This addition can make an idiot box appear more advanced than it really is, writes Jennifer Dudley- Nicholson
Smarten up your TV
Keeping up with smart- television developments can be expensive. Few viewers have the means or motivation to upgrade their televisions yearly, making it hard to use the latest apps and additions to internet- savvy televisions.
Samsung is a leading proponent of this technological trap, having invested heavily in smart TVS and recently attracting more than half a million TV app clicks.
Mercifully, the company is going out of its way to help existing TV owners catch up.
In addition to offering new TV updates for five years, Samsung has launched this smart Blu- ray disc player that can make regular TVS appear ‘‘ smart’’.
Plug this device into a standard TV, connect it to the internet and you can pretend your screen is one of the latest models.
For our test, we laid down a genuine challenge for the E5900 by connecting it to a five- year- old Samsung LCD TV.
Setting up this system was simple, with a menu screen explaining the steps, including enabling a wireless or wired internet connection, and automatically downloading updates to ensure fresh content.
Once installed, users can enter the Samsung TV app store, known as Smart Hub, with a click of the remote control.
Smart Hub features apps including educational children’s activities hub Kids, Quickflix and Bigpond Movies for film streaming, iview and Youtube for smaller entertainment packages, Facebook and Twitter, plus Fitness for on- demand exercise videos.
The latter is a new addition that lets you choose workout videos based on time and types of activity and, if you sign in with a Samsung account, it can even track your progress.
This has the potential to replace several exercise DVDS.
Our experience, however, was far from perfect. Even with a 20Mbps connection, videos paused every 30 seconds.
Hopefully this app’s buffering ability will be upgraded.
Plug this device into a standard TV, connect it to the internet and you can pretend your screen is one of the latest models
It should also be noted that apps can be a little sluggish to load compared with a fresh computer or smartphone, though that is to be expected from a TV extra.
In addition to delivering apps to the big screen, this smart Blu- ray player can also team up with smartphones, tablets and PCS to share content wirelessly.
It’s equipped with DLNA and wi- fi Direct technology to stream photos or videos to the big screen with little fuss without wires.
This device, of course, also works as a capable 3D Blu- ray player and one that will upscale your regular DVDS to something approaching high- definition quality.
A USB connection enables users to plug in their own content, including Divx movies, to screen without involving a PC.
With so many features, and a price tag of $ 219, the E5900 makes a compelling case for a smart TV upgrade.