When choosing the best smart TV operating system, you’ll need to factor in the key attributes that each OS possesses. This article explores all of that and more.
Smart TVs today come with operating systems (OS) that help them power their apps and other features. Having information on the OS of a TV can influence your buying decision.
Naturally, you would want to opt for the best smart TV OS. In this article, we will discuss what a TV operating system is and take a look at the various types of OS available on TVs today.
In today’s digital age, television has evolved beyond its traditional role as a passive medium. With the advent of smart TVs, viewers now have access to a world of interactive and immersive content. At the heart of this transformation lies the smart TV operating system.
A smart TV operating system is a software platform that powers the functionality and features of a smart TV.
It serves as the interface between the user and the TV, allowing seamless navigation, app installation, and content streaming.
Just like a smartphone or a computer, a smart TV relies on its operating system to deliver a smooth and user-friendly experience.
In the era of smart TVs, the operating system (OS) that powers your television plays a crucial role in delivering an immersive and enjoyable entertainment experience.
With a wide range of operating systems available, it’s important to understand the significance of selecting the best operating system for your TV.
First and foremost, the choice of a smart TV operating system determines the availability of apps and content on your television.
Each OS has its own app ecosystem, offering access to popular streaming services, games, and other interactive features.
For instance, Android TV boasts a vast library of apps from the Google Play Store, while some other OS may offer seamless integration with streaming platforms like Hulu.
By choosing an OS with a robust app selection, you ensure that you can access your favorite content without limitations.
Another aspect to consider is the user interface (UI) and navigation experience. A well-designed and intuitive UI can significantly enhance your interaction with the smart TV.
Look for features like easy-to-navigate menus, personalized recommendations, and voice control capabilities.
The performance and hardware compatibility of an operating system are also crucial factors. A reliable OS should be optimized to deliver smooth playback, quick app loading times, and efficient multitasking.
Security is another aspect to prioritize when choosing the best smart TV OS. As smart TVs are connected to the internet, they can be susceptible to security threats.
Opt for an OS that provides regular software updates and has a strong track record of addressing security vulnerabilities promptly.
Lastly, consider the manufacturer support and future-proofing of the operating system. An OS that receives regular updates and improvements from the manufacturer ensures that you’ll continue to benefit from new features and enhancements over time.
There are several things to consider in case you’re wondering which TV operating system is best. However, before making a decision, let’s run you through the various types of Smart TV OS and their key features.
- Google TV (Android)
- Roku TV
- Fire TV
Linux TV operating system, often referred to as Linux-based smart TV platforms, is an operating system built on the Linux kernel specifically designed for smart TVs.
It leverages the power and flexibility of Linux to provide a robust and customizable platform for smart television sets. If you’re looking for the best operating system for TV, then consider Linux OS in your shortlist.
Linux TV OS is built on open-source principles, which allows for community-driven development, customization, and innovation.
It provides access to the source code, enabling developers to modify and enhance the operating system according to their needs.
Flexibility and Customization
Linux TV OS offers flexibility to TV manufacturers to customize the user interface, features, and functionality of their smart TVs. This allows for differentiation and the creation of unique user experiences.
Wide Hardware Support
Linux TV OS supports a variety of hardware architectures, ensuring compatibility with different smart TV models and maximizing hardware utilization for optimal performance.
Extensive App Ecosystem
Linux TV OS benefits from the extensive software ecosystem of Linux. It allows developers to leverage existing Linux applications, libraries, and frameworks to develop and deploy a wide range of apps for smart TVs. This includes media players, streaming services, games, productivity tools, and more.
Linux TV OS provides robust multimedia support, allowing smooth playback of various audio and video formats. It typically includes codecs for popular media formats, ensuring a rich entertainment experience.
Linux TV OS supports network connectivity features, enabling smart TVs to connect to the internet and access online content, streaming services, and other networked devices. It often includes support for Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Security and Stability
Linux TV OS benefits from the security measures and stability of the Linux ecosystem. Regular security updates and patches are released to address vulnerabilities promptly and ensure a secure operating environment for smart TVs.
Integration with Smart Home Devices
Linux TV OS can integrate with other smart home devices and platforms, allowing users to control and interact with their connected devices directly from their smart TV interface. This includes compatibility with voice assistants, home automation systems, and IoT devices.
Multitasking and Multiscreen Support
Linux TV OS provides multitasking capabilities, allowing users to run multiple applications simultaneously. It often supports multiscreen functionality, enabling users to mirror or extend their smart TV display to other compatible devices.
Linux TV OS provides tools, APIs, and documentation to support developers in creating and optimizing apps for smart TVs. This encourages the growth of a vibrant developer community and promotes the availability of diverse and high-quality apps.
Google TV is an operating system and platform developed by Google for smart TVs and streaming devices. It is one of the best operating system for TV.
It is designed to provide a unified and personalized entertainment experience by integrating various streaming services, live TV, apps, and content discovery into a single interface.
Interface and User Experience
Google TV offers a user-friendly interface with a customizable home screen. It provides a unified view of content from different sources, including streaming apps, live TV channels, and personalized recommendations. Users can easily navigate through the interface using a remote control or voice commands.
One of the primary goals of Google TV is to aggregate content from various sources. It integrates popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and YouTube, allowing users to access their favorite shows and movies in one place. It also supports live TV integration, enabling users to watch traditional broadcast channels alongside streaming content.
Content Discovery and Recommendations
Google TV leverages Google’s powerful recommendation algorithms to provide personalized content suggestions based on a user’s viewing habits and preferences. It helps users discover new shows, movies, and content they might enjoy.
Google Assistant Integration
Google TV features integration with Google Assistant, allowing users to control their TV and perform voice searches for content. Users can use voice commands to change channels, launch apps, control playback, and get answers to questions without having to use a remote control.
Google TV comes with Chromecast built-in, allowing users to cast content from their smartphones, tablets, or computers directly to the TV. It enables seamless streaming of videos, music, and photos from compatible devices to the big screen.
App Support and Ecosystem
Google TV supports a wide range of apps available on the Google Play Store. Users can access popular streaming apps, games, music services, and productivity tools, expanding the functionality and entertainment options of their smart TV.
Google TV is designed to work seamlessly across multiple devices. Users can start watching content on their smart TV and continue from where they left off on a mobile device or vice versa. It offers a consistent and connected viewing experience across different screens.
Smart Home Integration
Google TV can serve as a hub for controlling and interacting with smart home devices. Users can use their TV to control compatible smart home devices, such as lights, thermostats, security cameras, and more, through Google Assistant voice commands or the on-screen interface.
Google provides regular software updates to enhance the features and security of Google TV. These updates ensure that users have access to the latest improvements, bug fixes, and new functionalities.
tvOS is an operating system developed by Apple specifically for its Apple TV devices. It is designed to provide a rich and immersive media experience on the big screen, combining entertainment, apps, and services into a unified platform. You can add it to the category of the best smart TV OS.
tvOS powers the Apple TV, a set-top box that connects to a television and allows users to access a wide range of content, including movies, TV shows, music, apps, and games. It serves as the interface and operating system for the Apple TV device.
Interface and User Experience
tvOS offers a sleek and intuitive user interface optimized for television screens. The home screen features a grid layout of apps and content, with the ability to customize the order and arrangement of apps. Users navigate through the interface using the Apple TV remote or compatible controllers.
Integration with Apple Ecosystem
As an Apple operating system, tvOS seamlessly integrates with other Apple devices and services. Users can access their iTunes library, iCloud Photos, Apple Music, and other Apple services directly from the Apple TV. It also supports features like AirPlay, allowing users to stream content from their iPhone, iPad, or Mac to the Apple TV.
Siri and Voice Control
tvOS incorporates Siri, Apple’s voice assistant. Users can interact with their Apple TV using voice commands through the Siri Remote or compatible devices like iPhone and HomePod. Siri can perform various tasks such as searching for content, adjusting settings, and providing information.
tvOS includes its own dedicated App Store, offering a wide selection of apps and games designed for the Apple TV. Users can discover and download apps for streaming services, news, sports, education, fitness, and more. Developers can create apps specifically for tvOS to provide unique experiences on the Apple TV platform.
tvOS supports gaming on the Apple TV, providing access to a growing library of games from the App Store. Users can use compatible game controllers or the Siri Remote’s touchpad and accelerometer for gaming interactions. Apple Arcade, a subscription-based gaming service, offers access to a curated collection of premium games.
tvOS allows multiple users to have personalized experiences on the Apple TV. Each user can have their own Apple ID, app preferences, and recommendations. It enables family members to have separate profiles and access their content without interference.
Apple’s smart home platform, HomeKit, is integrated into tvOS. Users can control compatible smart home devices, such as lights, thermostats, and security cameras, using the Apple TV as a central hub. It enables users to manage their smart home devices through the television interface or voice commands with Siri.
Apple releases regular software updates for tvOS, introducing new features, improvements, and security patches to enhance the user experience and keep the system up to date.
TizenOS is an open-source operating system developed primarily by Samsung Electronics. It is designed for a variety of devices, including smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, home appliances, and smart TVs. As one of the best operating system for TV, TizenOS provides a comprehensive and feature-rich operating system for Samsung’s smart TVs.
TizenOS aims to provide a flexible, scalable, and secure platform for various devices, offering a consistent user experience across different products. In the context of smart TVs, TizenOS serves as the operating system that powers Samsung’s smart TV lineup.
User Interface and Features
TizenOS for smart TVs offers a user-friendly interface with a visually appealing design. It provides easy access to various apps, streaming services, and multimedia content. The interface is designed to be intuitive and customizable, allowing users to organize their favorite apps and content for quick and convenient access.
TizenOS has its own dedicated app store, known as the Samsung Smart TV App Store. It offers a wide range of applications, including streaming services, games, utilities, and more. Users can download and install apps directly on their Samsung smart TVs to enhance their entertainment and productivity experiences.
TizenOS-powered smart TVs come with various smart features and functionalities. These include voice control through Samsung’s virtual assistant, Bixby, allowing users to control their TVs using voice commands. TizenOS also supports integration with other smart home devices, enabling users to control compatible IoT devices from their TV.
Performance and Optimization
TizenOS is designed to provide smooth and responsive performance on Samsung smart TVs. It incorporates optimization techniques to enhance system efficiency and ensure fast app loading times, smooth multitasking, and seamless navigation between menus and content.
Compatibility and Connectivity
TizenOS supports a wide range of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Ethernet, HDMI, USB, and Bluetooth. It allows users to connect their smart TVs to the internet, external devices, and wireless peripherals such as keyboards, game controllers, and audio systems.
Updates and Support
Samsung regularly releases updates and improvements to TizenOS to enhance performance, introduce new features, and address security vulnerabilities. Users can keep their smart TVs up to date by installing these firmware updates, ensuring they have access to the latest features and improvements.
Developed by Roku Inc., a company known for its popular streaming devices, Roku TV is a smart TV platform. It combines the functionality of a traditional television with the streaming capabilities of Roku devices.
The smart TV OS aims to provide a simplified and user-friendly smart TV experience. It integrates streaming services, live TV, and other entertainment options into a single interface, making it easy for users to access their favorite content without the need for additional streaming devices.
User Interface and Features
Roku TV features a straightforward and intuitive user interface. It offers a customizable home screen where users can organize and prioritize their favorite channels, streaming services, and apps. The interface is designed to be simple and easy to navigate, allowing users to switch between different content sources seamlessly.
Channel Store and Streaming Services
Also, Roku TV provides access to a vast selection of streaming services, including popular platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more. Users can browse and install various channels from the Roku Channel Store, which offers a wide range of free and subscription-based options for movies, TV shows, sports, news, and other content categories.
Remote Control and Mobile App
In addition, it comes with a dedicated remote control that provides quick and easy navigation through the interface. The remote often includes dedicated buttons for popular streaming services and a built-in microphone for voice search. Additionally, Roku offers a mobile app that allows users to control their TV, browse content, and use their smartphone or tablet as a remote control.
Search and Content Discovery
Roku TV incorporates a powerful search function that enables users to find specific movies, TV shows, actors, or directors across multiple streaming services. It provides comprehensive search results and helps users discover new content based on their preferences and viewing history.
It seamlessly integrates with other Roku devices, allowing users to stream content from their smartphones, tablets, or Roku streaming sticks directly to the TV. It also supports screen mirroring, enabling users to display content from compatible devices onto the TV screen.
Updates and New Features
Roku regularly releases software updates for its TVs, ensuring that users have access to the latest features, improvements, and security patches. These updates often introduce new functionality and enhancements to the user experience.
Roku offers a development platform and tools for content providers and developers to create and publish channels on Roku devices, including Roku TV. This encourages a wide range of apps and channels to be available on the Roku platform, expanding the content options for users.
Another TV operating system that can be considered as one of the best smart TV OS out there is Fire TV. It is a smart TV platform developed by Amazon and it offers a range of devices and software that enable users to stream and access various digital content on their televisions.
Fire TV is designed to provide an enhanced entertainment experience on televisions. It offers seamless access to streaming services, apps, games, and other digital content, making it easy for users to enjoy a wide range of entertainment options on their TV screens.
Fire TV Devices
Amazon offers a variety of Fire TV devices, including Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube, and Fire TV Edition televisions. These devices connect to a TV’s HDMI port and provide access to the Fire TV platform.
User Interface and Features
Fire TV features a user-friendly interface that allows users to navigate and explore their favorite content easily. The interface offers personalized recommendations based on users’ viewing habits and preferences, making it convenient to discover new movies, TV shows, and other content.
Content and Streaming Services
Fire TV provides access to a wide range of streaming services, including popular platforms like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and more. Users can install and access their preferred streaming services directly from the Fire TV interface, allowing them to stream their favorite movies, TV shows, and other content.
Fire TV devices come with built-in Alexa voice control, allowing users to control their TV using voice commands. Users can search for content, launch apps, control playback, adjust settings, and even control compatible smart home devices using voice commands through the Alexa voice remote or the Alexa-enabled Fire TV Cube.
App Store and Games
Fire TV has its own dedicated app store, offering a wide range of apps and games optimized for TV screens. Users can download and install apps for news, weather, sports, music, and productivity, among others. Additionally, Fire TV supports casual gaming, enabling users to play a variety of games on their TV using a dedicated game controller or the Fire TV remote.
Fire TV integrates well with other Amazon devices and services. For example, users can stream content from their Amazon Prime Video library or use their Fire TV device as a display for Amazon Echo Show devices. Fire TV also supports screen mirroring, allowing users to mirror the screen of compatible smartphones, tablets, or PCs to their TV.
Updates and New Features
Amazon regularly updates the Fire TV platform to introduce new features, improvements, and bug fixes. These updates ensure that users have access to the latest functionalities and enhanced performance on their Fire TV devices.
When choosing the best smart TV operating system, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and specific requirements.
However, based on their features and performance, Android TV, TizenOS, Linux and Fire TV emerge as some of the top contenders.
These operating systems offer a seamless and enjoyable user experience, providing access to a vast array of content and applications.
To enhance your entertainment setup, we recommend purchasing your smart TV from reliable retailers like SIMS Stores or your nearest electronics store.
There, you can get a wide selection of smart TVs, ensuring that you find the perfect match for your preferences and budget.
Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly option or a high-end model with cutting-edge features, you will be provided with a range of choices to explore.