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Disney+ launch once again highlights the Smart TV update problem

13 Nov 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |

Disney+ has arrived on LG, Samsung, Roku, and other Smart TV platforms but in some cases it works only on recent models. That is because TV makers continue to refuse to provide updates for their TV platforms.

The Smart TV update problem

Partners have proudly announced that Disney+ is now available on their TV platform. That's great - if you own a recent TV. Unfortunately, Samsung and LG both confirm that the Disney+ app will be limited to Smart TVs from 2016 or later. That is notable because LG started using its webOS platform in TVs in 2014, and Samsung started using its Tizen platform in TVs in 2015. Some of these TV models were still on sale in 2016. In other words; your not-very-old TV - even a premium model - is left out in the cold, even though it is powered by the same TV platform as the more recent models. Why is this happening? Well, TV makers continue to refuse to provide updates for their TV platforms. Samsung 2018 TVs are stuck on Tizen version 4.0, 2017 TVs are stuck on Tizen 3.0, and so forth. The same applies to LG TVs. Due to the dearth of updates, these TVs lack support for important DRM schemes, APIs or other elements that are required to support new apps. If this feels like déjà vu, it is because the launch Apple TV+ earlier this month was subject to the same controversy. And these are just the latest examples.

Disney+ not working

Opt for a streaming box

Roku finds itself in a better spot. Roku devices made before 2012 are incompatible with the Disney+ app but this fact is easier to swallow considering that it only includes cheap streaming players and not any Roku TVs. Amazon says that Disney+ is available on "all Fire TV devices and Fire TV Edition smart TVs" while Google lists the app as compatible with "Android 5.0 and up". Disney+ is also available for both tvOS-powered Apple TV boxes (2015 and 2017). Also read: What is Disney+? Everything you need to know Inexpensive streaming boxes will typically remain up-to-date for far longer than your expensive high-end Smart TV. That is the Smart TV update problem. Now spread the word. - Source: LG, Samsung, Amazon, Roku, Disney

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