The power of OTT platforms, encouraged by the global pandemic and digital customization trend, has uncovered the potential of on-demand TV app development for video content providers. The need to expand customer coverage and broaden business perspectives induces companies to build their applications on new promising platforms with greater audience outreach. Here is why Tizen OS is one of the go-to options to scale up your video streaming business and diversify service offerings.

Samsung Smart TV app development: Explaining Tizen OS

For over a decade, Samsung Smart TV has dominated the OTT streaming market with a 29.5% share by revenue in 2021. In 2022, Samsung’s market positions strengthened, and the figures speak for themselves:

  • Samsung sold 9.65 million units of QLED and Neo QLED TVs last year.
  • The hardware producer reports 36.1% and 42.9% market shares for TVs over 75-inches and 80-inches.
  • The company retained the largest market share by revenue at 48.6% for the premium TV market priced over $2,500.

The secret to its long-term success lies in leveraging the Tizen operating system, which has gained worldwide acclaim since its launch in 2011. Over the recent years, Tizen OS has rightly won the status of the top TV airing operating system, reaching 12.7% of the market share by platform and now streaming for millions of users around the world.

Smart TV streaming device market share worldwide by platform

Smart TV streaming device market share worldwide by platform
Source: Statista

Developed by Samsung Electronics on the basis of Linux, Tizen OS is an open-source platform that attracts developers and contributors from all over the globe and thus enjoys bright prospects of growing into one of the most powerful and used Smart TV OSs.

Samsung Tizen TV app development key points

Among the variety of Smart TV app development platforms, Tizen stands out due to its broad device compatibility, simple and intuitive design, and high performance. Let’s take a deeper look into each of the Tizen OS distinctive features and development challenges to be ready to tackle them.

Powered devices

The concept of connecting all the user devices into a single coherent digital ecosystem was translated into four device support models, namely TV, IoT, Mobile, and Wearable. In fact, there was no restriction to the range and type of devices Tizen could operate on. Tizen TV profile opens up broad options to build apps for Samsung Smart TVs. In IoT mode, the operating system supports Headed and Headless binaries and other IoT Linux-based devices.

Powered Devices

Devices compatible with Tizen OS

UI and design

Tizen OS design principles are based on simplicity, intuitiveness, and spaciousness that result in a harmonious TV application look. After replacing the X server with the Wayland computer protocol in Tizen 3.0, the operating system ensures better graphic capabilities. All the subsequent Tizen versions have progressed in UI enhancements. For example, the latest Tizen 7.0 offers the UI assistance technology, Mini Avatar controlled through voice. The release also provides a unified rendering engine whose elements are located in a 3D space and significantly simplify the creation of 3D UIs.


Samsung Smart TV’s unmatched user experience starts with creating the appropriate lean-back environment. Before building TV apps, developers are required to take into account viewing distance, written content legibility, simplicity of remote control use, and ease of sign-in/sign-out processes for multiple users within a single household. To make navigation effortless, Tizen points out that the Focus, which identifies the user’s location on the screen, should be quickly recognizable, and its movement options have to be predictable while screen transitions are kept to a minimum. Voice Touch is another feature targeted at enhancing the customer lean-back experience by incorporating touchless TV app navigation via voice commands recognized by the remote control.

Tizen design

Tizen OS design


When comparing mobiles and desktops with TVs, software engineers often dispute weaker TV hardware capabilities as a typical Smart TV development challenge. Indeed, it’s true, and Tizen TV app development wouldn’t be an exception. The limited memory capacity is a major reason for these concerns. To conquer the limitations and avoid app performance issues on Tizen, Smart TV experts recommend paying attention to memory usage optimization and fixing memory leaks. The former best practice relates to decreasing the memory footprint when consumers are using Smart TV apps. The latter is about testing and identifying where memory leaks occur for further app revamping. The memory consumption issue is especially acute for low-end devices, including those operating on Tizen 4.0 and earlier OS versions.

Besides, the Samsung hardware provider offers various Tizen-based devices that differ in the processor type and the amount of memory available. This challenges the development and quality assurance teams to optimize performance for all versions, even older ones if necessary.

Alexander Skamarokha

Alexander Skamarokha, Performance QA Engineer

Explaining feature-driven development when tailoring it to low-end devices’ specifics

“For enhancing performance on Samsung Smart TVs, we adhere to a feature-driven development approach that involves adjusting capabilities for weaker hardware. Some functionality may require higher capacities for smooth operation, so in this case, the code is optimized to disable such features for low-end devices. For instance, animation performs efficiently on Tizen 6.0, while for Tizen 4.0, it’s reasonable not to use it to improve performance indicators.

Unfortunately, online video streaming providers may not consider the specifics of low-end devices in advance, mostly targeting later Tizen versions. Still, for some regions, it matters, as research shows that in developing countries, older yet cheaper Smart TVs are widely used by households.”

Case in point: Superior performance on all devices for a leading telecom operator

We ensured the seamless delivery of content, preventing potential slowdowns or freezes for users, including on low-performance devices, by:

  • Reducing memory consumption with adaptable cache configurations applied to minimize system load.
  • Enhancing system stability by detecting and preventing memory leakage issues.
  • Applying the best development practices to speed up rendering.

Case in point

App submission process

The app submission process is a crucial step in TV app development. Make sure to follow the Distribution Guide and prepare the image that will represent the application using the information in the Tizen Widget Checklist, which is also a guide on Tizen Samsung TV licensing. Before the launch, it’s important to ensure compliance with the Samsung packaging requirements and to go through the certification process. After that, the widget pack can be submitted to the Samsung Apps TV Seller Office.

Nevertheless, the success of Smart TV app submissions depends on how well you consider all the nuances regarding multi-device support, geo-restrictions, custom features, etc. That’s why a project team should anticipate this and be able to communicate with Samsung’s QA engineers so that the submitted app can be available in the targeted countries and function seamlessly on the Tizen versions that are in use there.

How to pick a reliable Samsung Tizen TV app development vendor

One of the key steps on the way to successful TV app building is the choice of a solid Tizen developer. Though the selection process might be a tough one, choose a vendor who has:

Strong portfolio

Searching for a high-profile vendor to develop a Tizen TV app, take a closer look at the case studies pack. The list of partners, successfully implemented projects, their backgrounds, and challenges met along the way will help you understand the way the developer company approaches issues. Apart from that, a strong portfolio provides a comprehensive idea of the vendor’s high-level expertise, which is essential for any customer looking for a partner to rely on. For example, a partner’s in-depth knowledge about hardware capacities may save you money on Smart TV app performance optimization, as due to their expertise, they may eliminate performance issues before the app goes to market.

Developing Tizen TV Apps for Samsung Smart TV

How we can help

Let’s discuss the opportunities of Tizen app development for your business.

Flexible approach

Avoid developer vendors who are attracted to the one-size-fits-all approach. The idea of custom app development is to stand out from the rest of the companies by being innovative and recognizable, so why settle for less? Partner up with a company that thinks outside the box and perceives each project as a unique piece of work.

Wrapping up

Looking for ways to boost your business growth and take it to a new level? Consider building your digital products with Tizen. Developing apps for Samsung Smart TV via its open-source OS is an option for companies that are targeted at continuous growth and improvement by reaching new audiences, uncovering niches, and expanding service offerings via exploring new platform opportunities.