With the rise of video streaming services, smart TVs have become more popular than ever before. They offer a flexible and affordable way to watch your favorite shows and movies in high definition.
Most current TVs come with a built-in platform that allows you to access popular streaming services, but not all smart TV platforms are created equal. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular smart TV platforms out there, including Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Google TV, LG WebOS, Roku TV, and Samsung Smart TV. We’ll discuss their strengths and weaknesses, so you can make an informed decision when choosing your next TV. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of smart TV platforms!
Samsung Smart TV
First up, we have Samsung Smart TV, which runs on the company’s Linux-based Tizen OS. Samsung Smart TV is very Samsung-centric, with features like SmartThings support, DeX compatibility, and Bixby.
The platform supports all the mainstream services, but unfortunately, it doesn’t have Crunchyroll and Twitch. However, there is a wide selection of Tizen TV apps available for download from the Samsung App Store. Like Roku TV and WebOS, Samsung Smart TV supports Apple AirPlay and Miracast/WiDi.
If you’re already invested in the Samsung ecosystem and want a smart TV platform that seamlessly integrates with your other devices, Samsung Smart TV might be the right choice for you. Just keep in mind that the app selection might not be as extensive as some of the other smart TV platforms out there.
Android TV and Google TV
Next up, we have Android TV and Google TV. Google TV has mostly superseded Android TV, and it’s essentially the same system but with a more streamlined interface. You can add Google TV to any TV by purchasing a Chromecast With Google TV.
Like Fire TV, Android TV and Google TV cover all the biggest streaming services, including Crunchyroll and Twitch. Google never stepped away from Chromecast, so both Android TV and Google TV enable you to easily stream from any Android device or Chrome browser tab.
Google Assistant is every bit as powerful as Alexa and responds to natural language commands more reliably. Higher-end Hisense, Sony, and TCL TVs have far-field microphones that enable you to use Google Assistant hands-free.
Overall, if you’re already invested in the Google ecosystem and want a smart TV platform that seamlessly integrates with your other devices, Android TV or Google TV might be the right choice for you.
Moving on, we have LG WebOS, which is LG’s first-party smart TV platform. Compared to Fire TV, Android TV/Google TV, and Roku TV, WebOS has a smaller library of apps and services, but it still covers all the major ones. It has a Twitch app, but unfortunately, you can’t use Crunchyroll on the platform.
Like Roku and Samsung, WebOS supports Apple AirPlay and Miracast/WiDi, but it doesn’t work with Google Chromecast. WebOS integrates LG’s ThinQ voice assistant, which allows for direct control of the TV and any compatible LG ThinQ appliances.
If you’re already using other LG products and want a smart TV platform that seamlessly integrates with them, WebOS might be the right choice for you. Just keep in mind that the app selection might be slightly more limited than some of the other smart TV platforms out there.
Next on our list is Roku TV, which is an intuitive and easy-to-use smart TV platform. Roku turned its media streaming platform into a full smart TV interface that is available to any TV manufacturer that wants to license it. Roku TV’s biggest advantage is that it’s one of the most intuitive smart TV interfaces out there.
Roku offers an impressive selection of apps and streaming services, which it calls Channels. However, it currently lacks a Twitch Channel, and it has been without YouTube for a while in the past. Roku TV supports both Apple AirPlay and Miracast/WiDi, but it doesn’t work with Google Chromecast.
While Roku TV has a voice search function, it can’t control smart home devices or provide general information like the weather. So, if you’re looking for a user-friendly smart TV platform with a wide selection of apps and channels, Roku TV might be the perfect choice for you.
Amazon Fire TV
Last but not least, we have Amazon Fire TV, which is one of the most popular smart TV platforms out there. It’s one of the big three licensable smart TV interfaces, along with Android/Google TV and Roku TV. Many third-party TVs, particularly ones from Insignia and Toshiba, use Fire TV. Amazon also offers a few first-party Fire TVs as well.
The Fire TV interface prioritizes Amazon’s content, but it also aggregates content suggestions from other major services as well. Amazon and Google offer the most complete selections of media streaming apps among smart TV systems. However, Fire TV’s weakest aspect is local casting, and it doesn’t support Apple AirPlay or Google Chromecast.
On the bright side, Amazon’s Alexa is one of the most powerful voice assistants out there. It supports thousands of third-party skills and smart home devices. So, if you’re an Alexa user, Fire TV might be the perfect choice for you. Overall, Fire TV is a solid choice for anyone looking for a smart TV platform that offers a wide selection of apps and voice control capabilities.
Well, there you have it, a guide to some of the most popular smart TV platforms out there! As you can see, each platform has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to consider your needs and preferences before making a decision.
If you’re an Alexa user and want a platform with a wide selection of apps, Fire TV might be the right choice for you. If you’re already invested in the Google ecosystem, Android TV or Google TV might be the perfect choice. If you’re looking for a user-friendly platform with a wide selection of channels, Roku TV might be the way to go. If you’re already using other LG or Samsung products, WebOS or Samsung Smart TV might be the right choice for you.
No matter which smart TV platform you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite shows and movies with ease. So, go ahead and upgrade your old TV to a smart TV, and join the millions of people who are already enjoying the benefits of streaming!