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Samsung announces new features for their 2018 Smart TV lineup

Samsung has announced some new features that are coming to its 2018 Smart TV line-up. The underlying theme of Samsung’s efforts in 2018 is about bringing different Samsung devices together and building a connected ecosystem. The same strategy is at play for the 2018 Smart TVs as well with SmartThings and Bixby platforms being used to power their connected ecosystem.

SmartThings and Bixby power many of these new features

Samsung wants to simplify the process of setting up a new TV with the help of their new SmartThings app. The app will recognize your WiFi, set-top boxes, favorite apps, and Samsung account information, and uses all that information to quickly and easily setup your new Smart TV. Another nifty feature Samsung promises is the ability to automatically log-in to your favorite video apps if you are already using them on your phone. Users can select the apps for which they want to transfer their log-in details and the new SmartThings app will automatically log-in to those video apps on their Samsung Smart TV.

Users can also set smart reminders on their phones for the next game and the Samsung Smart TV will automatically recognize what channel the game is on and switches to that channel when the game starts. Samsung’s 2018 smart TVs will also come with SmartThings dashboard. (Samsung is basically trying to make every Samsung screen into a control center for their SmartThings IoT devices). Checking what’s in the fridge, controlling lights, adjusting thermostat, controlling connected doorbells etc – all of this and more can be done from the TV screen itself

On the content front, Samsung wants to make it easier to find UHD and HDR movies through their enhanced TV PLUS feature. Samsung’s 2018 Smart TVs will also come with a built-in Steam Link feature to stream more than 6,000 games from a PC to the Smart TV out of the box. Samsung is also promising a Universal Guide with personalized recommendations. Samsung will be integrating recommendations from multiple sources like the cable set-top box, terrestrial content, and streaming services.

Lastly, 2018 Smart TVs will come with Bixby built-in to enable voice control of content and features in the Samsung Smart TVs. Switching to particular channels, searching for movies, controlling SmartThings IoT devices, checking weather etc all will be possible just through voice with the help of Bixby.

While many of these features sound appealing on the paper, how well they will work in practice will be known only when Samsung launches their updated SamrtThings app in Q1 2018. Samsung has recently announced they will consolidate all their IoT apps into a single SmartThings app with a huge update this quarter.

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All US only (I bet) and maybe some South Korea exclusives too.