Here's a first stab at compiling the known steps for curbing the bloatware that drags down Z9D responsiveness. Maybe others can note what's missing.
Not all of these changes have a big impact. The most important fixes seem to be (1) turn off wifi if you're not using it; (2) make the developer menu fixes; (3) remove Samba; (4) remove the recommendation shelf. There's no reason to be squeamish because a factory reset cures anything you do wrong. Obviously, don't disable features that you actually use.
Also, if you are having sluggishness issues, hold down the Home key on the remote, push down and hit "dismiss" for every app you see except the one you want running. The background process limit setting also resets itself to "standard", bring it back to 1. This can make a huge difference.
---- Main Settings ----
Go into Settings (the gear icon, bottom left of the main screen) and make the following changes:
Channel -- I have this set to nothing. That way, it doesn't turn on and randomly start blaring Google Play ads or show TV channels in the background. I like it that way. Set it to your preference, obviously.
Sound -- System Sounds: Off
Digital Audio Out: Auto1
Network -- Network Setup -- Expert -- Wi-Fi: Off
Scanning always available: Off
(Obviously, if you use Wifi, keep this on and don't plug in an ethernet cable)
Network -- Remote Start: Off
-- Remote device settings -- Control remotely: Off
-- Home Network -- Renderer: Off
-- IP control -- Simple IP control: Off
Google Cast -- Usage Data: Off
Bluetooth -- Bluetooth: Off
(I don't use the voice)
RS232C Control: Off
Usage & Diagnostics: Off
Home Screen -- Recommendation Row: Hide absolutely everything
Apps & Games -- Sort Auto: Off
---- Developer Menu ----
Everything should be off by default. Make the following changes:
Enable Developer Option: On
Background Process Limit: 1
Window animation scale: Off
Window transition scale: Off
Animation duration scale: Off
---- Apps ----
Turn off notifications for apps you have on your system but you don't really use. Go into the apps menu, click on the apps in question, toggle Notifications to OFF. For me, that's stuff like Fandango and Hulu. "Force Close" Sony Shelf then turn off notifications for it.
Now, disable the following useless junk:
Google Calendar Sync
Google Contact Sync
Google Japanese input
I think I disabled a lot more, but these are the ones that stick out.
---- Uninstall Samba ----
Uninstalling Samba eliminates the infamous Samba nag screen problem. All you need is a PC on the same network as your TV. You can do this wirelessly with a laptop:
- Get ADB and open a command window
- Go to your TV and hit the Home menu - Settings - About. Click the build number 7 times to activate the developer tools menu item. Open it and click on "enable ADB debugging."
- Go to your TV's Home menu - Settings - About - Status and note the IP address of the TV. Use it in the line below.
- On your PC, type adb connect xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
- A popup will appear on your TV. Use your remote to check the box to always allow connections from your PC
- Type adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 tv.samba.ssm
- Type adb uninstall tv.samba.ssm
- Type adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sony.dtv.interactivetvplatform
- Type adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sony.dtv.interactivetvutil
- Go back into the hidden menu and turn of ADB debugging
- Reboot the TV
The interactivetvplatform process uses Samba System Manager (ssm) to monitor what you are watching via screen recognition technology and save this information to the database file TNF_DATABASE.db
in a hidden directory on the TV. To prevent the data from being phoned back home to flingo.tv (flingo is Samba), block "samba.tv" and "flingo.tv" and the following IP addresses (subject to change) with your router:
Every router is different, so there's no way to give universal instructions. Also, cheap routers won't have this capability.
Consider also uninstalling:
SmarthomeSettings (Alexa integration)
rvu (unless you need DirecTV)
For the most part in Android you don't need to worry about apps that aren't running in the background.
---- Fixing Apps ----
Google's new YouTube interface a webwrapper that is inferior in many respects to the app that shipped with the TV. It does not display in true 4k (stats for nerds viewport shows 1920x1080*2 instead of 3820x2160, meaning you're missing half the pixels in true 4k content). Here's how to get the good app back.
Go to the Home screen and find the Google Play Store app. Click on it. Go to Settings and disable automatic updates. Now go to My Apps and find the YouTube icon. Click on it, and select "Uninstall Updates."
The technique works with other problematic apps. I've solved a Netflix app problem by going back to the original app. You'll have to manually update apps from now on, which is good because when you take control you'll see newer isn't necessarily better.
You can also install YouTube HDR with this sideload guide
Sideloading a Vudu apk
dated after 5/1/18 will give you Vudu with Dolby Vision UHD.