Samsung will continue to use its in-house Tizen operating system and this year the Korean manufacturer will make it easier to find great, new content. A new remote control will make it possible to control connected devices.
Samsung 2016 Smart TV
Once you turn on the 2016 Samsung TV for the first time you will be able to place your preferred streaming services and apps in the slide-up menu at the bottom of the screen. The TV will then automatically start recommending new content from each service based on your viewing patterns.
Let us imagine that you mainly use Netflix and Amazon, and that you have an Xbox One and a Blu-ray player connected to the TV. By hovering over the Netflix icon the TV will highlight relevant content from Netflix - likewise with Amazon. This way you can press play and start enjoying the show without having to scroll through app silos.
Clicking on the Xbox One or Blu-ray player icon will automatically switch to the HDMI port to which the box is connected, and Samsung’s new remote control will let you control this device. There is also a “Live TV” icon that lets you browse what’s on (unless you have a set-top box).
At Samsung Forum 2016 in Monaco, Samsung confirmed to us that, amongst others, Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon will work right out of the gate. Other services might not integrate with the new features initially, says Samsung. App makers will have to individually add support.
A new search function will supposedly allow you to do universal search across services. However, each service will need to allow Samsung to index their content catalogue. During our demonstration the search feature was not functional so we cannot comment on how it works.
New universal remote control
Samsung has developed a new remote control that promises to do away with clutter on your sofa table. It can control all your boxes, players and consoles connected to the TV. At least that is what Samsung promises to do.
Samsung says that the TV will automatically recognize devices. So when you connect your Xbox One to the TV the first time it will recognize it as such and automatically set up the commands needed to control the user interface via the TV remote. Samsung did not elaborate on the technical details but it sounds like it is a combination of HDMI signaling and infrared codes.
Samsung told FlatpanelsHD that it will maintain a database of set-top boxes, game consoles, players, and other devices, and that it will regularly add new devices to the database. All the most popular boxes will be supported, including set-top boxes from TV broadcasters but Samsung will not promise to support every no-name player out there. It will not be possible to manually input infrared codes.
The new remote control will come bundled with all of the 2016 "SUHD" models and possibly a few UHD models (although yet undecided). This year, Samsung will also stop including the legacy remote control in the box in many regions.