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WebOS vs Tizen vs Roku: Every Smart TV Platform Ranked

Better   2021-03-10 17:16:20

WebOS,Roku,TizenandothersoffersomeofthebestoperatingsystemsoutthereyetsmartTVs-butwhatarethedifferencesbetweenthemandhowmuchdoesitreallymatter?TheinterfacesusedinToday"stelevisions,whichallowyoutoaccesscatch-upappsandservicesonline,canvarywildlyininterfacelayout,whichappsaresupported,andgenerallyhowwelleverythingisintuitivetonavigate.EvenlargeserviceslikeDisneyPlus,orFreeviewPlay(foryouUKreaders)maybemissingfromsomeplatforms,soit"simportanttoknowwhatyou"regettingintowithyournewTVpurchase.What"sNewFrom2021,newSonyTVswilluseanewGoogleTVplatforminsteadoftheusualAndroidTVinterface-whileexistingAndroidTVshavehadafacelifttoupdatethemselvesandimprovetheuserinterface.GoogleTVisalsogettingchildprofilesthisyear.LG"swebOSandSamsung"sTizenareoftenconsideredthebestsmartplatforms,fastandfullystockedwiththelatestapps-thoughthere"sstillplentyofreasontotakealook."eyetotheotherresoperatingsystems.Some,likeHisense,useavarietyofsmartplatformsdependingontheregionandpriceoftheirTV,whichmeansanewHisenseTVcoulduseAndroidTV(alsousedbySony),RokuTV(developedforRokuStreamingSticks),oritsownVIDAAUplatform.Eachplatformhasitsprosandcons,whichiswhywehaveputtogetherthisguide:tohelpyounavigatethesmartplatformsanddecidewhichonewillreallybethebestforyou.(We"veaddedourselectionofbestTVsswhichalsoshowcaseeachplatform.)Don"tcareaboutthebestsoftware?VisitourbestTVguideinstead(Imagecredit:LG/TechRadar)1.WebOS(LG)LG"selegantinterfacewhichhasbeenreorganizedfor2021SpecificationsConfiguration:OKEaseofuse:GoodSpeed:BetterNumberofapplications:GoodUniversalsearch:OKReasonstobuy+AlexaandGoogleAssistantintegration+QuicknavigationReasonstoAvoid-NoFreeviewPlayLGrewrotetherulebookforsmartplatformswithitswebOS,startingthetrendofminimal,simplifieduserinterfacesin2014.Nowadays,it"sstillanoutstandingsmartplatformthatreallyleadsthepack-withitslatestiterationappearingonitsrangeofOLEDTVs.Thishaschangedalotfor2021,however,withthesixthiterationofthereplacingitstraditionaloverlayofapplicationsbyaviewfullscreenmorespaced.Boastinganupdatedhomescreenthathasbeenredesignedtobemoreintuitive,webOS6.0aimstoprovidefasteraccesstoyourmostusedapps,whilealsoallowingcontentrecommendationsbasedonyourhistory.visualization.WeknowthatLGbringingitswebOSplatformtothird-partytelevisionsinthenearfuture,whichmeansyouwilllikelybeabletoaccessitsintelligenceonmuchcheaperdevices.LGisalsoleadingthewayinvoicerecognition,withsetsliketheCXOLEDsupportingLG"sownThinQAIplatformform,AmazonAlexaandGoogleAssistant.Supportforalloftheseisalsobuiltin,meaningthatnoexternallisteningdeviceisneeded.Appsupportisalsosurprisinglygood:Netflixstreamsin4KwithbothHDRandDolbyVision,aswellasDolbyAtmosAudiowhenavailable.There"salsoAmazonwithUHDHDRandYouTubein4K,withDisneyPlusnaturallyinthemixaswell.OtheroptionsincludeNowTV,SkyStore,Wuaki.TV,aswellasallmajorchannelcatch-upservices.Youwon"tfindFreeviewPlayonthenewLGTVs-forsomereason-whichwillbeabitofalossforUKviewers,butwehopethiswillchangeinthefuture.6.AmazonFireTVAmazon"soperatingsystemisawinnerforstreamingsticks,ifnotTVsSpecificationsConfiguration:GoodEaseofuse:GoodSpeed:OKNumberofapplications:OKUniversalsearch:OKReasonstobuy+LinkedtoAmazonVideo+FastandversatileReasonstoavoid-InsigniaandToshibaTVsaren"tgreatWecan"ttalkaboutthebestsmartplatformswithoutmentioningAmazonFireTV-thesystemoperatingownerusedinReleasekeyAmazonFireTV,aswellasagrowingnumberofTVs.You"llfinditmostlyonstreamingsticks,liketheFireTVStickLiteorFireTVStick4K,whereitoffersafullcatalogofappsandservices-albeitquitepopulatedwithAmazonPrimeVideocontentandchannels-aswellasacapablevoiceremote,withvolumecontrols.andAVvaryingbetweeneachmodel.Alexaisoneofthebest(ifnotthe)bestvoiceassistants,whiletheFireTVplatformasawholeisfastandversatile.Alate2020updatetotheplatformalsointroduceduserprofilesandbetterrecommendations.ThisisanothermatterwithTVs,astheFireTVplatformtendstobelicensedunderlicensedforfairlycheap,low-specdisplaysfromToshiba,InsigniaandJVC.SomeoftheseTVsareokay,butmanyarenot,whichisdetrimentaltothestrengthsoftheoperatingsystemtheyareusing.(YoucanreadmoreaboutitinourShouldIbuyaToshibaFireTV?.)IfyouareinterestedinthespeedandversatilityoftheSmartTVplatformfrom"Amazon,werecommendthatyoubuyaAmazonFireTVStick4Kinstead-whichyoucanplugintoanystupidorsmartTVanywayifyoudon"t"Arenothappywithyourcurrentinterface.(Imagecredit:TechRadar)7.VidaaU(Hisense)Astableplatformthatdoesn"tgetsalwaysthebesttreatmentlaunchedSpecificationsConfiguration:OKEaseofuse:GoodSpeed:GoodNumberofapplications:OKUniversalsearch:WrongReasonstobuy+Generalresponsiveness+CleanlayoutReasonstoavoid-SomeirritatingquirksHisenseusesseveraldifferentsmartplatforms-RokuTVandAndroidTVamongthem-butanumberofHisensemidrangeTVsinsteaduseaninternaloperatingsystemcalledVidaaU.Whyisitcalledthat?We"reneverquitesure.ButVidaaUhasbeenaconsistentlystablesmartplatformthroughoutourvarioustests.It"snottheflashiestoperatingsystemoutthere,butit"swelldesignedandmorethanmeetsthedemandsofamodernsmartTV-thoughthere"sasometimesfrustratingquirk,liketheScreenO8BOLEDpersistent(andunwanted)sleeptimer.Itdoesn"tofferasmanyappsandservicesassomeotherplatforms,butyouwillfindsoftwaresuchasNetflix,AmazonPrimeVideo,Rakuten,YouTube,andDisneyPlus,with4KandHDRplaybackwhereaplatformoffersthem.UKviewerswillalsobenefitfromFreeViewPlayforcatch-upstreamingfromUKbroadcasters.YoumightseethatNetflixis​​alsointhespotlight-probablyaspartofalucrativedealwithHisense-it"simpossibletomoveorremovetheappfromyourscreen."welcometoVidaaUsetsintheUK.We"llbekeepinganeyeon2021toseehowVidaaUchangesandimproves-andevensmallstridestoremoveorfleshoutsomeunnecessaryfeatures,like"VidaaFree"whichbundlesYouTubevideostogether.ratherthandedicatedfreecontent.(Imagecredit:Vizio)8.SmartCast(Vizio)SmartCastisaslowbutsufficientsmartTVplatformSpecificationsConfiguration:OKEaseof"usage:OKSpeed:BadNumberofapplications:GoodSearchuniversal:OKReasonsforbuy+GoogleChromecastbuilt-inReasonstoavoid-SmartCastOSisslowSmartCast,onpaper,isagreatidea.TheseareallthefunextrasoftheAndroidTVplatform-includingtheabilitytostreamcontenttoyourscreen-withamorelogicallayout.WhenyouturnonaSmartCastTV,getreadytoseethreelines-afeaturedlinethathashugeselectionimagestodirectyoutospecificshowsormovies;onerowforrecommendedcontentandonerowforallofyourapps.Ifyouwanttoexplorespecificcontentcategoriesorsettings,youcangotooneoftheothertabs(thereisatabforMovies,TVShows,Supportandextras)oratrightofthescreentosearch.Unfortunately,whileSmartCastdoesofferalotofversatilityinwhatyoucanstream-it"smuchbetterthaninpreviousyearsthankstotheadditionofAppleTVPlus,DisneyPlusandPeacock-thisisalsooneoftheslowersmartplatformsandcanbehavebadlyattimes.Havingsa idthat,wecannothittheVizioOLED-thisisoneofthebestTVsofthisyear,despitethepoornatureofitsoperatingsystem.DiscoverthebestInexpensiveTVsonsalenow