Samsung’s 2013 Smart TVs: everything you need to know

Samsung’s 2013 TV lineup is big on interaction and content

Samsung has launched its 2013 line-up of LED and plasma TVs with massive fanfare, pushing new features that make its TVs easier to use, and more responsive to the content being watched on them.

Note: Samsung has now launched its 2014 range of smart TVs. Read about them here: What you need to know about Samsung's 2014 TVs.

Samsung 2013 Smart TVs: Range

The Samsung S9 Ultra HD TV.
The Samsung S9 Ultra HD TV.

The hero of Samsung’s launch was its S9 Ultra HD TV — an 85-inch, LED-backlit, ‘4K’-resolution TV with a stand styled like a painter’s easel. Arriving in only a few of Samsung’s partner retail stores in June, the S9 will cost $40,000 in Australia.

The Samsung S9 joins the $16,000 LG 84LM9600 and $25,000 Sony X900 BRAVIA TVs, both of which have similar 84-inch panels. The Korean TV market leader says its unique features more than justify the S9’s higher price tag, and has said that at least a dozen buyers have already put down deposits to pre-order the TV locally.

More accessible than the $40,000 S9 is the rest of Samsung’s 2013 Smart TV line-up. As in previous years, the range is separated into several Series, differentiated by included features and screen technologies. There are 31 LED and four plasma TVs in the company’s 2013 range.

The Series 8 (F800) Smart LED TV.
The Series 8 (F800) Smart LED TV.

Top billing goes to the Series 8 (F8000) LED TVs, available in 75-, 65-, 60- and 55-inch sizes ($9,999, $5,999, $4,999, and $4,199 respectively). Below that, a Series 7 (F7100) has 60- and 55-inch variants ($3,999 and $3,299).

The Series 6 range is the mass-market line, with four variants within the Smart TV series (F6800, F6700, F6400, and F6300). The F6800 range comes in three sizes — 55-, 50- and 40-inches. The F6700 range will also have the same three 55-, 50- and 40-inch panels. F6400 has the largest stratification, ranging from a 75-inch screen to a 32-inch one, with 65-, 60-, 55- and 50-inch in between. F6300 has 55-, 50-, 40- and 32-inch screens — confused yet?

The Series 6 (F6400) Smart LED TV.
The Series 6 (F6400) Smart LED TV.

Prices have not been released for the entire Series 6 range, but the F6400 range will vary from $6,999 for the 75-inch to $2,349 for the 55-inch. The company’s cheapest Smart LED TVs are the Series 5 (F5500) — there are three 50-, 40- and 32-inch models.

The company also has two non-Smart LED TV series — the Series 5 (F5000), and Series 4 (F4000). The F5000 range has 50-, 40-, 32- and 22-inch sizes, and the F4000 has 32-, 28- and 19-inch models. 2013 is the year that Samsung has finally done away with the superseded cold-cathode backlights used in older LCD TVs, and has upgraded to LED lighting across the range.

The Series 8+ plasma TV.
The Series 8+ plasma TV.

Plasma TVs are not dead yet, although the company has drastically down-sized their production in recent years. There are two ranges of plasma TVs for Samsung in 2013 — the Series 8+, with 64- and 60-inch models ($4,299 and $3,999), and the Series 5+, with 64- and 51-inch variants.

The release of Samsung’s new Smart TVs will be staggered, with models being released between now and July — generally cheaper models will be released first, with larger sizes and more premium models hitting store shelves towards the middle of the year. The top-of-the-line, $9,999 75-inch Series 8 (F8000) will be available in July.

Samsung 2013 Smart TVs: Interaction

Just like last year, Samsung is heavily pushing the interactive side of its Smart TVs. The company’s killer feature this year is natural language — available on its higher-end Smart TVs like the S9, Series 8, and Series 6, the service has two aspects. The first is natural language recognition, with users being able to issue the TV commands in loosely-defined phrases, rather than set sentences with keywords as last year’s models required.

Samsung's voice command bar at the top of the screen.
Samsung's voice command bar at the top of the screen.

Read more: Buying guide: LG’s 2014 TV range

This speech-to-text feature lets users change volume, channels, navigate through menus, and ask the TV questions to which it will synthesise a response. Samsung says the TVs will be able to understand “almost anything” that is it asked.For all the Smart Interaction voice control, you’ll need to have a TV that’s compatible with the new Samsung Smart Touch Remote — it’s got a microphone inside.

Once a command has been issued, the TV will respond in kind — its text-to-speech function draws from the same library of natural language, with each TV storing thousands of pre-recorded sentences and delivering one or more, or a combination of several, as the situation demands. The system was developed locally in collaboration with Macquarie University, with half a million dollars of R&D funding from Samsung.

Samsung’s motion-sensing cameras on top of premium TVs also get an upgrade — they’ve changed from super-low-res VGA cameras to not-so-low-res 5-megapixel units. This is enough for them to successfully distinguish each of a user’s hands, making two-handed gestures like rotating and zooming possible, in the same way that multi-touch on a touchscreen works. Face detection is another big part of the camera’s role, logging users into their personalised home screens in the same way as Panasonic’s 2013 TVs.

Samsung 2013 Smart TVs: Content

TVs aren’t any good if they don’t have anything screening on them, and Samsung’s got that message loud and clear. There’s two big draw-cards for the 2013 range of Samsung TVs — the first is a revamped and revitalised Smart Hub interface that’s smart enough to know what you want to watch, and the second is a content deal that should be a big value-add for sports fans.

The new Smart Hub layout, in the My Apps screen.
The new Smart Hub layout, in the My Apps screen.

The new Smart Hub looks very similar to the grid-style layout of the apps on Apple’s iOS, or the app draw on Google’s Android smartphone operating system. It’s no-nonsense: there’s a long line of recommended apps up top, and a larger grid of all the apps you’ve already installed. Navigation seems faster and smoother than in previous years — likely an advantage of the new TVs’ superior processing power.

The On TV screen of Smart Hub, which recommends you shows that S-Recommendation has picked out.
The On TV screen of Smart Hub, which recommends you shows that S-Recommendation has picked out.

Most users generally use their TVs mostly for watching free-to-air digital TV, and Samsung is banking on this for its S-Recommendation feature. What S-Recommendation does is keep track of what you’ve watched, and of any content questions you might have asked, and pick out shows that it thinks you might be interested in. It learns your preferences each time you watch TV, so it’ll get more refined with time. It can also be configured for individual users, tying in with face recognition where it’s available. It’ll work with your free-to-air digital TV from when Samsung’s new TVs hit the shelves, and should support the in-built Foxtel app by the end of the year.

Samsung made the bold claim that its new TVs let Australian viewers access 90 per cent of the entire world’s televised sport. A lot of that comes from the comprehensive coverage of ESPN3 on the included Foxtel app, which requires a subscription, and most of the other content is through a service called LiveSport TV. It’ll cost you around $60 per month, but it’s got a whole mess of sports included from hockey to rugby.

Samsung 2013 Smart TVs: Evolution

Samsung made a big song and dance about its premium 2012 TVs being compatible with a plug-in box that would upgrade their hardware and software — the Smart Evolution Kit. The first Smart Evolution Kit is here, now, and it does everything it promises to.

The mysterious Smart Evolution box, which plugs into a port at the back of 2012 Series 7 and 8 Samsung Smart TVs.
The mysterious Smart Evolution box, which plugs into a port at the back of 2012 Series 7 and 8 Samsung Smart TVs.

The price is significantly higher than Samsung said it would be — between $249 and $299, instead of around $129. This is to do with the hardware that’s inside the Kit, like a quad-core processor, as well as the development costs that have gone into making the new Smart Hub interface and apps compatible with older televisions.

Samsung 2013 Smart TVs: Availability

Samsung’s range of 2013 TVs will become available from April to July, depending on the model. Here’s a list of the rough availability of the flagship models in each range:

• Samsung Series 8 Smart LED TV 75” (F8000) – RRP $9,999, available in July
• Samsung Series 8 Smart LED TV 65” (UAF8000) – RRP $5,999 available in June
• Samsung Series 8 Smart LED TV 60” (UAF8000) – RRP $4,999 available in June
• Samsung Series 8 Smart LED TV 55” (UAF8000) – RRP $4,199 available in April
• Samsung Series 7 Smart LED TV 60” (UA607100) – RRP $3,999 available in June
• Samsung Series 7 Smart LED TV 55” (UA55F7100) – RRP $3,299 available in May
• Samsung Series 7 LED TV 46” (UA467100) – RRP $2,399 available in May
• Samsung Series 6 LED TV 75” (UA75F6400) – RRP $6,999 available in June
• Samsung Series 6 LED TV 65” (UA65F6400) – RRP $3,999 available in June
• Samsung Series 6 LED 60” (UA60F6400) – RRP $2,999 available in May
• Samsung Series 6 LED 55” (UA55F6400) – RRP $2,349 available in April
• Samsung Series 8 Plasma 64” (PS64F8500) – RRP $4,299 available in April
• Samsung Series 8 Plasma 60” (PS60F8500) – RRP $3,399 available in April

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Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

PC World

23 Comments

DIJO JOSEPH

1

Check out this iOS app: 'Video browser for Samsung Smart tv'. It plays any video file straight to your Samsung tv. It's available at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/video-browser-for-samsung/id640556224?mt=8

Marion Paul

2

We have a Samsung television set, which we have had for some 10 years or so. How can we tell if this is Analog or Digital, & whether it will work at the end of this year?

Could you please inform me,

Marion Paul

Stokanator

3

Look for the model number in the back of the set and do a google search and look at the factory specifications.

Georgia

4

Where can I get 3d movies on the samsung smart tv???

Asgeir Ebenezersson

5

Hi there happy people. I am interested in Samsung 55" smart tv. How much is it from you with shipping in us$ please.
Best regards
Asgeir Ebenezersson

Anthony

6

Fail. All content goes thru Samsung's servers. So when their server goes down and I goes down very often and mostly goes down on weekends, you can't watch any of your content!
This is pretty dumb.

NAVEEN

7

i have new purchased Mac Mini-MD388HN-A i want to know which smart led tv is compatible with mac mini

Helen

8

i have bought my new tv in china and the tv is in chiniese even the remote control could i please have the english version remote detials

Peter

9

I Just bought a new Smart TV Samsung 65 inch , back of TV got USB plug, I record TV by USB and system TV must format ok after record I watch TV ok, and I unplug and put in my computer , computer can not read and I can see too. Can you help me how to buy or which software can play or watching by computer. Thank you

timberjet

10

This is the email I sent to samsung in regards to the customer experience that I was subjected to today while trying to get warranty service on this POS tv.

Timothy Warehime <timberjet@gmail.com>
1:20 PM (4 minutes ago)

to julius.jones
Samsung. To whom it may concern. I own A 1 year old samsung smart tv purchaced from Amazon. It lasted about A month before having to be sent back for repairs. The customer service in that instance was deplorable and the TV was gone for A long long time. When it finally came back it never worked right. The HDMI functions never worked and the smart hub apps barely work as well as the web browser which is appallingly bad at doing any web browsing. All that aside A few weeks ago I started getting intermittent power cycling, on off, on off, etc. Now the device is completely unusable. That said, I purchased an extended warranty from TWG on november 5th. On the 5th or 6th of november I spent several hours on the phone trying to get service on my unit. I gave up after not getting any satisfaction from any of the customer service representatives I spoke to. That brings us to today. I started attempting to make a warranty claim at 8am pacific time. I called the phone number listed on the letter from samsung about the extended warranty offer. I was transfered back and forth for nearly 4 hours without any resoloution. I would give the person all the information, they would put me on hold for 20 to 40 minutes at which time either the call would mysteriously drop or I would be transfered to a recording to call 1-800- samsung and start all over from scratch again. I spoke to at least 3 different companies multiple times. If you would like to review the transaction the number is 5107036379. The script that is obviously provided to said customer service personell and followed to the letter is not in any way effective in resolving any issue of warranty service like this. After all that I finally got to speak to A supervisor at TWG, after 4 hours of phone time. Now I have to wait a few more days to get a call from a service person but at least something is getting done. I was transfered at times to non working phone lines, dead end recordings, hung up on, lied to, and generally ran around the block. Is it your intention or policy to run your customers so ragged that they eventually give up and chuck their device in the dumpster? I am very very unhappy with samsung products and services and may find it quite hard to ever do business with said organization again. I own my own business and lost at least $200.00 in wages dealing with this today. This should have been 1 phone call as this problem is very well documented all over the internet as is your deplorable customer service techniques.

Hugh Gray

11

Up until reading this I was thinking of buying a new samsung series 8.
Thanks for the advice, will look around some more.
I think good service at point of contact is the most important and I hate waiting on the phone or getting the run around, Looks like Samsung miss out big time.

CJ

12

I completely agree with you Hugh. No one wants a run-a-round nightmare! I'll buy Visio. Good luck Timberjet. I hope Samsung steps up to the plate for you like they should. It's time they put on their big boy pants.

Skip Duemeland

13

The recent reviews of warranty issues makes me want to cancel our Ulta High Definition Samsung 55 inch class, 4K ultra HD TV (2160p) 120 Hz Smart Class 3D HDTV 2,998.98. I understand a fellow was 4 hours on line, no resolution yet. I have the same problem in receiving a manual on line, very difficult. All hype, but no real results.

Michael

14

i have samsung smart led tv series6 40", at iran we have some problems to access to Samsung website for downloading softwares, have you any way to download softwares for tv without using tv or at new site?

Michael

15

I have samsung smart led tv series6 40", at iran we have some problems to access to Samsung website for downloading softwares, have you any way to download softwares for tv without using tv or at new site?

Kristen

16

Don't buy a Samsung! Our series 8000 lasted exactly 14 months before the entire TV met it's death. Motherboard. Technician said, "it's one of those things." It was already expensive. I expected it to last at least 2 years. Would never buy a Samsung or purchase from Best Buy again.

Sacramento

17

I have a 46" Samsung smart TV and it keeps blinking (meaning screen goes black for a second then picture returns) HDMI 1920x1080/60i. I changed the range on the digital cable box and still blinks but with different ranges. I returned the TV bought at Costco, and got another 46" smart, same problem. I believe this has been happening to all the smart TV's and Samsung has not addressed the issue. Going to return and get a Sony.

Jai Hogg

18

I can't get headphones to come out of the TV! If someone can help me, I will pay you. (jai.hogg@gmail.com)

Clarry

19

Every time I want to search the web on my 55 inch 200Hzh Samsung Smart LED LCD TV, it has to update and download something and refuses to connect, but sometimes the internet connects immediately, I do not understand why, this TV was supposed to be the bees knees of televisions but, I am starting to doubt that. Can anyone shed any light on this for me please.

Dana

20

Just done a warranty claim with Samsung here in Brisbane and it was brilliant. They ended up giving me a store credit due to no stock of plamas ... Getting another Samsung .... Thank you Samsung for not stressing me out. 10 out of 10

Monique petersen

21

I bought a Samsung smart LCD 3D 55" Tv from Erina Fair dealer 16 months ago and fortunately took out a 3 year extended warranty with it for $289 .After approx 13 months it started to flash green across the screen .After contacting the retailer and a lot of run arounds ,they sent an incompetent electronic repairer who could not speak english properly who said we needed a new aerial and nothing wrong with tv well $225 for that and still the same problem. I was really angry by his stage and called the manger of retail store and informed him about the problem and he was extremely helpful, within 3 days another electronic company came took the Tv and a few days later was informed it wasn't worth repairing and I now am waiting for a new TV. I had to take out another extended warranty which I am more that happy to do but still wish I had bought a Panasonic. Had 2 Panasonics for 9 years with NO problems.

Monique P

22

Another Samsung TV was installed here 1 week ago to replace our other one (re above) and unbelievably the same problem with green flashes across the screen, so when the Manager of Good Guys is in store tomorrow I'll be telling him to pick it up and will ask for a Panasonci replacement.Never buying another Samsung again ever. It also had 2 programmes taped on it prior to it being delivered here and it was supposed to be a new replacement as stated in extended warranty......not happy until I speak with the manager who is really helpful.In a nutshell Samsung is not the best brand to buy , same with our stainless steel fridge ,there was a ding in the door twice on delivery.Samsung again

suresh

23

new Samsung Series 8 Smart LED TV 65” (UAF8000) protect and new i tech application and mac OS support in Samsung smart LED TV ...

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