Don’t be alarmed, Google TV can suddenly play commercials

Photo @Google

Don’t be alarmed, because Google TV can now suddenly show advertisements. At full volume. And no, the new ‘feature’ cannot be turned off.

Imagine, you just watched your favorite show on Google TV and decide to answer some apps. Then from now on it can just happen that Google, without you doing anything, plays a full trailer with sound. Depending on the volume set, that can be just as scary. Users are certainly not happy with the new form of advertising on Google TV. And the worst? It can’t even be turned off.

Google TV blasts advertising through your speakers

The new ‘feature’ was discovered by 9to5Google. What the medium failed to discover was a way to plot this absurd form of advertising. Under the For You tab, Google TV (or Android TV) must and will play advertisements of content selected for you. These are full trailers of the content, at full volume.

Previously, the TV operating system provided a simple slideshow of recommended content. It moved, it drew your attention to the content, but it remained subtle. Google now apparently prefers aggressive marketing over usability.

Fortunately, if a user has ‘seen’ an advertisement, there will no longer be a new one. At least, until the user goes to the For You tab again. Then the whole charade starts all over again.

Now we are basically used to advertising on TV, but Google does something different here. We don’t get commercials when we’re actually on Netflix. We get to see advertising from the operating system itself. The equivalent would be that KPN recommends RTL 4 or Nickelodeon while zapping in the information bar. For the time being, the feature for Google TV is being rolled out in Europe, but reportedly not yet in the Netherlands and Belgium. In all likelihood, that will come.

Also read: Google Chromecast’s new profile system is half-baked

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