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CES 2018 News: Samsung aiming to put 2018 Smart TVs at the centre of your life

Bixby being rolled out to S Korea and US first

by Mark Hodgkinson Jan 9, 2018 at 12:50 PM

  • Smart TV is no longer a new concept, Samsung rightly points out, but there are continuous improvements that are making TV better connected than ever and Samsung reckons its 2018 line-up of Smart TVs are right at the vanguard of the sector.
    Samsung is aiming to make setting up your Smart TV a breeze. There will be no need to get lost in a maze of menus; thanks to the SmartThings app, you’ll have access to everything you need to get set up and enjoying your new television quickly. With a few taps of the mobile app, SmartThings enables your TV to recognize your Wi-Fi connection, your set-top boxes, favourite apps and Samsung account information. If you’re already logged in to a video application on your mobile device, your TV connects to the same account without having to re-enter your login details on screen. You can quickly choose which of your apps connect in this way to your TV.

    But your mobile phone isn’t just used to set up your TV. It will become part of a daily way to interact with it. For example, you can use it to set a reminder for when something is on. And this is a smart reminder that knows what channel the game is on and enables you to switch to it right away without having to remember what channel it comes on.

    In 2018, all Samsung Smart TVs will feature the SmartThings dashboard. This will enable your TV to not just be the centre of your living room, but the Internet of Things (IoT) hub for your entire home. You’ll be able to see what’s in your fridge, control the lights, adjust the thermostat and do many other things – all from the TV screen. You’ll even be able to use your TV to instantly share photos

    Although the TV is getting smarter, the device should always be primarily about enjoying content, say Samsung. There are enhancements in this area too when it comes to finding what to watch. This year sees Samsung make improvements to its Universal Guide, which can recommend movies, TV shows, sports and more all from one place. It integrates content from your TV provider as well as VOD and streaming services onto one consolidated page. And the recommendations are made based on your preferences.

    To make browsing easier, you can use the intuitive Samsung One Remote, which controls not just your TV, but other devices connected to it, such as a cable box, Blu-ray player, and the internet. It’s recently been enhanced with the ability to control AV products connected with an optical cable.

    Additional options available through 2018 Samsung Smart TVs include enhanced TV PLUS. This enables users to find and enjoy UHD and HDR movies from a large selection – 8,900 movies, including 195 in UHD – available through the Samsung Smart TV user interface. The selection is constantly growing thanks to Samsung’s expanding list of content partnerships

    Meanwhile, Steam Link allows users to stream their favourite Steam PC games in 4K from their computer to play on their TV. More than 6,000 games are already available and can be streamed without purchasing a separate Steam Link device.

    Bixby, Samsung’s intelligent assistant platform, will be included in Samsung’s 2018 premium TV line up, launching first in Korea and the US. Not only will it enable you to use your voice to interact with content from various providers such as Amazon, but it will also allow you to unlock a range of other possibilities that add a new layer of convenience. For example, you could ask Bixby to switch your TV to a particular channel or play a particular song. You could even ask Bixby to do the hard work such as finding Oscar-winning movies. Away from entertainment, Bixby can tell you the news or weather, control your IoT devices throughout the house, or show you your most recent photos

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