If you are going to buy a new television and you have doubts about which Smart TV platform is better , or you simply want to get to know them quickly to be able to assess, this interests you. Because currently there are several alternatives and depending on the choice you will have more or less options. But is the operating system of a television really that important?
All Smart TV platforms
When we told you how to choose your new television, we already told you: the image quality and the sound are the really important aspects . The rest of the features are extras that should help you to finish deciding which model to buy.
The problem is that, if you need to answer your questions by comparing their Smart TV platform, you need to know a little about what they offer and how they behave. Because, it can also happen that despite its multiple options, for how you are going to use the television you would prefer a more “basic” and more fluid option if both proposals convince you in terms of image and sound.
Anyway, let’s focus on what interests us. Which option is better: webOS, Tizen, Android TV, …? Before answering, let’s see what they are like and what they have to offer.
Android TV was the last Smart TV platform to arrive. The adaptation of Google to the big screen of its popular mobile operating system. At first, its interface turned out to be a bit rough, but nowadays it has improved a lot. That or as users we adapt better and better to new proposals, especially when they remind us of apps from the company that we use every day on our computer or mobile.
The best thing about Android TV is without a doubt its catalog of applications . Logically, being Android TV and sharing the core with Android phones does not imply that all apps are available. But it is true that many of them adapt perfectly, so it is very interesting to see that the video or music service players via streaming are from minute one. Or some apps like ArchRetro-like games and emulators that give your TV a lot of life.
Along with all this, one of the advantages is also that by default we have integrated support for Chromecast . It is true that other televisions also offer it and do not use Android TV, but here you make sure without asking that you can use it, as well as possible future improvements.
For the rest, although it may cost a little at first to know how each element works and where it is located, when you adapt you value the possibilities it offers.
If we rely on the experience and the use of applications focused on multimedia content, then webOS is one of the best Smart TV platforms or directly the best.
Since LG acquired webOS and adapted it to its televisions, the solvency with which its Smart TVs have been managed has always been one of its main attractions. In the latest versions, 4.5, webOS has also integrated new options such as support for AirPlay 2 . That added to the support of Chromecast of many of its models, the ability to use the voice assistants of Amazon and Google plus the how the interface is controlled with the Magic Remote make it a complete and comfortable proposal to use in every way.
In addition, although it depends in part on the hardware, as a rule it is a system that works quickly and without those annoying delays between opening one or another application, accessing the settings, etc. And be careful, the interface based on cards that are placed and rearranged as you like at the bottom to give access to services, applications or options such as the different video input signals are a success.
Tizen is Samsung‘s operating system , present in many of its products such as watches and even smart refrigerators, although where it has the most presence is on televisions. As a proposal, it is one of the most important, its performance is fluid and currently it is only penalized by the number of applications with respect to solutions such as Android TV.
Anyway, with an interface that like a HUB groups at the bottom access to applications, content suggestions and multiple options such as support for AirPlay 2, Chromecast and and other extras for its ecosystem of devices, such as SmartThings devices, make make it an attractive platform.
Of course, the advertising sample on your HUB penalizes you. But with very smooth performance, it ranks in the top 3 for smart TV operating systems.
Roku TV is the operating system that you possibly know only from set top boxes of the same name. Still, a few years ago the company licensed its system so that other manufacturers could use it on their televisions. That was the case with brands like TCL or Hisense.
At the interface level, Roku TV is very similar to what tvOS offers . Only there are some differences such as the list on the left that helps to quickly access the Home with all the installed apps or the respective ones that Roku has as a movie or music store, among others. But in general the interface is very clean and comfortable to use, which is always appreciated.
With optimal performance, it has all the Netflix, YouTube, HBO, Hulu, etc. applications that you may need. In addition, Roku offers its stores and access to a series of channels exclusively. At least, in the United States.
Amazon Fire TV OS
Like Roku, Amazon allowed Toshiba to integrate the Fire TV Stick system into its smart TVs (version 7 is based on Android 9 Pie). In this way, what you will find is a platform with an interface and experience identical to the one you would have if you connected a Fire TV to the television. Which also involves the same problems, such as installing new apps that may not be as comfortable as other options.
However, with a little time you adapt and you will have access to the main online content platforms, also to the services of Amazon itself and a series of extras such as games that may interest you. And this to brands like Toshiba allows you to give value to your televisions that, at least in Spain, do not enjoy the same success as other manufacturers such as LG or Samsung.
Other Smart TV systems
To finish, and for having less relevance, there are other much simpler Smart TV options such as those of Panasonic with MyHomeScreen or models of low ranges of other brands where hardware does not interest to put webOS, Tizen or Android TV itself. On these platforms there is access to basic applications such as Netflix, YouTube and some more Hulu or similar types. But little else.
The great advantage of these proposals is that at the performance level, the experience can become more fluid than with other high-end Smart TVs. So, if you buy one of those screens for a simple budget question, don’t worry. Firstly, because it may compensate you so that the handling of the television is not a nuisance due to slow issues. And secondly, because it can always be solved by placing a set top box with a platform such as tvOS, Android TV or Fire TV OS.
What is the best Smart TV system
If you have come this far, you may already know which Smart TV system is better or which one interests you the most. Deciding which is the absolute winner is complicated, because everyone has their pros and cons. It is true that for possibilities at the level of Android TV applications it wins by a landslide. Everything that the Google system allows if the hardware is capable, is very interesting. Because you can make your own emulator without making any extra investment.
However, if the only thing you are interested in is accessing video and music services via streaming, which is consuming content, period, then the experience and fluidity of webOS makes it even more visually attractive.
Therefore, if we focus on the habitual uses of a television, which are to consume content, webOS would be a great option if the rest of the characteristics of the television compensate you compared to other models that you can consider. But hey, the important thing is that you already know what options you can find in the market and knowledgeable values what they are going to offer you.