Want to Develop a Smart TV App? Here is What You Need to Know

Why You Should Develop a Smart TV App and How to Do It

As the number of smart TVs sold over the years has increased, so has the number of smart TV applications. In 2023, more than 199 million smart TVs have been shipped worldwide, with more than 8,000 apps on both the Android TV app and Google TV stores, respectively.

What does this mean? The global smart TV market is huge but also extremely competitive, resulting in a potentially saturated market, making it hard for new smart TV apps to stand out and deliver a unique experience.

This is why it is so important that, if you do want to develop a smart TV app, you create a plan. Take the time to understand what you want to build, why, and how you want to do it. In this article, you will learn all there is to know about smart TV app development, including the benefits of working with a third-party smart TV app development team.

What Are Smart TV Apps?

What Are Smart TV Apps?

Like computer and smartphone apps, smart TV apps are standalone software that you use on, well, your smart TV. They are computer programs that let you do all kinds of things on the big screen, such as using video streaming platforms to watch video content and stream music on demand. You can even play smart TV versions of existing video games, such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Crossy Road.

The main draw of smart TV apps is that you can interact with them from the comfort of your couch. You can do so with a remote control, which, for some people, is easier than using a desktop workstation or mobile device. They are also a great way for people to see your product on a device other than a traditional computer, helping you attract a new audience.

How to Develop Smart TV Apps

A smart TV app developer will use specific technology to build their programs. These technologies include programming languages, frameworks, databases, cloud services, and DevOps tools.

Programming Languages

The selection of programming language will depend on the smart TV models and operating systems. For example, Android smart TV apps run on Java, C#, and C++, while Apple smart TV apps run on JavaScript and Swift. Other popular smart TV platforms include Samsung Tizen, LG WebOS, Roku TV, and Amazon Fire TV.


Smart TV apps also require databases to store valuable data, such as text, numbers, pictures, and videos. The purpose of these databases is to arrange the data in such a way that users can find what they need quickly and easily. The two most common smart TV app development databases are MySQL and PostgreSQL.

Cloud Services

Also, since smart TV apps are internet-enabled, they need a cloud service to wirelessly send and receive information. When you use Netflix to watch a film or TV show, the smart TV app retrieves the media from the cloud and transmits it back to your screen. The most common smart TV app cloud services include Amazon S3 and EC2.

Developing Smart TV Apps: Strategies

There are three ways to go about developing a smart TV app for your business: Repurpose an existing app, use a white-label framework, or hire a software development team. Each development strategy has its pros and cons, and the right option will depend on your circumstances.

Here is a detailed breakdown of each smart TV application development approach.

Repurpose an Existing Web or Mobile App

Do you have an existing app that would benefit from a jump to the big screen? Consider repurposing it into a smart TV app. This is an excellent way to breathe new life into your app and expose it to a new audience. You also save on development time and cost, as you can use the basis of your existing app to convert it into a smart TV app.

Of course, you will need to redesign the app to work on smart TVs. For example, you may need to rescale the User Interface (UI) so that the menu is easy to see on a large screen. You will also need the smart TV app to support remote control navigation.

White-label App

A white-label app is a program built by an external provider but customized for your brand. They are an economical way to release an app without the additional time and expense of building a custom app from scratch.

With a white-label app, the external provider has already developed the backend technology; you just need to personalize the front end to match your requirements, such as your desired font, buttons, menu layout, color palette, number of pages, internal and external links, and text.

Although building a white-label smart TV app is fast and cheap, the limited backend will restrict the number of features that you can use. You may also be bound to the white-label provider for technical support, which can be a problem if they are slow to support, maintain, and update your smart TV app.

Hire a Team of Smart TV App Developers

If you have the budget and time to create smart TV apps from scratch, then hire dedicated software teams. By doing so, you will have the freedom to build a smart TV app that is unique to your brand. You will be able to fine-tune everything: The technical stack, user interface, user experience, features, services, and more.

You will also be in control of the smart TV app lifecycle, including the maintenance and update timeline. Your software team can help you out here as well. Unlike a white-label provider whose support is on their terms, the opposite is true for a software team. They will implement a post-launch strategy to keep your smart TV app always available, secure, and up to date.

Key Features in a Smart TV Application

What you put into your smart TV app will shape the user experience in a big way. This means giving your users the tools, features, and abilities they need to get the most out of your smart TV app. But there is also the core, underlying features, the features that are essential to the functionality of any app, regardless of type or size.

Here are four key features to include in your smart TV app.

Device Restrictions

The device restriction feature limits the number of mobile devices that you can utilize to log in to your smart TV app. This can help stop threat actors from adding their devices to your smart TV and using it to access your smart TV apps.

Payment Gateway Options

Make it easy for smart TV users to make in-app purchases with a secure payment gateway. These include the ability to pay for goods and services through PayPal, credit cards, and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service providers. Plus, be sure to add security features like Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and data encryption to protect sensitive financial data.

Social Integration

Give your users the freedom to share their in-app experiences on multiple platforms like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Discord, and more. You can add the ability to share screenshots, links to recently purchased products, and in-game achievements.

Light and Dark Mode

A smart TV can project a lot of light into a room, especially when displaying a white image in a dark space. To reduce the amount of light emitted by your own smart TV app, have your smart TV app development company add a dark mode. This will help make your smart TV app easier on the eyes in dim light situations.

Why Choose Orient Software for Custom Smart TV App Development

For a custom smart TV app that reflects your unique brand identity, look to Orient Software. Share your app idea with us, and you will receive a fast, visually stunning, and user-friendly solution.

From consultation and design to testing and deployment, our app developers will keep you involved in every step of the creative process, ensuring the final product turns out the way you want. Plus, once the team releases your app to the world, they will support it for the duration of the app’s lifecycle.

Whether you wish to build a new smart TV device app from scratch or repurpose an existing app, you will enjoy the benefits of:

Direct Project Management

We will appoint a project manager to your job, who will be your single point of contact from start to finish.

Technical Expertise

Whether you need a smart TV app for Android TV app development, Apple TV, or another operating system, we can develop custom solutions in C++, iOS/Swift, Kotlin, Java, and other programming languages.

Regular Feedback

By adopting Agile practices, we implement constant feedback into every stage of development. This gives you (and our team) the chance to comment on progress and fine-tune the work until it meets your needs.

Post-launch Support

After the deployment of your app, the Orient Software team will continue to support your app with preventative maintenance, bug fixes, and scheduled updates.

Empower your audience with a memorable, smart TV experience. Contact Orient Software today.

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