge. Every task is largely done by wrote (memory). Often not the best with age.

I’d not rate any standard remote suitable for all. The better devices especially made for seniors minimise complexity and feature large distinctive buttons. Unfortunately products also change with software updates. Is failure to properly cater for the issues of ageing discrimination or exempt under Australian legislation? We go to substantial efforts to make the public space friendlier to those with a wide range of special requirements, at expense to the community. It’s unfortunate The big TV names don’t think likewise and offer better remote options and more considered support.


Android runs most ‘smart TVs’, so it doesn’t matter whether you buy a set top box or a TV you are probably getting the same underlying OS (which is of course open source). Whether it will ever get updated is another matter.

There is a solution!

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Except that (for those who don’t know) there is a setting in the AppleTV to NOT send any data to Apple, to NOT automatically update the software, firmware or apps… so although Apple owns some, it can be closed off without loss of function. This is what I would do back in the dark ages of jailbreaks to add stuff to my AppleTV2.

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