After tinkering around with their custom Tizen operating system for the past several months, Samsung is making it official: all of their new smart TVs in 2015 will run Tizen. Samsung showed off their first Tizen-powered TV set back in June and pushed out a Tizen TV apps SDK in July, and now CES 2015 will bring us our first real life look at the new OS in action.
Samsung's Tizen OS has until now been limited in the public domain to just their smartwatches, like the Gear 2, Gear Fit, and the big curved Gear S. Samsung was aiming earlier in 2014 to launch a Tizen-powered smartphone in Russia, but those plans were indefinitely delayed (i.e. canceled).
The TV's will be equipped with Wi-Fi Direct for seamless and automatic media sharing, so long as you're using a Samsung smartphone or tablet and with Samsung's Smart TV app installed. The sharing is meant to go both ways — you can broadcast to the TV, or you can broadcast from the TV to your mobile device, even without turning on the TV's screen. Samsung's also going big on the apps and services front, with several options available (likely pre-installed, but that's not been made clear):
- Samsung Sports Live: live sports matches with team and player stats on the same screen
- PlayStation Now: Download PlayStation 3 games and play them with a DualShock 4 controller, no console needed
- Just Dance Now: Hold onto your remote control or Samsung smartphone and… dance
- Bingo HOME: Race to Earth: A bingo game based on the upcoming DreamWorks movie HOME
- Milk Video: Samsung's curated video portal.
Samsung's move to their own modern proprietary smart TV OS mirrors that of LG, who a year ago at CES 2014 announced a reimagined webOS for televisions and has since gone on to sell millions of the sets, with plans to show off improved webOS 2.0 software (or would that be 5.0?) at CES 2015.
It's also something of a blow to Android TV, though not unexpected. So far the only Android TV device is the well-received Nexus Player set-top box; several manufacturers tried Google TV with Google (including Samsung), but most have moved on to their own platforms.
Samsung will have more info on their Tizen TVs at CES 2015, and we'll be on hand to check them out.