Samsung Makes Smart TVs Smarter with Home Control Features

Samsung Smart Things System For TVs


Samsung Strikes Again

Starting off as a budget TV maker in the 1970s, Samsung now holds the distinction of being the World's largest, and one its most innovative TV makers — with offerings across all price ranges and screen sizes. When it comes to TV innovation, Samsung definitely doesn't take a back seat to anyone.

For example, at the 2015 CES, Samsung introduced its SUHD TV line that incorporated innovations such as Nano-Crystal (Quantum Dot)-based enhanced color, HDR (High Dynamic Range) that raised the bar on color reproduction and brightness, as well as incorporating the Tizen operating system for more efficient navigation of TV functions and internet/network-based streaming content.

However, that was 2015, so, in advance of the upcoming 2016 CES, Samsung has announced it will be showing off a new capability that will be available in its entire Smart TV line - IoT (Internet of Things) based Home Control via the SmartThings platform.

Home Control with SmartThings

Ordinarily, home control is something that requires a separate physical and operating infrastructure (in many cases it can be expensive), but with SmartThings, Samsung enters a fast growing market of simpler and affordable alternatives.

Samsung's alternative takes advantage of the family TVs as the basis for home control. Samsung provides a flash drive-sized "Stick" that plugs into one of the TV's provided USB port. When activated, home control features can be accessed via the TV's own operating system, and navigated by the TV's own remote control (or via app-driven Smartphone or Tablet).

The only additional external devices that are required are small wireless command receivers that lights, surveillance cameras, locks, thermostats, multi-room audio components, and other compatible "appliances" can be plugged into to become a part of the SmartThings home control system.

For the home theater fan, the SmartThings system can control all the elements of your viewing environment (turn on the TV and set up commands that turn on all the audio and video devices, dim the lights and/or shut the blinds, and maybe even turn on that popcorn popper).

More Info

Since the announcement is just a tease so far, more details on SmartThings compatible TVs and devices or appliances that can be controlled will be forthcoming at the 2016 CES, as will any other new innovative features to be available on Samsung's entire TV line.

Also, keep in mind that Samsung has a continuing competitive feud with LG, and as either TV maker comes up with something new, the other immediately counters with something similar — in this case, LG is promising some appliance control features as part of its WebOS 3.0 TV operating system that it will also debut at the 2016 CES.

UPDATE 01/04/16: Samsung has also announced additional updates to its Tizen-based Smart Hub Smart TV interface, as well as a revamp of its Smart TV remote control.