Oh Google and Sony… why do you let me down!?
Sony could be sunsetting Google’s new Android TV push even before it has started
I first learned about the new line of 4K LCD TV sets to be produced by Sony about 8 months ago… at first I did not think the world of it, since, well frankly speaking, LCD TV sets are not something that really turns me on these days… but then I learned that the new sets would be built around the TV adaptation of Android, and then suddenly things started heating up — And I realised that my old Sony LCD set from 2007 was now all of a sudden going both weary and very old… and upon closer inspection I also managed to find a few pixel errors; it was inevitable…. I needed a new TV set, and I needed it badly. Now all I had to do was endure the wait for the new wave of 4K Android-powered LCD tv sets to arrive… and boy was I disappointed after owning one for a few months.
Things will get fixed in the next firmware upgrade — an all-too-familiar response from a lacklustre support team that has all but given up on this new 4K TV set.
Setting it up was a breeze, albeit the menu had (and has) a certain laggy feeling to it… but, hey!, it is running Android and that is cool and future and Google — all is forgiven. At least that was how I felt. For a few weeks. Then reality caught up with me. Because Sony’s way of living up to its promises… but I blame myself — not often do I buy a product with so much basic stuff missing (albeit this basic stuff would be delivered in a firmware right around the corner)… I fell victim to the oldest pre-sales trick in the book: The next release is a Unicorn or a Pony — or a Pony Unicorn… I forgot that next release is the same as we do if we really must do it… and if we decide to do it. Rookie mistake, I know. I started making noise and both called local Sony support (who tried, but ended up telling me to file a formal complaint so that upper level would get yet another nail for the 4K Android coffin — their words — not mine).Things will get fixed in the next firmware upgrade — an all-too-familiar response from a lacklustre support team that has all but given up on this new 4K TV set. But I filed my report and had a very sad exchange of emails starting with the evergreen “Did you reboot”… by now I had rebooted the TV set about 30 times in 30 days… so I said yes. And we jumped through almost every imaginable hoop there is, short of swinging a dead cat over my head at moon light (Come to think of it, this could in fact be their next suggestion).
But I want to believe! I want to believe that my beloved Sony does in fact know how to make stellar TV sets (the picture is still amazing — as long as the CPU or RAM or what ever does not have to work too much). I do want to believe that Android TV sets are here to stay, and I do not want to accept that Google after the disaster that was “Google TV” is not making a huge push to ensure that their new Android effort is not foiled by their partners producing TV sets that are simply either underpowered or just not configured properly. At the current pace, Sony could be sunsetting Google’s new Android TV push before it has started. Google has already stated that Android TV fill not be left to OEM’s to mess up — but apparently this only prevents OEM’s building yet another hideous launcher-type thing or their own “non-upgradeable” apps that will stop Google from rolling out updates to the Android core. It seems that hardware-wise Google has decided to just let manufactures go crazy and get rid of whatever mediocre CPU and RAM they would have laying around on the shelfs — and this is a huge mistake, because right now, both Sony and Google is loosing big time. You only need to search through the official Sony forums to see that I am right (just read the only two threads that a pinned — thread one deals with a community based list of know errors and thread two is the all encompassing complaints and trouble shooting thread (at the time of writing there is 227 pages in the one thread alone — and it is growing rapidly).
As for me, my TV set was just picked up by the repair crew from where I purchased it. I am still hoping that miracles happen — but then again, I am easilly fooled it seems. I cannot help but feel that both Sony and Google has let me down (yes me… specifically — and if you bought one of their new TV sets, then also you — if not but a little bit). If you are in the market for a new 4K Android TV set — I urge you to not be fooled and look elsewhere — at least until either Sony or Google (or BOTH) steps up to the plate and get this mess sorted out. Fingers crossed — but not keeping my breath in excitement — because I am, after all, not that stupid….. anymore.