Do you own a Smart TV or are you thinking of getting one? Have a read of this!
I am a self proclaimed gadget man there is no denying and for a long time I had wanted a Smart TV. Not only for my own use and because I thought it's cool, but as a developer here at UKTV-24.com I thought it a must for our clients sake but at the time, they were just so darn expensive!
Recently however, I was browsing in my local gadget store when I got chatting to the sales guy. He pointed out a Samung UE48H6200 48 inch, Full HD, 3D Smart TV and told me it was the last one they had so was willing to give me 15% off!
Having recently come down in price anyway, a further 15% off brought the TV down to the bargain price of £289! Well, he had me there! I took the TV home and plugged it in, connected it to my home network and began to go through it. The first thing I did was go to UKTV-24 and was happy to see that it actually worked! However, I did find navigating an absolute pain in the butt, as I did with any website I tested. The remote control is just not cutting the mustard. So I decided to plug in a wireless mouse and that was indeed better but, the pictures aspect ratio was wrong and I couldnt find a way to change it. Again, being a developer for UK TV I was certain that it was the fault of the TV and not the website.
I decided to try the mobile version of the website that is designed to work with practically all devices. Sure enough the quad core processor had no issues loading everything up but then it came to actually playing something back, It simply didn't know the format (interestingly the same format we use on samsung phones and tablets!) so i tried to install the mobile app to see if that made a difference. Sadly I soon learned that I couldnt install any apps that were not on the specific Samsung TV App Market.
I quickly gave up on the Smart TV its self for playback and decided to go with one of our own Android TV Boxes. I must say, the playback was beautiful! The picture was so clear, even on a 48 inch TV!! The sound was perfect and everything went just how I wanted and expected it to. I could flick through the channels with ease and had no problem finding the show I wanted to watch on catchup. The Guide worked smoothly and it was the perfect experience. However, this is nothing I couldnt do on a "Dumb TV" (if thats the opposite) as long as I had the UKTV-24 Box
I then turnned my attention to other features of this so called "Smart TV". Having for the most part, ruled out web browsing and watching Internet TV on my smart TV's own system I had a look at the app from samsung "Smart View". This app was installable on my PC and allowed me to watch video files such as Movies and the like, that were already on my PC. With a few drags, drops and clicks, I was eventually able to stream from my PC to my TV. What I didnt like about this was I first had to download the video I wanted to my PC, then find it and make note of its location, then navigate to its location via the "Smart View App" then play it on my TV which is in another room, so I had to run to not miss the start!
Adding subtitles was a nightmare as I was soon to discover. The seemingly "Getting less smart by the minute" TV was unable to detect the subtitles file unless it was in the EXACT same folder with the EXACT same name as the video, so I had to stop playback, sort out the subtitles and start over again (from the other room dont forget!)
Eventually, I was able to watch the video, with subtitles, on my TV, but with all the work involved, I would have been just as well putting it on a USB and plugging it in the side of my "Dumb TV". I would love to talk further about the other features I tried but in all honesty, there isn't any! What else is there to do with a Smart TV? I couldn't do anything that wasn't already doable via a "Dumb TV" with the UK TV Box connected and actually, the UK TV Box did it better anyway!
I can browse the net, play games, listen to music, chat on Facebook and most importantly Watch TV from the UK TV Box already so this whole "Smart TV" was a really big let down. Needless to say, I have not used the smart TV for any of its "Smart" functions since. I shall continue to use the seemingly smarter "UK TV Box" instead!