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Is Android 9 a firmware or operating system

It's an operating system. Doesn't mean you can't use a slimmed down version without its UI as firmware.

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Firmware and Operating System are not mutually exclusive. You can put a full operating system into firmware, that's how game console OSes work.

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In there its OS powering the system. It might still have firmware or manufacturers own version based off Android. You are looking at Android TV device after all.

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