Considering Smart TV Operating Systems
All smart TVs and smart TV devices are like mini computers, in that they include a built-in OS and the appropriate software or middleware to run the necessary apps. Now, these devices don’t run a full-blown consumer OS, such as Windows, but rather smaller, more stripped down OS’s developed specifically for these purposes.
There are a number of smart TV OS’s in use today, many proprietary to a specific company or device. These include the following:
- Android TV, used in the Google Chromecast and selected Sony smart TVs
- Fire OS, used in Amazon’s streaming devices
- Firefox OS, used on Panasonic devices
- iOS, Apple’s mobile OS used in the Apple TV box (and iPhones and iPads, of course)
- Roku OS, used by Roku
- Tizen, a Linux-based OS used by Samsung
- webOS, a Linux derivative used by LG
This proliferation of OS’s means that no two brands of smart TVs look or work exactly alike. While all these OS’s do pretty much the same thing, they do it all differently; every company puts its own spin on onscreen menus, navigation, and operation. For this reason, you want to spend some time with a given interface when you’re shopping for a smart TV or device.