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CONSUMER ELECTRONIC SHOW / CES

EXCLUSIVE:TV Makers Facing Download Problems With Android TV

By David Richards | Friday | 10/01/2014

Google is facing problems with their Android TV offering with manufacturers moving to restrict how many applications can be downloaded from Google Play Store which is now available on a TV that has Android TV software built in.

Both Hisense and Hitachi are set to restrict the amount of downloads due to the potential that TV systems could crash due to a lack of on-board memory.

According to Hitachi executives whose product is set to be rolled out in Australia via Tempo the potential is that a TV system could freeze due to a lack of memory to store the apps. 
A Hitachi representative at CES 2014 said "we are away of the situation. Some TV manufacturers including Hitachi will restrict how many applications can be downloaded to the TV as we don't want the TV freezing when there is not enough memory for the apps".

Brands that could be affected by the issue include Philips, Hitachi and Hisense.

Among the key features that Android TV delivers is the ability to go to a Chrome Browser as well as direct access to the Google Play Store.

Unlike Google Chromecast which is a dongle that can be plugged into a PC or TV  Android TV software is built into a TV via an embedded chip set in a TV.

Andre Iannuzzi Marketing Manager at Hisense Australia said "Our Android TV offering has been sold in the USA market for some months and I am not aware of any problems".

A Chinese executive of Hisense said "I see what the problem could be because over time customers will keep downloading applications and the more they download the less memory there will be".

At CES 2014 several companies have launched new operating system offerings for TV's, among the most noticeable is the new range of premium LG TV's that will come with a version of WebOS.

TV manufacturers have been pushing smart TVs to give consumers a reason to upgrade their sets more frequently. The Internet capability is now forcing manufacturers to rethink their on-board memory offering said a Display Search research executive.


Earlier in the week LG announced plans to power 70 percent of its smart TVs this year with the WebOS mobile system it bought from Hewlett-Packard last March. Although LG hasn't disclosed specifics, the use of WebOS paves the way for owners of LG sets to control home appliances from the TV. For starters, LG said the new software will make its TVs easier to set up and use however executives that we spoke to today said that on-board memory could become an issue.

 They said that one alternative is to deliver a built in slot for and SD card with users given the option of where to store their application content. 

In 2010, Google Inc. attempted to unify smart TV software by creating its Google TV system. Sony was among the companies that made TVs using Google TV, but this failed with experts claiming that several mainstream manufacturers claiming that adoption of Google TV has been slow, in part because TV manufacturers didn't want to turn their sets into conduits for Google's services, as Android phones have become.

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