There’s a difference between Android TV and Smart TV that I think you should know before you make that purchase for your living room or bedroom set. While the debate has been ongoing for years now, there are still grey areas that need clearing out.
What is a Smart TV?
A smart TV is a TV that can be able to connect to the internet either wirelessly or through an ethernet cable and deliver content over the internet alongside being able to play your regular TV programs or stream content from consoles, DVD,s and Blu-Ray players.
Just like a smartphone, a smart TV can run apps like Facebook, Youtube, Netflix, and others downloaded onto its storage.
To run apps like this, smart TVs need Operating Software (OS), There are tons of those in the market from Samsung Tizen, Smart Central, LG’s WebOS, and others.
Pros and Cons of Smart TV
- Simplistic, user-friendly interface
- An all in one TV – No setup required
- Limited pool of apps
- Less frequent firmware updates – systems may become obsolete
What is an Android TV
An Android TV is a Smart TV. Android TVs offer the same capabilities that are expected of a smart TV with the only real difference being that Android TVs run Android TV OS under the hood.
Android TVs are kind of like the Pixel devices in the TV world, they can connect to the Google Play Store instantly like Android smartphones, can download and auto-update apps as they become live in the store.
On Android Tv, apps from the play store are optimized for the TV platform and have intuitive controls for the bigger screen.
More recently, many Android TVs are also making the addition of microphones to their TV remotes so they can utilize the Google Assistant as more and more people move to the hands-free era.
Pros and Cons of Android TV
- Vast app library
- Continuous firmware and app updates
- A Google product – connected with Google Play, Music, Movies, etc.
- Google Assistant
- More complicated interface – especially if not familiar with Android
- Limited manufacturers
More Expensive TV brands offer Smart TVs at very exorbitant prices despite being unable to match their opponent’s limitless features, it does however provide you with a much more simple experience.
These are also not the only available OS for TVs in the market, there are smart TVs not based on ‘Pure’ Android TV but built on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
Unlike Android TVs, on devices that run on AOSP, the manufacturer has to work with the pure Android code-base, as also used for mobile devices. Using the Android UI libraries and other capabilities, they build the rest of the middleware from scratch, which takes a lot of time and effort, and believe me, this, they don’t have. The end product is just pathetic.
If you’ve read this far you probably have heard of Google TV and are wondering where it fits in all this? well, Google TV is not an OS, it is just a new interface for Android TV, powered by Google’s machine learning, Google Assistant, and the Google Knowledge Graph and does not replace Android TV.