Samsung Smart Media Player adds on-demand to dumb TVs

Oct 17, 2013
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Samsung has revealed a new set-top streaming box for adding Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Instant Video to TVs that don't have internet features baked in. The Samsung Smart Media Player (GX-SM530CF) pulls over 100 of the apps Samsung usually includes in its smart TV line-up, but pipes them through to any TV with an HDMI port. There's also support for an optional CableCARD for adding local cable channels too.

That means both cable content and on-demand streaming content can be navigated with the same remote, Samsung points out, cutting down on switching between sources. In addition, there's also AllShare streaming, for pulling over content from a nearby smartphone or tablet.

Samsung uses its S-Recommendation suggestion engine to pick out which of the current content it believes users might be most interested in, learning over time as to viewer preferences based on what people watch. It's also capable of queuing up new content in advance.

The Smart Media Player isn't Samsung's first attempt to add aftermarket smarts to regular TVs. The new model is larger than the Samsung HomeSync Android set-top box but cheaper, with the more flexible Android-based model twice the price of this new version.

Keeping up to date with web-based services is getting to be a serious issue for TV manufacturers. Samsung, for instance, offers its Smart Evolution Kit which can effectively upgrade the processor, connectivity, and supported services of a previous-gen TV by slotting a new "brain" into an upgrade slot on the back of the set.

Samsung's Smart Media Player will hit shelves in the US on October 23, priced at $149.99.


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