Amazon’s Instant Video service lets you stream movies and TV shows to devices including smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs. In order to watch on a TV though, you’ll need a smart TV that supports Amazon Instant Video or a TV box like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

The list of supported hardware used to include devices running Google TV software. But Amazon is pulling the plug on Google TV support on September 14th. It seems like the company is also discontinuing support for a number of older smart TVs including some models from Samsung and LG.


This isn’t a huge shock: Google TV is kind of dead as a platform. These days Google is pushing Android TV instead.

But Amazon doesn’t offer an app for Android TV. Maybe that’s not surprising either: Google TV was never immensely popular and there are currently only a handful of devices running Android TV software, including the Google Nexus Player and NVIDIA Shield console.

A cynic might suggest Amazon wants customers to buy Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick devices so that the company has more control over its own video streaming service (and the ability to take a cut of revenue from any third-party apps you purchase while using a Fire TV device).

But arguably it also doesn’t make sense for Amazon to continue to support unpopular platforms at a time when there are other platforms used by more people.

Still, it’s one reason why I’m a proponent of avoiding Smart TVs and using smart TV boxes instead. Why spend extra money to buy a TV with features that might not even work in a few years when you could buy a $30 – $100 box that you can plug into your TV which will probably offer more functionality… and which will certainly be cheaper to replace if and when it becomes obsolete than the TV itself?

Incidentally, the Amazon Fire TV is actually out of stock at the moment… which could mean that a new model is on the way. The Fire TV stick is still available for $39, although there’s reason to suspect that a second-gen model of the Stick is also on the way.

via Android Police


Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,500 other subscribers

18 replies on “Amazon pulls the plug on Instant Video for Google TV, older smart TV sets”

  1. super annoying. the sad thing is putting the smarts in the TV is way better than in a separate box from a number of stand points. you have one less device, less clutter, fewer cords, and only need one remote. My kingdom for one remote that actually works (don’t get me started on the universal remotes).

    i’m not excited about a voice device or other trying to run my tv. It will stop working some night when all i want to do is watch tv. and then i’ll spend 20 min being “tech guy”. the number of times i’ve cursed my roku because instead of watching tv i had to “re-pair” the remote is insane. I was about to dump all my tv’s and get smart tv’s. and now this bullshit.

    why the tv manufacturers can’t make their software upgradeable will unfortunately be the demise of smart tv’s. the people who make TV’s are dumb. Sadly us people who buy TV are the ones who lose.

  2. Amazon instant video sucks anyway… they push paid content. And lets not forget that Amazon fire is running android with a custom skin… don’t piss of google too much.

  3. Funny. Netflix doesn’t seem to have any trouble at all supporting my “obsolete” LG smart tv and my LG smart blu-ray.

    Very annoying of “prime”.

    You must ask yourself how long your Fire devices will continue to be supported. At least they’re cheaper.

  4. Which Amazon for Google TV? I think some of the final devices by LG had a dedicated app but the original devices by Sony/Logitech were just a sort of weird solution– there was an Amazon app installed on the back end that relayed results to the built-in search. Selecting a search result will open you to the Amazon website in the Chrome browser. It played the video using Flash on the regular Amazon site.

    I’m assuming it’s the LG dedicated app that’s being discontinued? or are they blocking out older versions of Chrome and Flash now?

  5. This REALLY sucks for the UHD / 4K early adopters. My LG UHD TV is less than a year old and neither it, nor any other 4k-capable TVs I could find, will be supported come September 15th. There are, currently, no set-top boxes, including fire TV, that are capable of UHD. This means Amazon UHD will, effectively, be unwatchable until a UHD set-top box arrives. I am assuming one will be forthcoming from Amazon, I hope it is soon. I have fire TV and use it for all but UHD streaming, it irks me that I will have to upgrade my perfectly good hardware if I want to continue to stream UHD.

  6. Actually, there is an Amazon Instant Video app for Android TV but, they appear to have some sort of exclusivity deal with Sony for their line of Android TVs for it. There have been efforts to take the sony android tv app and move it to non-sony TVs but, these efforts are usually blocked eventually.

  7. Strange, my 2012 smart tv is continuing to work just fine, unlike Google TV. Maybe it’s a reason to avoid Google TV.

    I didn’t spend extra money to get a smart TV, these things come as standard. Sometimes it’s cheaper to get a non smart tv and a separate box, but not anyways. It’s also worth nothing that lg’s smart TV excels at playing local content, which will always work. This is something less well supported on some of the cheap TV boxes/sticks (on fire tv stick I did this only by sideloading kodi; on Chromecast although you can play local content, the codec support is poor).

  8. It makes sense. Why waste money developing platforms that aren’t popular. There’s no compelling reason to move to Google TV or Android TV at the moment – at least not if you already have Roku or the Fire TV.

  9. Yeah, I have a recently purchased Samsung Smart TV and an Amazon Fire TV Stick, and quite frankly, I use the Fire TV Stick and completely ignore the Smart TV. On the other hand, I have a profile setup on my Netflix account for my parents to use, and it’s rather handy to have that profile setup on the Smart TV while my own profile resides on the Stick.

  10. Only problem is that most of the good TVs just also happen to be smart TVs. It’s really hard to find a top tier TV that doesn’t have smart features built in.

    1. Yep. And even if it’s not the case right now, it won’t be long before all but the cheapest, most basic of large screen TVs are smart TVs.

      But assuming you’re not one of these people who simply must have the latest and greatest TV in your living room, there’s no real harm in using the smart part of your TV for the first few years and then transitioning to a separate smart TV box with next generation features later.

    2. Why is that a problem? If you don’t want those features, don’t use them. If you want to plug in a box, you can still do so. Well, it’s a problem for the argument being made. That smart TV’s come as standard means it’s not true that people are paying extra for it.

      1. Well this was in response to the whole argument that you can just buy a dumb TV and save money. The reality is most dumb TVs are also the ones with the worse IQ so you wouldn’t want to buy them anyways and therefore you wouldn’t be able to save money by buying the dumb TVs because you would end up buying a smart TV in the end.

    3. Since those belong in the “if you have to ask the price you can’t afford it” market anyway it hardly matters. Such people will just go buy a new one next year whether they can afford it or their children just go barefoot anyway.

    1. Actually, I want a 3D TV. I know, deadish platform but I’m one of the few who really likes 3D stuff. It doesn’t make me physically ill and the only movie I’ve ever seen that made me regret going to the 3D version entirely was My Soul To Take because no one can convince me that there was an iota of 3D content in there. If you took the glasses off the film was completely watchable without it.

      There are a few movies I think I’d rather enjoy in my living room in 3D.

Comments are closed.