Sony recently announced it was bringing the Android Pie version of Android TV to a few more of its high-end Bravia sets.
However, it appears a wide-range of the firm’s television sets will be left in the lurch running the older version on the Android TV software, based on Oreo – even some of those released in 2018 and 2019.
A Reddit thread points out Sony has no plans to update sets like the 2019 AG8 OLED television, and the X900E and X900F sets from the previous year. According to a Sony salesman posting on the thread, the reasoning is the presence of the decidedly substandard ATV2/ATV3 (MediaTek MT5891) chipset that would struggle to handle the updated version of the software.
It’s unclear whether the representative is an official Sony employee or a third-party seller, but they said it’s not possible to run the software on this SoC “without having to compromise the already slow Android experience.”
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The salesman said that they had got Android 9 running on the Sony Bravia XE9305, but found the experience laggy, slow and buggy, which hardly made the improved UI worthwhile.
Some posters on the Reddit thread are angry at Sony for bundling in the low-level SoC, while others point out they buy Sony Bravia TVs for the picture quality and image processing, rather than the smart features. That element is left to a separate Android TV set top box.
User KuschelmonschterAG wrote: “Imagine you just bought the AG8 with Android TV 8.0 Oreo preinstalled, you probably won’t receive a single Android TV update. So you are outdated the day and date you buy this very TV. It is a major disaster from a support and security point of view.”
Another Redditor, Daell, countered: “This is why I prefer a standalone Android TV box or a Nvidia Shield. Smart TVs all pretty much universally have ridiculously s**t low end SoCs. A $1000+ TV will be packing a quad-core Mediatek and 1GB of RAM, as opposed to a Shield that uses a Tegra SoC or something like a Mi Box that has the same s**t SoC, but for ludicrously cheaper.”
Earlier this month, Sony announced it selection of top-end 2018 and 2019 sets, including both year’s 4K XBR Z9F LED and XBR A9F OLED, and also the 2019 X950G and X850G sets are now receiving the update. As well as Android Pie, the update brings Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit technology, as well as Dolby Atmos compatibility.