YouTube disappearing from 50 Sony Bravia sets highlights why smart TVs suck

Smart TVs look like a great idea, but they have a serious downside as demonstrated by Sony's recent announcement.

If ever there was a cautionary tale about why it’s a bad idea to buy Smart TVs, this is it. Sony recently announced on its UK support site that 50 different 2012 Bravia TV models will lose their YouTube app on September 30, as first reported by 9 to 5 Google.

The reason for this loss is due to hardware limitations of the models following a change to YouTube’s specifications. Google announced in August that YouTube would be moving all its traffic to HTTPS. The company warned that over time it would phase out insecure connections, which means some devices would lose access to YouTube.

Samsung users of the affected Bravia TVs recently started complaining of freezing issues, black screens, and error messages when using YouTube. It appears YouTube’s HTTPS switch may be the cause of these issues—though Sony has not confirmed this.

You can find a complete list of Bravia models affected by this change on Sony's support site, which includes TV sets ranging in sizes from 20 to 89 inches.

Why this matters: As I said at the beginning, this is a cautionary tale for any prospective TV buyer. Smart TVs are generally a bad buy, pure and simple. While those apps look enticing, they are restricted by the rather expensive hardware that runs them and Smart TVs are often lower down the priority list for updates by app developers. Accessories such as an Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku, however, don’t cost that much and are easily replaceable once they fail or also hit the limits of their internal capabilities.

If you already own a Smart TV it might be wise to pick-up one of these gadgets if some of apps on your TV have already failed or started lagging in updates. If you’re looking for a new TV, save yourself some money by picking up a dumb TV and a modestly priced set-top accessory or streaming stick.

Sony’s 2012 televisions are only the latest victims of YouTube’s modernization. The original iPad and any other device older than the iPhone 4 famously lost access to YouTube in 2015 after the video site shut down its older developer programming tools.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags sony

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

TechHive (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?