There are many things you need to know before buying a smart TV. What size do you want? How many HDMI ports do you need? Any additional features that are important to you?
But there is a question that people often overlook:which operating system should I buy? This article will help you answer that question.
It's not 2016 anymore. Back then, we were telling readers why you should avoid buying a smart TV. But in the intervening years, a lot has changed.
Now it's almost impossible to find a new TV that isn't. "intelligent." Head to your local electronics store and you'll be overwhelmed with the promises of streaming, streaming, sharing, and all the smart TV buzzwords.
But, not all smart TVs are created equal. Just like the world of desktop operating systems, the various smart TV operating systems have their own strengths and weaknesses. Some have a wider selection of apps, some have a better user interface, some are more compatible with third-party devices, etc.
So which one is the best? In this article, we pit Roku TV, Android TV, Fire TV, WebOS, and TizenOS against each other to see which smart TV operating system is best.
In 2017, Roku released a lot of new hardware. A Brief Guide to Roku's New Hardware for 2017 A Brief Guide to Roku's New Hardware for 2017 Roku has revamped their entire lineup for 2017. The problem is that it's hard to keep track of so many different devices. Let us help you with this brief guide. of new Roku hardware. Read More
The operating system includes the best parts of the Roku set-top boxes, but also includes some additional features that are exclusive to the platform.
For example, unlike other products in the Roku lineup, you can connect an HDTV antenna to a Roku TV and enjoy a full Electronic Program Guide (EPG) from within the Roku ecosystem.
Roku TV has also benefited from staying well out of the never-ending squabbles between Amazon, Google and Apple. As such, you'll find all the most popular apps from all providers (unlike Amazon Fire TV, which doesn't have a YouTube app).
Other features include a universal search function, a personalized feed of upcoming shows you'll be interested in, and a private listening mode.
Many manufacturers offer Roku TVs, including TCL, Element, Insignia, Philips, Sharp, RCA, Hitachi, and Hisense.
Of course, like all Roku products, you can also install private channels. They provide access to TV content that is not available in the main store. We have previously looked at the best private Roku TV channels. 20 Private Roku Channels You Should Install Right Now. 20 Private Roku Channels You Should Install Now. Here's how to add private channels to your Roku, along with some of the best private Roku channels you can. Install right now. Read more if you want to learn more..
WebOS is LG's smart TV operating system. After a curious history, the operating system finally became the leading smart TV operating system in 2014 thanks to its elegant and user-friendly interface.
Since 2014, LG has been constantly refining the operating system, and it's now found in everything from refrigerators to projectors.
The operating system revolves around the launch bar at the bottom of the screen. In the bar, you will find all your applications and settings. You can customize the order of the bar so that the apps you use most often are displayed first.
WebOS supports Bluetooth, which means it's easy to connect keyboards, mice, and other useful peripherals. It also supports Miracast. (Miracast is a wireless version of HDMI. What is Miracast? How to use Miracast for wireless media streaming What is Miracast? How to use Miracast for wireless media streaming HDMI may be the standard for connecting media devices, but it has many drawbacks Here's how to use Miracast instead (Read More)
Other notable features include live apps (so you can pause content in one app, start using another app, then return to the first app and pick up where you left off later in the day), 360 video playback degrees and an OLED image gallery.
If you're looking for crisp and clean, WebOS is the clear winner.
Android TV is probably the most common smart TV operating system. And, if you have ever used an Nvidia Shield (one of the best devices for cable cutters) 7 reasons why the Nvidia Shield is the ultimate device for cable cutters 7 reasons why the Nvidia Shield is the ultimate device for cable cutters The Nvidia Shield It may just be the ultimate device for cable cutters everywhere. Here are seven reasons why it beats the competition without much effort. Read More
However, because Android is Android, you won't get a consistent user experience across different TV manufacturers. Everyone feels the need to put their own "spin" on it, usually for the worse. Error messages indicating that a part of the operating system has stopped working are not uncommon on non-stock implementations.
On a more positive note, any TV running Android TV will also have Chromecast built-in. Makes streaming or streaming content from your Android phone or tablet a breeze.
You can also cast directly to your TV from your computer as long as you have Chrome installed. Just go to Menu> Cast to get started.
You can also use the Google Assistant. That means you can use your voice, through your TV, to control all of your smart home devices, like lights, speakers, thermostats, electrical outlets, and more.
TizenOS is a Linux-based operating system that has been developed by the Linux Foundation.
You will only find TizenOS on Samsung devices. It is found in all of the company's products, including televisions, cameras, furnaces, and air conditioning units.
Of course, TizenOS got a bad rap after Samsung's "spy gate" TV back in 2015. To be fair, those issues are long in the past. Samsung TVs don't spy on it anymore (at least that we know of). However, Tizen still leaves a lot to be desired as a smart TV operating system.
Visually, the operating system is fine. It's clear that it's taken a lot of design cues from WebOS; There is a horizontal bar at the bottom of the screen with all your apps and content.
Criticism comes in two forms. First of all, it's not as smart as some of the other operating systems on this list. For example, while Roku learns what you like and suggests new content from all the apps you have installed on the operating system, TizenOS simply suggests apps you haven't opened in a while. Not inspiring.
Second, it faces accusations of being too simplified. While WebOS strikes a perfect balance, tech-savvy users will find the fun settings hidden away in a myriad of buttons and submenus.
US users will also bemoan the lack of Freeview Play. It's a repository of shows from all of Britain's major OTA TV networks and is available on most of Samsung's competitor TVs.
Fire TV Edition is the new kid on the block. As the name suggests, it is the smart TV OS version of the popular Amazon Fire TV devices. At the time of writing, you'll only find the Fire TV Edition on Toshiba and Element TVs.
Fire TV Edition also gives you access to Amazon Alexa. Like Google Assistant, it can control your smart home, update you on news and weather, and engage with other apps that are part of your daily workflow.
As for the content, it is limited to the applications that are available on the Amazon Appstore. Although Fire TV is based on Android, you cannot access the Google Play Store. However, most of the major apps are available, with the notable exception of YouTube.
However, you can download apps on Fire TV devices, and the Fire TV Edition is no different. You just need to get your hands on the APK file for the app you want.
Take a look at our article that looks at the different versions of Fire TV. Which Fire TV device should I buy? Stick vs. TV vs. Cube Compared Which Fire TV Device Should You Buy? Stick vs. TV vs. Cube, Compared Amazon now has four different options for people looking to buy a Fire TV device. But which one is right for you? Read More And if you've already purchased a new Fire TV Edition, be sure to check out our list of essential Fire TV apps. 12 essential apps to install on a new Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. 12 essential apps to install on a new Amazon Fire. TV or Fire TV Stick If you've bought an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, you're probably wondering what to do with it. Here are the Fire TV apps you should install first. Read more.
Let's call it a three-way tie between Android TV , WebOS, and Roku. In truth, each of the smart TV operating systems excels in a different area, but Amazon Fire has nothing to do with the lack of YouTube and the Google Play Store, while TizenOS is by far the weakest of them all. .
If you want Slick and minimal, go to WebOS. If you want the largest selection of apps, choose Roku. And if you want smart assistant capabilities, choose Android TV.
If you want to learn more about smart TVs, check out our list of Smart TV Lies You've Probably Fallen For 5 Smart TV Lies You've Fallen For 5 Smart TV Lies You've Fallen For Smart TVs have gotten a bad rap for the past few years. years, but most of these alleged problems are exaggerated or totally wrong. Read more.