Samsung’s Tizen OS No Longer Just For Its Own Displays
October 13, 2022 by Dave Haynes
Smart displays have matured and been kitted with the power and technologies that now make them viable as all-in-one digital signage screens, but there has long been a qualifier out there about proprietary operating systems for smart displays used by the biggest flat panel brands – Samsung and LG. If you wanted, for example, to use Samsung’s displays, operators had to develop to Samsung’s Tizen OS, which only Samsung uses. Same for LG and its webOS.
Now there’s word that Samsung has opened up its operating system to “leading international ODM (Original Development Manufacturing) companies” – enabling non-Samsung smart TV models to use Tizen OS for the first time.
New TVs from Bauhn, Linsar, Sunny, Vispera and other brands will be available in Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Türkiye and the United Kingdom this year, allowing more consumers to enjoy a premium smart TV experience enabled by Tizen, an open source OS for Samsung Smart TV.
The new smart TVs powered by Tizen follow the announcement of Samsung’s Tizen TV Platform Licensing program at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) in 2021. The licensing program allows other TV brands to take advantage of Tizen OS, which provides industry-leading smart features, content discoverability tools, apps and modern user interface for the ultimate smart TV experience.
To support the seamless adoption of Tizen OS, Samsung collaborates with a selection of partners on content licensing and hardware optimizations. These partnerships give many TV brands access to a whole world of entertainment that Samsung Smart TVs exclusively provide, while also allowing Tizen to leverage its ever-expanding ecosystem to strengthen its offerings. Key features that the users of the licensed TV brands will gain access to include:
- Samsung TV Plus, Samsung’s free streaming TV and video platform that will allow users to enjoy hundreds of live channels, entertainment, news, shows and sports — for free.
- Universal Guide, allowing easy browsing and discovery of all content across different streaming apps, along with personalized recommendations so users can spend more time watching and less time searching.
- Bixby, a voice assistant platform that will provide users with more convenient way to explore smart TVs. Users can tell Bixby to search, watch, or perform various features.
Since Samsung teamed up with the Linux Foundation to unveil the first version in 2012, Tizen OS has made an exponential growth over the past decade. To date, around 200 million people from 197 countries are using Samsung Smart TVs powered by Tizen, and, the number is expected to expand with the latest addition of Tizen-powered smart TVs.
“2022 has been a memorable year for Tizen OS as we celebrate its 10th anniversary and the very first Tizen-powered smart TVs available from other brands,” said Yongjae Kim, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “Starting with these new Tizen-powered smart TVs, we will continue to expand the licensing program and introduce Tizen OS and its ecosystem to more products and brands around the world.”
This is very specifically about TVs, not commercial displays, so that does not mean digital signage displays loaded with Tizen OS may have logos on them other than Samsung, at least not now. But smart commercial displays evolved out of smart TV developments, so there might well be business reasons to open up Tizen OS to other manufacturers. Conversely, this may also be a parallel development that may never have anything to do with commercial displays. I’ve never heard of any of the display brands listed, but have also never been to most of the countries where they’re marketed. If they have commercial products, they’re very regional.
Right now, smart displays run on Tizen, webOS or some flavor of the non-proprietary Android, but the challenge in digital signage software development is having to support multiple operating systems, or use middleware from SignageOS, which has worked out and supports ways to allow CMS software companies to work with the different OS options without investing a lot of time and resources into getting them fully compatible and happy.