Putting the smarts in your Smart TV.Pubdate: (2/05/2012)
What defines a smart TV? Is it the ability to launch a web browser The program that serves as your front end to the Web on the Internet. In order to view a site, you type its address (URL) into the browser's Location field; for example, www.computerlanguage.com, and the home page of that site is downloaded to you. on your TV? Or stream your Home Theatre PC (HTPC (Home Theater PC) A PC that is used to play and store music and movies. HTPCs are connected to their own high-quality stereo system or to a home theater system. ) or
Media Server's video library through DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) A coalition of computer and consumer electronics companies that was formed to ensure interoperability in home networks. ? Well, if Samsung has anything to do with it, expect last year's SMART TVs to look, well, dumb. Samsung's new SMART TV line-up, now available in Oman through distributors SARCO, comes with voice recognition, motion sensors and a built-in camera, bringing us ever closer to the Minority Reports interfaces that we've
been craving. If you are considering a new TV and don't already have an HTPC, or are just looking to splurge on some new HDTV (High Definition TV) A set of digital television (DTV) standards that offer the highest resolution and sharpest picture. Although some HDTV sets are available in standard (rather square) screen sizes, the overwhelming majority of sets are wide screen, which eliminates goodness, read on.
The three major upgrades to Samsung's second generation SMART TVs are Smart Interaction - Voice Control, Motion Control and Face Recognition; Smart Content - Family Story, Fitness and Kids; and Smart Evolution. The remote control has a built-in microphone, so does the TV, so you can speak directly to the TV or into the remote to access features; everything from a "Hi, TV" to turn it on, to a "Web browser" to bring up the built-in browser. The voice recognition is currently available in 26 languages, including Arabic (which was quite accurate during our test), and works across the TV's interface, including apps, as long as the app supports the voice control.
Motion control works using simple gestures, for when you are otherwise
occupied, or have greasy fingers from all the popcorn you have been chowing down. Simply bring your hand up and the camera senses an action coming up. You can scroll through pages, change volume and channels, and browse the Internet using your hand (to 'click' you simply bring your fingers together, like a flower closing its petals).
The face recognition is quite brilliant and is integrated into several features and apps like Skype. Sadly, we could not test this out because Skype is still blocked in Oman, but we were told that the camera scans for a person's face and signs them into their respective account. The same goes for the built-in GTalk app.
The new Smart Content expands on its predecessor's offerings, with family oriented content management. Family Story lets you share pictures with people of your choice, chat in real-time and share important family events. It is akin to sharing a post with one circle in Google+, or like Nokia's geo-social networking tool - Pulse. Fitness is especially brilliant for those of us who feel conscious about going to the gym, or simply don't have the time to. The motion sensor and the camera work simultaneously to track your exercise routine, ensuring that you are performing the exercise with the correct posture and action. There are hundreds of exercise training videos available for free, but they are streaming services, which means the TV would need to be connected to your home WLAN/LAN. The same goes for the new Kids feature, which recommends a variety of children's programmes and games.
The Smart Evolution kit, which will be available in 2013, offers you the chance to upgrade your TV without the hassle of buying a new one. A few of the models (ES8000, ES7500 and the E8000 Plasma TV A flat panel TV that uses the plasma display technology. See flat panel TV, plasma display and LCD vs. plasma. ) will be compatible with the evolution kit, which will bump up their dual core processors to enable quad core A single chip with four distinct processors that work simultaneously. Intel introduced its first x86-based quad-core CPUs in late 2006 (see Core 2), and AMD introduced its first x86 quad-core chips in 2007 (see Opteron). See dual core. processing. The kits also give you access to more multimedia content and a host of other features and improvements.
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