Smart TV vs. Android TV: Know the Difference
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on November 10, 2023
A Smart TV is an internet-connected television with a variety of apps, while an Android TV is specifically a Smart TV powered by Google's Android TV operating system.
Smart TVs come with a range of operating systems, depending on the manufacturer, such as Samsung's Tizen, LG's webOS, or proprietary systems developed by the brands. Android TV is Google's dedicated TV operating system, offering a consistent interface across different manufacturers’ devices and access to the Google Play Store. Smart TVs offer their own unique features and app selections based on the platform they run, but Android TVs typically provide a broader range of apps due to the Google Play Store's extensive offerings.
Regarding user experience, Smart TVs generally aim to provide an intuitive and user-friendly interface, with varying degrees of customization based on the brand and model. Android TV benefits from Google's experience in creating user interfaces and offers voice control via Google Assistant, a feature that is not consistently available across all Smart TV platforms. Each Smart TV brand tends to offer different features and interface designs, while Android TVs have a more uniform platform that users might find familiar if they use other Android devices.
Accessibility and additional features may vary between Smart TVs and Android TVs. For instance, some Smart TVs may have exclusive deals with content providers for early access to content or unique apps. Android TV offers integration with other Android devices and Google services, like Cast support and Google Play Games. While the core functionality of streaming content is central to both, the ancillary features and how they tie into the broader ecosystem can be quite different.
A Smart TV is a television set that integrates internet capabilities and can run a variety of software applications, allowing for streaming, browsing, and gaming. Android TV, on the other hand, is a version of Google’s Android operating system designed for televisions. While all Android TVs are Smart TVs, not all Smart TVs run on the Android operating system.
In terms of updates and app compatibility, Smart TVs might have less frequent system updates and could eventually lose support for certain apps as they age. Android TVs are usually kept up-to-date with the latest versions of the Android operating system, which can extend the life of the device in terms of functionality and security. This does not imply that Smart TVs are obsolete quicker, but that Android TV users may enjoy more frequent updates and a potentially longer lifespan for app support.
Various, including Tizen, webOS, and others
Google's Android TV OS
Brand-specific app store or limited selection
Access to Google Play Store with many apps
Varies by manufacturer
Consistent Google-designed interface
Inconsistent across brands and models
Integrated Google Assistant
Depends on the brand and ecosystem
Strong integration with Android and Google devices
Smart TV and Android TV Definitions
Smart TVs integrate with smart home devices for interconnected home automation.
I dimmed the lights with my Smart TV remote before starting the movie.
Android TV offers access to Google Play Store apps, games, and services on your television.
We installed the latest gaming app from the Google Play Store on our Android TV.
A Smart TV typically offers web browsing, streaming, and entertainment apps.
She uses her Smart TV to do workouts with an app.
Android TV is a Smart TV platform developed by Google that runs on the Android operating system.
My Android TV seamlessly syncs with my Google account.
Smart TVs are equipped with various operating systems tailored to the TV brand.
The Smart TV's interface is so intuitive, even my grandparents can use it.
Android TV supports Google Assistant for voice commands and smart device control.
Turn off the living room lights, I said to my Android TV's Google Assistant.
A Smart TV is a digital television that's connected to the internet and can run apps.
I watched the latest series on my Smart TV through a streaming app.
Android TV provides a unified user experience across different hardware brands.
The interface on my Android TV is the same as on my friend's, even though they're different brands.
Smart TV encompasses sets with built-in Wi-Fi for on-demand content services.
Our Smart TV lets us rent movies directly from the homepage.
Android TV allows for Chromecast built-in feature, enabling easy content casting from mobile devices.
I cast my vacation photos to our Android TV during the family gathering.
Repeatedly Asked Queries
Is Android TV compatible with all apps on Google Play?
Android TV is compatible with apps designed for use on televisions, available through Google Play.
How often do Android TVs receive updates?
Android TVs typically receive updates regularly, in line with updates to the Android OS.
Can I install third-party apps on a Smart TV?
This depends on the Smart TV’s operating system and whether it allows sideloading apps.
Are Android TVs more expensive than regular Smart TVs?
The price varies by brand and features, not necessarily the operating system.
What makes a TV 'smart'?
A TV is 'smart' if it has internet connectivity and can run a suite of apps.
Do all Smart TVs use Android OS?
No, Smart TVs may use different operating systems; only Android TVs specifically use Android OS.
Can a Smart TV work without internet?
A Smart TV will function as a regular TV without internet, but smart features require a connection.
What is the main benefit of a Smart TV?
The main benefit is access to a wide range of content via streaming apps and services.
Can I upgrade my Smart TV to an Android TV?
You can't change the operating system, but you can use an Android TV box or dongle.
Are there any size restrictions for Android TVs?
Android TVs come in various sizes, just like other Smart TVs.
Are updates automatic on Smart TVs?
Many Smart TVs support automatic updates, but it can vary by brand and model.
Do Smart TVs have Bluetooth?
Many Smart TVs include Bluetooth for connecting to speakers or headphones.
Can Android TV integrate with my Android smartphone?
Yes, Android TVs offer features like Chromecast and syncing with Google accounts.
Do Smart TVs have parental controls?
Most Smart TVs come with parental control settings.
How can I cast content to Android TV?
Use the built-in Chromecast feature or screen mirroring from compatible devices.
What kind of content can I access with Android TV?
You can access a wide range of content from streaming services, on-demand movies, TV shows, music, and games.
Do I need a Google account to use Android TV?
A Google account is needed to access the full features of Android TV.
Is voice search available on all Smart TVs?
Voice search is available on many, but not all, Smart TVs and is standard on Android TVs.
How do I install apps on a Smart TV?
You can install apps from the TV's app store, depending on the TV's operating system.
Can Android TV play 4K content?
Yes, if the hardware supports it, Android TV can stream 4K content.
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Written byShumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.