Smart TVs Losing Favourite TV Apps
Smart TVs are hailed by many as a prime example of the fantastic innovations in television technology in recent years. These hi-tech smart TVs, costing hundreds of pounds offer a wide range of apps & streaming services as well as Freeview services. As these smart TVs are a significant investment, many of their owners would expect their brand new elegant TV to operate in the exact way that you’d expect it to when sold to them.
Picture this. You are sat down on your sofa with your favourite take-away on a Saturday evening, ready to switch on your Samsung TV to catch up on your latest favourite series on iPlayer. You turn on your smart TV, scroll to the application section only to find that iPlayer has… vanished? There have been reports from Which? members who found their apps suddenly disappearing or failing to work without warning. These apps can take months to return and sometimes they never even return at all. But why is this issue occurring and how can this be solved? The Aerial Man investigates below.
Why are Apps Disappearing on Smart TVs That are Only a Few Years Old?
Updates to applications appear to be the reason as to why your apps may stop working with your TV software. There’s no way that the application can update itself and it therefore requires the manufacturer to release their own update to resolve the issue. This can take the manufacturers months to organise with some apps just never returning to your TV. It was further revealed by a spokesperson for Samsung that they work with content providers to make sure that apps update to ‘achieve optimal performance.’ However, they also revealed that content providers can remove apps at any time or decide to stop supporting them. This has led to understandable frustration from smart TV owners and consumers due to the fact that they may not be warned about these potential issues by retailers and they may have spent many hundreds of pounds on TVs that are not supported.
Is This a Relatively New Issue?
You’d like to think that purchasing your brand new, hi-tech smart TV would ensure that you have access to all the latest applications and features but as with all technology, we can observe a ‘generation gap’ of products. If we compare for example, the original flatscreen TV to the newest smart TV technology, there is already a noticeable gap in the technology that is available. With the rapid advancements in the technology sector, this may only be set to increase further in the future. As with many products that we purchase, we will see products that we purchase become outdated by technology but TVs that are becoming outdated after 2 years is understandably frustrating to consumers. Manufacturers in reality rarely allow older models to keep up with the latest apps so they will purchase licenses for their newer ranges.
Although an economical term, could we really class this as planned obsolescence? This a concept in which products are deliberately designed to lose function after a certain period of time, requiring them to be replaced. Unfortunately, this is not the case as we will discuss now.
Losing Key Functionalities of Your Smart TV – Your Rights
If your favourite apps vanish or fail to update and your manufacturer isn’t willing to release an update for your particular model of Smart TV then you may actually not have the rights to complain to the retailer. We understand that this may be highly frustrating but the TV is technically still ‘as sold’ and therefore does not fall under the responsibilities of the manufacturer. If the TV was sold with specific services to use and these disappear then you may be able to challenge the retailer under the Sales of Goods Act, 1979. This is because of the fact that stated in this legislation, a product must be durable and fit for purpose which includes any purpose for which it was built.
Retailers are also not very forthcoming with these issues also. Which? Revealed in their report that there is no mention of this issue on the Currys website with John Lewis having a disclaimer at the bottom of every TV brand that it sells informing customers that apps aren’t covered by their five-year TV guarantee or the manufacturer warranty. It’s therefore important to research if your TV is covered to ensure that you will not experience this issue.
What Can I Do if I am Affected?
As mentioned, you may be able to raise a dispute if you were sold your affected smart TV if it was sold with specific applications to use which no longer work as intended. The other solution is to purchase a top-box or streamer which is again going against one of the purposes of buying a smart TV in the first place. However, this will resolve the issue and ensure that you will be able to have access to your favourite apps once again. You can also contact the manufacturer and the BBC to ensure that they are made aware of the issue. You can also try casting to your TV from the iPlayer app with a smartphone or tablet.
We offer a variety of set-top boxes which will be able to rectify this issue also and we are able to advise you on solutions to rectify this issue. The top-boxes that we have available should not ever experience this issue as they are always updated to the latest updates.
Will These Manufacturers Change their Stance in the Future?
It’s very surprising that manufacturers are drawing a line in the sand and refusing to offer updates to their smart TVs. Brand loyalty is highly important and it may be the case that consumers look at purchasing from manufacturers that do offer support on these applications. Streaming applications are still maintaining their massive popularity so it’s surprising that some manufacturers are shying away from offering support for these applications. Due to the fact that streaming is still a massive source of popularity, it’s obvious that viewers want the flexibility that streaming provides. This means that they will likely be alienated by these television issues.
Rectify Issues With Your Smart TV
We can help you with application related issues with your smart TV, whether this is due to an issue with the manufacturer or if you need to purchase a set-top box to rectify the issue. If you are experiencing issues then contact a member of our expert team today. We can inform you on the options that you have available as well as what to do if you are experiencing issues with your smart TV. You can also contact the vendor of your smart TV, the manufacturer or the provider of the application for more information. Which? are also interested to hear from those that are affected so if you are experiencing this issue, you can also contact them for further information and information on your rights. Should you wish to discuss your smart TV, enquire online using a contact form on our website or telephone a member of our expert team now on: 0800 195 8056