Home / TVs & Audio / TV / Samsung 2013 Smart TV Platform - Part 1 / Movies & TV On Demand and Reccomendations

Samsung 2013 Smart TV platform: Movies & TV On Demand and Reccomendations

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Samsung 2013 Smart TV Platform - The Movies & TV Shows On Demand Home Screen

Shifting across to the right from the On TV header page gets you to Movies & TV Shows - a menu essentially devoted to helping you find and quickly access on-demand content.

It aggregates content from – to quote Samsung – ‘catalogues from selected partners who have worked with us on integrating with our service’. In principal this is a great idea, of course. The reality, though, as we’ll discover, is a little more complex...

First, let’s quickly discuss the layout of the Movies and TV page. On the left in a large box is a ‘Featured’ film apparently hand-picked by Samsung to represent a specific genre at a specific time – oddly at the time of writing the Feature titled on our review TV was Crazy Stupid Love. To the right of this in slightly smaller form are three Recommended films based again on an assessment of your favourite types of films, favourite actors, etc. And below these three titles are three smaller ones featuring recommended TV shows.

Samsung Smart TV interface

Again the page is extremely attractive, and will seem like the greatest system in the world if you actually want to watch one of the seven films/TV shows it shows. However, again the limit on the link available from the opening screen can also make you feel a little like you’re being dictated to by the TV.

Samsung 2013 Smart TV Platform - Information Underload

The lack of information on this page is also problematic. You just get the name of the film or show, without any hint of which online platform you’ll be linking too if you decide to watch it. It can be pretty annoying if you click through on, say, a link to Gedeon Naudet’s awesome 9/11 documentary only to find that it’s a £7.99 file available from Acetrax rather than being available under your Netflix or Lovefilm subscription.

Basically, the provenance of every title on every part of the Movies & TV Shows menus should be instantly obvious before you go through all the steps to starting the stream.

We understand the reasons why Samsung has decided not to present much information in the system’s current form; it wants the system to appear seamless, and take all the legwork out of the usual on-demand content-finding process. But unfortunately while the concept is sound, the realities of the way we consume our streamed media doesn’t totally fit with Samsung’s approach in its current form.

Samsung Smart TV interface

A further problem is that the content providers covered by the Movies and TV Shows page isn’t comprehensive. It only covers content from a relatively small selection of content providers, leaving off a whole plethora of other video services available on Samsung’s platform including, crucially, free ones like the BBC iPlayer and ITV Player. We can readily imagine this content source limitation leading to many users quickly giving up on using the page, choosing instead to just head for their dedicated Netflix or Lovefilm apps.

Samsung 2013 Smart TV Platform - Making Recommendations

Clicking through onto specific titles from the Movies & TV Shows menus allows you to give thumbs up/thumbs down recommendations to each title, as well as going through to your Facebook or Twitter accounts so you can make a comment about the titles you’re looking at. You also get a reasonable amount of background information on each title: synopsis, director, release date, genre, writers and so on.

The coolest trick, though, is the way you get a list along the bottom of the screen of ‘connected’ content that’s similar in theme to what you’ve chosen to watch, or other material that the director, stars and other significant crew members have been involved in.

Samsung Smart TV interface

This is a great evidence of the excellent ‘joined up’ thinking at work behind the scenes of Samsung’s new Smart TV app. It’s just a shame the results are hamstrung by how few content providers it’s working with.

Along the bottom of the main Movies & TV Shows screen are a series of links, taking you to Favourites (stuff you’ve identified as being preferred content by pressing a ‘heart’ symbol when accessing it through the TV’s menus); lots more ‘Featured’ (ie, paid for) content; a further Movie market showing many more film-only links; and a further TV market showing many more TV-only links. Each of the content submenus can have their content divided into ‘What’s New’, ‘Most Popular’ and ‘Genres’.

Pg

March 15, 2013, 2:45 pm

Would've been better if you could input who you subscript to for content, put in your account details and the tv only pulls the suggestions from those places. Simple.

But I'm sure Samsung are paid to by certain content providers it uses, with the idea that they could get more people subscribing due to what the recommendations the TV throws out to the user.

lw

March 16, 2013, 1:32 pm

I can't get excited about many of these smart TV features whilst they are not integrated with Sky. That isn't as much the the TV manufacturer's fault as it is BSkyB's.
But whilst 99% of my TV viewing is via my Sky Box, I may as well have a dumb panel rather than a smart TV.

Mike

March 23, 2013, 3:04 pm

Everything you provided on this Samsung was perfect. With so
many different TVs on the market, sometimes it’s tough to feel like you’ve done
enough research. I’d been reading nothing but good reviews on this Sammy, so
when I got a DISH Hopper, I knew it
was time to make my choice. The Hopper gives me full HD to four TVs, and I only
had three. Your site and the recommendations of a few coworkers from my job at DISH helped me pick up the
perfect TV, and I just wanted to swing by and thank you for that. Best of all
with all four TVs running with the Hopper, no one has problems with DVR timer
conflicts anymore!

as.lawton

May 15, 2013, 3:20 pm

Much like "lw"all my content comes from a Samsung Freesat HD PVR and Samsung 3D BluRay player so I only use the screen as an HD monitor. The main reason is that still theres in no DTS or 5.1 audio fed back from the TV optical audio output to drive my Surround Sound AV amp. I would rather Samsung sorted that obvious omission out otherwise all the "SMART" apps in the world are no use to me.

Michael Lim

June 25, 2013, 6:54 am

I was so disappointed with it. Bought two units then realized how complicated it is and it cannot even connect to non samsung devices. Support is so bad i spend 15 mins waiting over the phone for phone support. I am returning both units to them!

Melanie

September 25, 2013, 4:02 am

Although the picture is good, I have Direct TV and use their remote to control the TV (it could be any control for that matter) and when the smart screen comes up, you have to switch to TV mode to choose the channel, then back to receiver mode to change between channels or do anything else. Is there a solution for that?

Denielle

November 10, 2013, 6:48 am

i cant workout how to play the free movies on this app. is so annoying

Denielle

November 10, 2013, 6:50 am

by the way there is no "Watch Now" that comes up on my tv for some reason

Jason Clark

November 12, 2013, 11:11 pm

My parents in their 60's have just got this tv.....how do they use the built in 'Freeview HD' tuner???

piaa

December 30, 2013, 3:39 pm

the tv is just hella annoying won't connect to my macbook it won't do it for my iPad either. only iPhone. i might as well have bought a cheap tv...

Joe

January 22, 2014, 11:14 pm

I have had bad experience with this smart TV purchased this in the month of November 2013 the picture was deteriorated and colours were fading away. I spoke to Samsung technical support who tried to trouble shoot the problem. Due to the over lapse and care support they failed. Assigned to service agent whom came out first time. Didnt diagnose the fault.
Report says no faults found. Later on I get a email stating that the TV requires a PCB board.
I am not competed of the engineer and ask Samsung to assign the job to another engineer.
All week I have contacted Samsung you can see how frustrating this is on me and my family.

***Don't buy this TV my recommendations to anyone whom is looking to buy I don't give bad reviews however I have encountered this.

Please feel free to email me
dubaibuildingprojects@gmail.com

Sacramento

January 23, 2014, 11:42 am

I have a 46" Samsung smart TV and it keeps blinking (meaning screen goes
black for a second then picture returns) HDMI 1920x1080/60i. I changed
the range on the digital cable box and still blinks but with different
ranges. I returned the TV bought at Costco, and got another 46" smart,
same problem. I believe this has been happening to all the smart TV's
and Samsung has not addressed the issue. Yes and Samsung support sucks... Going to return and get a
Sony.

Gary

March 31, 2014, 10:10 am

something seems to have happened to my on tv.
I have the larger screen which shows the correct channel but the 12 small pictures are empty, this has always worked before? anyone know whats happened, I use C!+ module

kcimsan

April 21, 2014, 10:44 pm

It's only as complicated as you make it; mine supports every non-Samsung device well. You apparently did something incorrectly.

SabbeRubbish

September 29, 2014, 11:44 am

I kind of lack the whole "Apps" part, which has been most useful for me.
Started Spotify + some romantic music and used the F6320's "Picture Off" setting -> fantastic combination.
Would like to see the Netflix app reviewed too.

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