Question Why I don't like Samsung Smart Hub

Mar 4, 2019
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it's built in to my Samsung Smart TV television set.

It's no substitute for a PC when it comes to Web browsing or video downstreaming as from YouTube.

  1. the picture quality sucks
  2. the streaming is laggy
  3. you have to use the remote (TV clicker) as "a mouse and keyboard" which is slow and awkward as the devil to navigate through
  4. yes, my TV has three USB ports on the back but only my Microsoft dongle mouse works on it but not my Microsoft dongle keyboard
  5. the built-in Samsung browser sucks: I can't install Chrome, log on my Google account and import all my Chrome bookmarks and settings
  6. yes, it has browser history, but if I close and reopen Smart Hub and try to go back to a YouTube movie I previously started in another Smart Hub session, I have to start the damn video all over from the beginning...a Windows PC with Chrome installed can be put to sleep after pausing a YouTube video in the middle, and when awaken, the movie can be resumed where it left off by hitting play
So, my laptop is connected to my TV instead for watching YouTube on the living room big screen.


I don't subscribe to Netflix but I like to watch a bunch of Lassie reruns and hunting videos posted on YouTube for free...except I hate the damn YouTube commercials.

YouTube is my entertainment headquarters these days. The PC connected to the TV allows me to pause a YouTube movie in the middle, put the PC to sleep or just leave Windows running, switch to cable broadcast TV to watch Fox News or switch to a DVD or Blu-Ray player movie then allows me to switch back to YouTube to resume the YouTube show. My Chrome browser is also set to automatically restore previously-opened tabs/Web pages when reopened or the PC is rebooted. However, YouTube videos aren't bookmarked when Chrome or any other browser, including the Smart Hub one, is shut down and reopened. My wireless mouse and keyboard also works with my HP Pavilion notebook PC hooked up to the television set and resolution for video streaming is far superior via the PC than Smart Hub anyway. My PC is also hard-wired to the router too while Smart Hub connects via Wi-Fi which is slower. Samsung Smart TV is a great television set but it's no damn computer.

My HP Pavilion notebook hooked to the Smart TV has an Intel Core i5 chip in it and that pesky Windows 10. I like Windows 7 too much.

What Samsung should do is integrate a fully-functional Windows PC right into the TV housing. That could make for a really SMART TV set indeed. Perhaps, even integrate a built-in Blu-Ray player as well. Might as well build in surround sound as well. The Samsung "All-In-One" Smart TV?
 
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Reactions: King_V
This is a perpetual problem with "smart" devices like TVs, Blu-Ray players, etc.

(begin rant)
I have a Sharp Aquos from 2012, and at first thought the built in Netflix and YouTube were pretty neat. Downside is that Netflix is really fussy about initial startup. If you do it before the network connection establishes itself, or if the connection HAS established itself and the TV hasn't had the time to sit down, ponder the meaning of life, and have a hot cup of tea, then it will complain about not being able to connect, and choosing the Try Again option will NEVER work. You have to shut the TV off and turn it back on.

When it does work, responsiveness is very sluggish (pause, unpause, seeking back and forward, etc can take a few seconds of response time), and sometimes when starting to view something, the audio will come in and play for as much as 15-20 seconds before the video catches up.


The Samsung Blu-Ray player from mid-2016 was far less sluggish, and I thought was great with Netflix. Except that with Netflix or DVDs, sometimes the video would go out, then come back a few seconds later, all the while the show/movie is progressing. This would occasionally happen a few times, then not happen again for weeks or months.

And, sometimes, when watching Netflix, the device would simply stop abruptly, then reboot itself to the Home screen. Generally unplugging and plugging back in would get this to stop.

Several updates, and the occasional self-reboots didn't go away. The blanking for a few seconds problem DID eventually stop. Strangely, the timing of that problem vanishing did not seem to coincide with a system update - but it was such an intermittent thing that it's hard to say for sure.

About a week ago, I paused a show in Netflix to take an extended phone call. Normally after a while, it goes into a screen saver mode. This time it didn't. Came back, show wouldn't resume. Hit Home, no problem. Go back to Netflix, hangs on loading screen. Home, no problem. YouTube, no problem. Netflix again, hangs on loading screen, then won't respond to anything from the remote. Or the on-device power or eject buttons. Unplug, plug back in. Blank screen.

Yes, a 2-year-old Samsung Blu-Ray player bricked itself after the incredibly complex task of pausing a tv show. Oh, one can do a hard-reset by holding down the eject button for 8 seconds while on the Home screen. But if the device won't even get to the Home screen, then what? When plugged in, you can hear the disc-player motor whir up for a second or so, then spin down to a stop.

I very much regret sending my still-working 16 year old DVD player to recycling. But I thought "I have a Blu-Ray player now, why would I need a separate DVD player?"

Shows what I knew, huh?


As a quick solution, I got a Roku Express. Now I've only had it for a week, but the snappy, instant responsiveness when compared to the TV is like night and day. Response to input from the remote is immediate, much like using the old DVD player. The Roku is something I now wish I'd picked up long ago.

I still need to get something to play discs. Right now, I only have DVDs, but I want to get Blu-Ray discs eventually (any new purchases, at any rate). For the time being I'm going to hook up an older PC to handle DVD playing duties. What to do for playing Blu-Ray discs, when I get them, I'm not sure yet. Guess I'll have to burn that bridge when I get to it.


Companies making TVs and disc players need to give up on the "smart device" thing - they SUCK at it, and they have little incentive to give their devices the CPU and RAM oomph needed to make them a smooth experience, and even less incentive to put much effort into updates/fixes once you own the device. They need to back to dumb devices that do what they're supposed to do (and that can't commit suicide via sloppy software), and leave the smart apps to things like the gaming consoles, Roku, etc.

That I am considering making that old PC into an HTPC is telling - PCs have a reputation for being cantankerous, yet, a PC would be a remarkable improvement over the "smart" devices in terms of user experience, stability, and, worst case, if it somehow corrupts itself, it can have the system reinstalled.
(end rant)
 
Mar 4, 2019
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Is been awhile now, many of us here prefer a dumb TV paired with external smarts. Makes TV purchasing decision easier and as much smart as one likes to add-on. Simple.
Is been awhile now, many of us here prefer a dumb TV paired with external smarts. Makes TV purchasing decision easier and as much smart as one likes to add-on. Simple.
It's virtually impossible to buy a Samsung TV anymore without some "smart" baggage built in. I can still use my Samsung as a "television set" or a "dumb monitor" if I choose. I can leave the big funny hex-shape multi-colored Smart Hub button alone on the clicker if I wish. I do like the smart picture size memory. My PC requires Screen Fit, cable broadcast TV generally requires 16:9 and some older DVDs require 4:3. The TV set saves the picture size settings for various devices when toggling between one input source and another. I can watch CNN in 16:9 and toggle to Blu-Ray and the picture size will self-change to 4:3 (if so previously set) because I had loaded my old black-and-white The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939, John Carradine, 20th Century Fox, based on one of the more popular Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Watson mystery series books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) ) DVD which was originally recorded in 4:3 then I can toggle to Game (the PC input) and the TV will auto-set to the Screen Fit selection so the taskbar, the wallpaper and desktop icons don't get cut off along the edges. The PC resolution is set to default 1366x768 as recommended by Windows 10 Display settings. The TV supports up to 1080i resolution.

I use "Game" for naming the computer HDMI input because it gives a brighter, sharper clearer picture than if I were to name the input "PC" which makes the PC screen look too dark and fuzzy. The Game input selection also allows for some advanced picture enhancement settings as well in the TV's menu though I don't use my PC for actual gaming. I think the Game input name allows the Game Mode to be turned on.

CableOne offers Animal Planet in HD on my subscription but it still has that square 4:3 format on the screen with black bars on either end. Most HD channels are 16:9 and fill the screen. Black bars should not cause burn in on an LED TV. My 7-year-old Samsung 20" LED computer monitor never burns in with still images on the screen for hours if not days at a time and I don't use a screensaver anymore.

I can also update my TV firmware with a Wi-Fi connection built in to the set.

I'm not really keen on Samsung's proprietary Anynet+.
 
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USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
What Samsung should do is integrate a fully-functional Windows PC right into the TV housing. That could make for a really SMART TV set indeed.
That's about a bad idea.

When I turn the TV on, I want it to be ON. Now.
I don't want to wait for a Windows update.

HAving a PC feed the TV is one thing. Having the PC built into the TV is something else completely.
 
Mar 4, 2019
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That's about a bad idea.

When I turn the TV on, I want it to be ON. Now.
I don't want to wait for a Windows update.

HAving a PC feed the TV is one thing. Having the PC built into the TV is something else completely.
You are probably correct, separate smart (or not-so-smart) devices to a dumber TV set is probably the way to fly. Right now, I can watch Fox News via cable ASAP (or a DVD or BD movie) as that stupid Windows 10 drags its feet with updates.

Will there become a time when the Internet replaces cable or satellite dish TV altogether? Will Big Cable and Big Dish ever go out of business completely? Smartphones seem to have sent Ma Bell to the grave.

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-cable-replacements,review-4387.html
 
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USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
You are probably correct, separate smart (or not-so-smart) devices to a dumber TV set is probably the way to fly. Right now, I can watch Fox News via cable ASAP (or a DVD or BD movie) as that stupid Windows 10 drags its feet with updates.

Will there become a time when the Internet replaces cable or satellite dish TV altogether? Will Big Cable and Big Dish ever go out of business completely? Smartphones seem to have sent Ma Bell to the grave.

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-cable-replacements,review-4387.html
TV and internet are usually/often delivered by the same company, via the same wire.
Mine is, Verizon fiber.

And the issue isn't necessarily "Windows 10", but any general purpose OS. Win 10, Win 7, Linux...Why build the capability of working on a spreadsheet into a TV/big monitor?
(and we already have those, in All-In-One systems)

Have the screen be just a big screen. Let other interchangeable devices feed the content.
PC, STB, DVR, cameras, etc, etc.
 
Mar 4, 2019
6
1
15
0
TV and internet are usually/often delivered by the same company, via the same wire.
Mine is, Verizon fiber.

And the issue isn't necessarily "Windows 10", but any general purpose OS. Win 10, Win 7, Linux...Why build the capability of working on a spreadsheet into a TV/big monitor?
(and we already have those, in All-In-One systems)

Have the screen be just a big screen. Let other interchangeable devices feed the content.
PC, STB, DVR, cameras, etc, etc.
I don't work spreadsheets on my big TV anyway. My "set top" laptop (actually sitting on a floor safe right beside the TV cart with a vinyl placemat on top of its closed lid as a dust cover and a small toy R/C car as a weight to hold it down) there mostly feeds the YouTube movies to the TV set. Works much better for me than Smart Hub. It also feeds the Google Web pages to the TV if I need to do something online for my neighbor next door with her and me right by the computer like show her how to get tech support for her smartphone online. I once knew an old man who had his 55" TV, I think a Sanyo, hooked up to his desktop PC right in his bedroom for spreadsheets, WMP music management, email and everything else. He claimed this was much easier on his eyes than the small PC monitor.
 
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USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
I don't work spreadsheets on my big TV anyway. My "set top" laptop (actually sitting on a floor safe right beside the TV cart with a vinyl placemat on top of its closed lid as a dust cover and a small toy R/C car as a weight to hold it down) there mostly feeds the YouTube movies to the TV set. Works much better for me than Smart Hub. It also feeds the Google Web pages to the TV if I need to do something online for my neighbor next door with her and me right by the computer like show her how to get tech support for her smartphone online. I once knew an old man who had his 55" TV, I think a Sanyo, hooked up to his desktop PC right in his bedroom for spreadsheets, WMP music management, email and everything else. He claimed this was much easier on his eyes than the small PC monitor.
Right.
Interchangeable devices, connected to the big monitor.
Not "a Windows PC built into the TV".
 
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Will there become a time when the Internet replaces cable or satellite dish TV altogether? Will Big Cable and Big Dish ever go out of business completely? Smartphones seem to have sent Ma Bell to the grave.
Don't hold ur breath those cable companies will never die, they just morph into something else.

Am becoming aware there are IPTV service, vendor name escape me at the moment, and my provider, Comcast offers what they call Online TV, yeah watch TV over the Internet, AFTER you paid what they call broadcast rights.

Was on the market for a new TV last Thanksgiving, Samsung's interface didn't attracted me at all, ended up getting a TCL6 Roku TV and must say the Roku interface is decent, UTube and Netflix no discernible lag, happy so far.
 

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