Nowadays, it is almost impossible to find a TV that is not “Smart” on the market and today we are going to talk about which Smart TV operating system is the best and why…
There are many brands that offer us the same things: internet access, applications, etc. But all of them are different in many aspects too: compatibility with the applications we want to use, interface, etc.
You may know that there are two main mobile operating systems, Android and iOS, but you may not be very clear about which is the operating system of your Smart TV or what are the differences between them.
What is the operating system of a Smart TV?
The operating system of a Smart TV can be considered the “smart” part of the TV. Beyond the DTT channels themselves or the usual settings you can make (sound, programming, broadcasting) there are a number of extra services that are included. We can even use the TV to play video games. But there is no single operating system and it will depend on the brand and model of a TV with different tools and features.
What should we take into account?
Compatible applications and catalog
It is important for you to look at the catalog of compatible applications. It is essential to know which games and applications are compatible with this operating system and which are not. There are a lot of streaming video platforms that we end up buying and it is important to be able to use the native applications of these platforms on our Smart TV.
Chromecast is very useful for sending content from your smartphone or tablet to your TV. Operating systems, as is the case with Android TV, include built-in support for Chromecast. It will depend on the TV in question but it is useful to look at this when choosing a Smart TV.
Ecosystem of devices
If you use one operating system on many devices the integration between them is also very important. If you are using an Android smartphone it would be great to use Android TV and Google Home together. This way you’ll get the best out of your smart devices.
Check the operating system’s update frequency, this way your device will always catch the latest trends.
An interface must be comfortable, accessible, easy to use. This way, we can find everything quickly without having to spend extra time navigating through the different menus to install, uninstall, etc.
Comparison: Which Smart TV operating system is the best and why?
Android TV is Google‘s operating system and we can find it in TVs of several different brands: in Philips TVs, in some Sony TVs, and in Smart TV models from Sharp or Xiaomi.
Android TV has the most complete app catalog that will allow us to find any app or game we want to use on the TV without any problem. All video streaming apps are compatible with this operating system. In Google Play we can practically find everything and we can connect controllers to the TV to use it as a kind of game console too.
Interface and advantages
In Android TV, the interface is based on a full-screen main panel with access to all applications and a brief breakdown of suggested content. And in this main panel, we also have video inputs available for quick access.
Android TV has Google Assistant for voice commands. It is possibly the best virtual assistant available so far. Not to mention support for Chromecast. This way we can send content to the TV directly, without the need for a TV dongle.
Samsung‘s operating system on its Smart TVs is currently Tizen. It is one of the most popular and the most recommended options. You can find Tizen in products such as air conditioners, ovens, or cameras too. If you have a lot of Samsung products in your home you may want to choose Tizen for a complete smart home experience.
Tizen has a taskbar that is located at the bottom and it can be customized. There you can find the main third-party apps from Netflix to Amazon Video, YouTube, etc. You can also find quick settings such as the input selection if, for example, we want to switch to an HDMI to use our game console.
Most current applications are available for Samsung TVs from 2016 onwards, approximately. This is the case with Disney+, for example, or other applications such as Filmin. Samsung’s catalog is not as extensive as that of Android TV but we find practically most of the important streaming video apps or others such as Spotify.
The Samsung interface is quite comfortable and has other extra features such as compatibility with Chromecast, AirPlay 2, and a hub with easy access for any user that allows us to access Samsung TV Plus and in addition to all kinds of apps, games, etc.
The big disadvantage of Tizen is that we find ads in some versions of the operating system.
Samsung TV Plus
A great advantage of Tizen is the Samsung TV Plus, a selection of totally free channels. It is an application that offers exclusive content for users of a Smart TV of the brand. It is free, comes installed by default and we can watch all kinds of content: series, movies, etc.
Amazon Fire TV
Some Fire TVs and some current Toshiba TVs have Amazon as an operating system, although not all of them.
The applications are quite complete and Amazon stands out for a large number of games included in these TVs. Also, the TV stick itself makes any TV smart. The catalog is extensive and virtually any current video platform is compatible with Amazon Fire TV.
WebOS is the operating system used by LG Smart TVs and it is exclusive to the Korean company. It allows users of these Smart TVs to download applications. The current version of the operating system, WebOS 6.0, presented in 2021, also brings a new version of LG’s remote control, called Magic Control, which has, among other options, direct access to the most popular platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, as well as a wheel to improve navigation.
WebOS is one of the most fluid operating systems with outstanding features. It is attractive, simple to use, and stands out for its good speed.
Applications and compatibility
WebOS has support for most applications today and you will always find Netflix, DAZN, Disney+, etc. It is also compatible with AirPlay 2 from webOS 4.5 and has support for Chromecast in most of its models so we can use it without problems.
In terms of application availability, WebOS is very close to Tizen OS. If we don’t have the latest version of WebOS. Looking at their features there are hardly any differences between them.
Saphi is an operating system used by some Philips TVs. The vast majority of Philips TVs come with Android TV installed by default.
Saphi is not as complete an operating system as Android TV. It is available since 2019 and has support for most video apps such as DAZN, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or HBO. Overall, it has about 100 apps that we can use to watch videos, listen to music, etc.
One of the problems you may have with Saphi is that you will not find any kind of games that you can play with a controller.
My Home Screen
Panasonic TVs have this platform based on Firefox OS. It is considered a somewhat inferior operating system to others on this list such as TizenOS or WebOS but it allows us to access the most basic applications through the TV. We can open Netflix, HBO, Disney+. The performance is good but the catalog of applications is very basic. It is an operating system with which we can be satisfied if we are not looking for our TV to offer us a lot of variety.
When it comes to buying a new Smart TV, as we said, the operating system is really important. Considering the prices of the TVs and your own needs, you can always choose the best operating system to opt for.