Around half a week ago we reported that Sony appeared to be blocking the installation of Kodi — the occasionally maligned media-streaming platform — on some of its recent Android TVs. While there is an effective block in place, we're told by Sony that it was an accident, and the next software update for affected platforms will deliver a fix.
Sony reached out to us with the following comment:
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. After looking into the issue further, 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.
If you're a developer (or a more extreme Android enthusiast), you can probably see how the error cropped up. For everyone else, the simple version is that Sony's software was looking at the package name, incorrectly seeing it as a Linux kernel object (due to its *.ko package name), and refusing to install. This also explains why folks in the Kodi forum were able to work around the restriction by changing the ID at build time.
The even simpler version is that this was just an unintended bug that Sony plans on fixing — though the mechanism behind this bug doesn't instill a whole lot of confidence in Sony's software prowess. If you're among those affected, you might have to wait for a fix, but it should be coming.