Yesterday TP Vision announced its TV line-up for 2023, including two new OLED televisions and miniLED televisions that bear the name ‘The Xtra’ get along. It is striking that these mini LED televisions do not use the Google TV smart TV platform such as the OLED models and The One models, but a smart TV platform developed by TP Vision itself.
New Improved OS
Perhaps you know it Saphi smart TV platform that could be found on cheaper Philips televisions until last year. We cannot call that a great success, especially due to the not too large app range, the old-fashioned design and the slow interface. TP Vision says it has learned from this with the development of the new platform. Above all, it must be more intuitive, faster, more complete and more user-friendly.
Surprisingly enough, the new smart TV platform for Philips televisions does not yet have a name. It is referred to as ‘New Improved OS’, but by the time the mini-LED televisions are on sale, they should also have an official name. We did get a first impression of the platform during a demo session in Amsterdam.
In the style of Google TV
Why does TP Vision opt for its own smart TV platform when they have access to Google TV, which also runs on the other models in the line-up? To that question, the company replied that they do not want to be completely dependent on one party, Google in this case. In addition, Google now sets so many requirements for products on which its software runs that it hinders manufacturers – according to TP Vision – too much. And not entirely unimportant; TP Vision can also make money from its own smart TV platform. On the other hand, however, a lot of time, energy and money has to be put into the development of the platform and the associated apps, but the company says it is fully committed to that. Consumers therefore do not have to worry that popular services and apps are missing. Initially, the focus will be on the development of apps for those popular services, after which there will also be a direct focus on apps from local services and providers.
During the short demonstration we received, it was immediately noticeable that TP Vision had looked very closely at Google TV. The company largely adheres to the style of Google’s platform. Not only because this works well, but also because it means that consumers do not have to get to know and discover a whole new platform again. So we see favorite apps, recommendations and featured content from services on the home screen, in the style of Google TV. A look at the app store didn’t yield much information yet, especially since it was still a very early sample, but for now it looks like most of the popular streaming services will be available at launch. In addition, the operation was very smooth and fast, which hopefully will also be the case with the final release.
A small downside is that TP Vision does not yet offer support for AirPlay, HomeKit and Apple’s streaming services with its Philips TVs. Not within the new OS but also not on the Google TV models. Whether that support will come in the future, the company cannot yet say.
Also for other manufacturers
Developing your own smart TV platform costs a lot of money and time, and TP Vision wants to recoup that. Not only by managing the platform yourself and thereby generating income, but also by making the platform available to third parties. TP Vision assembles TVs from various other brands in their factory in Poland and sees devices from other brands also equipped with the ‘New Improved OS’ in the future. The company cannot yet say which manufacturers it is about.
So this year we can expect the new smart TV platform on two ‘The Xtra’ series; the 9308 series and 9008 series. All other smart TVs will get Google TV. From next year, more devices will be equipped with the New Improved OS.