Samsung Smart Hub 2013 – a new internet TV experience
Samsung Smart Hub 2013 – what is it?
If you’ve got a Samsung smart TV, you’ll access the internet functions through the Samsung Smart Hub, which has been revamped for 2013. The new Smart Hub has re-arranged apps and content into five different screens that you can scroll through and is designed to give a more intuitive experience for users.
The following is not a review, but our first impressions of the product based on a short time using it. Pricing and availability is tentative and subject to change.
- Five screen split The smart TV options are split into five difference screens, so it’s easy to flick through and get to what you’re after. You’ve got On TV showing live TV; Movies & TV Shows with on-demand content; Photos, Videos & Music where you can organise files from linked devices; Social to keep up to date with updates from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and finally Apps – the more traditional smart TV content.
- Personal recommendations Samsung’s introducing something called S-Recommendation technology, which should highlight programs based on what you’ve watched and user ratings, including live TV, but also video-on-demand and social content too.
- Evolution Kit – This is something we’ve heard about it before from Samsung, but it’s finally a reality – an upgradeable TV. If you’ve got one of Samsung’s flagship 2012 models you’ll have this feature that allows you to insert the Evolution Kit box and get the new smart TV features. You will have to pay to do so though, and pricing has not been announced yet.
Which? expert first impressions
Samsung kicked off its press conference at CES by saying that devices need to become more intuitive and the new Samsung Smart Hub is clearly aimed at doing so. Though smart TV is becoming a standard feature on all but the cheapest models, I do wonder how much it’s actually being used in homes apart from the odd catch up show. This should go some way to making them easier to use, though.
The five panels here make navigating the smart TV functions much like swiping through screens on your smartphone. The fact that the panels are dynamic to, showing live thumbnails and updates means you can use it without feeling like the TVs out of action until you select something. It certainly feels like Samsung has taken a giant step forward in terms of usability. It’s great to see the promised Evolution Kit arriving too, though I’ll be very intrigued to see how much it costs…
Catherine West – Senior Researcher
CES 2013 FAQ
What is CES 2013?
CES is short for Consumer Electronics Show – it’s the largest tradeshow of its type in the world and the place where major technology brands announce their new products and discuss the future of technology.
Why does Which? attend?
It gives us an insight into what’s coming in the year ahead, so we can ensure we’re testing the right products in the right way. We also use the time to speak to technology companies to ensure they’re listening to consumer needs.
How can I find out more?
Visit our CES 2013 page for our first impressions of all the major new products from the show. Click the links below to find out more about specific products:
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