Sony TVs drops YouTube
Smart TVs look like a great idea, but they have a serious downside, reveals Ian Paul
If ever there was a cautionary tale about why it’s a bad idea to buy Smart TVs, this is it. Sony has pulled the YouTube app from 50 different 2012 Bravia TV models.
The reason for this loss is due to the sets hardware limitations following a change to YouTube’s specifications. Google announced in August that the video-sharing service would be moving all its traffic to https and warned that it’s phasing out insecure connections, which means some devices would lose access to YouTube.
Samsung users of the affected Bravia TVs recently started complaining of freezing issues, black screens and error messages when using YouTube. It appears the https switch may be the cause of these issues, though Sony has not confirmed this. You can find a complete list of Bravia models affected by this change on Sony’s support site (tinyurl.com/zp6c6bt), which includes televisions ranging in sizes from 20- to 89 inches.
In our opinion Smart TVs are generally a bad buy. While those apps look enticing, they are restricted by the expensive hardware that runs them and televisions are often lower down the priority list for updates by app developers. Accessories such as an Apple TV, Chromecast or Roku, however, don’t cost that much and are easily replaceable once they fail or also hit the limits of their internal capabilities.
Sony’s 2012 TVs are only the latest victims of YouTube’s modernisation. The original iPad and any other device older than the iPhone 4 lost access to YouTube in 2015 after the site shut down its older developer programming tools.