Ultra high definition 4K picture quality might be the driving force of this year’s CES, but how you’ll interact with the latest smart TV sets is just as interesting.
The leading TV manufacturers – Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic – have all unveiled new operating systems designed to let users channel hop, stream content and browse the web more smoothly than ever. Read on as we compare the latest interfaces.
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Android TV, webOS 2.0, Firefox OS and Tizen compared
Sony – Android TV
Bringing Android to TVs makes a lot of sense given how popular the OS is on smartphones. Google has made a few tweaks to adjust it for use on large screens, and some of the Android apps and games should make the transition to Sony’s Android-based TVs.
As well as a simple and colourful user interface, you can also navigate through the apps, channels and TV menus with your voice through the inclusion of Google’s voice recognition software.
Samsung – Tizen
Samsung has already released a smartwatch and a camera running Tizen OS, but this is the first time the software has come to its TV range. You’ll be able to quickly jump into apps, the web browser and other services via a new bar of brightly coloured icons at the bottom of the screen. You can also connect your mobile devices to the TV via Bluetooth to stream photo or video collections.
Like Google’s Android, Tizen is open source and should eventually benefit from third party apps. This will very much depend on app developers deciding to support the OS and might not happen until further into the Tizen TV lifecycle.
LG – WebOS 2.0
WebOS was introduced last year and LG has already looked to enhance its TV operating system with the unveiling of webOS 2.0 at CES 2015.
Featuring a simpler, more user-friendly design, the new interface should take less time to load and introduces an ‘input picker’ that should instantly swap to HDMI and USB devices as you plug them in.
Panasonic – Firefox OS
Firefox should be familiar to most as an internet browser, so it’s no surprise to find that web browsing is at the core of Firefox OS for TVs.
Expect to be able to use voice recognition software to pull up web search results quickly and easily. While you’ll also be able to ‘pin’ your favourite apps to your homescreen, so you won’t have to dig around for the apps you use most. There’s also an option to stream content from a smartphone to your TV.