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    Android TV now contains sponsored content on the home screen


    As part of a pilot program, Google has added a new section of sponsored content to some Android TV devices, the company confirmed in a statement to XDA developers.

    This confirms an earlier report from a number of users who saw ads appear on their Android TV-based Sony X900F TVs, although a statement from a Nvidia representative denies that the ads appear on Shield TVs # 39 – which implies that the problem may only have been eliminated for Sony smart televisions.

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    If the update is implemented on your device, you will see a new & apos; sponsored content & apos; drive on the home screen between your recommended content.

    Unlike other channels on Android TV, those who have claimed the update cannot modify the sponsored row in any way, nor delete it in the usual way. These users must disable the Android TV Core Services app and restart the system manually.

    That said, while no-one likes to see ads appear in places where there has never been before, it is particularly frustrating the way Google has silently implemented the update and the effort that some users need to remove it.

    Another victim of the advertising age

    Placing ads – or, as Google calls it, sponsored content – is a sensitive topic for TV and home entertainment enthusiasts. Both TiVo and Roku caught air strikes when they launched ads on their respective devices, and Vizio was fined $ 2.2 million for his misleading advertising practices in 2017.

    It adorns Sony that it is already one FAQ about the new sponsored content section on the TV ' s, with questions like ' What determines which apps are shown in the sponsored channel? ' and ' Can I add or remove the apps in the sponsored channel? ' (The answers to this are: Google determines this content and no, they cannot be deleted.)

    What Sony makes clear in the post is that this is clearly a Google mandate: Sony may use Google's smart TV platform, but it is not in charge of these ads.

    So why is this happening? According to Google: "Android TV is committed to optimizing and personalizing the entertainment experience at home. As we explore new opportunities to engage the user community, we are running a pilot program to display surface-sponsored content on the Android TV home screen "

    … What, if you ask us, sounds like a very polite way to say "we place ads on your TV".

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