Samsung Smart TV System 2013 Review

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by The News Bot, Mar 14, 2013.


    1. The News Bot

      The News Bot
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      Reviewed by Stephen Withers, 14th March 2013. As with their latest displays, Samsung has set the bar pretty high when it comes to Smart TV Systems. With an irresistible combination of features, choice and connectivity, the latest version of the Smart Hub remains the reference internet platform to which all other manufacturers must aspire.
      Read the full review...
       
    2. psypher5

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      Be nice to know if you "have" to use the new remote with the Evo kit on 2012 TV's. I really dont like the look of the new smart controller...
       
    3. BenS1

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      Great write-up.

      Any news on whether the Recommendation system etc work with Sky/Virgin as a couple of reviews seem to say it does but I have a hard time believing them.

      Thanks
      Ben
       
    4. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      No you don't have to use the new controller, you can always use the standard remote or the remote app instead.
       
    5. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Hi Ben, I've only just got a response from Samsung to my questions, so I'm going to add a bit more to the review now.

      However basically what they said is that the S-Recommendation feature pulls content from linear TV broadcasting, VOD and apps based on the user's viewing history. The recommendation algorithm is Samsung's and not from any third party and the recommendations depend on usage of the service and the kind of content you watch. Set top boxes by third party providers like Sky & Virgin can be controlled as long as the IR blaster and extender cable (supplied) are used in conjunction with the universal smart touch remote but there is no sharing of metadata.
       
      Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
    6. Trollslayer

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      In more ways than one.
      Well done Samsung :thumbsup:
       
    7. bigb

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      Any suppliers have this kit in stock yet?
       
    8. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      I think the Evolution Kit will be released in April but I'll check with Samsung.
       
    9. bigb

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      Many thanks. Definitely interested in this kit:smashin:

      PS. Superb revue!!
       
      Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
    10. babator

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      Thanks for the review!

      I'm also interested in perhaps getting the Evolution Kit when it is launched. You mentioned that the browser is very quick, which is good news. The ES8000 web browser would be much more usable (at least with USB keyboard & mouse) if it was quicker to load pages.

      But how does the overall performance of this year's Smart TV apps compare to last year, for example the dual core ES8000? The ES8000 is already mostly quite ok for things like Netflix, but more speed, especially in launching the apps, never hurts.
       
    11. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Whilst I didn't have an ES8000 on hand to do a direct comparison with, from memory the F8000 seemed a lot faster. I would say it was easily the most responsive TV I have used when it comes to Smart TV features. Everything on the TV just seemed that little bit faster, menu response, app loading etc., but where it really showed was in web browsing - for the first time browsing on a TV was no different from using a laptop or tablet.
       
    12. babator

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      Lovely. Sounds like this might be the year when Smart TV really becomes usable. Samsung seems to be following the Microsoft model of development - build the software and then wait for the hardware to catch up so it gets usably fast.

      Now, next thing is reliability - the Samsung servers have been down a couple of times in the past couple of months and then you can't really use any of the smart features for a few days. Continuing the slightly forced Microsoft analogy, Samsung is currently at the Windows 95 level of platform stability :thumbsdow
       
    13. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      I like the Microsoft analogy and it's a fair point about the servers, although that would apply to all the TV manufacturers, it's just Samsung's platform is more comprehensive.
       
    14. bigb

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      Still nothing back from Samsung ? No surprise then?
       
    15. bigb

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      Any update Samsung??
       
    16. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      I'm speaking with Samsung tomorrow, so I should have an answer by Friday.
       
    17. Pistachio

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      Stephen, great review. I am really excited about have some really functional smart TVs on the market. I am still a bit disappointed that Google have not raised their game yet.

      Just wondered if you could comment on which of the new TV apps available on this system support subtitles for the hearing impaired. I think BBC iPlayer, Netflix, LoveFilm, 4OD, ITV Player and Demand 5 are the biggies.

      Thanks.
       
    18. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      I think subtitles are dependent on the service provider, so as far as I know all the ones you've listed have subtitles except LoveFilm, although it can be programme specific.
       
    19. Pistachio

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      Thanks for that - my experience has been quite hit and miss - iPlayer on my 2012 supports subtitles, but the same programme on the humax foxsat iPlayer app does not. The ITV app on the humax box does not support subtitles either - possibly older apps. The web version of 4oD has some subtitles, but the Xbox app does not.

      I might have to write up and share a list of services and hardware and which ones have subtitles - It would be great to have one system that has a decent range of app that support subtitles. The problem is that it can be difficult to find what does until you own a particular box.
       
    20. bigb

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      No word from Samsung meeting?
       
    21. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Unfortunately it got postponed until this Thursday.
       
    22. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Sorry guys, the most I could get out of Samsung is that the Evolution Kit will be released in Q2 and will cost around £250, which is what we already knew to be honest.
       
    23. bigb

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      Phoned Richer Sounds in Glasgow today enquiring about the Evolution Kit. Said they would not be selling it??????
       
    24. bigb

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      Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
    25. bigb

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      any of our suppliers have this in stock yet???
       
      Last edited: May 3, 2013
    26. bigb

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      Currys have advised my Evolution Kit will be delivered tomorrow!!!
       
    27. bigb

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      Evolution Kit has arrived. Some nice gimmicks but not overly impressed! Whilst setting the area for your set top box (Sky), it couldn't recognise my postcode and didn't have a setting for Sky Scotland!! Will give it a few days tryout but gut feeling is it could be going back!!
       
    28. bigb

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      Update

      First problem with the Evolution Kit is that you need to put in your postcode to recognise your Sky Viewing area. I have now found out that the Kit does not have Scottish or Irish postcodes loaded, so right away your new Evolution kit remote control is useless for our Sky area!! Secondly, I have a Youview box as well as a Sky box but on setup it only allows you one digibox. It finds the PS3 and my WD Live Hub but not the Youview box. So the new remote again doesn't recognise Youview! Great for looking at apps etc but you can do this with an Apple box for under £100 and not £250! This kit should never have been released with these problems. I have renamed it not the Evolution Kit but the Prehistoric Kit!!! Spoke to Samsung and all they said was they will look into it! Kit going back to Currys!!!
       
    29. nrmsmith

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      When I installed the Evolution Kit, I lost the Demand 5 App which I had previously. Samsung said the old App was not compatible with the new Smart Hub and a new replacement would be forthcoming shortly.

      I noticed it in the AppStore on the TV earlier this week and installed it. When I ran the app it said a firmware upgrade was necessary. However when I get the TV to search for updated firmware it says that there are no firmware updates available.

      Samsung UK Support seem to be totally clueless as they provided me a URL for the 2012 branch of F/W updates (latest version of which is T-ECPDEUC-2008.2 from 13th May). The Evolution kit upgraded TV installed a 2013 branch of F/W updates, latest of which is version 1003.

      All in all, not impressed with the upgrade which is over-priced at £250.
       
    30. bigb

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      Same here! Complained to Samsung and Currys. Currys admit that Samsung advised them there is an issue with the kit, but don't class it as a fault!!! Two days after receiving the kit Currys advised they would not take the kit back as it was opened! Put the problem to American Express and they are taking up the case for me. Be very wary of Currys-they think an issue is not a fault!! Not happy at all!:mad:
       

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