Samsung’s smart TVs use the company’s own software experience, called Tizen. The next TV you buy could have Samsung’s software experience — even if it’s not a Samsung TV.
Samsung announced today that it has reached a deal with several other TV manufacturers to license the Tizen TV software, marking the first time that Samsung’s TV experience will be available on TVs sold by other companies. The license deal includes the Tizen platform and all available apps, as well as Samsung TV Plus, Universal Guide, and the Bixby voice assistant.
The deal means that Tizen will become a more universal smart TV platform, like Google TV/Android TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire OS. The news comes only a month after TiVo revealed it would start licensing its own TV operating system, and a week after LG made the same move with the webOS software used on its smart TVs.
So, why does all this matter? Well, you might have more choices for software when it comes to your next smart TV, now that companies can theoretically sell TVs with identical hardware but several different software experiences. TCL has been doing that for a while — the company has primarily sold Roku-based TVs over the years, but recently expanded into Google TV models as well.
Samsung’s first manufacturing partners are Atmaca, HKC and Tempo, and Tizen is coming to TVs from brands like Bauhn, Linsar, RCA, Sunny, and Vispera. We’ll have to wait and see if any bigger brands are interested in Samsung’s software, like LG or TCL.