June 10, 2011 by Audioholics.com
By Clint DeBoer
Samsung has been making TVs for quite some time, but now they’ve released a new line of televisions they are dubbing: Smart TVs. You know, aside from the transition from standard definition CRT monitors to high-definition flat panels, TVs haven’t really changed much over the past several years. They still bring you the same programming from cable or satellite you’ve been watching since you learned how to point a remote control at the screen and click. But TVs need to change. I mean, I don’t know about you, but most of what I watch these days comes from the Internet or a cloud-based source for movies. We’re talking about Netflix, Hulu Plus and VUDU, among other sources. But how do you get that content to that expensive flat panel you purchased for Christmas last year? Well you can do what many of us do and connect your laptop to your TV with a dangling cable… Or… and this is cool… you can look for manufacturers who really seem to “get” emerging media and the new content marketplace. Samsung’s SmartTV platform is positioned squarely in line with this kind of idea - and it’s represented in full by their LED 8000 series televisions.
What’s a Smart TV? Well it’s a smarter way to consolidate into one place all the things you can, and in my opinion should, be doing with a TV. It makes it easy to get around, find content, and do what you want, when you want. Let’s take Samsung, for example, their Smart Hub (show the button) gives you instant access to streaming music, videos or movies from the Internet. It also lets you access web apps for viewing pay or free content online. You can get news, sports scores, weather, stock quotes, view your photos or even play games. The beauty of it is, you can customize it to show the things you want so your TV can get to the apps you use more quickly.
So what’s it look like - how does it work… Well, the key is having everything in one place and making it easy to access. Samsung includes a recommendation engine that it calls “Your Video” which pushes content recommendations to you based on your previous interests. Hmmm… I guess in this sense your TV is watching YOU. The other thing Samsung did was add Search. Now effective search is something that really opens up the potential of your TV and makes it easier to find what you want, when you want it. I like to think of it as the natural evolution of TV. If you’re old enough to remember analogue tape, this is akin to the instant access CDs offered consumers in comparison to having to fast forward and rewind cassette tapes. With search, you jump right to the content you want.
Read the complete review (along with a video) here at Audioholics.
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