New era of streaming: challenges and opportunities in the world of Smart TVs

November 22, 2023

New era of streaming: challenges and opportunities in the world of Smart TVs

Smart TVs are the technology platform that has transformed the way we watch and interact with content in our homes. Gone are the days when broadcast linear TV was the undisputed leader of home entertainment. Today, Smart TVs take center stage, offering convenience, personalisation, and immersive experiences. Let’s take a look at what has changed in the last few years.

The shifting landscape

The rise in streaming TV has reshaped our viewing habits. Smart TVs offer capabilities on par with traditional set-top boxes and standalone streaming devices, making them convenient alternatives. Now, instead of managing multiple devices, everything the user needs is available on a single device.

However, as technology and the market continue to evolve, operators, developers and solution providers must address new challenges.

Challenges and opportunities

Success in today’s market goes beyond mere presence. The market is fragmented with major players like Samsung or LG, each taking unique approaches. This makes it very challenging for developers to create standout applications that work well on all devices.

We recognize the significance of this challenge. In 2022, we witnessed Samsung’s Tizen OS devices becoming global leaders with 36.1 million units. However, focusing solely on these devices would mean overlooking vast audiences, including the 31.4 million units on Android TV, 18.2 million on WebOS, and 8.8 million and 6.9 million on Roku and Fire TV.

Hence, we have proactively addressed this diversity. We have been working with SmartTV applications since 2015 and, as seasoned developers, we possess an in-depth understanding of various platforms. Our approach involves using the same code for all major SmartTV platforms, including Android TV, Tizen, WebOS, FireTV, and VIDAA. This not only reduces time to market but also lowers costs, providing a competitive edge.

In our QA Lab, we maintain a full range of TVs, enabling us to thoroughly test compatibility with various streaming protocols and DRM combinations for each platform and model. Smartlabs’ team has experience with market-leading OTT/IPTV platforms, knowledge of APIs of content providers, OSS/BSS systems, CMS, ad, and payment platforms.

We excel in solving performance issues, such as minimising playback start time and enhancing UI navigation speed. With a deep understanding of modern SmartTV UI/UX principles and guidelines, we create applications that provide an immersive experience.

Our comprehensive expertise extends to a nuanced understanding of streaming and DRM standards, protocols, and solutions. At Smartlabs, we pride ourselves on navigating the landscape of content delivery, embracing a diverse array of streaming hardware and software from various vendors. This includes a profound comprehension of CDN intricacies and the ability to seamlessly integrate and optimise solutions across different platforms.

Smartlabs possesses an extensive collection of pre-developed reusable components, encompassing common UI elements, content metadata management, caching, quality metrics, and remote logging. These components serve as the building blocks for crafting platforms, significantly reducing both time-to-market and development costs.

Besides, with our extensive deployment capabilities, we are also well-versed in the intricacies of the publishing process and the potential pitfalls in the app store review process.

However, the work does not end with the publication. We have the ability to further optimise the platform through our SmartCARE analytics system. A powerful set of tools allows us to collect comprehensive statistics on the performance of applications on different TVs, enabling us to quickly identify and eliminate bottlenecks.

The modern TV audience expects to be able to consume content via widely accessible and immersive applications.  Launching SmartTV applications into this environment requires expertise and years of SmartTV development experience. Contact us to discuss how Smartlabs is able to guide you through the process.