As recent as the last few years, online streaming has evolved tremendously. Initially, most streaming happened on desktop devices, but today that is not the case. Today, video streaming is conquering the big screen (Smart TVs). Without a doubt, one of the most notable big screens is Samsung with the Tizen operating system (OS).
Based on Conviva’s State of Streaming from 2020 Q4, Samsung accounts for roughly 49% of streaming on Smart TV, leaving other vendors such as LG (±22%) and Vizio (±12%) in the rearview. Due to the growing popularity, and almost 50M Samsung Smart TVs being shipped every year, interest to deploy OTT apps directly on Samsung Smart TVs has risen significantly. While deploying an OTT app on the Tizen operating system is far from complex, there are a number of caveats. In this blog, we will go through the possible approaches to deliver apps to Samsung Tizen.
THIS IS A SNIPPET FROM OUR “GOING BIG SCREEN: BRINGING VIDEO TO SAMSUNG TIZEN” GUIDE WHICH YOU CAN DOWNLOAD HERE.
Developing Apps on Tizen
When it’s your goal to bring streaming to the big screen, Samsung’s Tizen is a great place to start. Its popularity and fast evolution over the past years make it a solid choice for an investment in your streaming apps’ platform expansion. Tizen apps can be installed from the Samsung Apps TV store. Publishing an app in this app store isn’t all too difficult. Same as with most app stores for other platforms, applications are to be submitted for review to Samsung and will, once approved, be published in the store. The disadvantage to this process is that you need to go through it again for any update you want to perform to your application.
When talking about video apps, one of the most crucial choices to make is the choice for a video player as this will drive a big part of the viewer experience, as well as the number of features your own team will need to build and maintain themselves. In general, there are two approaches to choose from:
- Leveraging the streaming support of the native video player AVPlay.
- Use a “Build Your Own” video player leveraging available advanced APIs
Why Develop a Hosted App for Tizen?
When developing an application for Tizen, it’s important to get into the Samsung Apps TV store. This requires your app to get reviewed. As reviews can take a long time, Hosted Apps are often leveraged.
A hosted app is a thin wrapper app that loads all assets externally from a web server instead of bundling them into the app (a so-called Packaged App). By caching these assets and leveraging techniques similar to PWAs (Progressive Web Apps), users still get instant access to the application while having the advantage of fast and easy updates without going through the app store review.
The Hosted App approach also allows for A/B testing where different users get to use slightly different variants of the app. This allows making informed decisions to be made regarding the impact on viewer behaviour before a mass roll-out.
In our next blog posts, we are going to discuss the possible approaches to delivering video playback as well as shed some light on how to tackle the large set of different devices and the problem with different Tizen versions.
You can download the complete version of this topic in our “GOING BIG SCREEN: BRINGING VIDEO TO SAMSUNG TIZEN” guide here.