Our media agency folks keep talking about how media consumption habits are changing because of changes in devices – particularly in the hand-held domain – meaning your phone or tablet. But here's a new breakthrough TV from Samsung that combines lean-back and lean-froward habits and mashes them onto a large 60-inch LED experience at home.
According to a report on mashable, Samsung really wants to be the company to define the future of TV. And since the TV is now home to so much more than just shows, Samsung has revamped the user interface of its smart TVs to reflect today's connected and social world.
The Smart Hub UI — the TV's "home screen" — on all Samsung TVs going forward will be defined by five app-like tiles, each of which borrows heavily from mobile user interfaces:
On TV: For live TV, this tile will display six thumbnail images that represent programs the TV recommends based on viewing patterns. There'll be a yellow progress bar underneath each to see how far each show has progressed.
Video On Demand: The place for services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Enter a title (either via text or voice), and the TV will show you all the options you have for viewing it.
My Content: Once your TV is connected to your home network, you'll be able to see all your personal content (video, music and photo) here, across devices.
Social: Here you'll find feeds from Twitter, Facebook and other services, which you'll be able to use to quickly connect with the online conversation about what you're watching.
And here's the one that really got my interest on overdrive...
Apps: Download and run Smart TV apps (weather, stocks, et cetera) via this tile, where a recommendation engine will suggest new ones. Samsung says there are "many" video apps to choose from.
Besides organizing your connected TV content into five buckets, Samsung's Smart Hub is designed to work with the new gesture and voice controls the company debuted in 2012. For example, the On Demand tile will respond to natural language like, "I feel like a little Game of Thrones right now."
Our favorite UI feature: You can perform a thumbs-up gesture to Like something on Facebook via the Social tile.
Samsung's improving the second-screen abilities of its TVs, too, enabling them to mirror content down to other devices, including iPads and iPhones. Samsung phones and tablets can also "mirror up" content to the TV.