Death of the TV room

Can't simply power on your TV room

Look how much effort it requires just to make everything turn on one fell swoop!!

Can't auto select input

Plug in your console and turn it on. Now spend the next 5 minutes hunting for the right source. That's if HDMI negotiation worked, which it probably didn't.

HDMI is a broken consumer technology. Their designers seem to divide their time making it non-hot pluggable and adding anti features like content protection.

Too much waiting

Even if you manage to turn it on, waiting for a "SMART" TV to boot can take minutes!!

Way way too complicated interaction

The Android TV has a crazy menu. I have not figured out how to Chrome cast to it. Update: Use the Youtube app from an iPhone to cast to it, but it's slow. :/

Never mind the startup wizard asking you to agree to pages and pages of T&Cs and asking sign in to Google.

Profiling

You might be identified to continue

So if you do not sign in, Youtube seems unable to remember last searches or display a history of last played videos.

This obviously harms to usability of the SMART TV until you sign in. I really don't understand how this is supposed to work in a family setting with anyone's Youtube account signed in.

Shout at your TV

Both Google & Apple seem to now want you to talk to your TV. Putting the serious privacy implications aside ... it is an absolutely ridiculous UX trying to do a Youtube search by voice. Whoever came up with this probably need some time getting the shit kicked out of them.

To make the whole experience even more terrible, the Sony Bravia doesn't seem to actually come with a microphone. No amount of shouting will prompt a voice interaction.

Can't do simple things

Use case: Playback an MP4 from a Web URL.

Apple TV has no way to do this.

On an Android TV, bizarrely I have to use the Opera browser to load a URL and then be default enjoy a small window playback (until manually resized).

MP4 playback on Opera browser

There is a tiny little mouse driven UI to make it full screen that escaped me initially. Good luck seeking around or coming back to a part where you left of.

Google casting

Update: "No Cast devices found" Chromecast has completely disappeared. SOLUTION: USE NETWORK TIME

Sometimes on the Sony KDL-55W800C (Software version: PKG2.601.0052PAA) it seems to drop frames like crazy casting from a mobile or laptop device. Resulting in near unwatchable sluggish slow playback especially from Youtube. The ugly workaround is to painstakingly use the awkward native Youtube app to play back videos smoothly.

Region locked and Play store catalogue curated

I've discovered that our particular Sony KDL-55W800C is for the Asia Pacific market. As a result, Apps like Netflix cannot be downloaded or installed. In fact a lot of Apps like VPN Apps are just simply not available.

I tried to download the North America image with the intention to reflash the device via USB. Unfortunately it disallows me to do this with a "System software cannot be updated using the USB device." message. Sickening.

Oddly Chromecasting Netflix from a device I've VPNed to the US, results in a Please update the Netflix application on your mobile device message. Sony obviously have made it as difficult as possible to playback "region locked" content.

Don't buy a SMART TV!

Looking around my local electronics store, there is no large "DUMB" TV screens on offer! I can only assume all the big manufacturers are positioning themselves to control the platform. What a disaster zone.

Goodbye TV room. I'm thinking big monitor or syncing small screens instead.

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