Samsung F8000: What is S-recommendation, voice & gesture control - and how it will change your life
We´re diving head-first into Samsung’s 2013 smart TVs - and we’re not going to stop until we’ve busted every bit of jargon they’ve got
This year's crop of smart TVs makes watching the telly easy like Sunday morning - any day of the week.
Take Samsung's new F8000 range: it can be controlled by talking to it, recommends shows it thinks you'll like to watch and even upgrades itself with the latest software from the comfort of your living room.
Gone are the days when smart was solely about streaming - part one of this blog explained the basics of smart TV and checked out LG's new range. If you're unsure what a smart TV actually does, click here.
Now you're all clued up, hold our hand as we dive head-first into Samsung's 2013 smart TVs - and we're not going to stop until we've busted every bit of jargon they've got.
Voice interaction means TV you can chat to
Voice interaction is the must-have accessory for 2013 smart TVs, and communicating with the F8000 can be as simple as having a chat in the pub. We're not joking, either. The TV is designed to recognise conversational English - there's no need to bark specific commands at it. Want to change the channel or turn up the volume? Just say 'hi TV' and away you go.
If you have a list of programme options, tell it to "play the third one" and it'll know what you're on about - the days of lost remotes triggering major domestic incidents are consigned to history.
A TV that upgrades itself with new features - yeah, right
Buying a new TV is a big deal - it takes research, cash and a little bit of lifting and DIY (if it's going up on the wall).
The guys at Samsung know this, and want to help you keep your telly up to date for as long as possible.
The Samsung F8000 features something called Smart Evolution technology. I know you're probably getting a bit tired or reading the word 'smart' in this blog but this really is.
As the months roll by your TV may look like it's just sitting in the corner of your living room, looking pretty and keeping you entertained.
But it's actually doing a whole lot more - updating itself with the latest tech to keep you at the cutting edge of TV without having to get up from your armchair.
Don't know what you want to watch? S-Recommendation does
S-Recommendation may bring to mind late Eighties dance act S-Express but there's nothing old school about this technology.
Choosing what to watch is tough enough with terrestrial and Sky, but smart TVs also bring catch-up TV such as the iPlayer into the equation.
Samsung has seen your brow furrow after a hard day at work as the sheer choice at your fingertips sends you into a TV meltdown.
Its boffins sympathised with your plight and asked themselves how they could make choosing what to watch as simple as switching on the set; S-Recommendation was their answer.
The technology searches live TV listings and on-demand content to suggest shows based on what you've previously watched.
You may be too knackered to make a decision after a killer Monday, but S-Recommendation has been home all day and is really keen to impress.
Over time, your TV will become one of the family, aging like a fine wine or a treasured Labrador. In the same way your better half knows you inside out after spending a few years together, S-Recommendation will know your taste in TV like the back of its hand (if it had one).
The Smart Hub - everything in its right place
Radiohead sang about the importance of keeping everything in its right place, and if you like to keep your pad tidier than Don Draper's hip New York apartment you'll know how much it means too.
The guys at Samsung have come up with a way for you to keep your TV as tidy as the room it sits in - get your feet off the table.
The Smart Hub was also around last year but like a Premier League striker, it's finding its true form in its second season. The technology has undergone a redesign that makes finding your way around your smart TV effortless.
The home screen is divided into five panels: TV recommendations; movies and TV shows; photos, videos and music; social and apps.
Turn the TV on and you'll see the first panel, with live TV running in a window accompanied by recommendations for shows the
Hub thinks you might want to watch - and remember, it will get to know your viewing habits like your wife knows your snoring.
Recommendations so smart they know when the kids are in bed
As well as knowing what you want to watch, it also knows when you want to watch it. So, there'll be no recommendations for the new Mad Men while the kids are about on Saturday morning, or no shout outs for Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom when they're tucked up in bed.
While the little ones are in bed you can rekindle the romance - and apologise for the snoring - with a film from Netflix. This can be found on the movies and TV shows panel, which is also the place for on-demand content if you've sacrificed Champions League football so she can watch the soaps.
Rant about the football on Facebook from your TV
But if missing the match was never an option, the Samsung has plenty of features to enhance your experience.
If you want to rant about a penalty missed or never given in the big European showdown, scroll to the social panel where you'll find direct access to your pals on Twitter and Facebook. If you're really aggrieved why not make use of camera and fire up Skype for a video call?
If you were lucky enough to actually go to the game, you can share the pictures and videos with your jealous pals by scrolling to the photos, videos and music panel. Zoom into a picture with a flick of a finger on your remote to give them a real feel for how mint it was in the stadium - just be prepared to take an envious dig in the ribs for it.
Here's a video showcasing some of the above features.Error loading MacroEngine script (file: ShowAsset.cshtml)
The F8000 updates itself so you don't have to go shopping, finds programmes so you don't have to read the TV guide and allows you to use Facebook so you don't have to reach for your tablets every time you want to fire off a status.
All you have to do is sit back and relax - once you've decided whether to go for the 55inch, 46inch or 40inch model.
The TV may be smarter than Professor Brian Cox but that's one decision you'll have to make yourself.