Google TV users lash out at home screen ad invasion

Google TV, one of the most popular streaming platforms, is serving full-screen auto-playing ads offering chicken wraps. And judging by the reaction of users on Reddit to this development, it may not be popular for much longer.

Disgruntled punters took to the social media platform to share video clips that revealed Google has started blasting full-screen ads for fast food at them on their device home screens.

Until now, Google TV devices such as television sets and streaming sticks only served full commercials during movies and TV shows.

“I’ve been using a Chromecast with Google TV for years, and know that I’ve always had ads for media on the home screen. But, tonight, my device served me an ad for fast food that auto-plays with sound,” a user going by the alias thevincentasteroid noted, asking if there was a way to stop that happening.

The same ad was seen by another user, MMD3, who reacted with disappointment after an ad popped up on their home screen carousel – again, taking up most of the screen space and featuring sound.

“I understand that for the low price point of the Chromecast with Google TV, there was likely some subsidizing going on, and there is plenty of sponsored media content,” the user said, adding that it “makes me want to go out and buy an Apple TV and throw the Chromecasts in our house in the garbage.”

Google TV was introduced a few years ago as a new user interface associated with Android TV. Sony and TCL TV sets feature Google TV as their primary operating system – it is integrated into Chromecast devices and is available as an Android app.

“You can’t turn off ads, but you can control the use of your advertising ID for personalized ads across installed apps,” the Google TV support page reads.

Users have access to settings allowing them to opt out of personalized ads or reset their advertising ID.

For now, Google TV users have the option to customize their interfaces by replacing the launcher with an alternative, such as Projective.

It is unclear if that may change in the future.

To protect its revenue sources, Google recently stepped up the fight against attempts to block its ads by introducing anti-adblock features on YouTube.

Ads for products and services were already served on Fire TV devices made by Amazon.

New ads have emerged to plague users already bombarded with more ads in their streams and content, as streaming services such as Amazon and Netflix introduce ad-supported plans.

Other platforms, such as Roku and Apple TV, feature less invasive home screens. For now, at least.

Cybernews has reached out to Google for a comment and will update the story as it unfolds.