Android TV has had its share of problems since launch but Sony has now released a major update to address many of the issues. The Android TV 5.1.1 update has also added support for HDR (high dynamic range). However, recording functionality on European TVs has been postponed.
Major update for Sony's Android TV
Sony switched to Google’s Android TV operating system for this year’s TVs. The new operating system is available in all of Sony’s 2015 mid-range and high-end models.
The TVs are not on the same update schedule as Google’s Nexus devices so until now the TVs have been running Android TV 5.x. Over the last few weeks, Sony has updated its TVs in the US and Europe to run Android TV 5.1.1, which fixes a number of bugs and issues. It makes the OS more stable and adds new features.
The most significant change is support for HDR (high dynamic range), which Sony promised at IFA. This means that the TVs can now receive and process content in HDR, however, only via USB at the moment. A later update will make it possible to stream HDR from Amazon, too. Netflix will launch HDR content early next year. The HDR effect will depend on your TV model.
Now running Android TV version 5.1.1
Netflix support for 5.1 surround sound
HDMI lip sync issues
Green screen displayed
Increased responsiveness while using your TV
General bug fixes
Adds support for Opera TV store
Adds support for HDR video mode (only on select 4K models)
Support for Astra’s 4K test signal
Adds a new ”restricted profile”
The update has also added other small details. In our forums one member mentions that the “Discover” menu is now able to display Netflix suggestions. The issue with 23.976 Hz support also seems to have been resolved. The update is still not available in the UK, but once it hits TVs next week it will add support for HEVC over DVB-T (antenna). Some users have reported issues with Google Cast after the update, but there should be an app update available now (version 1.16.45911).
Recording features postponed
The bad news is that the promised recording, picture-in-picture and twin tuner capabilities have been postponed for European owners due to the “technical complexity implementing these features”
These features will be added with a later update that “will be available before 24th December”.
This might mean that we can expect to see Android TV 6.0 in December but Sony has yet to confirm this.