Android TV home screen starts showing unwanted advertisements

android tv home screen unwanted ads xkem7n39ydiztup6iemrg3srnbpp61zw1azrj7s 8 c
An image uploaded to XDA Developers shows a row labeled “Sponsored” on the Android TV home screen. XDA Developers

Android TV owners have started seeing unwanted advertisements on the home screen, in the form of a row of “sponsored” content.

The unwanted ads have appeared on Sony smart TVs, the Xiaomi Mi Box 3, and the Nvidia Shield TV, among other Android TV devices. A similar Android TV feature named Apps Spotlight that shows Google Play Store apps is easy to disable, but the new row of sponsored content has proven to be a bit more difficult to deal with.

The sponsored channels are apparently part of a pilot program by Google, which has affected even high-end TV models that are powered by the Android TV platform.

“Android TV is committed to optimizing and personalizing the entertainment experience at home. As we explore new opportunities to engage the user community, we’re running a pilot program to surface sponsored content on the Android TV home screen,” a Google spokesperson told XDA Developers in a statement.

Fortunately, Reddit user Felisens discovered a way to disable the unwanted ads that involves uninstalling the updates for the Android TV Core Services app. This will crash the TV’s home screen, but this should be fixed with a restart by pressing the Home button. Once the update has been rolled back, the ads may be removed from the home screen through the minus button or the channel settings page. This will require automatic updates to be disabled though, which may not be a good idea over a longer term as it will also prevent security updates from coming in.

In response to the appearance of the sponsored content, Sony published a support article on its official website that explained that the ads are managed by Google. The article confirms that the content in the sponsored channel may not be manually changed, so Sony suggested owners create and enable a Restricted Profile where they can select only the apps that they use.

Google told 9to5Google that the sponsored row should not be appearing on Xiaomi or Nvidia hardware, without an explanation on why the unwanted ads have reportedly appeared on the Xiaomi Mi Box 3 and the Nvidia Shield TV.

Home Theater

Sony’s 2019 TV lineup maxes out with a 98-inch 8K costing as much as a home

Sony's 2019 TV lineup is revealed, including 8K and 4K models ranging in size from 43- to 98-inches and in price from $650 to a number much, much larger. The models will be available between May and June.

Take a gander at the best deals on 4K TVs for April 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.

The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will be coming to the U.S. with T-Mobile

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

The black satin Razer Phone 2 is now available for $500

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.

Multiple phone leaks show May 21 is going to be a big day for Honor

Honor will launch at least one new smartphone on May 21, at an event taking place in London. Leaks have indicated the Honor 20 will take center stage, with a Lite version, and perhaps even another model also showing up on the day.

The best LG G7 ThinQ cases will keep your phone looking new

The LG G7 ThinQ comes with a powerful processor, versatile cameras, and amazing sound. But a powerful phone still needs protection and you might want to change the style. Here are the best LG G7 ThinQ cases.

The Avalon V is Alcatel’s first Verizon-exclusive smartphone

Alcatel is has announced a new phone, the Avalon V -- but this budget device isn't what makes the announcement special. It's Alcatel's first phone on the Verizon network, and it's available now.

Big, beautiful, and breakable: Check out the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases

There’s no denying Samsung’s ability to turn out an attractive smartphone, but glass curves are expensive to fix and metal chips easily. We've rounded up the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases on the market.

Sidestep banking fees with the nationwide launch of T-Mobile Money

T-Mobile has launched its Money banking service nationwide in the U.S., and it offers an extremely tempting set of features for everyone, including industry-leading interest rates, a powerful app, and no banking fees.

The OnePlus 3 & 3T both receive an open beta for Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

The dramatic BlackBerry Key2 Red Edition is now available in the U.S.

BlackBerry's Key2 is likely to be the best keyboard-equipped phone in 2019, with a modern look, some powerful specs, and totally revamped features. Here's everything you need to know about it.

Samsung Galaxy S10 update gives manual control of Bright Night mode

Samsung 2019 flagship smartphone lineup is here, and there aren't just two phones as usual — there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.