LG is not the only company that is trying out Android alternatives. Samsung is working on its own Linux-based operating system, Tizen, which is hosted by none other than The Linux Foundation.
Tizen hasn't seen any success in the smartphone world, and I am not sure about Tizen's future regarding smart watches as well, given the arrival of Android Wear. However, the Korean giant is not going to give up and try their OS on a less competitive hardware.
A smart TV is less challenging than a smartphone to meet a user's expectations. A smart TV allows Samsung to put their OS at the center of our lives - the living room - without us even realizing it. At the same time, unlike smartphones, Samsung won’t have to struggle to get all popular apps on the platform. As the smart TV market grows, Samsung may eventually have enough users to create an ecosystem around Tizen.
While I like Tizen (because competition is always better), I am not sure I agree with the pundits who predict that Samsung wants to directly compete with Google. These two companies have totally different business models.
Google is primarily an advertising company; they have created products to support that model. Samsung on the contrary, is a hardware company and doesn't have a huge advertising network to match the one that Google has.
At the same time, Samsung doesn't have an app or content ecosystem that can beat Google - Gmail, YouTube, G+, Google Maps, Search, etc. I really don’t see Samsung ‘competing’ with Google. All I can see is Samsung trying to build their own operating system so they can control the ecosystem the way Apple does. It's more about owning the whole ecosystem than competing with Google.
Tizen also gives Samsung the differentiation it needs from the competitors. With Tizen, Samsung can create features not found on other Android devices, and they can tie smartphones, tablets, TVs and smart watches together, locking other users out.
Personally I don't understand what Samsung is trying to do with Tizen that can't be done with Android. Let's wait and see how Tizen powered smart TVs pan out.