Differences Between A Smart And Android TV
Are you confused about whether to buy a smart or android TV? It is understandable if you are. We all want what’s best for us. This is why we have taken time to research and come up with this guide on the differences between a smart and android TV. If you’ve had confusion on choosing the TV you want, after reading this guide, you should be able to select which is best for you. Read through, and you’ll get the answers you seek.
What is Smart TV?
“Smart” is a very vague term that is currently being used for a lot of electronic products right now. In the case of TVs, smart TVs are capable of a lot of features and options.
Unlike previous generation televisions that could only provide a display for a given input, the current generation smart televisions come with a number of services and also supports direct internet access so that it can be used wirelessly.
Although, various brands have a different take on what is considered to be smart in the case of televisions. Popular brands like Samsung, LG, and Sony offer their exclusive operating system that only supports the services that are available for their platform.
You can still download and install your favorite applications and games on a smart TV. But, it is necessary that the operating system which is powering the unit supports the said app or game.
- Custom look & feel
As the operating system and the user interface are exclusive for a particular series of smart TV, you can experience a customized theme with the user interface of smart TVs. This includes a wide range of features such as custom app icons and navigation methods.
- Easy to use
The custom user interface designed by premium brands is generally targeted at a wider audience. Therefore, it is designed in such a way that it is easy to understand for everyone and most of the important services are available at a single button press.
- Easy to set up
The smart TVs usually come preloaded with the most popular content streaming applications right out of the box. Therefore, no extra effort is required for setting up the television and you can start using it right after the installation.
- Limited applications available
The most common problem amongst the custom OS powered smart TVs is the limited range of applications. As separate development is required to design apps for these TVs, many applications seem to be unavailable for these smart TV options.
- Frequent updates required
The operating system on the smart TV needs to be updated regularly to keep it compatible with upcoming applications and services. Although, this seems to be a problem with the custom OS-powered TVs as brands usually stop the firmware support for these TVs after a year or two of their release.
- Jittery and laggy user interface
Most of the smart TVs that are running on proprietary software get laggy after a certain period of time. While the major cause of this issue is the lack of updates, it can also be the result of limited storage or low RAM capacity.
How Does Smart TV Work
The focus of traditional TV software was to put pictures on the screen by turning the tuner and decoding the broadcast signals. Smart TV has the added ability to be able to load/access extra content that comes from the internet.
In Layman’s terms, if you have a TV, a set-top box, and an internet connection, you can integrate all three in a way that allows you to access internet-based content on your television set.
Practically, the Smart TV is like a computer except you cannot write. Many Smart TV has Ethernet connection and/ or allows access via Wi-Fi also. Smart TV platforms have a Software Development Kit (SDK) or a Native Development Kit (NDK) which allows 3rd party developers to create applications for it, irrespective of the hardware manufacturer.
These applications can then be installed and uninstalled by the users to access online content bypassing traditional media platforms.
Smart TVs can access and deliver content (like photos or movies or music) from other connected devices through technology like that of LAN. Smart TV also provides access to internet-based services like Video-on-Demand (VOD), Electronic Advertising, Gaming, Social Networking, and multimedia applications to name a few.
What is Android TV?
We are all familiar with the term “Android” as you probably own a smartphone right now which is running on the same operating system. The Android operating system was designed and developed by Google and it is right now one of the most used operating systems in the world.
While the majority of OS are limited to a particular range of devices, Android OS has a wide range of applications that also includes a certain range of smart TVs.
The big thing that these TVs have going for them is the Android OS itself. It can be updated very easily just like Android smartphones. This means that regular updates to your TV will give you improvements and optimizations to constantly keep your TV current.
This might seem a little confusing because Android TVs also fall under the smart TV category. But, you can easily find out whether a TV is powered by Android OS or not in the product specification. There are more than 2.5 million applications designed for the Android platform as of now and many more are coming in near future.
The Google Play Store is another big deal as it gives Android users a far greater amount of apps to browse and download. Because Android is open-source, this gives Android TVs more access to different kinds of apps. Being open-source also makes Android TVs cheaper than most smart TVs.
Also, every service or app is primarily designed for the Android operating system before it is ported to another platform.
It goes without saying that as far as Android TV vs Smart TV is concerned, anyone who already owns an Android phone will probably prefer an Android TV.
Here are all the advantages and limitations that you can find in an Android TV.
- Affordable options
If you observe smart Android TVs, you will find out that these options are available at a much affordable price range as compared to regular smart TVs. This is because of newer brands entering the market with their own lineup of Android-powered smart TVs that are quite cheaper.
In case you are looking for a pure Android TV from a reputed brand, you will have to increase your budget by quite a bit.
- Large selection of apps and games available
The apps and games available for the Android platform can be downloaded and installed directly on the Android TV itself. You will find direct access to the Google Play Store on the Android TVs where you can simply search for your favorite applications and get them downloaded in an instant.
- Frequent updates delivered
As the Android operating system is managed by Google itself, they deliver many updates over the years that keeps the TV relevant for a very long time. This is possible because the same OS is being used for thousands of different models which makes it much easier for pushing the updates.
- More possibilities
As you may already know, there is always an app available for any task that you would want to do with your smartphone. Whether you want to take a note or create a fitness program, you can find an app for that. This also increases the usability of Android TV as you can install the same apps on your TV too. This way, you can use the larger display for multiple purposes rather than simple content streaming.
- A similar user interface in all options
Due to a singular operating system that is designed similarly for all televisions, you will not find any variety in terms of looks and feels in an Android TV. Whether it is an Android streaming box or an Android TV, you will find the same interface which is quite basic and plain in nature.
- Less variety available
As most of the premium brands manufacture their own lineup of smart TVs, there is only a limited variety available for pure Android-powered TVs. You will find only a couple of different options from different brands for a particular price range. Thus, it gets quite difficult to find the perfect size and resolution that you want on an Android TV under your budget range.
While you were going through the smart TVs and Android TVs section, you must have acknowledged the major differences as well as the advantages and limitations offered by both choices. It is certainly not an easy task to select one option over the other.
While buying a smart TV in 2021, you should look for one that has pure Android support and avoid custom OS based smart televisions. As you can see in the detailed discussion above, the advantages of an Android TV are undeniably great and limitations are acceptable.
With an Android TV, you can also get support for a smart AI assistant along with direct voice access. This will enable you to control the TV by simply giving voice commands instead of using the remote. Smart voice assistants on an Android TV can also control other smart devices in your home that makes things much easier and allows you a perfect couch entertainment experience.