In the past week, there have been a few noteworthy pieces of news regarding Android TV and Google TV devices. Google’s Chromecast with Google TV and Walmart’s Onn 4K Streaming Box have both received minor software updates. Nvidia’s Shield TV has dropped a hint that it may be getting updated to Android 11 in the future. TCL and Best Buy have pulled TCL 6-Series TVs running Google TV off of shelves due to performance issues. Read on for more details about all of these things and more.
- Chromecast with Google TV gets a software update
Google’s 2020 Chromecast has received a software update that brings its security patches up to date with those from October 2021. Previously, the device had up to June 2021 security patches. The update is also supposed to provide storage optimizations, improve Dolby Vision playback, and improve DRM decoding performance. Lastly, it will now play HLG HDR formats correctly, instead of converting them to HDR10.
- Walmart’s Onn 4K streaming device gets a software update
Walmart has pushed out an update to its Onn 4K Streaming Box. Like the Chromecast update, this update adds security fixes from October 2021 to the device. It also updates the home screen launcher version, but doesn’t appear to add any launcher changes. Walmart says it also improves Netflix performance and adds a new settings option for “Auto” HDR, which, presumably, is meant to serve as an adaptive HDR setting to only turn HDR on when HDR content is played.
- Nvidia hints at possible Android 11 update for Shield TV
The Google Play Console, where developers add and update Android apps, is now listing the Shield TV as compatible with Android 11 apps, as spotted by @AndroidTV_Rumor on Twitter. While the Shield TV is still running Andoird 9, this could indicate that an update to Android 11 may arrive in the future. Nvidia has said it is not updating Shield TVs to Android 10 but has not said anything about Android 11. While the addition of Android 11 in the Google Play Console is good news, it certainly doesn’t guarantee the update, since we’ve seen other Android TV devices, live the Tivo Stream 4K, suddenly add support in the console for a new version of Android that never actually arrived.
- TCL and Best Buy pull TCL Google TV Smart TVs due to performance complaints
TCL and Best Buy have temporarily stopped selling TCL’s 6-Series line of Google TV Smart TVs due to many customers complaining of poor performance. While video playback seems fine, navigating around the Google TV interface is said to be sluggish and buggy. The remote is also said to be having issues causing a lag before the TV reacts to button presses. TCL has said that “marked improvements” will be made “in the weeks to come.”
- Pluto TV channels are now integrated into Google TV’s Live tab
Google TV has now integrated free channels from the Pluto TV app into its Live tab. Pluto TV joins YouTube TV, Sling TV, and Philo, which are already integrated, as the fourth integrated service. Google TV has a ways to go to catch up to the Fire TV which now has 30 apps and services integrated into its Live tab.
- Google will start releasing security bulletins specifically for Android TV and Google TV
Google currently issues security bulletins, which are essentially bundles of security updates, monthly for Android devices. These are used by device manufacturers to update their devices with the latest security fixes. Google has told 9to5Google that it will soon start to release separate security bulletins for Android TV devices. This should make it easier for manufacturers, including Amazon for Fire TVs, to apply the security updates that are most relevant to streaming devices.