Samsung Apps for TVs - What You Need to Know

Stream Video, Music, Use Facebook, Twitter, Browse the Web on TV

Samsung Smart Hub
Samsung Smart Hub. © Samsung

Samsung's Approach to Smart TV

Since the introduction of its first Smart TV in 2008, Samsung has parlayed its experience with Smartphone apps as a way to expand the ability of its TVs to access an abundance of internet streaming channels and capabilities.

Using its umbrella "Smart Hub" interface, not only does the TV viewer have efficient access to TV setup and setting functions, but internet streaming services, such as Netflix, Vudu and YouTube, as well as a full web browser, and, depending on the model, social services, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Also, depending on the model, TV viewers can also access content stored on network-connected PCs and media servers.

What all this means is that the TV is not just a way to receive TV programs over-the-air, cable/satellite, but can stream media from your home network and the internet without the need to connect an additional external box, such as a Roku Box, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, or Google Chromecast, unless there is a specific service (or services) that are not available via Samsung Apps. All Samsung Smart TVs provide Ethernet and Wifi connection options.

It Is All About the Apps

The idea of Smart TV in general and Samsung's approach to that idea, is to have apps built-in or accessible through your TV, similar to the way we use apps on a smartphone. Now, when you look at your Samsung TV menu, looks similar to a Samsung (or another brand) smartphone screen.

The Samsung Smart TV platform has a few of the more popular apps pre-loaded (Simplified Smart TV), with more available that can be downloaded from the Samsung App Store.

These additional apps are accessible via the TV's Smart Hub or onscreen menu (just look for the icon that just says "Apps"). You will see additional selections grouped in various categories to choose from (What's New, Most Popular, Video, Lifestyle, and Entertainment). Additional apps that are not listed in the categories may be found using Search, which is located on the top right corner of the Apps menu screen.

Just type in the name of you desired app and see if it available.

Another thing to point out is that although most apps can be downloaded for free, some may require a small fee, and some free apps may also require addition subscription or pay-per-view fees to access content.

Along with the popular apps that are suited to the TV’s big screen, such as Netflix, Vudu, Hulu, and YouTube, there are music apps, such as Pandora and iHeart Radio, and other unique apps may be based on games or apps that run on other devices. Also, there are apps to connect directly to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Smart TV As Your Life Hub

Samsung's goal is to enable their TVs to be the hub of our home life. We shouldn't have to run to our computer to check on Facebook or Twitter or to post our status. We should be able to turn on the TV and have access to online movies and TV without any other device. And we should be able to get a variety of content to help us in our daily lives — from morning exercises to an hour-by-hour weather and current traffic report to help you decide how to schedule your day.

In other words, you can turn on your Samsung TV when you get up in the morning.  One app will guide you through yoga poses (such as Bea Love Yoga).

  Or if you prefer, you can do squats, pushups and abdominal exercises.  

Then you can switch to another app (such as AccuWeather), and with a glance, you can keep up with the time and date, see and get the hour-by-hour weather forecast for the day. You can also get weather and local traffic info from Dashwhoa, as well as the latest business news and market reports from apps such as Bloomberg or Marketwall.

Other apps help you keep up with the news, sports, weather forecasts and even help you plan your travel. There are several games for adults (Gamefly and Playstation Now) and kids (Monkey Madness, El Dorado).

With several hundred apps available on some models, there are a few that stand out.

Check out our picks for The Best Samsung Smart TV Apps

In addition to apps, Samsung has taken the "hub of our home life" concept even further with the inclusion of Home Control features on some their high-end Smart TVs.

Examples of Samsung Smart TVs Include:

Samsung KS8000 Series SUHD TVs (Full Experience)

Samsung KU6300 Series UHD TVs (Simplified Experience)

Smart TV Apps on Samsung Blu-ray Disc Players

It is important to note that Samsung Apps also work on Samsung's line of network-enabled Blu-ray Players, but have similar limitations as their Simplified Smart TV offerings.

Here are two examples:

Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player

Samsung BD-J7500 Blu-ray Disc Player

Be sure to check out our direct companion piece: How To Use Samsung Apps.

Disclosure: The core content of this article was originally written by Barb Gonzalez, it has been reformatted and updated by Robert Silva