Youtube TV
Sony - 75" Class Bravia XR X90J Series LED 4k UHD Smart Google TV
Sony – 75″ Class Bravia XR X90J Series LED 4k UHD Smart Google TV

The Youtube TV app on my Sony Bravia Smart TV running Google TV is a giant steaming pile of garbage.

Every day while watching any live TV channel on the YouTube TV app, the screen will suddenly  go all black. There is a tiny sliver of light on the far left side of the screen, but 99.8% of the screen is pitch black. This happens nearly every day and sometimes more than once a day.

This is not an old TV, I bought my Sony Bravia XR X90J almost exactly one year ago. The newer model is called the Sony 95J but it is essentially the same TV with no new features or improvements.

The audio is unaffected and so are the closed captioned subtitles. I can hear the audio perfectly well and read the subtitles if they are turned on. But the screen is all black with no picture. When I click the back button on the remote it shows all the stations, and the menu fine. However, when I select a new channel to watch it goes back to a completely black screen. The only fix at the point is to restart the TV by holding down the power button until the restart process starts.

This bug does not affect other apps. I have and use Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and a few more. All of those other apps work fine. YouTubeTV is the only app that shows this irritating and debilitating bug which forces me to restart my TV at least once and often numerous times a day if I want to watch the YouTube TV app. It is especially irritating  when it crashes during live sports events like the World Cup, World Series, and college football games.

Here is a list of the fixes I have tried that DO NOT WORK!

I have contacted Sony support and they were clueless. their suggestion was restore to factory settings and also to reset.  I have tried that and everything on the list below and nothing has worked. My conclusion is Google either don’t know or don’t care.

  1. TV firmware has been updated
  2. All software including YouTube TV are current versions
  3. YouTube TV app has been deleted and re-installed
  4. I have tried clearing the app cache. An app’s cache is one kind of temporary data that is stored on your smart TV to help it load faster and have better app performance. However, it can cause problems once it’s stored for too long and is not updated.
  5. Logged in and out of the account
  6. Factory Reset my Bravia. My last  resort was a factory reset. This is supposed to reset your smart TV to its factory version and uninstalls all apps except for the preinstalled ones. It also deletes all user data, including downloaded content and saved passwords. It did nothing.

Sony or Google Need to Fix this Problem

I don’t know who is more to blame, Sony or Google. But since the TV is running Android (Google TV is just Android for TVs) which is designed and maintained by Google and YouTube TV is also owned by Google I have to think this is more in their domain.

It is inexcusable that a top of the line TV like this needs to be restarted just to use it as it was intended. The only actual fix so far I have found is to but a Roku Ultra which are very reliable.

After trying out an Android phone once and also experiencing lots of bugs, crashes, and wonkiness I quickly went back to using an iPhone. The crashes and instability of Android TV shouldn’t surprise anyone. I decided to try out Google’s arch nemesis and boy am I glad that I did. The daily crashes are now a distant memory.

Apple TV 4K is only permanent fix I found

Apple TV 4K
Best alternative to Google TV

I finally just couldn’t take the constant crashing anymore. with YouTube TV  There are four main alternatives The Apple TV 4K, Roku, ChromeCast, and Amazon Firestick and I decided to get the Apple TV 4K and it was a great decision. It will run you around $120 at most stores and sometimes cheaper on sale.

The Apple TV 4K is a streaming device that allows users to access a wide range of content, including movies, TV shows, music, and games.

The just released Apple TV 4K is faster, smaller and, hold the front page, cheaper than the previous model. The new model is smaller and lighter than before. It has increased storage compared to the previous one: the 32GB and 64GB models are now upgraded to 64GB and 128GB storage levels.

One of the main advantages of using an Apple TV 4K is that it supports 4K resolution, which means that users can enjoy incredibly sharp and detailed visuals on their TV. This is especially useful for those with a 4K TV, as it allows them to take full advantage of the higher resolution and improved picture quality.

There’s a new processor, the A15 Bionic chip, which is the one first seen in the Apple iPhone 13 Pro and now in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. This processor is much more powerful than competing devices which translates into more years of service before it will need to be upgraded.

The new Apple TV 4K now has support for HDR10+ which wasn’t in the last model, as well as continuing compatibility with 4K (obviously), Dolby Vision, High frame rate HDR and Dolby Atmos.

Another advantage of the Apple TV 4K is  that it has access to the App Store, which means that users can download a wide range of apps and games to their device. The Apple version of the Youtube TV app is also more stable. This allows them to expand the capabilities of their TV, and access a wide range of content and services that are not available through traditional cable or satellite TV.

In addition, the Apple TV 4K offers a number of features that make it easy to use and navigate. The device comes with a remote that has a touchpad, which allows users to easily control their TV and select the content they want to watch. It also has Siri integration, which means that users can use their voice to search for content and control their TV.

This is far from the cheapest streaming box on the market, but the simplicity of the sensational Siri Remote, the elegance of the Apple interface and the breadth of games available through Arcade and to buy, are enough to put Apple out in front.

Overall, the Apple TV 4K is a powerful and versatile streaming device that offers a number of advantages to users. With its support for 4K resolution, access to the App Store, and user-friendly features, it is a great choice for those looking for a reliable and easy to use solution. Then add the excellent addition of HDR10+ and the significant price drop—something unusual from any manufacturer but especially Apple—and the Apple TV 4K is hard to beat.

Good Second Choices: Roku, Firestick, and Chromecast

The three alternatives to the Apple TV might not offer everything that the Apple TV can, but they will get the job done. I have owned and used all three in other rooms of my home. In terms of ranking them from best to worst I would rank them in this order:

Prices listed were current as of December 13, 2022 but will change.

  1. Roku Ultra ($96.99)
  2. Amazon Firestick ($26.99)
  3. Google Chromecast ($39.98)

Roku Ultra The 2022 Roku Ultra is an excellent value at $99.99 now that it includes the Roku Voice Remote Pro. It’s a strong option if you want 4K streaming, hands-free voice control, and Apple AirPlay support. That said, as long as you don’t need Ethernet and USB ports, I recommend Roku’s more affordable Streaming Stick 4K+, which bundles the same remote and offers most of the same capabilities as the Ultra for $30 less.

But it’s worth nothing that none of the other options besides Roku support Apple AirPlay, so a Roku model may be a better choice if you own a lot of Apple devices.

 

amazon firestick Amazon Fire stick

Like other streaming devices the number of services that Amazon Fire TV supports is improving all the time. It can access almost all of the major streaming apps, including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, Crackle, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify and many, many more. The Fire TV platform now offers both HBO Max and Peacock bringing it in line with Roku and Chromecast with Google TV.

If you like to browse for content, the Fire TV might be more appealing, If you know what you want already, or at least what app you want to watch, a Roku is probably a better choice, in part because Amazon’s search results skews heavily toward its own (often user-pays-extra) content.

ChromecastGoogle Chromecast  The 4K Chromecast is not a self-sustained product. It does require external power that is provided by a USB cable and wall adapter that are both included in the box. The USB cable is a USB-C to USB-A cable and is about 4 feet long. The cable plugs into the Chromecast via USB-C and plugs into the wall plug via USB-A.

You can setup and use the 4K Chromecast without using Google Home. However, it requires that you manually enter everything if you do this. When the device first powers on, it will check for updates. Then, after updating, it will ask you to download and setup Google Home. On the 4K Chromecast remote, press down on the directional pad to select the option at the very bottom of the screen that lets you bypass Google Home at the costs of having to manually sign-in to both, your Google account and Wi-Fi connection with the built-in onscreen keyboard.

All search functions on the home menu use Google Assistant. There is no general search function for the 4K Chromecast as the Google Assistant does not search for apps that are in the Google Play Store.  To get the full experience, you’ll need to know how to access the Google Play Store. (The Google Play Store is used for finding and installing new apps onto your 4K Chromecast.) There is no easy shortcut to access the Google Play Store on the home-screen for some reason. To access the Google Play store, go to the home screen, click on any search bar, enter “play store” into the search bar and then select and click the magnifying glass button. This will launch the Google Play Store after a short wait. You will have to do this every single time you want to access the Google Play Store. Sadly, there is no way to add a shortcut to the Google play store onto the home-screen for easy access.

 

 

By Alan Wood

Musings of an unabashed and unapologetic liberal deep in the heart of a Red State. Crusader against obscurantism. Optimistic curmudgeon, snark jockey, lovably opinionated purveyor of wisdom and truth. Multi-lingual world traveler and part-time irreverent philosopher who dabbles in writing, political analysis, and social commentary. Attempting to provide some sanity and clarity to complex issues with a dash of sardonic wit and humor. Thanks for visiting!

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