In 2012, Samsung launched the Evolution Kit initiative enabling owners to continually upgrade TV hardware but it was phased out only a few years later. Following a significant number of customer complaints, Samsung is now introducing the 2018 Evolution Kit.
The Evolution Kit case
When Samsung launched its 2012 Smart TVs, it also announced the Evolution Kit initiative and promised owners that they would be able to upgrade their TVs every year through 2016. However, in 2015 the company decided not to supply a kit for Full HD TVs, and the following year Samsung completely phased out the initiative.
From 2016 and onwards this has led to a number of customer complaints. The ball started rolling when a customer in the US got a full refund for his TV. Since then, there have been many other cases around the world, including almost 60 complaints in Norway, according to ITAvisen.no.
- ”[Translated:] The Consumer Council has received nearly 60 complaints on Samsung TVs that can be upgraded to the latest version by purchasing an Evolution Kit. We cannot rule out that there will be additional cases. Evolution Kit was launched in 2013 and Samsung promised upgrades for four years ahead – that is, until 2016. However, 2015 was the last year in which the Evolution Kit was offered. The TVs were purchased in the period from 2013 to 2015. The complainants seek a full refund,” one letter from Forbrukerrådet (Consumer Council) in Norway said.
Here is the original presentation of the Evolution Kit from CES 2012.
2018 Evolution Kit
In the wake of the many customer complaints, Samsung has decided to launch a 2018 version of the Evolution Kit. No upgrade kits were offered in 2016 and 2017.
The new kit is called SEK-4500 and includes the ‘2018 Smart Hub’, meaning Samsung’s latest version of its Tizen operating system and user interface, as seen below. The box is compatible with the company’s SmartThings platform and comes bundled with the new ‘One Remote’. It has a quad-core processor and also supports mirroring from/to a smartphone. Further details are available samsung.com/es/ (in Spanish) and other regional sites.
At the time of publication, FlatpanelsHD has not been able to obtain a full list of regions in which the 2018 Evolution Kit will be made available. SEK-4500 is currently confirmed for Spain, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. We are chasing details.
Samsung says that SEK-4500 is compatible with Full HD models from 2012-2014 as well as UHD models from 2013-2015. A full list of compatible models can be found below.
Is this enough to satisfy Samsung TV owners and put an end to the flurry of customer complaints? Time will tell. Samsung confirms that SEK-4500 will be available soon. It will cost 299 Euro.
SEK-4500 – compatible Samsung Smart TVs
2012: LED LCD: ES7000 ES7500 ES8000 ES9000
Plasma E8000 E7000
2013: LED LCD: F7000 F8000 F8500 F9000 85S9
2014: LED LCD: H8000 HU6900 HU7100 HU7200 HU7500 HU8200 HU8500