The world of television is amazingly evolving and the big names in the industry are undergoing a very harsh competition to offer the best. Every time there is a new technology on the market promising a better experience. But to me, the real revolution occurred with the introduction of Smart TVs or you may want to call them connected TVs.
Now that you know that the biggest leap in the TV industry is making your big screen Smart which means that it can be connected to the internet and largely expand its entertainment offer, you may think about following the trend and getting a Smart TV in your room or at least giving your ordinary TV a new life and make it look Smart. Yes, you can do that.
Buying a new TV is not something you do very often and of course, you are going to ask around before investing an important some of money. You will hear things like Smart TV, Android TV, or the newcomer Google TV. You will also hear Smart TV with Android TV or Android TV Box. Here again, you get confused……
So, what is the difference between all these concepts?
Don’t panic, this article is just for you. We will clear your confusion and make things crystal clear for you to know exactly what is all about and how to make the best choice that suits your needs and expectations.
Android TV, Smart TV, or Google TV are somehow related concepts yet quite different from each other.
What is Smart TV?
The concept of Smart TV refers to any television device that can be connected to the internet, mostly via Wi-Fi, and can run different types of applications. This means that a Smart TV device cannot work without an Operating System exactly like a computer with windows or a Smartphone with Android or iOS.
Thanks to Smart TVs that our conception and use of TV have changed. We are no longer limited to just watching cable or satellite TV channels like we used to do in the very recent past, but we can now take advantage of our internet subscription to connect our big screen. Once connected you will be able to enjoy many other utilities! With the ease of browsing the internet, as if we were using a computer where we can enter social networks, download, record, and reproduce content.
Smart TV Features
These are the different options that we find within a Smart TV.
- Watch Internet TV channels
- Share multimedia content
- Listen to music
- Make video calls
- Web browsing
- Social networks
- Enjoy different games without using a console
- Real-time communication
- Download videos
What is Android TV?
Android TV is a software launched by Google in 2014 as an Operating System for televisions. Many brands have opted for Android TV OS to offer Smart TV versions for their models. Indeed, it is an adapted layer of Android we have been using for years now on our mobiles. It is pacifically designed for TVs for a better streaming experience with applications like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and others… There is even a Play Store Version for Android TV apps.
What is Google TV?
Google TV is a new interface for Android TV that works with Google machine learning, the Google Assistant, and the Google Knowledge Graph.
For starters, Google TV is not replacing Android TV, because Google TV is not an operating system. Google TV is a new interface built on the Android TV operating system. Rather than your home screen being dominated by apps that you have to explore separately, the new home screen interface on Google TV is primarily focused on content, Netflix-style.
Google TV is a newer software interface to the Android TV operating system, so any TV or set-top box that runs Google TV, it runs it on top of Android TV. This also means that everything running Android TV right now could be upgraded to Google TV at some point.
The operating systems of the main smart TVs
Android TV: It is carried by the smart TV of Sony, Philips, and Hisense among others.
Tizen OS: It is carried by Samsung smart TVs, so be careful when buying a smart TV of this brand, since it does not have Android TV as an operating system and therefore it does not have so many apps.
WebOS: LG smart TVs carry it, the same thing happens here as with Samsung, its catalog of apps is not as big as a Sony or Philips TV that does have Android TV inside.
What is an Android TV box?
Android TV boxes are external small devices running Android TV OS that allow us to turn into a Smart TV any ordinary/non-connected TV provided that it has an HDMI port.
If you don’t have a Smart TV or you don’t seem inclined to replace your ordinary non-connected TV for several reasons and still you want to access streaming services, an Android TV box is your solution. Several devices allow you to turn any screen into a smart TV. There is the Apple TV, in Full HD or 4K, the Amazon Fire TV options, and many boxes under Android TV. Xiaomi also has the Mi Box S and there is also the Chromecast with Google TV… and recently the Mi TV Stick.