How Smart TV development differs from web development

Samsung Smart TV

In the previous article, we have taken an overall look into developing applications for the Samsung legacy platform. The smart TV models that are coming before the year 2015 come under this legacy platform. Both the Samsung legacy platform and the Tizen platform uses the web development features and uses them for developing TV applications. Even though web application features are used both in the field of web development and smart TV development, each fields have their own set of differences. This article is concentrated on listing out the differences between the development for smart TV and web and showing then under various discrete headings.

Web Engines

Since both Smart TV and the web platform uses common web development methodologies for development, they use web engines to execute the developed applications. For smart TVs they use the Gecko Engines for their pre 2010 models and Webkit based engines for the newer models. In the normal web development world, the developer have to deal with a lot of different engines coming bundled with lots of browser environments

Screen Resolution

The screen resolution in smart TVs can be categorized into three groups. The following are the three resolution sets

  • 960 x 540 pixels
  • 1280 x 720 pixels
  • 1920 x 1080 pixels

No matter the model of the smart TV, the resolution falls under one of the above three resolution sets. Developing for the TV platform involves concentrating for the above resolution sets. This is much more easier then the web platform based development that involves, concentrating for multiple screen resolutions, browsers, devices, pixel ratios etc.


The developed applications for smart TV will be running inside the web environment inside smart TVs. The applications can utilize all the development features provided by the TV. In the case of web applications, the applications will be displayed by browsers inside desktops, mobile devices, other embedded displays where the browser environment can be integrated.

External interactions

The TV applications can be accessed or can be controlled from external environments using the following mediums like voice interaction, mouse and other pointing devices, gestures, Remote control, various other input devices like the joystick stc. Even though the TV provides various medium of access to its applications, the application developer can choose the set of external mediums through which the application can be accessed. The web application running inside web browsers have mouse, keyboards and other touch based devices as their input methods.

Even though both the platforms use the common web features, there are some exclusive features provided by the Samsung smart TV platform. Some among them are controlling audio and video applications, Interactivity, Sharing framework for content sharing, single sign on, Input method editor for TV remote based user input. Apart from these the smart TV provides various controls of the TV by providing APIs. The developer can mix and match these API to implement the necessary functionality. More about controlling audio and video applications in my next article.

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