Smart TV App Development

Media and entertainment product owners face daunting challenges when deploying a video streaming application. Smart TV app development must offer support across multiple devices and territories, whilst ensuring seamless operation with Linear, VOD, SVOD, AVOD & Live content and video playback that is smooth across multiple players. Not having support on a major device can have a significant impact on viewing figures, and therefore advertisement and subscription revenue. As a result, importance is given to launching an application onto several platforms, although. For example, if you are looking for Android TV app development or you’re starting a completely new video streaming application, we have a team of expert TV app designers & developers that can help you overcome these challenges

An Integrated Approach

smart TV app development

Smart TV application development requires a deep understanding of web technologies, connected devices and video playback; we understand that for media and entertainment businesses it can be challenging to build an internal team with the knowledge required to create TV applications.

Scaling internal teams by bringing on or training additional staff can slow down the speed of progress. In most instances, media and entertainment brands look for alternatives. Often, brands can make use of more generic, licensed off-the-shelf Smart TV applications and Android TV app products that can help them to launch onto desired platforms quickly, thereby saving time and considerable cost.

Whilst this is great in the short term, for media & entertainment companies that want to scale, there are limitations to this approach. Limitations such as restrictions with technology, long term licensing costs and continued support and maintenance are just a few examples.

Android TV app development

An alternative to this off the shelf approach is to turn to third-party TV application development agencies which have the expertise to work quickly and efficiently to build and deliver their TV application.

Here at FX Digital we take an integrated approach to work with you and your in-house team to develop scalable Smart TV apps or Android TV applications that work with your existing technology and business processes, allowing your team to manage and scale the application ongoing. When designing your TV app  we follow a set of TV application UX fundamentals  to ensure we create an enjoyable user experience.

As an integrated team, we have experience working in an Agile environment, providing training sessions, sharing knowledge and working onsite if required. Additionally, our office space in Shoreditch can cater for members of your team to work alongside our team to produce exceptional results.


Smart TV app development

Collaborative working on TV app development and Android app development helps to ensure that not only is the project a success but that we also put measures in place so that your team are fully informed on the development approach and have capabilities to maintain and support the application if desired.

As partners of our clients, we provide resource and expertise following the launch of applications and can be hands-on in development, or support from a consultative basis, tackling bigger business challenges as and when required.

Whether you’re using an in-house proprietary CMS or a third-party solution, we have experience catering to both. We are comfortable working with APIs, and can integrate with your CMS to surface video content into the front end of your TV application. We also have good relationships within the industry and can help you to find a CMS and VMS to suit your requirements.

Business model

Playstation TV app development

We have worked to support various revenue models, and our considerable experience with a range of TV and video technology means that we can implement advertising rolls server or client side across the TV platforms. The team at FX Digital also has an in-depth understanding of the subscription and revenue share models of the various platform vendors. Further to this, we have worked closely with teams at platform vendors, and have invaluable knowledge of their application submission processes. When Developing TV applications it’s important we review and follow governing bodies such as Ofcoms guide to video on demand.

We work with a range of platforms including Android TV, Apple TV, Phillips, Panasonic, Youview, Virgin, FireTV, Freeview, Samsung, LG, Roku, Freesat, Playstation 4, Xbox One & Chromecast.

Content protection

Android TV app development

Content protection plays a vital role in the monetization of premium digital video content. As a result, media & entertainment brands typically protect their content with Digital Rights Management (DRM) using solutions such as Widevine, Fairplay and Playready. However, when deploying a TV app across multiple connected devices, conflicts can arise between the video player, device and DRM solution. There can often be a fine line between the strength of protection and the limitations DRM presents per platform in reaching your audience. Here at FX Digital we have experience developing custom video players that support multiple DRM solutions and platforms, allowing your video streaming application to scale and support smooth playback on supported platforms and devices.

Outside of DRM, media & entertainment brands also have to factor in the handling of multiple territories, and licensing agreements when streaming video content. We can work with your chosen CMS to help ensure video content and advertisements are correctly configured for geo-blocking.


TV Application development approach

Smart TV app development

Where possible our preferred approach to TV application development is to use a web application setup. In this scenario, a web based JavaScript application is developed and hosted on the web, and upon the opening of your application on a TV, this native application simply loads your web application into its shell. This approach allows us to develop a single web application that supports multiple platforms, therefore allowing us to be more ambitious with product roadmaps and feature releases. For platforms where building as a web app is not an option, such as Roku, we build natively. To help us to develop web applications in a robust and scalable manner, we have developed a framework that provides essential components such as focus management and platform tools, and we can use this framework as the foundation to your custom built application

One of the big questions hanging over media & entertainment brands is how Brexit will effect VOD content. The government goes into detail on this in a recent article titled Broadcasting and video on demand if there’s no Brexit deal .

Video Player

Fire TV app development

An essential part of any TV application is the video player, it can truly make or break an experience for an end user and it is vital that it performs smoothly and contains functionality that users have come to expect from a typical video player. We can use a combination of HTML5 and native players to customise a player built to order with features you require such as subtitles, multiple audio, continue watching, analytics and of course player controls. Alternatively, we can integrate with third party video players if desired.

Following launch it’s essential that you understand how your application is being used by your audience, and to help with this there are countless analytics providers that can be integrated. We have worked with the likes of Google Analytics and Adobe (DTM, Launch and Heartbeat), and also have experience working with customer data platforms (CDPs) such as mParticle and Segment.

Quality Assurance & Project Management

We take quality assurance very seriously at FX Digital, and our team of specialists will be testing and reviewing design and development throughout a typical agile sprint. Further to this we document test cases to allow us to perform regressions tests promptly when required during a release cycle for example. Alongside manual testing, we can also build automation using tools such as unit and snapshot tests suites.

Our approach when developing TV applications is Agile. We can adapt to a Scrum or Kanban style of Agile in order to better integrate with your internal teams.

Need help developing a TV Application?

If you are a product owner for a media and entertainment brand and looking to bring on expertise in Smart TV application development or Android TV app development we’d love to have a chat about your business challenges and goals over a coffee. Call us today or email us here and we will get back to you within 2 hours –


Is it possible to develop a Smart TV App that works across multiple TV manufacturers?

It is possible to develop apps for Smart TVs which leverage action across multiple platforms such as Apple TV, Android TV, Roku TV and LGWeb OS for example.

Which TV platforms can you develop Apps for?

Android, Samsung, Opera TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, LGWeb OS, Hisense – there are many platforms for which apps have been developed and continue to be developed and deployed.

What is the difference between UI and UX?

UX refers to User Experience Design, whereas UI stands for User Interface Design – both are crucial elements to successful deployment and real world application.

How important is UI and UX?

Both elements of the application improve the experience of the user and helps increase customer satisfaction.

Where can I get custom apps designed for smart TVs?

FX Digital can design a solution for Smart TVs and/or digital streaming services which enhance the end user’s participation and experience.

What are UX services?

UX services is the term used for the design of digital products such as apps for Smart TV interaction. UX designers typically work on, and provide solutions for, individual ‘touch points’ within any given digital streaming service.

What is the purpose of UX?

UX design is the process of enhancing the viewing experience that people have while interacting with streaming services or live TV transmissions of programmes.

What is UX and why is it important?

The main aim of UX is to deliver a positive user experience in order to build loyalty to a product or brand.

Why is UI important?

UI, or user interface, is an essential element in delivering a viable service to end users. The design of the UI can either make or break a product or brand.

What are the benefits of good design?

Screens are typically less crowded, customers benefit from improved services, brand loyalty is driven forward by better design.