If you have a Samsung smart TV, you may be wondering why some of your favorite streaming apps are not available to download and install.
Samsung TV sets come with their own smart TV operating system called Tizen.
Help! My Samsung TV Doesn’t Have My Favorite Apps
Popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Prime Video are pre-installed or available to download from Samsung’s app store. However, less popular apps may not be.
The reason for that is money.
It’s expensive for developers to make apps compatible with every platform. There are also significant costs associated with updating apps over time.
Samsung is on the list of supported devices for major streaming services like YouTube TV, Peacock and Discovery+.
But people who use those services contact me frequently with the same problem. They say they can’t access those apps and others through Samsung’s app store.
Here’s why: In the fine print on the websites for these streaming apps, you’ll see that they support only newer Samsung TVs.
For YouTube TV, it’s 2016 and later models. Peacock and Discovery+ say the app is compatible with Samsung’s operating system on only 2017 or later models.
I asked Samsung’s chat support for an explanation. A representative told me the following:
“Sorry, this is a compatibility issue. Or the apps do not work with the internal operating system of the TV.”
Streaming services want to make their apps available to as many people as possible. However, the costs that I previously mentioned can be a roadblock.
The live TV streaming service Philo is one example.
At the time of this writing, the Philo app is available for download on supported devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Chromecast — but not Samsung TVs.
“We do recognize that there are other big platforms that we’re not on that people would love to be able to use Philo on. Samsung is definitely, probably the biggest one,” Philo CEO Andrew McCollum told me exclusively in April 2022. “It’s something we’re looking at pretty carefully.”
McCollum said development time and resources that go into building the app for a specific platform can be “quite significant.”
In addition to those costs, McCollum said many streamers don’t realize that Philo needs to make a deal with each and every platform where the app is available.
If you’ve searched Samsung’s app store and can’t find one of your favorite apps, there is a simple and affordable solution — Buy an external streaming media player!
A Roku Express 4K+ plugs into the HDMI port on the back of your Samsung TV and can be set up in about 5 minutes.
The Roku Express 4K+ is one of several popular streaming media players under $50. Other options include an Amazon Fire TV Stick or Chromecast with Google TV.
These devices will unlock access to more streaming apps than what you get on your Samsung TV.
In addition to the availability of more apps, many people prefer using a separate streaming media player for a better user experience compared to Samsung’s interface.
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