[Update: Fix rolling out] Kodi devs say Sony’s Android TV devices block their app

[Update: Fix rolling out] Kodi devs say Sony’s Android TV devices block their app

Update 4/5/19: After working on a fix for the last 3 months, Sony is finally rolling out a firmware update to resolve the Kodi issue (among other things). You can see which models are getting the update here.

Update 1/10/19: Sony released a statement to Android Police to explain the issue: “we’ve discovered a software issue on our end that is incorrectly classifying Kodi as a kernel object (“ko”). We are working on a fix for this issue to include in our next software update.”

Kodi (formerly XBMC) is an open-source cross-platform media streaming solution that is often associated (albeit unfairly) with piracy. While it’s true that Kodi does technically facilitate movie and TV show piracy, that’s not its intended purpose. Kodi is designed to let you stream media content from local or networked storage drives, and facilitating piracy is more of a byproduct of letting you access your own media wirelessly. It would appear that Sony doesn’t agree, however, as the developers of the app have said that Sony’s Android TV devices are actively blocking the Kodi application from being installed.


This isn’t the first disagreement the Kodi developers have had with Sony’s practices. It appears that the company also enforces that applications be built as an Application (Video) in order to play 4K content on Sony Android TVs, something that no other Android TVs enforce. However, it appears that Sony is now actively blocking the Kodi application by blacklisting the package name. This was discovered when a user on the Kodi forums re-compiled the application with the Amazon Video package name. The Sony Android TV now allowed the application to be installed and it worked fine.

Kodi isn’t the only media streaming application with a reputation for piracy, it’s simply just the biggest. There are a number of reasons why you might want to have a media streaming set up in your home, and not all of them involve breaking the law. You could have your own ripped DVDs or CDs, podcasts, photos, and more. To block the application in its entirety seems a bit overkill, especially when there are other applications doing the exact same thing or similar without being blocked. This may possibly come down to the fact that Sony as a company does have a huge hand in the movie industry, and it may feel threatened by piracy. As a result, this change may be forced on Sony Electronics in order to protect its other divisions.

For now, it’s relatively easy to evade the Kodi app block. You’ll just need to re-compile the application with a new package name, but it’s possible that Sony makes it even harder to evade in the future.

Source: Kodi forums Via: AndroidPolice Update Via: Engadget

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Adam Conway
Adam Conway

I'm the senior technical editor at XDA-Developers. I have a BSc in Computer Science from University College Dublin, and I'm a lover of smartphones, cybersecurity, and Counter-Strike. You can contact me at [email protected] My Twitter is @AdamConwayIE and my Instagram is adamc.99.

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