Developing applications for Smart TV 

Samsung Smart TV

Long gone are the days where televisions are just boring boxes sitting in a corner of the room showing streaming content. Now televisions have evolved from those boring boxes to the point where they can be called us the ultimate entertainment hub. Nowadays, modern televisions can do the following apart from streaming video content, which is considered the basic characteristic of a television.

  • Social media engagement
  • Innovative user interaction like motion detection, voice detection, other external device detection etc.
  • Connecting to external services using the internet connection
  • Company provided as well as third party application development just like the mobile phones
  • On-demand video services along with broadcasted video services
  • Playing of games both on device and online

Today’s smart televisions can be compared with modern day computers. They are equipped with much more intelligent processors, playing games, downloading and installing of apps, connecting to the internet and the list goes on.

Evolution of televisions

Before going into the latest details, let’s have a look at the path that the television has taken to be at the point where it is today. The first generation of televisions are those boring black and white streaming picture box that we talked about previously. Now slowly they showed colored streaming content. Then in the meantime came the clicker, which enabled the user to interact with the television like change channels volume etc. The sophistication of the clicker (remote) also increased along with the television. Then the size of the television is reduced and called fancy names like LED, LCD, and plasma. Along with them the picture quality also got increased and also the smartness. Hence came the birth of smart televisions, where the televisions have taken rebirth by behaving like computers

Smart Televisions

The introduction of smart television is said to be a complete phase shift in the evolution of televisions. The following are the features in a smart television

  • Ability to install third party applications with various functionalities for the television
  • Interact with the social media using mediums like chatting, browsing, gaming etc.
  • Individual television companies provide the tools necessary to develop applications for their corresponding televisions
  • An application marketplace for each company to showcase the applications for their smart TV platform
  • The main application hub that serves as the master controller of the smart TV platform
  • Able to browse the internet for general information
  • Ability to command various actions through alternate method of user input like action, gesture, motion etc. apart from providing the input directly through the remote click and much more

Because of this wide variety of options provided by the smart TV platform, various vendors started providing the option to develop a custom application by third-party developers in its smart TV products. The level of support they extended to the developer community ranges from providing the necessary tools to develop applications, providing the necessary documentation and guidance, providing simulation tools to check the program results, providing a discussion forum for the developers to interact etc.

TV manufacturers and their tools

The major TV manufacturers who took the initial initiatives to provide the ability to develop third-party applications are

  • Google
  • Apple
  • Sony
  • Samsung
  • LG
  • Amazon

And much more. Some provided the ability to develop applications in their native format, whereas others offered web based solutions to develop third party applications on their TVs. Interested developers can learn the appropriate language of development, download the SDK and start with developing the applications. The output can either be tested in the TV or an emulator.


As televisions occupy a major portion of the entertainment industry, developing applications for them will definitely increase the user base for the application. As more number of common people are into watching televisions, the developed applications are or can also be active during those times. This will increase the value of the application in terms of usage, unlike the mobile phones.  This provides a better place for development both in terms of user occupancy and also in turns of income. So what are you waiting for? Start downloading the SDK and start with your experiments to explore and occupy the TV market.

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