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    Gaming on a Samsung Tizen TV, the pros and cons

    Opinion
    By 

    Last updated: May 20th, 2024 at 15:25 UTC+02:00

    Samsung and LG are the world's 1st and 2nd most popular smart TV brands. Oddly enough, one thing Samsung and LG have in common is that neither brand uses the Android TV operating system. Samsung TVs run Tizen OS, and LG's run WebOS. Despite this, the two Korean TV giants hold the largest market shares and prove they don't need Google to run their TV businesses.

    As far as Samsung customers go, the benefits of Tizen OS are that the platform is fast and versatile, and many users say Tizen is more stable than Android TV. Reportedly, the latter has had many stability issues over the years, and nobody likes it when their TVs crash in the middle of a movie or a show.

    But the one downside to Tizen OS is that it doesn't have access to Android apps, including Android TV games. The same goes for LG's WebOS. In fact, the Tizen OS app store, at the very least, is quite barren.

    Samsung TVs barely have games but it's not the end of the world

    Tizen OS comes with its own app store rather than the Android TV / Play Store from Google. Samsung TVs run Tizen apps, and the Tizen store hosts apps for popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, YouTube, and more.

    All things considered, you probably won't miss any streaming apps when using Tizen OS on your Samsung TV, but you will have to temper your expectations when it comes to local gaming. There are no Android TV apps on Samsung TVs, and the popular games you might be playing on your Galaxy phone likely won't be available on Tizen OS.

    If you want to download games on your TV's storage and play them locally, the Tizen TV app store offers only a handful of games you probably never heard of.

    You can find third-party titles like Flying Fish and its sequel, which are Flappy Bird clones, Snake, a Space Invaders clone called K-141 Kursk, a Candy Crush clone called Super Candy 2, and a few other cheap-looking clones of more popular mobile games. You get the picture. Native Tizen gaming often feels similar to owning a knock-off 16-bit gaming console.

    It goes to show that smart TVs don't really need a vast app platform to be successful, as long as they offer the most popular streaming apps and a clean, fast, and stable UI. Somehow, Samsung and LG lead the pack even without Android TV and any support from Google's Play Store. Nevertheless, these are limitations you might want to consider.

    Console, Gaming Hub, and screen mirroring

    Thankfully, there's more to Samsung TVs than meets the eye. If you want to game on your Samsung TV and the clones offered through the Tizen app store aren't doing it for you, you have three other options.

    The first and most obvious is to buy a dedicated gaming console (like an Xbox, PS5, and Nintendo Switch) and connect it to your TV via HDMI. When gaming on a console, your Samsung TV switches to a competent Game Mode that offers low input latency and extra features such as an on-screen crosshair layer, a minimap enhancer, and more.

    Beyond console gaming, the second option is to get into cloud gaming through the Gaming Hub or GeForce NOW apps. If you have access to Gaming Hub in your region, you'll be able to sign up and subscribe to various cloud-based game streaming services — including GeForce NOW.

    If Gaming Hub is not available in your region, you might want to try the stand-alone GeForce NOW app, which you might be able to find on the Tizen OS app store.

    Story continues after the video…

    Using cloud gaming, you can play quality games through a subscription without having to download them on your TV's local storage or gaming console. All you need is a subscription and a gaming controller connected to your TV via USB or Bluetooth.

    Aside from the monthly cost, the downside to cloud gaming is that you also need a stable and relatively fast internet connection to stream the games you want to play directly to your Samsung TV. Furthermore, you'll have to abandon the idea of game ownership. With cloud gaming, you're subscribing to a service rather than buying games. Games come and go to cloud streaming services, and the library changes over time.

    The third and last option for playing games on your TV is to mirror your Galaxy phone or tablet's contents to the TV. Whether you want to do this through wireless or wired mirroring and with or without DeX is up to you. Either way, Samsung TVs don't have touchscreens, so this method works best with Android games that support external controllers.

    Using this method, and thanks to the simplicity with which you can mirror content from your Galaxy phone or tablet to your Samsung TV, you can turn your mobile device into an Android game console for your Tizen TV.

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