There are bunches of different Smart TV brands on the market today and many of them offer the same features and capabilities. Sony offers a line of Smart TVs as does Vizio, and Samsung. Samsung Smart TVs are some of the most common you will find. The cool thing about Samsung Smart TV offerings is that the company has them in a range of prices and some of its Blu-ray players have Smart TV capability as well.
A Blu-ray player with Samsung Smart TV capability means that you can just hook up the Blu-ray player to your existing TV and get all the features without having to spend thousands on a new TV set. For me with a big projector and projector screen in my media room a Blu-ray player is the only way I will get access to Samsung Smart TV or other smart TV offerings.
For the most part all Smart TV offerings are the same. The big difference comes in the hub or app stores that the maker has for users to peruse. Samsung Smart TVs use the Smart Hub with all the sources and components that you can access and use on the Smart TV right in one place. This makes it easy to see what you can do without having to navigate a bunch of menus.
Smart TVs are a great way to access the wide world of content on your TV that the internet has to offer and by getting that content on your TV rather than being tied to your smaller computer screen making the watching of your favorite content and shows more enjoyable. Read on for my list of the coolest things you can do with a Samsung Smart TV or other brands of smart TVs.
1. Hulu Plus - If you are a big fan of network TV it can be hard to keep up with the shows you want to see, even if you have a DVR. I have a bunch of shows like Castle and others that I really like. I routinely end up missing the shows for a few weeks at a time. I DVR all the shows but the problem is my DirecTV DVR fills up so fast that I often end up missing episode thanks to my DVR running out of space and overwriting shows I haven’t watched. With Samsung Smart TV, I can pop over to Hulu Plus, open up a HD stream of my favorite shows, and catch up in one swoop. Hulu Plus is the killer app in my opinion for Smart TVs and is the thing that most people will probably watch the most. It’s much more enjoyable to watch shows on Hulu Plus on my big screen rather than on my computer.
2. Netflix - Right next to Hulu Plus as the killer app for Smart TVs from Samsung and others is Netflix. I was late to the Netflix party, but I can’t live without this service now. Not only can I watch past seasons of some of my favorite TV shows, but also Netflix has tons of movies that you actually want to see that you can stream. My kids love Netflix too since it has a ton of their favorite cartoons and a bunch of kids movies to choose from. We often end the night watching a kid's movie before bed to wind down and being able to choose from the hoards of flicks on Netflix is fantastic. Netflix can stream to your computer, smartphone, or tablet too, but watching it on your TV is the ideal way I think.
3. Skype - If you are a Skype user, you can make and receive Skype calls right from your Samsung Smart TV. That means you don’t have to get up and go to your computer if you want to talk to someone, you can just hit the Samsung Smart TV Skype app and talk all you want.
4. Facebook - I know that more than once I get bored during a commercial and want to see what my friends are doing on Facebook. I generally whip out my iPhone and look at Facebook on the small screen. With the Facebook app on the Samsung Hub it's much better for checking out the photos people upload to use Facebook on your TV and you don't have to wait for your computer to boot up or run down the battery on your smartphone.
5. Games - Samsung Smart TV also has a bunch of games that users can play. You can play Texas Hold Em and other stuff too. Samsung will add more games over time to its Smart Hub.
6. Stream Music - If you have your Samsung Smart TV or other brand of smart TV hooked to a home theater system you can stream all the music you want from services like Pandora and Napster. This is a great way to listen to your favorite tunes over your fancy surround sound system without having to pop for a docking station or mess with your smartphone or computer.
7. Twitter - Samsung Smart TV also has a Twitter app that lets you tweet all you want right from your TV and check out what others are tweeting too. This is yet another app that will keep you from having to use your smartphone or computer when you want to check out online content.
8. Web surfing - All the cool stuff that I have talked about that you can do with a Samsung Smart TV is fine and dandy, but the capability to surf the web will be most important for many. With Samsung Smart TV, you get a web browser that lets you visit your favorite blogs and websites. You can shop for clothes, read a review of the latest car or gadget and do just about anything you could do on your computer right on your big screen. This also effectively gives you another computer in your home so if your kids want to look at Zhu Zhu Universe while you are working you don’t have a pouting six-year-old standing at your side waiting for you to get done. At least that happens to me a lot.