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I have Android TV (Sony KJ-65X8500D running on Android 5.1.1 Marshmallow if relevant). On the home screen, there are several ads and a wallpaper that I don't control. It's currently showing an ad for a TV show I find highly offensive and I want it off my TV.

It's not just an icon. Since it's the default icon (the first one), it also defines the background of everything on the home screen.

How do I change it to

  1. Get rid of the ads
  2. Set the background to my own photos
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  • 1
    Here is a generic way to turn of specific recommendation in the top row of Android TV support.google.com/androidtv/answer/6121346?hl=en I know I have also read somewhere about an unoffical(?) way to disable the two top rows on a Sony Android TV by disabling the corresponding apps, but I can't find the name of the apps right now
    – kirodge
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 8:36
  • It might have been here i read it m.reddit.com/r/bravia/comments/40ozx6/…
    – kirodge
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 13:13
  • Apparently my solution doesn't work on 6.0 (I'll find out when my TV updates in the next few weeks)
    – gman
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 7:40

4 Answers 4

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So this is how I solved it for my particular TV (A Bravia KJ-65X8500D running Android 5.1.1)

First off I found a 3rd party homescreen program called HAL Launcher which I installed. It works as an app but it's not the app the home button on the remote goes to. It has the option to make it so but that option stopped working android 5 something.

To solve that problem I downloaded and installed Android Studio from Google.

Then I followed these instructions for connecting my computer to the TV. They can be summarized as follows

Enable Developer mode

  1. Press Home and select Settings.
  2. In the TV rowselect About.
  3. Scroll down to and click on Build seven times until "You are now a developer" appears. (note: at 5 clicks a different message will appear. Keep clicking
  4. Press Home (do NOT skip this step)

Enable ADB Debugging

  1. Select Settings

  2. In the System Preferences row, select Developer options

  3. Select Debugging

  4. Select ADB Debugging

  5. Select On.

Get the IP address of your TV

  1. Press Home

  2. select Network Settings.

  3. Pick wifi or wired and note the IP address

Connect ADB

  1. Make sure your TV and your computer are connected to the same local network.

  2. On your computer type

    adb connect <TV IP address>:5555
    

    For example my TV's address was 10.0.0.13 so I typed

    adb connect 10.0.0.13:5555
    
  3. The TV will ask if it's ok for your computer to connect. Select Always allow from this computer and select OK.

Hide Leanback

Now that adb is connected you can hide the launcher

This part I got from here.

On your computer type

adb shell pm hide com.google.android.leanbacklauncher

If you want to undo it type

adb shell pm unhide com.google.android.leanbacklauncher

NOTE: if adb is not in your path find in on your computer (it's installed with Android Studio) and cd to that folder then use ./adb or .\adb on windows

At this point HAL Launcher comes up when I press the HOME button on my remote which means the offensive ads are gone! YAY!

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    I try this solution but i have te error: Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Neither user 2000 nor current process has android.permission.MANAGE_USERS. sony kd55xd8599 TV with android 6.0 marshmallow
    – Frix
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 7:38
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I did the below steps on Kodak Android TV to replace the default launcher.

  1. Enable Developer options and ADB debugging on the TV. (Refer Enable Developer mode, Enable ADB Debugging sections explained by gman's answer).

    No need to get the IP address and connect ADB. Because for the first time, you have to connect the device with a PC using a USB cable. (I tried ADB connect after connecting the first time, but the device refuses).

  2. Install HAL Launcher on Google Play store.

  3. Connect a TV with PC with Laptop using USB Male to USB Male.

  4. Download Andriod adb platform tools (slim version).

  5. Open command prompt and navigate to abd folder.

  6. Run below commands.

    adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.google.android.leanbacklauncher
    adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.google.android.tvlauncher
    
  7. Press the Home button on Remote. If there are more than one launcher installed, then it'll show the option to select the launcher.

  8. Select the HAL launcher.

  9. Now it'll be the default launcher and will open when pressing the Home button on Remote.


If you are concerned about losing the Leanback Launcher and Android's default TV launcher, then run the below commands before step 6 to take backup of the APK files.

adb shell pm list packages

This will list the packages installed on the device.

adb shell pm path com.google.android.leanbacklauncher
adb pull [path_of_leanback_launcher] C:\sdk\com.google.android.leanbacklauncher.apk
adb shell pm path com.google.android.tvlauncher
adb pull [path_of_tv_launcher] C:\sdk\com.google.android.tvlauncher.apk

This will backup the APKfiles to C:\sdk\ folder. To install these APK files, use the below command.

adb install C:\sdk\com.google.android.leanbacklauncher
adb install C:\sdk\com.google.android.tvlauncher

All the very Best!

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  • Excellent Venkatx5, worked like a charm on my Sony Android TV :) Commented Jan 31, 2021 at 17:41
0

If calling adb shell pm hide com.google.android.leanbacklauncher returning an error message,

Error: java.lang.SecurityException: Neither user 2000 nor current process has android.permission.MANAGE_USERS

then instead of hiding it, try to uninstall it.

Make sure to have at least another launcher installed on the TV. Open ADB, but instead of hiding com.google.android.leanbacklauncher, uninstall and remove the Leanback launcher with

adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.google.android.leanbacklauncher" 

After that, choose the other launcher as your home.

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I had the problem where my Android TV device (NVidia shield) does not allow debugging after the latest update- seems it has removed the ability. This means that I could not connect adb over USB nor TCP.

I was annoyed but then I found another method using a free app:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cybercat.adbappcontrol.tv

You can use this to disable the stock launcher and, having installed your favourite (I installed FLauncher - simple but effective) you can then use that.

I absolutely hate that Google Goons think they own my device and can use it to SPAM me as much as they like - this is the solution to sticking it up the rrr's.

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