Custom Smart TV app development to let TV rule the household

Smart TVs are complementing web and mobile to make for a varied viewing experience, becoming the centerpiece of daily entertainment. One undisputable advantage of smart TV devices like Samsung, LG, Sony, or Panasonic are their big screens, which is close to cinema vibes.

Still, operational challenges occur off and on across all smart TV platforms including Tizen, webOS, and AndroidTV. Oxagile’ll show you a few episodes of the Smart TV the King series — the story of turning Smart TV app’s bottlenecks into flawless viewing experiences.

Neat UI/UX at the fore of Smart TV app development

During the years of Smart TV app development for our media and broadcasting clients, Oxagile has been implementing UI/UX best practices to streamline user interactions with video content on Smart TVs.

What are the rules to make a Smart TV app’s end users happy from the very first remote control touch? This is not so easy as it might seem — Smart TV screen real estate would rather impose navigation constraints than give the freedom of content placement.

Oxagile’s sharing the principles that make the cornerstone of a well-thought-out Smart TV app.

The simpler, the better

Make a great first impression through the transparency of user actions:

  • No tricky functionality or complex settings on the user side — viewers should instantly enjoy watching without any hard thinking processes beforehand
  • Keep in mind the most common user behavior patterns: re-imagine them and offer new, friendlier options, while preserving some familiar alternatives, like channel switch buttons or up-down controls
  • Balanced content presentation: optimal “user preference vs choice” combinations

3 clicks to content

What does a 3-click rule say?

“Give users what they want within three clicks at most, or they’re likely to leave frustrated. Leave all complex choices to deep learning and behavior analytics under the hood.”

We craft a UI according to this principle:

  • Adding extra buttons like “Home” or “Back” instead of creating confusing navigation routes
  • Carefully designed suggestions and content curation mechanics to appear at the right time and place, e.g., pre-defined one-click navigation instead of surfing menus, nested categories, or endless filter tabs

Mobilize extra tools

What are additional powers to offer the quickest routes to content?

  • Voice search. No chance or willingness to type? Speak! The voice search function on the remote control is instrumental in getting users what they want on short notice.
  • Companion device. The synergy between Smart TVs and mobiles adds points to user satisfaction, especially when they need to type a lot while registering or searching.

Suggest smartly

Don’t make viewers search — let them watch from the get-go

  • Focusing on the Smart TV app’s key goal — content on the main screen hitting right on target
  • Providing personalized content suggestions based on user behavior and TV viewing experience
  • Suggesting entertaining search options: deep learning-powered search by mood, specified genre proportions, or even color
  • Relying on analytics to avoid intrusive content suggestions, excessive subscription upgrades, or needless premium pay-per-view offers

Any Smart TV performance issues? No way!

Simple UI and UX patterns may not only positively affect viewers’ loyalty, but also favor fault-free performance. Yet, there are some other factors causing streaming freeze issues or long response times. Oxagile’s performance engineering team knows how to optimize performance from all angles.

Here’s what our specialists focus on while exploring performance benchmarks:

Memory consumption

As our team doesn’t have a chance to impact hardware upgrades as a rule, we apply various memory optimization techniques for the selected devices.

Heterogeneity of Smart TV platforms

Oxagile considers different generations of Tizen, webOS, and Android TV as well as their specific requirements to make sure your Smart TV app demonstrates excellent performance on each.

Adapting to low-end devices

We know how to improve performance for older versions of OSs along with avoiding numerous limitations of low-end devices.

When a native video player is a constraint

Knowing the specifics of various players from the inside, our Smart TV app developers:

Offer borderless viewing with Smart TV apps

Extend the boundaries of your streaming service and push back the limits of entertainment with the King of the Household Screens. Oxagile’ll help you bring live and on-demand content to Smart TVs as well as to other popular media streaming devices.

Submitting apps to the store made simple

  • Aware of OS specifics

    Some of the most common sticking points to app submission are:

    • Navigation elements ported from web or other TV platforms
    • Adult content policy
    • Support for different video and audio formats (MPEG-2 vs MPEG-4, DTS vs Dolby) and resolution types (HD-ready, Full HD, 4K, 8K)

  • Walking the way to store

    Knowledge of Smart TV certification standards allows us to combine an app’s custom functionality with Samsung’s or LG’s guidelines. You don’t need to stumble over the intricacies of verification procedures.

Porting UIs from web: we’ll clear all minefields underway

Oxagile is carefully watching out subtle porting bottlenecks to avoid app store rejection, giving enough time to review all navigation elements including:

  • Back navigation (predictable back button behavior)
  • Scrolling mechanisms
  • Intuitive navigation mechanics — limit movements to up, down, left, right, ok, back, and home buttons in order not to risk rejection due to overcomplication
  • Clear focus and selection with no risks of blocking the Smart TV app

Looking beyond Smart TVs? Bank on cross-platform powers

And apply a code reuse mindset! When our clients intend to cover multiple platforms and devices, including web, we suggest adopting a single codebase concept with a common business logic layer. Oxagile is not new to the cross-platform OTT app development approach, React Native for Web and LightningJS/RDK to help you efficiently expand your strategy to: